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We also do a number of workshops for harpists and other musicians as well.

1. THE METRONOME/Your New Best Friend (Sharon)
We start by talking briefly about the history and kinds of metronomes. We then move on to some clapping and moving our bodies to the metronome. We play progressively more involved etudes while really paying attention to the beat of the metronome that we will take from 60bpm to 200bpm. You will be amazed at the speed you can play when we take it up slowly. There is also a page of duet etudes.

Harmony is one way to dress up your music. Using 3rds, 5ths & 6ths, we will learn when you can use each interval, and why. We will also use a piece of music to see how this works. These harmonies can be added to your tune as a second time around to make your music more interesting.

Learn how to play and recognize chord inversions, and how to easily read them off the music score. Using major chords, you will experience shaping your hand and placing your fingers on the strings in the root position, first inversion and second inversion for each chord. By playing some inversion etudes, you will memorize these inversions by seeing them played with your fingers. After this workshop, the harp will make more sense and your playing will reach another level.  

This is kind of a nerdy approach to music theory, starting with the circle of 5ths and how it relates to 1-4-5 chords, then going into scales, how chords are made (major, minor, 7ths, suspended 2nds and 4ths, etc.) and how to use this information ultimately for improvising. It would also relate to key signatures, lever configurations, and how to color your chords with tones not in the major triad. There are many "Aha" moments in this workshop. Even though it’s theory, it would be a “hands on your harp” workshop for any level.

Using rope and sticks (which I have for each participant) I show how to tie a knot for your harp string. Then we do it with real string. I show how to secure the string to the tuning pin. I go over some tuning tips that will increase the speed at which you tune your harp. We talk about any problems people have with string tying or tuning.

I use the tune Star of the County Down to show a variety of arranging ideas (left and right hand) including different chord configurations, chord tones played in a different order, parallel 6ths or 10ths in the left hand which follow the melody in the right hand, echoing of the melody in the bass line, arpeggios (1-5-8-9-10), chord substitutions, varying your pick up notes, varying your melody notes, pedaling a lower note with the melody, and treble echo notes up high. We can talk about introductions and endings.

When learning a song from a lead sheet with only the melody line, it can be challenging to figure out what chords to play with your left hand.  In this workshop, Sharon will provide practical tips to help you figure out what chords go with the melody. You will learn what the “chord family” is and how to use it.

You’re excited – you just got a harp. You want to make beautiful sounds, but you’re wondering how to get started. The good news is you can have fun AND create pleasing music with your harp even as a newbie.
Sharon will take you on a tour of your harp – and talk about what to do with your fingers.  You’ll learn some of simple patterns, and then discover how to make them musical. A super preparation if you are a true beginner! You’ll even get individual attention.

Often a harpist has a spouse, friend or relative that plays an instrument but doesn't know how to fit in with a harp player. Dave and I play together using a chordal instrument, the guitar, and a melody instrument, the mandolin or banjo. There are some things to know for both the harpist and the accompanist that makes it easier to play together. This workshop can help get you started playing together.

Includes lever regulation, repairing small dings, the elusive buzz, tuning pin issues, weather and humidity, cleaning your harp and any questions answered.

Dave will talk about repairing small dings, the elusive buzz, tuning pin issues, weather and humidity, and cleaning your harp. Bring questions. This workshop is good for all harpists and companions.

A more involved look at what's involved in regulating the levers on your harp. Dave will show you how to get a perfect half step with your levers using both bridge pin placement and lever mechanism placement. This workshop is good for all harpists and companions.

What people say about the workshops:

"Thank you so much for coming to Missoula, MT, and presenting your workshops and concert! I enjoyed the day, and really enjoyed your music at the Starving Artist -- such easy listening music and very well done!"
Alice Williams (Board member of the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen)

"It was great having you and Dave here (in Coeur d'Alene, ID) and I've heard nothing but positive comments on the workshops!! Thank you for coming and let's talk again in 2017!!" Kim Davidson

"I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your class. I have a new metronome tuner combo & I am using the metronome all the time for scales and pieces I'm learning. It is forcing me to play more smoothly (and slowly ?)and to quit cheating! It really lets me know when I can't make a transition... woe!!" Robin Tower, Southeastern Harp Weekend.

"Loved your personalized interest in each student at whatever level they were at. You made me feel welcome." Annonymous

"The workshop was well paced and geared appropriately for the group even considering you had a variety of playing levels in attendance. I enjoyed your style of teaching. You explained things very well. I still use the tuning technique you taught me and I really like that." Janice Mineer (workshop organizer) Montana

"Sharon made the Metronome easy. After struggling with the Metronome for years, I now having a better understanding on how to use it & how it works. Also, how it can make your playing better. That light bulb was shining bright over my head when I left." Annonymous Southeastern Harp Weekend

"Sharon gave out some good tips on inversions, which were very clever. Many different levels of students in this class made it a little difficult for some, but everyone got it in the end." Annonymous Southeastern Harp Weekend


Live From the Harp Shop

Check out their new CD: Live From the Harp Shop

Interview appearing in a local paper

Read about Tommy or go on to the Levers page.

Thormahlen Harps | 1876 SW Brooklane Corvallis, Oregon 97333 | (541) 753-4334 | harps@thorharp.com