Welcome to a one-on-one interview with Grammy-nominated harpist Deborah Henson-Conant, the mastermind behind “Hip Harp Academy” – an online academy where harp enthusiasts come together to learn, inspire, and grow in their musical journey.

In this exclusive interview, Deborah explains one of the most used words in Hip Harp Academy – “snippet”. She shares her journey in creating the Hip Harp Academy, shedding light on its foundation, unique features, and her mission to support harpists of all levels.

Check out Deborah’s answer to the question: What is a “Snippet”?

Watch the video above or read the transcript of the interview below.

Interview Question: What is a “Snippet”?

Transcript of the video above


So what is a snippet? A snippet is a little bit of compositional DNA and as a composer, it’s just I’ve used these all my life. I’ve discovered them since I was a little kid and then I put them together.

But snippets happened because one day one of the students said, can you just tell us I want to just have a little accompaniment pattern? Can you show me what it might be? And so I showed her and she was like, cool, and I taught everybody how to play it.

But snippets happened because one day one of the students said, can you just tell us I want to just have a little accompaniment pattern? Can you show me what it might be? And so I showed her and she was like, cool, and I taught everybody how to play it.

And then the next week she said, can I have another one of those? And I was like, OK, here’s another one. And then she said, can I have another one of those snippets? And I was like, OK, here’s another.

And it started being part of each week. And I would always do it at the beginning of the lesson so that people could literally play these as we were going through the chat because there’s something to be said for playing when you’re not thinking as well as playing when you’re thinking.

So a snippet is something like this. It might be something as simple as. And then those are actually three different things together. It’s a base note. It’s a shape of a sixth. And then I move that shape up one step.

So a lot of the snippets have to do with learning shapes. So you play a base note, you play one shape and you move it up a step. And now the harps are ringing and you play a melody, meaning just notes together.

And part of what I’m always trying to teach is the fundamentals of music, the structures, the snippets, and always pointing to base accompaniment and melody, the three roles, so that we learn to improvise and improvise freely.

And that’s been one of the amazing things to hear members of the Academy talk about, to have them talk about that freedom that they’re experiencing through learning this way. And it’s such a fun thing because it’s something that came not from me initially, but from the members asking for something.



Deborah explains the origin and educational purpose of ‘snippets’ in Hip Harp Academy. Snippets refer to short musical patterns she creates to teach improvisation, composition and accompaniment structures. Students requested these patterns, which became a regular part of lessons. The snippets aim to develop freedom and fundamentals through playing different roles of melody, accompaniment and bass. Members appreciate the improvisational freedom gained from this approach focused on shapes and movement between structures.

In this inspiring interview, Deborah Henson-Conant explains what a snippet is and how it works in the Hip Harp Academy – to nurture and support harpists. To see, other interview videos of Deborah about the Hip Harp Academy, go to this YouTube video playlist.

By offering a community-driven and inclusive platform for harpists at every stage, the Hip Harp Academy continues to pave the way for musical growth, self-expression, and meaningful connections.

So, if you’re looking for more confidence, creativity support and gaining freedom from the notes on the page click the button below and join the Hip Harp Academy.

WAIT! There's more! On Mon-Fri. April 8th - 14th, Deborah will conduct a FREE 5-day challenge to help you get a glimpse on how the Academy works by sharing with you how to play her world-famous piece 'Baroque Flamenco' at your OWN level - like you were born with it in your hands.


I invite YOU to join this powerful, supportive, creative community.

Deborah Henson-Conant & Hip Harp Academy Present

FREE Baroque Flamenco "Make it Easy" 5-Day Challenge!


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