Deborah Henson-Conant’s
Special ADD-ON Workshop at the
2021 Somerset Harp Festival

Harp Workshop


To request access via replay use the “Ask a Question” form

Hundreds of Harpists from around the globe attend the Somerset Harp Festival each year for a taste of the best harp teaching for lever harp that the world has to offer. This special Full-Day Workshop is available ONLY to Festival Attendees as a Sunday “Add-On”. Learn More & Register Now

During this virtual
LIVE One-Day Improv Immersion:


You’ll learn to use NUMBER FENCEPOSTS to create melodies, accompaniments and basslines to use alone or playing with others. 

You’ll discover the secret of using NUMBERS and SHAPES to expand and enrich your HARMONIES.


You’ll put all the numbers together in a day of fun and lively PLAY-ALONGS where you learn as you play – and play as you learn.

What Harpists say about “Play by Numbers”:

“I know I will try it out endlessly. In all kinds of forms. This was SO MUCH fun.”
– Joke Verdoold (Holland)

“I like not having to think, but just to play!  It is so much fun.”
– Carol Henley (USA)

“It’s great to be able to DO SO MANY THINGS with just 5 numbers :):)!”
– Nancy Cochran (USA)

Hundreds of Harpists from around the globe attend the Somerset Harp Festival each year for a taste of the best harp teaching for lever harp that the world has to offer. This special Full-Day Workshop is available ONLY to Festival Attendees as a Sunday “Add-On”.

Free Yourself from the Notes on the Page.
Learn to PLAY by NUMBERS!

In the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind aliens communicate with humans through music and numbers. That was no arbitrary trick. Numbers are a universal language and music is the sound of numbers playing together.

Music by the numbers isn’t just for aliens! Numbers can help everyone IMPROVISE and can massively speed up music learning. In this workshop we’ll be playing up a storm — entirely by numbers — and when we’re done, you’ll see every piece you play with a new sense of freedom.

Get Ready to PLAY and PLAY and PLAY!

The most important thing about this workshop is that you’ll be PLAYING ALL DAY — you’ll go through the process over and over until it becomes second-nature, because that’s what’s going to liberate you from the notes on the page and empower you to truly FEEL that sense of FREEDOM.

In this Workshop, numbers will give you 4 different levels of Freedom:

  • Numbers will help you remember chord progression of a tune
  • Numbers will help you expand and alter chords
  • Numbers will help you keep the rhythm (the time signature and beat)
  • Numbers will help you remember melodies (and sometimes we use ‘solfege’ instead of numbers for this)

But most important – numbers let you play without written music –  in the moment at YOUR level of technical ability.

You’ll learn to do all these things in “Playing by the Numbers.” But “knowing” how to do it and actually doing it are two different things. It’s kinda like losing weight. Knowing how to do it doesn’t make the difference. Actually applying what you know over and over, especially when you can do it in a supportive environment with other people, is what makes things really happen. And that’s how we’ll be doing this workshop!

The Itinerary for “Play by Numbers”
Sun. July 25 ~ 10AM – 5PM

Your day with Deborah Henson-Conant will be “live on Zoom.” This workshop will be recorded and available for replay later to just workshop participants through the Somerset Harp Festival Website.

10-11:30am: Session 1 with breaks

Noon: Somerset Concert & Lunch Break

12-1pm: Lunch Break – Go to the kitchen and grab your lunch. Take a walk. Chill out. Don’t forget to watch the Somerset Sunday concert. We’re going to leave the Zoom Meeting open so that folks can come back to the meeting, have lunch together and chat. You also have time to drop into the new virtual Exhibit Hall and chat with vendors (a new feature on Somerset Online).

1-2:30pm: Session 2

2:45-4:15pm: Session 3

4:30-5pm: Final Sprint

What to Wear: Please dress comfortably and come ready to play.

What to Bring: No music stand needed! These sessions, however, will be recorded live as they happen and are available at a later date for replay.

How do I Attend? Registrants will receive an email invitation to the Zoom meeting room that will admit you. Make sure you’re in a comfortable space at home with your instrument!

Cost & Registration

Play by the Numbers with Deborah Henson-Conant: is an ‘add-on’ to the Somerset Folk Harp Festival. So, once you register for the festival, you can add on this full-day Sunday Workshop for $100. 

Questions? Need more information?

Contact Somerset Folk Harp Festival.

Meet your Creativity Coach: Deborah Henson-Conant

Deborah Henson-Conant is a Grammy-Nominated composer and performer. Her piece “Baroque Flamenco” has won awards around the world in performances by solo musicians, orchestras, harp ensembles and chamber ensembles.

She herself premiered it with the Boston Pops to a rave review in the Boston Globe – and today it’s become THE showpiece for harpists, winning contests and wowing audiences. 

Now YOU can learn to play the ‘Bones’ of this piece – from the composer – so you can start performing it at your level – whether you’re a fledgling player or a professional

Deborah Henson-Conant has been featured in the New York Times, on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s Weekend Edition.   Her Hip Harp Academy is the world’s premiere online learning platform for harpists who want to break away from the notes on the page and to freedom, improv skills and full self-expression.

© Deborah Henson-Conant, Golden Cage Music • Box 1039 • Arlington, MA 02474 • Privacy Policy