Q: WHAT SOFTWARE DO I NEED FOR THE COURSE?
A. You don't need any special software or hardware. You can take the course on your computer or ipad – and of course, your harp!
Studying the modules is just like going to a web page on your computer, downloading a PDF or watching a video on YouTube - except it's all organized into a classroom where you can mark your place and come back to where you left off the day before.
You can also download MP3 lesson files and PDFs onto your computer – and print out the PDFs to put in a binder if you want.
Even people who consider themselves completely non-tech-savvy are able to access and enjoy the course. Some people even say that one of the big benefits of the course is getting more comfortable with online tech formats!
All the materials is provided in three formats: video, audio and PDF handout so whatever way YOU learn, you'll have what you need.
Here's what you get:
- Training videos you watch online
- Audio downloads of the trainings that you listen to on your ipod or computer
- A PDF overview of each training as a reference for any notes you take yourself
- Bonus PDF Worksheets to help you organize and focus your learning and practice
- Homework assignments (optional) for people who work best with specific accountability - these help you put the training directly into practice.
You also get weekly Q&A sessions with me - the composer! - so you can get help in any area of the class you're having trouble, or learn about how to adapt or expand the piece for your specific interest.
Our special video Q&A lets you see me, so I can show examples, and lets you ask questions that I'll answer right there on the spot.
And if you can't make it to the Q&A, it's recorded so you can watch or listen to it later.
So even if your tech-savvy only goes so far as knowing how to link to a Webpage, watch YouTube and download a file, you'll be able to get all the class information.
The truth is, there's always a bit of a learning curve unless you've taken online courses before -- and online chats and masterclasses will never be as high-fidelity as being there live -- but many people have actually told me that my online courses have given them the added benefit of learning to navigate the web in new and empowering ways -- and that makes me very happy!
Q. WHAT TIME IS THE CLASS?
A. This is an online course, so you can access the learning modules any time and work on them at your own pace (yes! Even in your pyjamas in the middle of the night!). When you have questions you can ask them in the weekly Q&A -- which is the one pre-scheduled aspect of the course BUT if you can't make the chat, you can submit your questions beforehand, and you'll be able to watch the replay later on. In fact, you'll be able to download an MP3 of each chat to listen on you your MP3 player if you prefer. Some students also ask question on the Private Class Facebook group if they can't wait for the chat, and when possible, I answer those as quickly as I can.
Q. DO I HAVE TO DO HOMEWORK?
A. You won't be graded on the course, but I do suggest challenges and homework to help you integrate what you're learning. In fact, it's possible to take the course on "air-harp" and just learn the basic concepts – but you'll have a lot more fun if you set aside at least 4 hours the first week, and then 2 or 3 hours each subsequent week. And, of course, the more time you put in, the more you get out - so you can create the balance that works best for you.
Q. WILL I GET PERSONALIZED VIDEO FEEDBACK?
A. Yes ... and no. I generally choose about 5 of the homework videos to share my feedback with the class since people say they learn so much by watching the feedback. You can always opt-out of having feedback, and you can optimize your chances for getting feedback but posting homework each week and by asking questions that will help me see exactly what you need coaching with.
Q. DO YOU HAVE A PAYMENT PLAN?
YES! There's a payment plan that lets you split the payment, depending on when you sign up for HIp Harp Academy. If you have more questions about it, use the "Ask a a Question" link below to ask.
Q: CAN I TAKE THE COURSE ON LEVER HARP?
A. Absolutely! The course is usually split about half-and-half lever and pedal harp players. And not only is it playable on lever harp, but I got so inspired during the first two years of the course, that I figured out how to play the "Advanced" cadenza on the lever harp – something I actually thought was impossible before I took ... er, I mean created ... the course!
Q. DO I HAVE TO BUY THE SHEET MUSIC IN ORDER TO TAKE THE COURSE?
Nope! You get to download the sheet music for the whole piece – all three levels (Adv. Beg., Intermediate & Advanced) – plus all the warmup exercises, PDFs and MP3 I created for the course. Most people print it all out and put it in a binder, but some download it to their iPads and do the entire course from the iPad.
You also get my famous "Baroque Flamenco" Blueprint that shows you the form of the piece, as a PICTURE you can read without even a note of music. AND you get updates to the sheet music that haven’t even been added to the published version yet – so you become an insider!
So you don't have to provide anything except an open mind, willing hands and a reasonably in-tune harp!
Q. HOW MUCH TIME WILL THE COURSE TAKE EACH WEEK?
A. That's pretty much up to you. You could spend as little as 20-30 minutes a week if you only wanted to download and read through the PDF – and you can get tons of great ideas that way. Some people who are busy like to do that, and then watch a couple videos and come to the online chats (or watch them later). That's one way to take the course 'just for fun' – and that's perfectly fine.
People who want to 'get the most bang for their buck' can spend as much as an hour or more a day, watching the videos, downloading the materials and then putting it all into practice on their instruments, and then submitting homework for feedback.
Most people fall between those two extremes – and it's totally fine how YOU want to use the course and how it fits into YOUR life right now. That's also why you get access to the course website for at least 6 months after the course ends – so you can go back and review. And that's why I added the "auditor" option for people who know they'll just get stressed trying to submit homework.
The absolutely most important thing you can do each week is to find one simple concept from the lesson and put it directly into your playing at any level.
If you do that ONE thing each week you'll get more out of the course than reading and watching everything but not putting it into practice. So if you don't have much time one week, you can skim the lesson, find your 'nugget' for the week, put it into practice and feel great that you're getting something that will change your playing.
And you don't have to do it all at once! I break up each lesson into a bunch of mini-sections so you don't have to do that all at one time. One very cool thing about this course website is that you can 'check off' each activity as you do it (an 'activity' is a video or a page, or a discussion) so that when you go back, you can see exactly where you left off. So it's easy to "log in" once or twice a day for 10-15 minutes and go through one or two 'activities' each time.
A lot of people take the course more than once because there's a lot of content – remember I developed the piece over time myself – and played much simpler versions at first. Then I kept adding and embellishing. You can do the same. You simply won't get ‘everything’ the first time through! That's part of the fun. You take what you need so that you can play a version of the piece right now - and then you continue to expand, finesse and embellish as much as you want. I, personally, have been expanding the piece now for over 30 years and having more and more fun with it the more I do.
Q. WHAT IF I CAN’T KEEP UP?
A. Part of what I'll teach you is how to SIMPLIFY the piece. You learn your first, simplified version in the first week, so even if you didn't go beyond the first week's lessons - you'd be able to play a simple version of the piece. From there we expand and embellish, but you can always go back to the basic, simplified version. And you get two BONUS REVIEW WEEKS at the end so we can go back over everything and you can ask questions.
And remember: people will take different things from the program. Sometimes I get one ‘elegant idea’ from an online program that gives me all the knowledge and power I need to shift to the next creative level – and that's what's really important.
Sometimes I need to practice an hour a day and really engage online in order to feel I've gotten what I need from the course.
So I wanted to structure this program so that regardless of how you like to learn and play, you'll be able to get what you need from it.
Q: DO I NEED TO ALREADY KNOW THE PIECE?
No. You can learn it from scratch, or, if you DO already play it – you can take the course to hone or embellish your your performance. Obviously, your results will be different depending on whether you're learning it for the first time, or honing what you know – but even if you're learning for the first time, you'll be able to go back and review the course videos for 6 months after the course is over – and the course includes a full warm-up module with exercises you can use to learn or hone specific sections of the piece.
Q: IS THIS SKYPE LESSONS?
No, it's not skype lessons. It definitely feels like it's one-on-one because of the videos I create for the course, but you can take it on your own time. That means you can watch five minutes, then come back later and watch another 5 minutes. You can practice in between, or just go about your day, fitting in the lesson in to whatever time you have, whether it's 5 minute block of time or a 2-hour block of time.
Q: IF IT'S NOT SKYPE LESSONS ... WHAT IS IT??
It’s a 5-week online course, with a virtual classroom, step-by-step video training, Q&A Sessions and a virtual community of harpists from all over the world who will support and encourage you as you learn.
Here's how it works:
As soon as you register, you get access to the students-only ONLINE CLASSROOM where you can immediately start working on the warmups I provide and watch videos playthrough of every technique in the piece.
If you sign up early you get a head-start on all the warmup exercises, and you get to join the private Facebook group to start interacting with me and the other students right away.
Once the course begins, the individual modules open one by one and where you have access to all the resource modules including a step-by-step video playthrough of every technique in the piece, and downloads to the newest unreleased edits I make in the piece including simplifications and embellishments of the sheet music.
The first week moves very fast, because I release 4 modules, so you get the basics very quickly. After that I release 2 or 3 lessons each week so you have plenty of time to practice and catch-up in between.
If you have questions that aren't answered by the trainings, you send them via the "Ask a Question" form and I either answer them immediately, or I add them to the list of questions I'll answer live online in the weekly online chats.
Q: WHY IS IT CALLED "BEYOND the PAGE"?
As the composer of the piece, I know how it's BUILT. I composed it – and I can DE-compose it – and help you reinvent it to express YOUR passion.
Look, it’s hard to express passion – or joy, or gentleness, or anything – when you’re struggling with the notes! That’s why, when I published “Baroque Flamenco” I created three different arrangements: Adv. Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced.
But the truth is that each person has their own level - their own skills and their own reasons for playing a piece. That’s why I take you beyond the page to make this piece your own, by adapting it to your own level and skills. I also want to help you see that the piece is powerful, fun and effective at any level and without having to play it 'perfectly' or get every single note 'right.'
It's all about getting a version of the piece in your fingers that you can actually play right now – whether you've studied the piece before or not – so that you can start playing it and having fun with it! Then, if you want, you can go back to the lessons and add as many finesses as you want – because you'll have at least 6 months extra access to all the lessons and videos, even after the course is over.
In 2016 I’m presenting the course in a new way. I’ll open several modules at a time each week so you can truly go at your own pace, race ahead if you’re really inspired, and go back and review as much as you want. I build in catch-up days as the course progresses – and at the end of the first 3 weeks you'll have a version of the piece under your fingers if you're learning it for the first time – and you'll have it much more honed, if you've already learned the notes.
After that we have two more weeks to review, ask questions and truly make the piece your own, so that once the course is over, you walk away truly playing your own version of “Baroque Flamenco.”
If you want even more input, you can sign up for VIP coaching and get my personalized feedback on your performance.
Q: DO I NEED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL TO TAKE THE COURSE?
No. You can take the course at any level from Advanced Beginner to Professional.The sheet music is presented in three different levels:
A. Advanced Beginner
C. Advanced / Professional
Each lesson is split into 3 parts – one for each level – so you only need to take the part that relates to your level of playing. Teachers, of course, will be interested to go through all three levels if they'll be teaching the piece to their students. And many people take different sections from different levels to create their own customized, personalized version of the piece.
Q. WHAT IF I’M GOING TO PERFORM IT IN CONCERT? CAN I GET SPECIALIZED PROFESSIONAL-LEVEL TRAINING?
Yes! If you’re preparing a public performance of the piece on solo harp, or with Chamber Ensemble or symphony, email me for information about the “PRO” version of the course. The PRO version includes additional resources – like a piano reduction of the orchestra score so you can rehearse, audition or even perform with piano accompaniment – and 2 additional weeks personalized coaching and feedback after the basic program is over.
Q. HOW DOES IT WORK WITH THE DIFFERENT PLAYING LEVELS ALL IN ONE COURSE?
All my online programs (and even my offline programs!) are multi-level and for both lever and pedal harp and it works -- because I always start by teaching the underlying concept of what we're doing.
I believe that it is possible to play convincingly and musically at any technical level so long as you truly click in with the level you’re at.
As a composer I’m aware that every musical concept can be expressed in infinite ways, at infinite levels of ability - and part of the fun of each course is your collaboration with me in finding the ways to play them that you can play right now.
There is no limit to how much you can simplify or expand a musical concept.
For each part of the piece that I show you, I'll always include a distilled/fundamental/simple version of it and ways to embellish and expand it. And if it's either not simple enough ... or not complex enough for you, then you can ask for a simpification or an embellishment -- and that's part of what I'll do in the live Q&A sessions and part of what creates such a vibrant sense of involvement and 'live-ness' in the classes.
Q: WHY DID YOU CREATE THIS COURSE?
"Baroque Flamenco" is being played by both amateurs and professionals more and more – both as a solo piece, and with Chamber Ensemble or orchestra. It was a featured work at the World Harp Congress in 2014 – including a masterclass that was by audition only.
I originally created the course to help applicants for the Masterclass prepare their audition materials. Then I realized it would be more useful if I taught the whole piece, on all three levels – so everyone can get the benefit of the course – whether they're learning the piece for the first time or they're advanced players planning to perform it with symphony orchestra.
After the first year, students started asking me if there was a way to play the piece in hospice and therapeutic situations, so I created additional material to show students how to adapt the piece for any situation, including these gentle responsive ones.
After the 2nd year, students asked me if I could find a way to adapt the professional-level version for lever harp – so I’ve added that to the course as well.
GOT MORE QUESTIONS?
Use the "Ask a Question" form.