Looking ahead –

It’s already April – so it’s already time to be thinking about what you’d like to be doing this summer!

There are so many activities available in the summer that planning is definitely required. You have limited resources – both time and money. In addition, there are only so many places available in these events. So, to help you plan, this month I’d like to share some of my favorites.

First up is Harp Camp. This is our 21st year! Harp Camp is very exclusive with only 10 spots each summer. This summer it will be August 19th-21st in our lovely, idyllic setting in South Central Pennsylvania.

Kris Snyder and I work hard to create an easily accessible, highly personalized, fun-filled, supportive environment where harp players can extend their technical skills regardless of the current level of accomplishment.


Kris and I have a lot of fun planning and teaching Harp Camp – you should join us!

Harp Camp is only open to Lever harp players. We encourage participants to try new things while building an understanding of the skills necessary to reach individual performance goals.

We have put together a format that is tailored to our identified participants. We are careful to assure you feel no frustration. While you’re learning, there’s no stuff you aren’t ready for and no waiting for people with less experience to understand what is being presented.

Each workshop is geared toward each individual’s proficiency and comfort level. We have three days full of creativity and fun, covering diverse topics from learning to performance to improvisation. In addition, we have Creative and Directed Ensembles, games, and age appropriate activities to round out the days!

For more information, check out the additional information here.

Happy 20th! It’s time for Camp!

I am very thrilled to be heading off to 20th Anniversary Harp Camp. So glad some of you will be joining us! Kris and I are looking forward to a highly personalized and fun-filled weekend so you can extend your technical skills no matter where you’re starting.

Picture1Harp Camp has small class sizes so we can give each person personal attention. It is very intimate, we focus on very specific teaching at the harp, and away from the harp we include the sights, sounds, textures, and tastes that make our harp life full!

Our campers typically have a great time – and left tired and with their heads full – just like we like it! And we have a blast!

What a way to have summer fun! See you when we’re finished

Time to tune up

In the summer, there are so many camps, workshops, programs and they all suggest that you start early to get your fingers toughened up because you’ll be playing more than you usually do.


But what does that mean? How can you get ready for these events? Here are seven ways to tune up for a workshop so you can get as much out of the last session as the first: Picture1

  1. Make a schedule – you know you have a finite amount of time to prepare, so plan to use it – each day increase your time on the bench a little (add no more than 10% each week – just like running).  A small increase allows you to build up without adding too much at once, which will help you stay on track). Be sure in also increase the number of times each day that you sit at your harp – the workshop might be 8 hours a day but that won’t all be on your bench so you might want to practice sitting to your harp 3 times a day rather than one really long stretch!
  2. Work your plan – it’s all well and good to make a plan but then you have to actually use it! Be sure that you actually do the things you set up in your plan
  3. Be realistic – if you never have time to practice on Sundays (for example) – build that into your plan, don’t think that suddenly the time will appear. This is especially true if you are working around your current schedule – if you only have 30 minutes a day to practice, do not think that suddenly you will find 3 hours a day to practice.  However, if you are so strapped for time that you can only practice for 30 minutes a day – know that you will need to modify what you expect to get out of each day of the workshop.
  4. Remember your braces: when you had braces, you didn’t expect all the movement at once – it was gentle progress you were after – same thing here – gentle positive progress will not only allow you to feel better about your work but will result in a noticeable benefit.
  5. Warm up – this is not the time to skimp on the fundamentals – do plan to spend a little time warming up (and when you get to your workshop, don’t forget to do this!)
  6. Stretch – just as you know that a good warm up is essential to avoiding injury, a good stretch at the end of your time at your harp is also important while you are increasing your time on the bench. And when you are at your workshop, stretching will also be important – you will be working hard.  In addition, workshop participants are often a little stressed (concentrating, wanting to “do well” (whatever that means – everyone is learning!), trying to learn a lot in a little time with the tutor all add to your stress).
  7. Journal – keep a record of what you are doing and how it is going – while this is always a good idea, it’s especially important when you are trying to prepare.

Summer workshops, camps, and other events are a great way to learn, meet new friends, catch up with old friends and really expand your harping – be sure you are ready to make the most of the event!

What to do on your summer vacation – Harp Camp!

You have so many things to do during the sweet, sweaty days of summer and it is only natural that you’d want to spend some of the time on your harp!  I hope you’ll consider joining us for the 20th anniversary Lever Harp Camp 2014, August 14th-16th – in South Central Pennsylvania. Harp Camp is easily accessible from anywhere and to harpers at any level.

Kris and I work hard to provide a highly personalized, fun-filled and supportive environment so that you can extend your technical skills no matter where you’re starting. We also work on building a healthy sense of self-esteem and encourage our attendees to try new things while developing an understanding of the skills necessary to reach individual performance goals.

Picture1We put together a format tailored to you: no frustration of not getting something that you aren’t ready for.  And no waiting for people with less experience to understand what is being presented. We tailor to you – where you are at the time we’re working.

Each workshop you take will be geared toward your proficiency and comfort level. These three days will be filled with creativity and fun. Workshops cover diverse topics from learning to performance to composition and improvisation.

We are working on the specific topics right now and we’ll post them soon.  Games, Creative and Directed Ensemble and age appropriate activities will all be included!

If you have always wanted to try the harp without the commitment, we will have rentals available and a separate novice track designed to give you the optimum experience of trying the harp – with no strings attached!

Harp Camp has small class sizes to give each attendee the personal attention for which we are known.  For more information, check our website for updates in April or contact us. Harperkris (at) hotmail.com or jentheharper (at) gmail.com

It’s Summer – time for Harp Camp!

I’m off to this year’s Harp Camp and I’m so excited to be invited again to teach with Kris Snyder at this, the 19th annual!  I’m looking forward to seeing you there – we have a lot of good stuff planned for this year as we explore this year’s theme – the Game of Music.

 What better way to spend a part of your summer – learning and sharing and having fun!  See you soon – I’m off for a good game!

Basking in the glow

Summer is a wonderful time.  Not only is the sun shining and the warmth of the days calls us to spend more time in that glorious light, but perhaps more importantly…it’s festival season!

I am basking in the afterglow of participating in the Somerset Folk Harp Festival in a summer full of enjoying the thrill of the middle of the summer Games and Competitions season, while getting ready for this year’s Harp Camp, and gearing up for the Harp the Highlands and Islands tour for this year*. Picture1

Summer is just chock-a-block with great opportunities to learn, to play, to meet new friends, to see old friends, and to just enjoy our music!  I hope you have had to occasion to avail yourself of the discovery, the camaraderie, and the pure joy of making music.

Summer is fleeting though and soon we’ll be in the bitter cold of winter when there are fewer opportunities to get together, time will be spent alone, practicing for Christmas gigs, and the shortened days seem to suck some of the joy from the day.  With the waning daylight we will miss the carefree days of playing through the summer.

Find your opportunity to join with others, to make music and have fun!

*there’s still time – if you want to get in on this year’s Harp the Highlands and Islands tour, get more information here or send me an email.

What will you do on your summer vacation?

As occurs about this time each year, it’s about time to plan your summer vacation.  There are many options, but here’s a harp opportunity for you to consider – come join us!
This is the 19th year of Lever Harp Camp 2014!  This year we will hold Camp 15 -17 August in South Central Pennsylvania.  This year’s theme is The Game of Music.  Harp Camp is easily accessible to harpers from anywhere and at any level. 

I am delighted to be teaching with my Co-Director Kris Nystrom Snyder again.  Harp Camp is a highlight in my year and I really look forward to it!  We work hard to bring you a highly personalized, fun-filled, supportive environment where you can extend your technical skills no matter where you are in your harp journey.  In addition you will be able to enhance your appreciation for our wonderful instrument. We also encourage all participants to try new things in a safe atmosphere and give you an understanding of the skills necessary to reach your individual performance goals.
Our format is tailored to you – no frustration of “not getting” material you aren’t ready for, nor will you be waiting for people with less experience to “catch up”.  You will experience three days filled with creativity and fun.  Workshops cover diverse topics from learning to performance to composition and improvisation.  We will have (music) Games, Creative and Directed Ensemble and other age appropriate activities that you are sure to enjoy!
We keep Harp Camp small and have a capped attendance policy.  This allows our class sizes to remain small – giving our attendees the personnel attention for which we are known.
DON’T MISS OUT!!  For more information, Contact us

Harp Camp 2014!

Kris and I had a great weekend laughing and playing and planning Harp Camp 2014.  This is the 19thyear and we are really looking forward to our annual event in Southeastern Pennsylvania!
This year’s theme is “The Game of Music” – we will be having fun, playing games.  Of course, our games will be fun ways to learn those things that help us be better musicians.  Harp Camp is always fun with a very small group size that allows us to make it highly personalized in a supportive environment.  Lever harp players at all levels get the opportunity to extend technical skills…and have fun.

 Popular activities return, including our Afternoon Tea, Directed and Creative Ensembles and a rousing round of Bach to the Drawing Board!  While we have many “alumni” attendees, the warm, welcoming environment is open to new participants as well – join us, we’d love to have you!

The format tailored to you – no frustration.  Workshops geared toward your proficiency and comfort level and you’ll experience three days filled with creativity and fun.  Workshops cover diverse topics from learning to performance to composition and improvisation.

Harp Camp space is limited – this allows our class sizes to remain small – giving our attendees the personnel attention for which we are known. 
Come out to play with us at Harp Camp 2014!  You’ll have a blast and will learn a lot as well!  Click here for more information.

Summer is coming!

It’s about that time to plan your summer – especially your harp summer!  Of course the best choice would be to join us in Scotland on the Harp the Highlands and Islands tour in September!  But to be ready, I’d highly recommend you participate in the Ohio Scottish Arts School harp program.

This year’s instructors include the amazing Sue Richards, Ann Heymann (a must see for anyone interested in wire harp!) and Corrina Hewat.  In addition, Charlie Heymann will be teaching those elements that make us better musicians not just better harpers.

From the OSAS website:

The Scottish Harp classes will focus on:
• Basic harp technique for beginners and intermediates.
• Repertoire at all levels, including tunes for competition sets.
• Scottish style, including ornaments, lilt, and dance types.

The nylon/gut harp classes will study Scottish dance music, airs, and songs, focusing on ornamentation, Scottish style, accompaniment, and learning by ear.

Ann Heymann leads the class for wire strung and historical harps (bray harps welcome) and Charlie Heymann leads an afternoon “band class” for all instruments.
Afternoons will include lectures, practice time, and playing in sessions. Classes will be available for beginners who have played for a few months, intermediates, and advanced players. 
Returning in 2014: An incredible option to assemble, finish and string your own 27 string wire harp (assisted by Charlie). Please contact Ann for details: annheymann@gmail.com
Evening jam sessions offer students the chance to develop accompaniment patterns and learn more tunes.
You will have a great time and will learn more than you thought possible – hope to see you there!

It will be summer sooner than we know it!

This year is zorching past mostly in a blur.  But summer time is when the living is easy…and so is connecting to other harpers!  It is the best time to find some outlets, learn some great stuff, meet new people, and play a whole lot. 

I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. I wish I had the time to go to more but here are a few that are tried, true, that I sincerely look forward to each year:

In June there is the Ohio Scottish Arts School.  It can begin at the Ohio Scottish Games in Wellington which is a large and friendly competition and the unofficial start to the week.  As always there will be fantastic tutors at OSAS in 2013 including the amazing Corinna Hewat and the fascinating Abby Palmer as well as the brilliant Ann and Charlie Heymann and the incomparable Sue Richards.  It is an wonderful week and you will leave with your head full of tunes and your laughter ringing in the halls.

In July is the Somerset Harp Festival.  As usual, Somerset has cooked up an incredible collection of people to teach you things you  didn’t even know you needed to learn.  You will see old friends, make new friends, be tempted (and seduced) by the vendors’ hall.  You think you will be able to pick out your harp from the tasting but instead you will discover other harps you will have to figure out how to acquire (or at least try!).  You will leave exhausted and planning for the next one.

In August is Harp Camp.  This is different – it is very intimate with only ten students included each year.  We focus on very specific teaching at the harp and our time away from the harp is a cornucopia of sights, sounds, textures, and tastes all focused on improving your inner musician!  We mold the schedule from feedback of the specific needs of the participants as well as the goals and desires they share with us. 

There are many harpy things to do in the summer – these are just my three favorites.  I hope you make the time to get out and play this summer!  Where will you be going this summer?