Three Reasons I Love Teaching the Harp Online

START HARP flyer showing Shelley Fairplay with her harpCreating START HARP as an online course has opened up a whole new world to me! I”ve always enjoyed teaching but never thought I would enjoy running an online course so much.
(Find out more about STARTHARP.)

Why do I enjoy it? Here are my top three reasons!

1. Bringing music to life
I LOVE creating the play along tracks for students, knowing that when the student is practicing a single note on their harp they will get to play along with my accompaniment, making it sound fun, beautiful, and like real music from day one.

2. Take two
I love that I can edit my videos, removing anything I say that might be confusing or re-record sections that I think don”t work. It”s wonderful to be able to reflect on the lessons and really refine each one, perfecting the learning experience for my students.

3. Offering flexibility
In my experience, every student has natural strengths. But they will also have areas they need to develop and will often need to repeat a lesson with a teacher more than once before an idea or a concept “clicks”. That”s why I love using online teaching. It means video tutorials on improvisation and playing music by ear can be played again and again by START HARP students without having to wait until the next lesson.

 

 

So these are the top three reasons I love online courses what are yours?

Tempted to start learning the harp online?

Join START HARP!

START HARP is an easy to follow, flexible and affordable online course that will take you on a musical journey from the comfort of your own home!

‘I would recommend this course for anyone who has ever dreamt of playing the harp. The ongoing support and advice, not only from Shelley herself but from the rest of the group through Facebook and Q&A sessions, has kept me focused. And it”s fun! What more could you want.
Pauline Jones, START HARP Student

 

Interested? Click on the course titles below and you”ll be taken to further information about START HARP and details of how to register:

Not sure which level to take? Spend a few minutes taking the Harp quiz to help you find out!

Want to find out more? Visit www.STARTHARP.com

From Blue Peter to an Online Harp Course!

START HARP flyer showing Shelley Fairplay with her harpSince January 2016, I”ve been testing my new online course – START HARP. I”m excited to be running a course which is flexible, affordable and accessible to everyone, no matter where they live. (Find out more about START HARP.)

Working hard to encourage people of all ages and musical abilities to start playing this amazing instrument made me pause for a second and think why do I play the harp?

Honestly? It”s just something I”ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember!

But my mother tells me that Blue Peter* was to blame.

They had a wonderful harpist perform on the programme and apparently I was transfixed! I talked about harps, looked for harps and idolised harps from then on!

My parents said if I learned piano, then at the age of eleven I could take up the harp. Luckily for me, we bumped into a harpist at a concert when I was nine years old. She let me try the harp and I played a tune from my piano lessons without any help. She offered to teach me and the rest is history!

(*Little known fact – I once won a Blue Peter badge for drawing a picture of a spider fitting an energy saving light bulb!)

Sign up to START HARP today!

It”s amazing how one opportunity to try the harp changed my life it could change yours, too!

Join START HARP!

START HARP is an easy to follow, flexible and affordable online course that will take you on a musical journey from the comfort of your own home!

‘As a complete beginner I’ve found the course fantastic. There is so much content (much more than in a normal weekly music lesson) but you can take it at your own speed.’ Fiona Angwin, START HARP Student

 

Interested? Click on the course titles below and you”ll be taken to further information about START HARP and details of how to register:

Not sure which level to take? Spend a few minutes taking the Harp quiz to help you find out!

Want to find out more? Visit www.STARTHARP.com

 

 

Why Everyone Should Play the Harp!

START HARP flyer showing Shelley Fairplay with her harpThe harp is, in my opinion, the GREATEST beginner instrument of all time!

As long as it is in tune (which, thank goodness, due to modern technology we can do with an app on our iPhones or with an electronic tuner) the harp will sound great whatever notes you play.

So often people tell me they haven”t a musical bone in their body. They then try the harp and are stunned at the beautiful sound they can make!

Unlike many woodwind instruments there is nothing to “put together” before you play, plus the harp looks AMAZING.

So seriously, what”s not to love? START HARP today!

 

START HARP is an easy to follow, flexible and affordable online course that will take you on a musical journey from the comfort of your own home!

‘I would recommend this course for anyone who has ever dreamt of playing the harp. The ongoing support and advice, not only from Shelley herself but from the rest of the group through Facebook and Q&A sessions, has kept me focused. And it”s fun! What more could you want.‘ Pauline Jones, START HARP Student

 

Interested? Click on the course titles below and you”ll be taken to further information about START HARP and details of how to register:

Not sure which level to take? Spend a few minutes taking the Harp quiz to help you find out!

Want to find out more? Visit www.STARTHARP.com

Creating an Online Harp Course: What I’ve Learned

START HARP flyer showing Shelley Fairplay with her harpNow that the START HARP Level 1 and 2 classes have been completed for the first time with a wonderful group of budding harpists, I know I”ve developed a rose-tinted view of what creating an online class is like!

So, I thought it would be interesting to revisit some of the challenges I faced while making START HARP happen!

1. Lights, camera, action

Just filming myself teaching was a massive step but I believed that it might be useful and relevant to students from across the World.

2. A slow start

During the first few weeks, it felt like a major performance every time I started recording. It took time to plan the lessons, prepare the harps/room/myself for filming, to record, edit, upload, make final checks and then release the videos to the students!

3. Back to school

Learning to edit videos was a slow process and gave me a “back to school feeling”. But it was great. While my students were totally immersed in beginning the harp for the first time, I was on my own learning curve with the editing software. It was an excellent reminder of what it feels like to be completely in the dark about something and to need clarity and encouragement along the way!

4. Knowing when to ask for help
Choosing and investing in video equipment and new software was a nightmare but thankfully my trusty mentor, Deborah Henson-Conant, came to the rescue. She runs a brilliant programme called “Harness Your Muse” and her assistance setting-up of my online course helped to speed things up dramatically!

5. A room of my own

Then there was the task of creating a studio with appropriate lighting and backdrop. After initially setting up in my home in our dining room for a few months, I realised I couldn”t take over our living space for the twelve month recording phase! The house had to change, so my husband and I created a proper studio space in my harp room – everything had to move out, be re-organised and then an appropriate backdrop, lighting and props were moved in!

6. Making difficult decisions

Typically, I work 65+ hours a week, so I knew something had to give if I was to make a success of START HARP.  I made the difficult decision to take a sabbatical from my one-to-one teaching for a year. This was incredibly hard as I had some wonderful students but in 2017, when all the recording is done, I look forward to returning to those lessons.

What have I learned?

It”s always worth taking a risk, no matter how hard it may appear at first – imagine where you could be in a year”s time if you grab the opportunity to try something new!

Take a leap into the unknown – learn to play the harp!

 

Join START HARP!

START HARP is an easy to follow, flexible and affordable online course that will take you on a musical journey from the comfort of your own home!

‘I would recommend this course for anyone who has ever dreamt of playing the harp. The ongoing support and advice, not only from Shelley herself but from the rest of the group through Facebook and Q&A sessions, has kept me focused. And it”s fun! What more could you want.‘ Pauline Jones, START HARP Student

 

Interested? Click on the course titles below and you”ll be taken to further information about START HARP and details of how to register:

Not sure which level to take? Spend a few minutes taking the Harp quiz to help you find out!

Want to find out more? Visit www.STARTHARP.com

 

 

 

Making the Most of My Harp Teaching Experience

START HARP flyer showing Shelley Fairplay with her harpWith over ten years of teaching experience, I feel very comfortable teaching students sat next to me at their harp. Making the decision to teach online and to create START HARP changed everything.

I had to think very carefully about how to present the tutorial videos and used the knowledge gained from teaching many beginner students over the years to assist me!

I spent several months writing an overview and lesson plan that I felt would stretch those students moving fast but not overwhelm those taking the “slow and steady” approach.

Making the most of my varied teaching experience

Delivering this online course has brought into play a great deal of what I learned teaching in the classroom, carefully planning every single lesson for all possible eventualities and types of learner.

In fact, as I developed the course I realised that I was finally being able to use every single type of teaching experience I have ever had. From the years of one-to-one instrumental teaching and teaching in primary schools as a fully qualified classroom teacher, to taking many group harp lessons and delivering harp workshops at harp weekends and festivals.

I feel that each experience has brought me to the point of creating START HARP. It is so exciting to see all the different skills and types of teaching approaches all being used in one place!

Interested in learning online?

 

Join START HARP!

START HARP is an easy to follow, flexible and affordable online course that will take you on a musical journey from the comfort of your own home!

‘I would recommend this course for anyone who has ever dreamt of playing the harp. The ongoing support and advice, not only from Shelley herself but from the rest of the group through Facebook and Q&A sessions, has kept me focused. And it”s fun! What more could you want.‘ Pauline Jones, START HARP Student

Interested? Click on the course titles below and you”ll be taken to further information about START HARP and details of how to register:

Not sure which level to take? Spend a few minutes taking the Harp quiz to help you find out!

Want to find out more? Visit www.STARTHARP.com