Archive for September, 2016

Keeping Harp Students Engaged and Progressing Online

Posted in News on September 5th, 2016 by shelley – Comments Off

START HARP flyer showing Shelley Fairplay with her harpI created the online START HARP course to give more people the opportunity to learn to play the harp in an affordable and flexible way, no matter where they live. (Find out more about Start Harp.)

But there is a potential for students to feel disengaged and for their progression to grind to a halt if they’re not in a classroom sat next to their tutor.

How do I manage this potential problem?

1. Spotting students who need extra support

The teaching platform Ruzuku, which I use to deliver START HARP, gives students the option of checking off each lesson as they complete it. So, if anyone is getting really behind I can get in touch and check everything is ok.

2. Building a community

Many of the pages have a discussion section so students can instantly share their thoughts with each other. This really helps students to get to know and learn from each other.

3. Homework

I’ve talked about how I keep students engaged but I still need to know how they are progressing as a harpist! So, every two weeks during the course I ask students to submit a video lesson and I provide individual feedback on each video.

 

4. Last but not least….

Communication. It’s essential. I run live Q&A sessions where students can ask a question on the day or submit a query in advance. The ‘Ask a question’ page, Facebook page and email contact are additional communication channels where I can check in with students, they can ask me questions or tell me about any problems they’re having.

Interested in taking the leap and learning online?

 

Join START HARP!

START HARP is an easy to follow, flexible and affordable online course that will take you on a musical journey from the comfort of your own home!

“The fact that the course covers learning by ear and improvisation as well as reading music from the page means that you can start to play recognisable tunes from the beginning. I’ve loved every minute of the course – even the homework!” Kate Adams, START HARP Student


Interested? Click on the course titles below and you’ll be taken to further information about START HARP and details of how to register:

Not sure which level to take? Spend a few minutes taking the Harp quiz to help you find out!

Want to find out more? Visit www.STARTHARP.com

 

“The fact that the course covers learning by ear and improvisation as well as reading music from the page means that you can start to play recognisable tunes from the beginning. I’ve loved every minute of the course – even the homework!” Kate Adams, START HARP Student

Is the Harp an Elitist Instrument?

Posted in News on September 5th, 2016 by shelley – Comments Off

START HARP flyer showing Shelley Fairplay with her harpPeople perceive the harp as only accessible to a privileged few, but is this true, and more importantly, does it need to be true? This is a question that’s troubled me for a while and driven the development of my online START HARP course.

Yes, absolutely, an instrument costing £1000 or more is a huge investment and a very large sum of money for most of us to find.

Inevitably, this means that children are encouraged to take up the flute, clarinet or keyboard – all of which can be accessed for a much smaller sum.

Making the harp accessible

But what if you could take your first steps right now on a harp that costs less than £200?

With START HARP you can.

START HARP is an affordable and flexible online course, which you can use to learn to play either the traditional pedal harp or lap harp.

The benefit of a lap harp is its relative low cost compared to the pedal harp. Of course, this inexpensive instrument won’t take you to the Albert Hall but it might just awaken your inner harpist and allow you to take the first and most important step on your journey to playing the harp!

I’ve enjoyed Start Harp from the very first week. Even with my little 12 string lap harp, all the teaching sessions are relevant, and the mix of theory, improvisation and playing by ear is a joy. I’d never tried to play the harp before, and I’m hooked.
Fiona Angwin, START HARP Student

Have you always wanted to play the harp? Do you want to take your playing to the next level?

Join START HARP!

START HARP is an easy to follow, flexible and affordable online course that will take you on a musical journey from the comfort of your own home!

Interested? Click on the course titles below and you’ll be taken to further information about START HARP and details of how to register:

Not sure which level to take? Spend a few minutes taking the Harp quiz to help you find out!

Want to find out more? Visit www.STARTHARP.com

Three Reasons I Love Teaching the Harp Online

Posted in News on September 5th, 2016 by shelley – Comments Off

START HARP flyer showing Shelley Fairplay with her harpCreating START HARP as an online course has opened up a whole new world to me! I’ve always enjoyed teaching but never thought I would enjoy running an online course so much.
(Find out more about STARTHARP.)

Why do I enjoy it? Here are my top three reasons!

1. Bringing music to life
I LOVE creating the play along tracks for students, knowing that when the student is practicing a single note on their harp they will get to play along with my accompaniment, making it sound fun, beautiful, and like real music from day one.

2. Take two…
I love that I can edit my videos, removing anything I say that might be confusing or re-record sections that I think don’t work. It’s wonderful to be able to reflect on the lessons and really refine each one, perfecting the learning experience for my students.

3. Offering flexibility
In my experience, every student has natural strengths. But they will also have areas they need to develop and will often need to repeat a lesson with a teacher more than once before an idea or a concept ‘clicks’. That’s why I love using online teaching. It means video tutorials on improvisation and playing music by ear can be played again and again by START HARP students without having to wait until the next lesson.

 

 

So these are the top three reasons I love online courses… what are yours?

Tempted to start learning the harp online?

Join START HARP!

START HARP is an easy to follow, flexible and affordable online course that will take you on a musical journey from the comfort of your own home!

“I would recommend this course for anyone who has ever dreamt of playing the harp. The ongoing support and advice, not only from Shelley herself but from the rest of the group through Facebook and Q&A sessions, has kept me focused. And it’s fun! What more could you want.
Pauline Jones, START HARP Student

 

Interested? Click on the course titles below and you’ll be taken to further information about START HARP and details of how to register:

Not sure which level to take? Spend a few minutes taking the Harp quiz to help you find out!

Want to find out more? Visit www.STARTHARP.com

From Blue Peter to an Online Harp Course!

Posted in News on September 1st, 2016 by shelley – Be the first to comment

START HARP flyer showing Shelley Fairplay with her harpSince January 2016, I’ve been testing my new online course – START HARP. I’m excited to be running a course which is flexible, affordable and accessible to everyone, no matter where they live. (Find out more about START HARP.)

Working hard to encourage people of all ages and musical abilities to start playing this amazing instrument made me pause for a second and think… why do I play the harp?

Honestly? It’s just something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember!

But my mother tells me that Blue Peter* was to blame.

They had a wonderful harpist perform on the programme and apparently I was transfixed! I talked about harps, looked for harps and idolised harps from then on!

My parents said if I learned piano, then at the age of eleven I could take up the harp. Luckily for me, we bumped into a harpist at a concert when I was nine years old. She let me try the harp and I played a tune from my piano lessons without any help. She offered to teach me and the rest is history!

(*Little known fact – I once won a Blue Peter badge for drawing a picture of a spider fitting an energy saving light bulb!)

Sign up to START HARP today!

It’s amazing how one opportunity to try the harp changed my life… it could change yours, too!

Join START HARP!

START HARP is an easy to follow, flexible and affordable online course that will take you on a musical journey from the comfort of your own home!

“As a complete beginner I’ve found the course fantastic. There is so much content (much more than in a normal weekly music lesson) but you can take it at your own speed.” Fiona Angwin, START HARP Student

 

Interested? Click on the course titles below and you’ll be taken to further information about START HARP and details of how to register:

Not sure which level to take? Spend a few minutes taking the Harp quiz to help you find out!

Want to find out more? Visit www.STARTHARP.com