The info below should
answer most of your questions.
If you have others, email Deborah's
office or Celebration
Barn Office ,or ask Deborah on her Facebook
Fan page. Click here to
go to the FAQs.
15 - 20, 2011.
Application deadline: No official deadline. Limited space. Limit: 16 participants. Early
application recommended. (more
Henson-Conant with special guest Karen Montanaro
Barn, South Paris, Maine
Rustic accommodations and two healthy buffet-style meals
daily on-site; camping space available (www.CelebrationBarn.com)
Fee includes tuition, meals (Lunch & Dinner), and
accommodations. $300 deposit is due when you register,
the balance is due when you arrive the Barn. Additional
are available for multiple registration (i.e.multiiple
registrations from artists in the same performing ensemble,
or for family members taking the same workshop, and/or
when you register for multiple Celebration Barn Workshops.)
this workshop focuses on performance techniques
rather than technical
music ability, it's is suitable
for all levels of instrumentalists, vocalists and other
performers hoping to add music to their performance. Here's
what you'll need in order to apply:
you have a resume, demo CD or EPK (Electronic
Press Kit), send them after you register or
provide a URL
materials. If you already have a resume waiver from
Deborah, Karen or the Celebration Barn, mention
that when you register.
- If you don't have a resume, CD, EPK or waiver,
then just fill out the student
questionnaire (pdf) after
you have any questions about whether the
workshop is right for you, email
us at info@HipHarp.com
Link: Link to online Registration
Age: 18 and older (younger
students may be accepted with parental consent - see "Eligibility" below)
and guest coach Karen Montanaro present techniques
herself learned in developing her own unique style of
playing. Daily class warmups; development of
performance, arrangement and improv skills; preparation
and performance. Private directing sessions provide one-on-one
coaching with Deborah and Karen; evening sessions
master-class-style feedback on performance and allow
students to gain insight from each others' development;
sessions with Deborah for harpists provide hands-on experience
with strap-on harps, amplification and specific harp
Special sessions for non-harpists with Karen Montanaro.
It is not essential to bring your own instrument
as there are instruments on site.
you can bring your own instrument or share
one of the on-site harps (lever & pedal). There's a $50
equipment fee if you need to share on-site instruments.
(We usually bring two pedal harps, 2 acoustic
lap-harps, and 2-3 electric strap-on harps, some with
stands). Since the workshop is focused on performance
rather than specific playing techniques, that's generally
plenty of harps for everyone, but if you're concerned,
you should arrange to bring your own harp. If you have
questions or concerns about how this works, feel free
to email us at info@HipHarp.com
you need a keybaord, we'll provide a Kurzweil
PC-88 electric keyboard - there's
equipment fee to share the keyboard. You're also welcome
to bring your own and avoid the fee. Let us know
whether you'll need the Kurzweil or plan to bring your
own, and if bringing your own, if you're willing to share
it with other keyboard players.
plan to bring your instrument. If you can't bring
unavailable), it's possible to take the workshop without
an instrument and to focus during the workshop on
movement and other techniques. Keyboard players:
storytellers, actors, etc:
your instruments are attached to you, of course, but feel
free to bring any props or equipment you use or would
like to use in your performances - or not.
workshop is open to performers and musicians 18 and
older* and is focused towards those looking to develop
their own style, and/or interested in help with direction
and coaching. This workshop is specifically designed
to help students develop or hone performance techniques,
find their own voice, physically integrate with their
instruments and/or develop a more integrated program
incorporate singing with playing narration or storytelling,
dance, etc). * under 18 may be accepted
with parental reference. We'll require a letter from
and recommend you speak to a former under-18 student. Email
info@HipHarp.com for more info about what to do if
the applicant is under 18.
Workshop combines ensemble improv,
master-class-style feedback and private coaching sessions.
Specific aspects are likely
While Deborah will present specific harp techniques,
this workshop focuses on performance exploration and
development of a personal style of playing and performing. This workshop will be team-taught by Deborah's performance
coach, Karen Montanaro, using techniques from the "Montanaro
Method" that Deborah, herself, first used to
develop her own unique style of playing. The workshop
goal is to help performers transition from their current
level of performance to the next level. The focus is
not to teach harpists to play like Deborah, but to help
them discover and develop the art of playing in their
OWN individual style.
warmups and improvs: Physical warmups precede morning improvisation exercises.
Using techniques that combine theatre, dance,
mime and physical improv, these exercises enhance
comfort-level with their bodies and their instruments.
Mime of Music": How can you literally embody the music you're playing
or listening to, from "classical" to "jazz,"
"rock" or "world music"? These exercises
teach students to approach performance from a purely
standpoint so they can learn to let their bodies express
the music they're playing.
on Stage. As
simple as it sounds, sometimes the most difficult
of a performance is simply standing on stage, so learning
to "own the stage" is essential practice
for a performer.
and Improv: In
group performance sessions, we work on developing
rhythms, then putting those rhythms into a formal improvisation
we can all play together and explore new ways of "comping,"
"soloing" and maintaining awareness of a musical
structure while we're having fun improvising.
direction: There's a chance to work one-on-one with Deborah and
Karen on both harp-techniques and purely physical techniques.
and critique: Evening sessions offer students a chance
for feedback on performance and to gain insight from seeing
Harp / Harness Harp try-outs. Harpists
-- and others -- will have a chance to try various models
of electric harps, both strap-on and standing harps, and
have a chance to experiment with Deborah's harp harness.
have a chance to work with a simple sound system
experiment with both wireless and "hardwired" technologies.
You'll learn the basic terminology of amplification including
what to plug in where.
Night Performance. At the workshop's close there is an opportunity to
try-out what you've learned in front of an audience.
All About You. Great
performance is really about projecting our own unique
spirit into the music, so while this workshop always does
result in learning new techniques and greater comfort
with your instrument or voice - it's not about your instrument
-- this workshop is about YOU. The main purpose is for
each person to learn to access their own unique spirit
onstage and to project it wholeheartedly into their instrument,
voice, body, ideas and performance.
TO HOLD YOUR PLACE
Celebration Barn: firstname.lastname@example.org
/ 207-743 -8452 (Phone) / 207-743-3889 (Fax)
Email for Application
info@HipHarp.com. They may include a an audio
sample, resume, brief description of your performance
goals, brief description of your specific interest in
this workshop, and information about what instrument you
play and/or how you plan to include music in your performance.
You may also request an audio/resume
waiver (see FAQs below).
For more about Deborah
For more about Celebration Barn Workshops: www.CelebrationBarn.com
Is this workshop right for me? Why is there an age restriction?
many harp players take this workshop because Deborah
the harp, it's not a "harp workshop." It's
a performance workshop, specifically for musicians.
restriction (i.e. under-18 need to send a specific letter-of-intent
to Deborah) has nothing to do with ability, but with
ability to focus and
plain language, sometimes younger students or driven
professionals can be so focussed on technical ability
that they're unhappy and
in an environment where technical ability simply isn't
the focus - so it's important that they know that coming
the first day or two of the workshop, participants
will rarely touch their instruments - if at all --
may be doing things that seem irrelevant to standard
technique (we do some conceptual excercises with
music, moving through
space in different ways, "playing" with
ideas, and exploring the instruments in new ways,
participants won't have any trouble with it physically,
but conceptually it may be a little confusing because
of how experienctial it is - because it's about experiencing
and integrating ideas, concepts and new approaches
yourself, your instrument and your audienc, not about
learning cool new tricks (although you'll probably
some cool new tricks as well!)
the end, it all "comes together," and it's exciting
to see the lightbulbs going off in people's heads —
but younger players sometimes find the first few days
confusing and even distressing (i.e. what does this have
to do with me as a harp player???), especially if they're
heavily driven to achieve results quickly and have built
a sense of self on how quickly they progress. Those are
the folks who'll be most uncomfortable at first —
and of course, in some ways, they're the ones who'll get
the greatest life-long benefit.
The age range for the 2008 workshop was from 16 to 60
- and it's expanded since then.
So long as participants know the above in advance and
understand this is different from Deborah's "harp
workshops" or even from her general public Blues
and Improv Workshops that focus on specific techniques
and skills, then this workshop will be a deeply enriching
and rewarding experience.
you're not sure if this workshop is for you and would
like to talk to a past student, let us know what your
specific concerns are and we can recommend someone
for you to talk to. For example - if you're concerned
that your playing level isn't high enough, we'll try
to connect you with
someone else who had the same concern before they came;
if you're concerned because you play an instrument
connect with someone else similar; if you're concerned
you're too old, young, big, little, etc. we'll try
to find someone who give you a reality-check and answer
your questions from a standpoint that's similar to your
if I don't have a lot of performance experience? What
if I don't play the harp? What if I'm not even a musician???
Will I fit in the workshop?
this workshop is primarily for musicians who want to develop
their performance skills, it's also great for non-musical
performers who want to add music to their performances.
And while it's primarily for professionals and pre-professionals,
it's also great for others. It's likely there will be
times when we split the group so harp players get some
focused harp-technique time with Deborah and non-harpists
and non-musicians focus on other skills with Karen.
traditional at The Barn to have a broad range of students,
and it's part of what makes the experience so rich. If
you want to check with Deborah's office first, email info@HipHarp.com,
ask for a Workshop Questionnaire, fill it out and send
it back ASAP – Deborah should be able to tell from
your answers if you'll fit in the workshop. At the same
time, email the Celebration Barn at info@CelebrationBarn.com
and ask them to hold your place pending acceptance.
and what kind of place would I stay? Will I have a roommate?
stay in rooms at the Barn, which is the same building
where the workshop is held. Depending on how full the
workshop is, people usually do have a roommate. Usually,
it's first-come-first-choice for the rooms, but under
certain circumstances it may be possible to pre-arrange
roommates – for example if you wanted to stay with
someone closer to your age. In any case, you'll be rooming
with another person of the same gender — but all
the rooms are in the same building. If you would like,
we can also have you email someone who did the workshop
last year who can give you a first-timer's description
of what it's like (just let us know and we'll connect
are the hours? And when will I eat?
the schedule is usually like this:
9am – noon: Morning Session
12:30 – 1:30: Lunch (clean-up until 2:00pm) (Lunch
is provided — there are always vegetarian options
2:30 – 5:00: Afternoon Session
6:00: Dinner (Dinner is provided — there are always
vegetarian options & choices)
SESSIONS: Workshoppers usually meet for at least an hour
or two in the evening, either for master-class type sessions
(where individuals perform and get feedback) or for structured
"jams" where students are given a musical form
and a specific rhythm, and create a kind of round-robin
structure where all practice doing quick "solos,"
alternating with jazz-type accompaniment techniques (it's
hard to explain, but it's a lot of fun).
the workshop there's not a whole lot of "free time"
-- most of the time everyone is all together.
is an audio/resume waiver - what is it and how do I get
you've taken this workshop before, studied privately with
Deborah or Karen, or if you get a personal recommendation
from a private teacher or from Amanda Huotari at Celebration
Barn, the requirement that you need to submit a resume
and audio sample in order to register can be waived. To
request a waiver, register for the workshop indicating
you're requesting a waiver; then email
Deborah's office, explain who you are and why you
want the waiver. They'll tell you if they need any additional
information and contact Celebration Barn to inform them
of your waiver. You may also request a waiver if you're
simply unable to prepare your audio & resume in time.
Email Deborah's office, tell them your playing level,
experience and reason you want to take the workshop -
then explain why you're requesting a waiver.
... it's pretty easy to get a waiver by just emailing
to Deborah, explaining why you want to take the workshop,
what your playing level is and what you hope to get
from the workshop. You won't be disqualified for playing
level. We just want to make sure that people's expectations
of the workshop are realistic. Some people prefer to
send resume/audio so that Deborah has a better sense
of what their work and level is like before they enter
I submit Audio and Resumes online or do I need to send
them physically ?
can email audio via MP3 and PDF Resumes. You can
also submit and audio or video sample by referencing a
MySpace (or other online) page with audio or video footage.
I play an instrument that is inaudible without amplification,
should I bring an acoustic instrument?
you have a backup acoustic instrument and it's easy to
bring, feel free to bring it – but if you have to
choose just one, choose the instrument you want to be
playing most often. I (Deborah) often practice without
amplification – and in a group situation, being
able to play your electric instrument without amplification
may prove a big advantage.
is Karen Montanaro & why is she team-teaching this
workshop with Deborah Henson-Conant?
Montanaro has coached Deborah on performance and development
and was a creative consultant on Deborah's recent DVD,
"Invention & Alchemy." Karen and Deborah
were both students of one of the greatest mimes of the
20th century, Tony Montanaro. Shunning the stereotypical
whiteface and silence, Montanaro challenged his students
to court the Unknown and to always "Try something
new and see what it does to you." Karen and Deborah
share a vocabulary of exploration techniques and a similar
ethic of working to develop each performer's personal
is the "Montanaro Method"?
Montanaro Method centers around a unique style of improvisation.
Based on the premise that each individual is directly
connected to their creative source, this workshop provides
a method for directly accessing that source. The Montanaro
Method empowers your presence and jump-starts your repertoire.
For this workshop, we will focus the Montanaro Method
specifically on musicians – or performers who want
to add music to their performance – and explore
the unique relationship between performance and music;
between player, instrument and the on-stage story. The
point is to develop each performer's individual style.
Is it safe at the Barn?
Barn's in a fairly rural location, so "safe"
depends on your definition
. For instance,
if you're insanely allergic to bees or mosquitos you should
know that you're likely to see both. But if you're cocerned
about it being a high-crime area, then it's absolutely
safe. This is also a very physical workshop, so you're
likely to get a little sore, especially during the first
do I request a rental instrument (this is for harpists
welcome to bring your own instrument. If you don't want
to bring an instrument, you'll be able to use instruments
that Deborah brings, but there's an additional equipment
fee in that case ($100 for the week) - so if you want
to avoid that cost, bring an instrument.
I have a chance to try out Deborah's portable electric
is a great chance for harp players to try out electric
harps, experiment with effects and "try on"
Deborah's electric lever harps. Deborah usually brings
both her CAMAC "Baby Blue," and Lyon & Healy
"Silhouette" harps, and at least one electro-acoustic
concert harp for students to try.
there other activities on site?
really. Deborah often goes for a run in the morning, but
usually people don't have time for activities. In past
years, when Deborah was a student going to two-week workshops
at the Barn, there were places they'd go to swim sometimes
— but usually people carpooled to those sites. In
2007, everyone carpooled to see a performance in a nearby
town by the guest teacher, Karen Montanaro. But, again,
the workshop itself is pretty involving and quite physical.
When people have "free time," they are mostly
resting or practicing what they've learned.
you have more questions about local activities, you can
contact Mandy at the Barn (email@example.com).
I need to bring my car? Will other people have their cars?
about half the people have cars and the other half don't,
so people generally carpool if they leave the Barn grounds.
A car is certainly not required.
Deborah offer pre-workshop lessons or private instruction
outside of the workshop?
is available for private lessons at the Barn the day before
the workshop begins. If you need a room that night, there
are a limited number of rooms available in the house adjacent
to the Barn. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
ASAP if you want to sign up for lessons that day and we
can send you info on cost, room availability and lesson
times. When you email, tell us:
• Where you'll be coming from
• Whether or not you'll have a car
• How many hours of lesson-time you
• Whether or not you need a room for
you prefer to schedule private lessons in Boston at any
time, including the week before the workshop, tell us
the date you'll be in Boston and how many hours of lessons
you'ld like. Or just request more information if you're
not sure what will work best for you -- and we can send
you general lesson info.
a question that's not on this list?
us at email@example.com
with your question. We'll try to answer it as quickly
as possible and then add it to this list as soon as we
to the top)