WHAT SOFTWARE DO
I NEED FOR THE
A. You don't need any special software or hardware. You can take the course on your computer or ipad. You'll watch the course videos on line, and you can download the MP3 playalong files and PDFs.
Even people who consider themselves completely non-tech-savvy are able to access and enjoy the course. Some people even say that one of the big benefits of the course is getting more comfortable with online tech formats!
Each week the course information is provided in three formats and there's always a "low-tech version" so you'll able to
(like a live-stream webinar) because I'll
you to follow.
Here's how it's provided:
- A Playalong webinar Jam that you can attend live or watch later via video
- Pre-Jam Training - so you can get familiar with the jam sequence and how it works (this is optional - you can also just attend the jams themselves)
- Audio versions of the trainings that you can download and listen to on your ipod or computer
- PDF "Cheatsheets" of each jam as a beginning for any notes you take yourself
- Special "Naked Jam Tracks" - MP3s of the underlying jam sequence that you can put on your computer, ipod or ipad and play aong with
- A Live Q&A Session - at the end of the Playalong Webinar, I'll answer any questions you have - and if you're not attending live you can submit your questions in advance and watch the answers later in the video replay.
even if your tech-savvy
goes so far
as knowing how
to a Webpage,
watch YouTube and
a file, you'll
be able to
get all the class
The truth is, there's always a bit of a learning curve unless you've taken online courses before -- and online chats and masterclasses will never be as high-fidelity as being there live -- but many people have actually told me that my online courses have given them the added benefit of learning to navigate the web in new and empowering ways -- and that makes me very happy!
WILL I HAVE TO
A. TaDa! No homework in this program! This program is all about PLAYING ALONG so I'll encourage you to play with the course audio ... or with your friends ... as much as you can. And there will be jams that you can do with friends who aren't even musicians -- like a jam to play with someone playing Pots-and-Pans in the kitchen!
HOW MUCH TIME WILL I SPEND ON THE PROGRAM EACH WEEK?
A. That's pretty much up to you. You could just spend an hour a week if you just want to watch the playalong video and play along with it.
People who want to 'get the most bang for their buck' can spend as much as an hour or more a day, watching the videos, downloading the materials and then putting it all into practice and playing with others.
Most people fall between those two extremes - and it's totally fine how YOU want to use the program and how it fits into YOUR life right now. That's also why you get access to the website for at least 3 months after the program ends - so you can go back and review.
The absolutely most important thing you can do each week is to find one simple idea and put it directly into your playing at any level.
If you do that ONE thing each week you'll get more out of the program than reading and watching everything but not putting it into practice. So if you don't have much time one week, you can skim the playalong video, find your 'nugget' for the week, put it into practice and feel great that you're getting something that will change your playing for the rest of your life!
On a practical level, it would probably take you about 2 hours a week to just go through the playlong video and download the audio files and PDFs so you have them for future use.
And you don't have to do it all at once! I'll break each week into 2-3 different jams and you can work on them one at a time. One very cool thing about this course website is that you can 'check off' each activity as you do it (an 'activity' is a video or a page, or a discussion) so that when you go back, you can see exactly where you left off. So it should be easy to log in once a day for 10-15 minutes and go through one or two 'activities' each time.
You won't 'get it all the first time' - and that's not important! These jams are like games that you'll be able to play for the rest of your life. What's important to me for "Summer Harp Jam 2016" is that you find at least a few that you really love, and you have FUN playing them!
IF I CAN’T
A. That concept doesn't really exist for this program. Each week you'll be learning different jams, so if you miss a week or more, you can just jump back in - and you get two BONUS REVIEW WEEKS at the end so we can go back over everything and you can ask questions.
level – and that's what's really important.
practice an hour a day and really engage online
to feel I've
gotten what I need
so that regardless
of how you like
to learn and play,
able to get
Q. DO YOU PROVIDE MUSIC TO GO WITH THE COURSE, OR DO I NEED TO PROVIDE MY OWN?
You'll get all the music you need from within the course. Each week you'll download the jam sequences - and that's all you need! (You don't even need that, because I'll also show you the jam sequence on a video)
Q. HOW DOES IT WORK WITH THE DIFFERENT PLAYING LEVELS ALL IN ONE COURSE?
All my online programs (and even my offline programs!) are multi-level and for both lever and pedal harp and it works because I always start by teaching the underlying concept of what we're doing.
Each concept can be expressed in infinite ways, at infinite levels of ability - and part of the fun of each course is your collaboration with me in finding the ways to play them that you can play right now.
There is no limit to how much you can simplify or expand a musical concept.
For each thing I show you, I'll always include a distilled/fundamental/simple version of it and ways to embellish and expand it. And if it's either not simple enough ... or not complex enough for you, then you can ask for a simpification or an embellishment -- and that's part of what I'll do in the live Q&A sessions and part of what creates such a vibrant sense of involvement and 'live-ness' in the classes.
This program is different than many of my others because this is SO focused on playing in the moment, and the live sessions will include a lot of time where I'm playing and you're playing back to me BUT that doesn't mean you need to play exactly what I'm playing each time! If you're still a fledgling playing, you may only play the first note of what I play until you get comfortable to add more notes -- and that's why you'll get to watch and playalong over and over. If you're an advanced player, you may want to embellish the line I play when you play it back to me!
And one of the incredible advantages of virtual 'live' events (like the play-along sessions) is that you won't be disturbed by the playing of others and you won't be comparing yourself to the playing of the others -- everyone will be playing along 'together' ... at completely different places on the planet!
Q: CAN I GET A TASTE-TEST?? I’VE NEVER BEEN IN AN ONLINE COURSE - I don’t know how it works and I’m not sure my internet is good enough. Is there a way to just see how it works?
YES! I created a special little course that you can take for free. It’s called “HaRpy Birthday” and it'll give you a taste of my teaching style. Just sign up for "DHC Freebies." That gets you a "Free Level" account at Hip Harp Academy. Then just look for the "HaRpy Birthday" icon and you can take that mini-class to see what it's like to work with me online.
Q: WHAT TIME IS THE CLASS? When do I have to be there? I’m worried I’ll have to get up in the middle of the night!
No worries - you can take the whole Summer Harp Jam, at your own pace. Everything is recorded and many people prefer to never come to the live parts and just watch via replay or download the MP3s and just listen and play along.
The ‘live jams’ are recorded and I try to get them online within 24 hours. If people want to dig in and spend more time, there’s a plenty of additional warm-up material that opens each week on Thursday.
Here’s what the Schedule looks like each week:
> TUESDAYS: A new “Jam Sequence” opens and you can do the warmups if you want
> SUNDAYS (usually at 2pm EDT): Live Jam & Chat! (recorded)
> MONDAYS: The Live Jam Replay is available along with downloadable PDF “Playsheet” and the MP3.
> ANY TIME: Students can connect via the private Facebook Group and ask me questions via the Facebook Group and/or my “Ask a Question” form and access all the training materials, warmups and jam replays
Usually about 30% of the students come to the weekly live jams. The rest prefer the replay, so they can do it on their own time.
Q: WILL THE STYLE YOU’RE TEACHING BE TOO ‘JAZZY’ FOR THE TYPE OF MUSIC I’M PLAYING?(I play mainly hymns and folksy type of music/songs)
WHAT A GREAT QUESTION! Summer Harp Jam explores a lot of different styles, and one of them is always ‘rubato’ or ‘straight’ - as opposed to rhythmic.
We take one basic progression each week and learn all the things you can do with it: how to use it for intros, endings, interludes, improvs, meditation, bedside playing, how to break it apart to play with others.
And yes - you can ABSOLUTELY jam with Hymns and folk songs - and you’d learn a lot about how to do that in Summer Harp Jam. It would be fairly easy to expand what you learn to Hymns or the progressions in folk songs - and what’s SO GREAT about taking this program LIVE is that, if you have a special kind of music you want to explore - like Hymms or Folk songs - you can ask me how to do that in the Jam-Chats.
What I’ve done in Summer Harp Jam is to choose progressions that are so short that people can literally learn them in 30 seconds, so that everyone can focus on how to have FUN with them instead of worrying about how to read or remember them. And I’ve chosen some of the most useful progressions I know, chord sequences that show up over and over again in lots of pieces.
So you won’t be learning ‘songs’ per se in Harp Jam - you’ll learn progressions you can use with songs.
If you want to take a look at a little warmup version of “Summer Harp Jam” to get a sense of how it works, here’s an online “Webinar” training from last year that you can watch. Let me know what you think!
Q: IS THE MATERIAL IN SUMMER HARP JAM UNIQUE TO THIS COURSE? If I’ve taken your other courses is this NEW material?
This course is very cool and unlike any of my other courses. I tried to make it more like a summer camp - with activities, LOTS of play, and no homework for one thing.
If you’ve been in my courses you’ve probably experienced at least a little bit of “call and response” where I set up a background accompaniment on my looper and then I play little melodies and you play them back to me.
Every time I do that people LOVE it and ask for more - so Summer Harp Jam is based entirely on “Call and Response” - on JAMMING together - because it’s such a fun and effective and freeing way to learn to improvise and to simply have FUN playing your instrument.
Each week you learn a new sequence - which takes about 30 seconds. Then you learn a whole bunch of things you can do with it - from creating intros, endings and interludes with it - to creating full improvs. You learn a bunch of different bass patterns you can use with it, scales you can use with it, and various ways of creating rhythms with it like Waltz and Latin rhythms - as well as how to use it in responsive and contemplative settings like hospice or meditation.
The course is not sequential. If you miss a week, you can just jump into the next week and it’s not a big deal. That’s because the activities are all based on a set of chord sequences - a different progression each week.
And you can learn as little or as much of that as you want - because the JAM part of the program is the real heart of it: each week we have an online JAM where I set up the progression with my looper, and then we play! I play a riff and you play it back to me, I play a riff and you play it back. It’s basically the way I learned to play as a kid: call & response. It’s incredibly fun and you don’t need to play exactly what I play because nobody can hear each other and it’s not about ‘getting better at copying’ - it’s about getting comfortable improvising and learning the kinds of musical gestures and scales work for you and are most fun.
I love it because 95% of it is “learning by playing” - and because everyone can keep what they’re doing as simple as they want - or make as complex as they want based on their own level and how much time they want to spend in the class (er ... I mean camp!)
Q: MY INTERNET ISN’T GREAT. HOW MUCH SUMMER CAMP IS VIDEO AND HOW MUCH IS LIVE STREAMING? Is the chat session a video chat or an email chat?
- That’s an excellent question about the video and how the course works with less robust internet connections. Let me know if this answers that question:
- The “static” part of the program - the part that’s already there when you get into the classroom - is embedded videos (plus PDF handouts, text and downloadable audio). The video content includes both “warmup” or “prep” videos PLUS last-year’s live-stream jams chunked into segments that are based on content.
- What that means is that I took the original jams I created live, and then edited them ‘bite-sized’ chunks. I also created extra videos last year when people had specific questions. All of that is available as soon as I open each module. Most of those are 5-10 minutes long. The longest seems to be about 15 minutes.
- For every video on the page, there’s also a downloadable mp3 at the bottom of the page. That means you can get the mp3 right onto your computer and then avoiding worrying about internet at all. I try to be careful when I ‘show’ things on the video to also name the notes, since even when people can see the video, it’s not always close or clear enough to be useful.
- Also, the focus of this particular program is on “call-and-response” where I play something and you play it (or something like it) back, so most people find it most useful to just put the audio on, and play along based on the prompts I give. This program is unique in that way (although I’m starting to use that technique more in other courses because people love it so much - and it’s fun for me as well).
- The LIVE weekly jams are all livestreamed. Usually only about 25-30% of the people actually come live. The rest prefer to wait until we post the replay, and either watch that online or just download the MP3 and play with that. I’m not sure if they do that because of their internet connection or just because they prefer to be able to stop and start the jam at their own pace.
Q: WHAT IF MY INTERNET IS OUT?
We can’t always count on internet, as great as it is. That’s why I record everything we do in the program and then add it to the classroom so people can watch at their own pace, or download the MP3s and the PDF Playsheets to have on their own computer or MP3 device.
Q: WILL I LEARN TO IMPROVISE IN “SUMMER HARP JAM”?
Yes! Summer Harp Jam is all about learning to improvise by playing along with me!
To make that easy and fun, the whole program is based on small chord sequences. These are sequences you’ll find in lots and lots of music once you know how to look for them. You’ll learn to use them for solo harp or to jam with others -- and how to use them to create on-the-spot intros, interludes, endings and improvisations. You learn to do it in rhythmic styles or rubato -- lots of people end up using these little sequences for contemplative or therapeutic improvisation.
Q. DO YOU HAVE A PAYMENT PLAN?
YES! Depending on when you sign up there's a payment plan that lets you split the payment (if you sign up outside of the normal registration period, the payment plan may not be available then)
Got more Questions? Use the "Ask a Question" form.