Month: April 2015

Harp Festival Workshops

It is always a delight to provide harp workshops for one off events or for harp festivals. Meeting students of all ages and abilities and working on learning, playing and performing together is always an exciting time! Below are some examples of workshops I have taught at various events including for the Clarsach Society, Cardiff Camac Harp Weekend and for the Trinity Harp Festival.

Harp Workshop Students – Camac Harp Weekend 2015

So you”ve learnt a good tune? Make it a party piece! 

Using simple tunes and phrases we will explore ways of using rhythm, ostinato patterns, various harp techniques and plain old cheating to find out how best to make a tune “your own” in an individual, delightful and vibrant way! This workshop is suitable for all levels, music will be provided but notation reading not necessary. We will work as an ensemble, no pressure to play on your own unless of course you would like to! Come along, try out ideas and create beautiful music!

Sight-Reading for the Terrified! (Know your shapes for sight reading)

I would like to share with you a foundation skill that if you practice you will be able to use at any level to help you sight read well on your harp. It is thisKnow your shapesBy this I am referring to building up your pattern recognition of the shapes that notes create on the musical staveand learning the feel of shape that your hand makes as you play them.

Just Loopy!

Adult Ensemble ‘Dynamic Harps’ Perform at Cardiff Bay 2014

A looper pedal enables performers to record their playing live on stage and then perform over their recorded ostinato tracks. Learn the joys of using ostinato patterns in your own playing and discover some basics on how looper pedal can be used with harp in performance.

Baroque Flamenco by Deborah Henson-Connat:

This fiery, intriguing and passionate piece of music is an incredible addition to any harpists repertoire, whatever your level! Come along to this workshop to learn the structure, mood and style of the music and perf orm the piece within an ensemble setting. To join this workshop you will need your own copy of “Baroque Flamenco”.

Effective Effects Workshop! 

Camac Electro Harp and Loop Pedal in action!

Harmonics, EtouffÃe PDLT, Xylo? The list for harp is endless.

Through tunes medieval to modern we will explore useful techniques to enhance beautiful and varied sounds that you and your harp can create!

Write your own Blues!

Learn the basics of 12 bar blues and begin to improvise and write your own!

JOIN NOW! Dynamic Harp Ensembles Summer Term April 2015

Dear Harpists/Harp Teachers/Friends/Family,

The two Dynamic Harp Ensembles in Cardiff (meeting on Monday and Tuesday nights in Radyr) have been working hard and enjoy performing at some lovely venues including Swansea Waterfront Museum, National Botanic Garden of Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University. We are now over 20 strong in members and look forward to welcoming more enthusiastic and diligent student harpists into the groups.

I am delighted to announce next term will begin on the 27th (Adults) and 28th (Students) of April 2015, with ten rehearsals and two concerts this term. For returning members I very much look forward to seeing you again to begin our next adventure and for anyone looking to join us I would like you to know that the groups have been wonderful, friendly, supportive and dedicated and we are all very keen to welcome you in to the group!

The two ensembles are as follows:

  • Dynamic Harps (Students 11 – 18 years): Tuesday evenings – A harp ensemble with a twist, we focus on show, pop, film and jazz tunes. This is for harp students at grade three level and above.
  • Dynamic Harps Adult Evening Class: Monday evenings – This is an ensemble class for adult learners at any level working on repertoire from traditional, classical, world and modern musical genres.

If you/your students would like to read further information please see the PDF attached and also visit:

The sessions will take place at the Radyr Methodist Church, there is a car park attached and good access for bringing harps in.

The dates for the ten summer sessions begin on the 27th/28th of April, so please reserve your space ASAP! If you, your friend, your family member or your student would like to join please email me to confirm and I will email you over directions and an enrolment form.

I look forward to hearing from you if you are interested! I am really looking forward to starting the sessions and I hope you are too.

Please do forward this email on to anyone you feel might find this of interest!


Wishing you a lovely Easter Break,


With all best wishes,




Shelley Fairplay – Harpist

Web:¨Email:¨Tel: 07960 718663


P.S. If you are still not sure please take a look at these lovely quotes and recommendations:

I”ve enjoyed playing all different genres of music in the ensemble. I”ve made new friends and even arranged my own music with one of them.

The chocolate biscuits in the break are great!

It”s fun that we can request songs that we like and play them in concerts.

I enjoyed learning new effects on the harp as it is something different and you wouldn”t expect these sounds to come out of the harp!

I have such a fab time. Everyone is so friendly, We can laugh at our own mistakes. Shelley is an awesome teacher. Shelley is really helpful.  My husband”s mates are really impressed that we are playing “rock songs”.

It helped me to get used to my pedals and has been good practice taking the harp out regularly.

I enjoyed meeting other people who also play the harp.

My friends used to think me playing the harp was boringnot anymore now I can play the “Sweet Child of Mine” riff!

Playing for fun, from Guns and Roses to Les Mis, Star Wars to The Hobbit the sky is the limit!

Great time had by my daughter! Her sight-reading has improved so much and her confidence in playing has increased. Fab arrangements on all the music pieces.

It has been a wonderful term. I can feel the ‘grip of performing fear”  relaxing more each week! It will take time, but it is happening. Also, I am throughly enjoying the cohesion within the group. A genuine concern for each other is growing, and it is very good to be part of it.

Young and old, beginners and not such beginners it”s brilliant! Like minds meeting to make music.