Harp Workshops

Hands on Harps!


Hands on Harps is a six week group/whole class program designed to develop musical skills. The Harp, our National Instrument of Wales, is the central focus.

Students will discover the instrument and develop their musicianship skills through, playing the harp, listening to harp music and singing/moving to a harp accompaniment. Musical stories (HarpTales) from Wales and beyond will form a central focus to workshop content.

The project uses eight beautiful medieval replica lap harps, each with 17 strings, for the student to learn on. I lead the workshops on a 34 string Celtic harp, the lap harps and for one session a ‘show and tell’ on a concert pedal harp. Boomwhackers and percussion are used as additional instruments for Hands on Harps sessions to assist with rhythm and note understanding for the whole class.

There are ten clear targets for students to work towards on the harp (see below). At the end of the six weeks a show case of skills assimilated will take the form of performing a musical story as a group. Action and drama is augmented by music played on harps, songs learnt and a variety of other musical effects and sound. This final aim creates momentum with a clear goal to work towards and can be recorded for prosperity! Music covered in a session will encompass a variety of styles and genres including Celtic and Medieval tunes for class to play on the harp. Hands on harps of course includes well loved traditional welsh tunes.

Harp Tales from Harp Wales!

july-2011-008Harp Tales are interactive, exciting and educational musical stories told with harp accompaniment and child participation through song, sound and movement.

Each HarpTale is carefully tailored to engage appropriately the age group being worked with. Music covered in a session will encompass a variety of styles and genres including well loved traditional welsh tunes.

The session will begin with listening to the sound of the harp, a general introduction and interesting facts about the harp. This is followed by warm up activities to develop musical skills, all with a central focus on composing sounds and actions for the story being worked towards. A song will also be learnt by the group and then…the Harp Tale will begin and children join in with sounds, movements and song. It may possible child to have the opportunity to the harp at the end of the story and finally the session will close with reflection and farewell!

HarpTales can be booked as standalone session for Primary Schools, nurseries, library story time afternoons, public events etc. The HarpTales also form part of Hands on Harps – a six week group/class harp project.

What Harp Tales can you expect? Three Billy Goats Gruff, Hare and Tortoise, Jack and the beanstalk, The Gruffalo, Owl Babies, Morgan and the Golden Harp, The Emerald Harp, Gabriel and the Bear, Treasure Hunt, Hairy Scary Castle, Harp O’Gold, And many more! Do make a request!

Music in Hospitals – Creating Joy Through Live Music

I am very proud to be a harpist on the MiH list of recommended musicians list and play harp concerts in various different care settings across Wales and the UK.

Music in Hospitals (MiH) is a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for adults and children with all kinds of illness and disability through the joy and therapeutic benefits of professionally performed live music in hospitals, hospices, day care centres, special schools, nursing and residential homes. The positive effects may need to be seen to be believed but here is one convincing testimonial:

On behalf of the residents and staff of The Lawns Nursing Home, I’d like to thank you for a truly wonderful morning of musical entertainment last Tuesday.

It was very clear that all those who were able to experience your performance gained enormous pleasure from your visit; you clearly touched the souls of some of our most vulnerable residents in a way which only seems possible through musical communication.

I was particularly interested to see how, when given an egg, or other percussion instrument to hold, both individual and group participation was greatly enhanced; indeed, for many, more cut off residents, this seemed to be the key to joining in.

I really enjoyed meeting you on Tuesday and do believe that the world would be a better place if you were also to consider training as a music therapist. You have such empathy, sensitivity and a natural warmth towards people add to that your gifts and talents as a musician and performer, you could transform even more lives and be an even wider creative force for good in this world.

Mary Stevens Producer of the Music to Lift the Spirit DVD

Summer 2012

If you are considering booking live music for your establishment please visit their website: www.music-in-hospitals.org.uk