Celebration Barn Workshop Prep
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Below are the contents of the emails that we send you before you come to Deborah's summer workshop at Celebration Barn. We try to send these 3-4 weeks before the workshop begins - and then 1 week before.

If we make updates in the info, we do it on this page so that everyone has ONE location to go to for info.

For questions about transportation, logistics or the Barn itself, email or call Mandy at the Barn directly (207) 743-8452 / info@CelebrationBarn.com

We won't be able to help you with those specific things, and we may not be able to get back to you in a timely manner -- but Mandy should be able to help you with all of that!



Hi all - Deborah is really looking forward to seeing you this summer! There are only 2 spots left so if anyone you know is considering the workshop last-minute, encourage them to act fast.

If you're surprised to get this email because you HAVEN'T signed up for "Performance for Musicians" Aug. 15-20 at the Celebration Barn, please let me know ASAP.

If you have more questions after you read this, you can email me and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can. You can also email Mandy at Celebration Barn: mandy@celebrationbarn.com

You may also find information you need on this page on the website: http://hipharp.com/EvntPg_pgs/celebarn_workshop.htm which you can also link to from the home page: http://www.hipharp.com

Below is a letter from Deborah.
Have fun!
Bea Harley
Deborah's Assistant



Hi Everyone! Deborah here! I look forward to seeing you at the Barn! Here are some basics to help you pack and prepare. Don't obsess over any of this. The most important work that happens is in you, so anything you forget to bring or forget to prepare won't get in the way of that at all.

BRING A PIECE TO WORK ON (but don’t obsess over this!):
Students each play a 60-second piece in the Friday night event. That may seem short, but the shorter it is, the more we can 'work' it during the week. Some students come with no piece in mind, or with several options. It's helpful to have some idea of what you want to work on, and the following types of things are the most useful:

  • A piece you know so well you can play it in your sleep - but it doesn't thrill you anymore -- or you love it, but you know you could do more with it
  • An 'idea' for a piece you want to create but don't know how
  • A piece you’re frustrated with because you can’t get it to come alive
  • A piece everyone likes but you’re bored with it because you’ve played it so much
  • A piece you love, and is easy to play, but you don't know how to develop it or make "more" of it
  • A piece you CAN play, but are scared to play - not because it's difficult, but because you think you "shouldn't," or don't have the right, or shouldn't play it on your instrument
  • A simple melody you love, but don’t know what to “do” with it
  • A completely open mind, if you can't think of something you want to bring

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT bring a technically difficult piece (unless you already play it well). This workshop is about performing, not about developing playing techniques, and if you're struggling technically with the piece itself, you won't be able to focus on the performance aspects. The one exception is if you're working on a piece of Deborah's.

If you play harp or keyboard and don't want to bring your instrument, you can pay the equipment fee ($50) and use one of the instruments I bring. Please let Mandy know ASAP if you won't be bringing your instrument, and whether you play lever or pedal harp. These instruments are shared and no-one has exclusive use of any one instrument - but we spend a lot of time away from the instruments, so what I bring is generally sufficient.

Please note that I have no standard-size acoustic lever harps, so if you play lever harp and need to use one of mine, you'll either be using a 22-string lap-harp, or an electric CAMAC or Lyon & Healy Silhouette (or you can open discussion at the Facebook Discussion page to ask if someone is bringing one you can share). Thus said, this is what I usually bring, depending on how many people need instruments:

  • One good pedal harp (usually the CAMAC Big Blue Electro-Acoustic)
  • One warhorse pedal harp that's playable, but that we don't have to worry about getting a little more physical with (a small Wurlitzer)
  • Two CAMAC Baby-Blues - one with a harness and one with legs
  • One Lyon & Healy Sihouette, with a harness and a stand
  • Two Rubarth Lap-Harps: small, light, acoustic harps that can be used with a harness
  • One CAMAC "DHC Blue-Lite" which you have to be careful with
  • One PC88 Kurzweil Keyboard & stand
    I also usually bring one or two small amps that people can experiment with

If anyone is coming from the Boston area, or passing through with a car and might have room for harps, I will be forever grateful -- so please let me know that ASAP by emailing back to this address or calling 781-483-3556 <tel:781-483-3556> . Thanks!

My Workshop/Festival Lesson Fee ($90 for 50-min lesson) is lower than my usual fee, so it's a good time to try to get a lesson or two if you want them. My assistant, Bea, will send out a separate email about scheduling private lessons during the workshop.

As a helpful reminder as you pack, here are a few things it may be good to know:

Here’s a note from a workshopper that might help you know what kinds of clothes to bring:
“ rather than saying "sweatshirt/pants" it might be helpful to be more explicit about the fact that there will be activities that involve literally rolling on the floor! Though the implications of that may still not be obvious to some who haven't done it - e.g., I didn't realize until I tried it that the rings on the straps of the sports-model bra I had would dig into my back when rolling on a wooden floor (fortunately I'd also brought one without any hardware!), and one person did the rolls in a full skirt!”

It may be hot, and the Barn isn't air conditioned - on the other hand, the nights can get cool, so forget fashion and make sure you have layers you can peel on and off.

If you play harp, please bring your own tuning key and electronic tuner as a back-up for what we have (even if you're not bringing a harp). Also make sure that, if you're bringing your own harp, that you have strings with you.

If there's something you might like to wear for the concert, bring it. Remember the barn is very casual, so comfort is most important, but if there's something that will make you feel fun or special (a special scarf, a pair of pants you love, a special shirt, etc), bring them, because many people dress up for the final concert (but you won't look out of place if you don't). If there's something you'd LOVE to wear but are scared to (it's too hip, or revealing or whatever - bring it, so you can try it out in a safe environment - not necessarily in the concert, but in the workshop itself)

Pens, pencils, note paper and a binder/folder to keep notes in. "Deborah gave some handouts last year and we realized that people didn’t really have a place to store/organize them."


I started a "Discussion" page at my Facebook Fan page before last year's workshop, and encouraged folks who've taken this workshop before to go and describe what the first-timer's might experience, or what you wish you'd known before your first time -- there's one great post there about preparing a piece. I think you might have to 'like' the page to post - but hopefully you can see the discussion whether you're a fan or not.
- Here's the Discussion page: hhttp://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=239750440456&topic=14369
- To 'like' the page, go to: http://www.facebook.com/HipHarp

There's a Google group that students past & present can belong to. It is hidden from public view, and signup is by invitation only. I'll ask the administrator to send you each an invitation to join. You can decide then if you want to join or not.

If you like staying in touch via social media, here are my various 'handles'

  • Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HipHarp
  • Twitter: http://twitter.com/HipHarpist
  • MySpace (sorry, I almost never go here): http://www.myspace.com/deborahhensonconant
  • YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/hipharpist<http://www.youtube.com/hipharpist>
  • ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/hipharp

Hey, if you made it all the way here, congratulations! And I'm really looking forward to seeing you next month!!!


If you bringing a harp to the Barn and want to buy a pickup to put on it, this is a good time, because Deborah can do the placement with you — AND we can give you a 15% discount — AND you won’t have to pay for shipping! Even if you don't have a harp with you, but you want to buy a kit or a single pickup -- let BEA know ASAP (by noon, Thursday, Aug 4) by emailing orders@HipHarp.com in case we need to order extra. Here’s where you can learn about the kits http://www.hipharp.com/products/amplificationkit.html


  • Harp Pickup alone: (normally $100) at 15% off $85!!
  • Full HipHarp Amplification Kit: (normally $335) at 15% off $284.75!!

So let Bea at orders@HipHarp.com know by Aug. 4th so that I know how many to send up to the barn with Deborah.

(Email from Bea)

Deborah's Workshop/Festival Lesson Fee ($90 for 50-min lesson) is substantially lower than her standard fee, so it's a good time to try to get lessons in if you want them. Below is a little chart to fill out that will help her schedule. Notice I've asked when you're leaving "South Paris" - rather than at Barn -- if you're staying around the area Sunday Aug. 21 that gives her extra times to schedule you.

Even if you've already emailed to tell us you'd like individual lesson time, please fill this out. Once you get to the Barn, she'll have a lesson schedule set up and if you want to try to switch slots with someone at that point, that's fine.

Please copy and paste these questions into an email, answer them, and email to Deborah & Bea at info@hipharp.com

  • How many lesson slots do you want:
  • What kind of instrument do you play (pedal harp? lever harp? other?):
  • When are you arriving in South Paris? (Day/Time):
  • When are you leaving South Paris? (Day/Time):
  • How early in the morning is "too early" for you to have a lesson? (ex: is 7:00 AM too early?)
  • When do you like to get to bed? (like, would a lesson from 9:30 - 10:30 PM work?)
  • What would you like to focus on in the lesson?

Thanks! -- Bea (Deborah's Assistant)