Harp Music Blossoms in The National Botanic Garden of Wales!

Posted in News on June 21st, 2016 by shelley – Comments Off

Here is the letter and press release I have been sending out to the media regarding the National Botanic Garden of Wales harp weekend! Please share with any of your press contacts this week to help spread the word! 

Harp Music Blossoms in the National Botanic Garden of Wales

My name is Shelley Fairplay, I am a full time harpist deeply passionate about engaging more people in harp playing and listening to harp music, both through community engagement harp workshops, and though approachable performances. This year has seen the BETA launch of my brand new online harp school “Start Harp” in order to enable greater access to harp tuition for those living in remote areas of Wales, the UK and the world.

I emailing you to tell you about a family harp weekend that I am organising at the National Botanic Garden of Wales on the 2nd and 3rd of July this year. The Harp is the National Instrument of Wales yet many of people living in Wales have never touched one. This harp weekend offers the opportunity for visitors to the gardens to come along and try the harp within a friendly workshop setting and also to listen to a wide diversity of musical styles performed on the harp.

For Children there are additional activities to get involved with including the opportunity to become a ‘Harp Detective’ on a trail around the Garden to discover hidden facts about the instrument.  They can also enter a ‘Draw the harps in the flowers’ competition where everyone will receive a gift, and they can even to become part of a musical storytelling session in ‘ Tiny Hands on Harps’, where children learn to play the harp and sing along as the story unfolds (see 1st photo attached).

To celebrate the fifth annual National Botanic Garden of Wales Harp Weekend I have invited a very special guest to join us, one of Wales’ national treasures, World Famous triple harpist Robin Huw Bowen, who will be teaching and leading the Telynor Cymru 2016 project and performing in our double billing harp concert. The other half of the double bill concert features music from my own brand new show ‘HarpOsphere’.

Over the weekend there are four concerts, ten workshops and additional interactive events. Details on all these events are included in a press release below.

I would love your help getting the word out, below this email I have included a press release for the harp weekend and I have also attached some low resolution photos, if you would like to use them please let me know and I will forward you high resolution versions. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further details regarding any aspect of the event and I would be delighted to discuss it with you.

Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

With all best wishes,

Shelley Fairplay – Harpist

Web: www.harpwales.com

Email: info@harpwales.com

Tel: 07960 718663

Do you know anyone who has always wanted to learn the harp? 2016 has seen the launch of START HARP my brand new online harp course for complete beginners! For details visit www.StartHarp.com

______________________________________________________________________________

For immediate release – run through July 3rd

For further information on this press release please contact Shelley Fairplay: Email: info@harpwales.com
Tel: 07960 718663. Website: www.harpwales.com

 ____________________________________________________________________________

5th Annual Family Harp Weekend at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

The Harp is the National Instrument of Wales yet many of people living in Wales have never touched one.

 The National Botanical Garden of Wales aims to change that for all adventurous and curious visitors to the garden this July! On the 2nd and 3rd of July the NBGW hosts it fifth annual harp weekend, two full days of family friendly events and concerts including hands on harps workshops for those who have never played the harp before.

Over the weekend you can hear DOUBLE BILLING harp concert with Shelley Fairplay’s “HarpOsphere” and Wales’ foremost Triple Harpist Robin Huw Bowen, you can try the harp for the first time at a “Hands on Harps” workshop, bring your little children to a “Tiny Hands on Harps” session, attend an open harp rehearsal and performance of the “Telynor Cymru 2016 Project”, listen to the Cardiff-based harp ensemble “Dynamic Harps” perform, become a “Harp Detective” and enter our “Draw the Harp in the Flowers” competition to win prizes!

In addition to teaching & performing Shelley has also created two harp ensembles, called “Dynamic Harps” – one for adults and one for teenagers – both of which are performing at the harp weekend with Shelley leading the groups from her harp.

A Passion for Sharing the Harp:

Returning by popular demand to organise the weekend is Harpist Shelley Fairplay, who is so passionate about engaging people with the harp that she likes to create “harp petting zoos” at her concerts so people who have never touched a harp before can put their hands on it. This year Shelley has even launched a brand new online harp school for beginner harpist called START HARP to help encourage new people to the harp with access to tuition for those in remote areas.

Shelley will be teaching ‘Hands on Harps’ workshops to those who have never played the harp before over the weekend, with ‘Tiny Hands on Harps’ for 3 – 6 year olds. Shelley will also be leading her student ensembles ‘Dynamic harps’ and following her 2015/16 concert series The Three Strands; Passion, Sorrow and Joy Shelley Fairplay is back with her performing her brand new concert “HarpOsphere’.

What is the “HarpOsphere”?

Pythagoras proposed the intriguing idea that the Stars, Moon and Planets emit their own unique musical tones, he called it the Music of the Spheres. What if you could hear that? What if you could hear the shape of a sphere, the sound of our planets, the number Pi of as a melody, the circle of life in music?

Shelley explores these fascinating notions in her performance on the Concert Pedal Harp and a golden Electric Lever Harp. The program not only includes the harp being played traditionally but also uses a looper pedal and amplification for parts of the concert.

Come and join Shelley in the HarpOsphere where you will hear music ranging from our Celtic roots right through to music from the 21st Century. The cycle of the seasons are celebrated with Vivaldi, the musical loop is honored in Ravel’s Bolero, the Planets become audible with Holst, and we pay homage to our Moon with Fly me to the MoonMoon River and Moon dance.

Inviting Wales National Treasure to the Stage:

To celebrate the fifth annual National Botanic Garden of Wales Harp Weekend  we have invited a very special guest to join us, one of Wales’ national treasures, World Famous triple harpist Robin Huw Bowen, who will be teaching and leading the Telynor Cymru 2016 project and performing in the Double Billing concert at 2.30pm on the Great Glasshouse stage with Shelley Fairplay. Robin Huw Bowen is a full-time professional Welsh harpist specializing solely in the Welsh Triple Harp, his influence on the world of Welsh folk music and harping has been far-reaching. He undoubtedly ranks among the most important figures that the Welsh folk tradition has produced.

Robin Huw Bowen will be leading the workshop and performance of harpists involved Telynor Cymru 2016 project, visitors to the garden and enjoy listening to both the open rehearsal and the concert over the weekend. The project celebrates the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Roberts ‘Telynor Cymru’ (1816-1894), the famous Welsh Gypsy harpist, and one of the most important figures of our folk tradition.  Through this project, Clera (Cymdeithas Offerynnau Traddodiadol Cymru – The Society for the Traditional Instruments of Wales) has been offering a programme of workshops to teach harpists all over Wales to play in the style of the Welsh Gypsy harpists, a style passed down to us directly from John Roberts himself through several generations of his family.

Special Double Billing Harp Concert: 

This years double billing concert with Shelley Fairplay and Robin Huw Bowen; “HarpOsphere” meets Welsh National Treasure takes place at 2.30pm on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 2nd July 2016 as part of the National Botanical Garden of Wales Family Harp weekend. 

Who, What, When and Where?

Events run from 10:30am to 5pm at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Over the weekend there are four concerts, ten workshops and additional interactive events. Details on all these events are included in a press release below.

All the concerts and activities are free of charge with admission to the National Botanic Garden of Wales. For admission charges please visit www.botanicgarden.wales.  To ensure your space on any of the workshops you can reserve in advance by emailing Shelley Fairplay on: info@harpwales.com.

Runtime of events on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July 2016: 

10.30am       ”Harp-On” Information Desk Opens in Great Glass House

10.45am       “Telynor Cymru 2016″ Open

12.00pm       “Hands on Harps” – Come and try the harp for the first time!

12.45pm       “Tiny Hands on harps” – Come and try the harp for the first time!

1.15pm          ”Dynamic Harps” and friends harp ensemble concert   including  ”Telynor Cymru 2016″ project music.

2.30pm        DOUBLE BILLING Harp Concert:

“HarpOsphere” with harpist Shelley Fairplay

Performance by Wales’ foremost Triple Harpist Robin Huw Bowen

4.00pm       “Tiny Hands on harps” – Come and try the harp for the first time! (note time change)

4.15pm        ”Hands on Harps” – Come and try the harp for the first time!

All Day        ”Harp detectives trail”

All Day        ”Draw harps in the flowers”

For further information and timetable of the full weekend of events please visit: www.HarpOsphere.co.uk

___________________________________________________________________________________

ENDS

 

 

2nd / 3rd July Telynor Cymru Project Rehearsal and Performance at NBGW!

Posted in News on June 15th, 2016 by shelley – Comments Off

Have you been involved in the Telyonr Cymru project? 

If the answer is yes, please come and join the open rehearsal, workshops and concert as part of the family harp weekend at the National Botanic Garden of Wales this year on the 2nd and 3rd July 2016! Robin Huw Bowen will lead the rehearsals and concert.

Please contact info@harpwales.com if you would like to come, so you can be emailed a  map with the directions to exactly the right entrance and parking you will need to use on the day at NBGW.

The workshops will be charged at the usual Telynor Cymru rate for a half day session (£6-£10 depending on your age/membership status).

 

 

 

 Timeline on BOTH days, you can join us for Saturday, Sunday or the whole weekend:

10.45am- 11.45am      Telynor Cymru 2016 Open Rehearsal on Great Glasshouse Stage 

12.00pm-1.00pm       Telynor Cymru 2016 Rehearsal and Concert Preperation in Great  

                                          Glasshouse Classroom 

1.15pm                            Dynamic Harps and friends harp ensemble concert 

                                          including  Telynor Cymru 2016 project music performance

2.30pm                          Harp Concert DOUBLE BILLING!

Enjoy a well earned late lunch whilst watching!

                                    HarpOsphere meets Welsh National Treasure! 

                                         HarpOsphere with harpist Shelley Fairplay and

                                         Performance by Wales’ foremost Triple Harpist Robin Huw Bowen

 

Want to know more about the project?

Mae cynllun Telynor Cymru 2016 yn dathlu deucanmlwyddiant geni John Roberts ‘Telynor Cymru’ (1816-1894), y telynor Sipsi Cymreig enwocaf, ac un o’r ffigurau pwysicaf yn ein traddodiad gwerin.

Trwy’r cynllun yma, bydd Clera (Cymdeithas Offerynnau Traddodiadol Cymru) yn trefnu rhaglen o weithdai i hyfforddi telynorion ar draws Cymru i chwarae yn null telyn y Sipsiwn Cymreig, arddull a drosglwyddwyd i ni yn uniongyrchol mewn traddodiad gwerin llafar di-dor gan John Roberts ei hun i lawr drwy genedlaethau ei deulu. Anelir at roi perfformiadau o’r gerddoriaeth unigryw yma yn ystod 2016.

Fel rhan hanfodol o’r cynllun, bwriedir y wefan arbennig yma i fod yn ddolen gyswllt i bawb fydd yn cymryd rhan yn y brosiect, ac yn gronfa adnoddau i gynorthwyo’r dysgu y tu allan i’r sesiynau hyfforddi. Ceir hefyd arni wybodaeth gefndirol bellach am hanes y Sipsiwn yma yng Nghymru a’u cyfraniad i’n diwylliant cenedlaethol.

Cliciwch yma os oes gennych ddiddordeb mewn bod yn rhan o’r brosiect gyffrous yma!

The Telynor Cymru 2016 project celebrates the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Roberts ‘Telynor Cymru’ (1816-1894), the famous Welsh Gypsy harpist, and one of the most important figures of our folk tradition.

Through this project, Clera (Cymdeithas Offerynnau Traddodiadol Cymru – The Society for the Traditional Instruments of Wales) will be offering a programme of workshops to teach harpists all over Wales to play in the style of the Welsh Gypsy harpists, a style passed down to us directly from John Roberts himself through several generations of his family. The aim will be to give performances of this unique music during 2016.As a vital part of the project, this web-site is intended to be a contact and information link for everyone taking part, and also as a resource base to help with the teaching outside of the formal teaching sessions. It also has further background information about the Gypsies in Wales and their contribution to our national culture.Click here if you’re interested in being part of this exciting project!

 

2nd / 3rd July 2016 – National Botanic Garden of Wales Family Harp Weekend

Posted in News on June 15th, 2016 by shelley – Comments Off

Join the 5th Annual Family Harp Weekend at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

10:30am to 5.00pm July 2nd & 3rd.

Hear DOUBLE BILLING harp concert with Shelley Fairplay’s “HarpOsphere” and Wales’ foremost Triple Harpist Robin Huw Bowen, try the harp for the first time at a “Hands on Harps” workshop, bring little children to a “Tiny Hands on Harps” session, attend an open harp rehearsal of the “Telynor Cymru 2016 Project” and then attend a performance, listen to the Cardiff-based harp ensemble “Dynamic Harps” perform, become a “Harp Detective” and enter our “Draw the Harp in the Flowers” competition.

 All events are FREE once you have entered the gardens. For information on the National Botanic Garden of Wales admission times and prices visit their website by clicking this link: NBGW

Runtime of events on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July 2016:

10.30am        ”Harp-On” Information Desk Opens in Great Glass House

10.45am        ”Telynor Cymru 2016″ Open Rehearsal  - Want to take part? >>CLICK HERE<<

12.00pm       “Hands on Harps” – Come and try the harp for the first time! 

12.45pm       “Tiny Hands on harps” – Come and try the harp for the first time! 

1.15pm          ”Dynamic Harps” and friends harp ensemble concert

                        including  ”Telynor Cymru 2016″ project music 

2.30pm        DOUBLE BILLING Harp Concert:

                        “HarpOsphere” with harpist Shelley Fairplay

                        Performance by Wales’ foremost Triple Harpist Robin Huw Bowen

4.00pm       “Tiny Hands on harps” – Come and try the harp for the first time! (note time change)

4.15pm        ”Hands on Harps” – Come and try the harp for the first time! 

All Day        ”Harp detectives trail”

All Day        ”Draw harps in the flowers” 

All events are FREE once you have entered the gardens, for information on the National Botanic Garden of Wales admission times and prices please visit their website by clicking this link: NBGW

Full details of Events:

10.30 – 4.30pm “Harp-On” Desk – Great Glass House

Come along to the “Harp-On” desk to find out more about the harp weekend!

Here you can book your workshop space, pick up your “Harp Detective Trail” sheet, to enter the ‘Draw the harps in the flowers Competition’ and to ask any questions you might have regarding the weekends events!

This stand will be run by wonderful volunteers, friends and performers of Dynamic Harps and the wonderful volunteers of NBGW.

 

 

 

10.45am        ”Telynor Cymru 2016″ Open Rehearsal (60 minutes)

Come along to listen to all or part of this 1 hour Open Rehearsal lead by Robin Huw Bowen. This session aims to welcome and bring together all harpists who have been taking part in the The Telynor Cymru 2016 project, so please come along if you have been involved! Harpists, information on how to get involved is available by >>CLICKING HERE<<.

The project celebrates the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Roberts ‘Telynor Cymru’ (1816-1894), the famous Welsh Gypsy harpist, and one of the most important figures of our folk tradition.  Through this project, Clera (Cymdeithas Offerynnau Traddodiadol Cymru – The Society for the Traditional Instruments of Wales) has been offering a programme of workshops to teach harpists all over Wales to play in the style of the Welsh Gypsy harpists, a style passed down to us directly from John Roberts himself through several generations of his family.

 

12.00pm “Hands on Harps” Workshop (45 minutes)

Always wanted to try the harp? Come along to try our National Instrument of Wales, with harpist Shelley Fairplay

Workshop will include demonstrations on a Pedal, Celtic and Lap Harp, then along with Shelley’s guidance, you can have a go at playing one of the fifteen 17 string lap harps available on the day. Maximum of 30 people per session, adults and children aged 7 up. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

A place on the workshop is free once you have paid for your admission in to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. Tickets will available on the day at the ‘Harp on’ stand or can be booked in advance by emailing your name, telephone number and number of participants to Shelley Fairplay on info@harpwales.com

12.45pm “Tiny Hands on Harps”: Parent and Child session (15 minutes)

Try the lap harps together and enjoy much loved nursery rhymes and stories! This workshops is aimed at children 3-6 with one to one parental support in the session.

The 15-minute children’s session are free once you have paid for your admission in to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. Tickets will available on the day at the ‘Harp on’ stand or can be booked in advance by emailing your name, telephone number and number of participants to Shelley Fairplay on info@harpwales.com.

All children must be accompanied by an adult sitting alongside them during this event.

 

1.30pm Harp Ensemble Music Performed by “Dynamic Harps” and Friends!  (45 minutes) 

Come and enjoy hearing harp ensemble Dynamic Harps perform, back fresh from their participation at the International Harpes Au Max Festival in France. Launched in 2013 the ensembles meet regularly for ensemble workshops on Monday nights in Cardiff with Harpist Shelley Fairplay.There are two groups, one for children and one for adults and we will perform a selection of our favorite tunes over the weekend! This is an open event so come along and have a listen!

Dynamic Harps are thrilled to be joined by harpist friends from across Wales to share with you music from the Telynor Cymru 2016 project lead by Robin Huw Bowen. The project celebrates the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Roberts ‘Telynor Cymru’ (1816-1894), the famous Welsh Gypsy harpist, and one of the most important figures of our folk tradition.

2.30pm Harp Concert DOUBLE BILLING “HarpOsphere” meets Welsh National Treasure! 

Shelley Fairplay presents “HarpOsphere”

Following her 2015/16 concert series The Three Strands; Passion, Sorrow and Joy Shelley Fairplay is back with her brand new concert HarpOsphere.

What is the HarpOsphere?

Pythagoras proposed the intriguing idea that the Stars, Moon and Planets emit their own unique musical tones, he called it the Music of the Spheres. What if you could hear that? What if you could hear the shape of a sphere, the sound of our planets, the number Pi of as a melody, the circle of life in music? Shelley explores these fascinating notions in her performance on the Concert Pedal Harp and Electric Lever Harp.

Come and join Shelley in the HarpOsphere where you will hear music ranging from our Celtic roots right through to music from the 21st Century. The cycle of the seasons are celebrated withVivaldi, the musical loop is honored in Ravel’s Bolero, the Planets become audible with Holst, and we pay homage to our Moon with Fly me to the MoonMoon River and Moon dance.

Shelley’s concert, just ELECTRIC!” Ani

Audience spellbound from start to finish. Helen 

For further information regarding Shelley please visit: www.harpwales.com

Robin Huw Bowen, Wales’ foremost Triple Harpist performs at NBGW

Since 1983, Robin Huw Bowen has introduced the Welsh Triple Harp and its music to thousands all over the world. As
the only full-time professional Welsh harpist specializing solely in the Welsh Triple Harp, his influence on the world of Welsh folk music and harping has been far-reaching. He undoubtedly ranks among the most important figures that the Welsh folk tradition has produced.

“… Robin has got to be one of the top performers, giving the Welsh Triple Harp the airing it so rightly deserves, and his show on this night was one of the best I’ve ever seen or heard.” (Living Tradition)

 

 

4.00pm “Tiny Hands on Harps”: Parent and Child session (15 minutes)

Try the lap harps together and enjoy much loved nursery rhymes and stories! This workshops is aimed at children 3-6 with one to one parental support in the session.

The 15-minute children’s session are free once you have paid for your admission in to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. Tickets will available on the day at the ‘Harp on’ stand or can be booked in advance by emailing your name, telephone number and number of participants to Shelley Fairplay on info@harpwales.com.

All children must be accompanied by an adult sitting alongside them during this event.

 

 

4.15pm “Hands on Harps” Workshop (45 minutes)

Always wanted to try the harp? Come along to try our National Instrument of Wales, with harpist Shelley Fairplay

Workshop will include demonstrations on a Pedal, Celtic and Lap Harp, then along with Shelley’s guidance, you can have a go at playing one of the fifteen 17 string lap harps available on the day. Maximum of 30 people per session, adults and children aged 7 up. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

A place on the workshop is free once you have paid for your admission in to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. Tickets will available on the day at the ‘Harp on’ stand or can be booked in advance by emailing your name, telephone number and number of participants to Shelley Fairplay on info@harpwales.com

“Harp Detectives Trail” – All Day Event

Harp Detectives – take part in an exciting trail of discovery! This activity is designed for children to explore and discover for themselves interesting information related to the harp whilst journeying around the beautiful Great Glass House. Collect your trail sheet from the Harp On desk in the Great Glass House. Successful harp detectives may return to the Harp On desk to receive a sticker as recognition of their resourceful exploring!

 

 

 

 

“Draw harps in the flowers” – All Day Event

Competition open for Children 16 and under. Enjoy drawing a beautiful instrument in a beautiful setting! Pencils and paper will be available on the day! All entries will receive a harp pencil for taking part and at the end of the weekend a rosette for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize will be awarded and winners will be sent this along with their prize of a ‘harp model construction kit’.

The winners will be announced on the 4th of July via Facebook and will have their drawings posted on the National Botanic Garden of Wales and Harpist Shelley Fairplay;s Facebook Page. Prizes would be posted out after the weekend. So make sure your name, addresses and telephone number is on the back of each picture!

 

Has this weekend awoken your inner wannabe harpist?! Why not join Shelley Fairplay’s brand new online START HARP class where you can learn to play the harp from the very beginning using lap, lever or pedal harp. Need a harp? Shelley will be happy to help you find one, just email her on info@harpwales.com 

Over the weekend Shelley’s two CD’s will be available to buy from the National Botanic Garden of Wales:

Hands on Harps workshop in Cardiff – 23rd June 2016

Posted in News on June 14th, 2016 by shelley – Comments Off

Harp Taster Sessions in Cardiff

Have you always wanted to try the harp?

Come along to a ‘Harp Taster’ session on the National Instrument of Wales at Telynau Vining Harps with Harpist Shelley Fairplay.

During the workshop you will be introduced  to a variety of different harps including Celtic, Concert Pedal and Lap harps. You will be allocated a Celtic harp to use throughout the session and be guided through your very first stages of learning the harp; how to sit, basic harp technique and of course how to create beautiful sounds! By the end of the session you will have learnt how to find all the notes on your harp, played an accompaniment along with Shelley and also be able to play a tune on your own! No guarantees, but we should also warn you that you may well totally fall for this incredible instrument and awaken your inner harpist!

You will be allocated your very own Celtic harp to play on during the session!

If you have any hopes and dreams of once day renting or even owning your very own harp, Elen from Telynau Vining Harps will be available during the sessions to answer any questions you might have, including prices and information on Camac harps for sale and details regarding their harp rental scheme which starts from just £50 a month.
The workshop runs from 6.45pm to 8.30pm and includes a short tea break. The sessions are open to all ages and require no previous musical knowledge. Please note under 18’s must be accompanied  by an adult.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Cost: £30

Time: 6.45pm  - 8.30pm

Date: 23rd June 2016

Venue: Telynau Vining Harps, 116B Pantbach Road, Birchgrove, Cardiff, CF14 1UE. For directions please click here.

Booking: Booking is essential, please contact Elen Vining on info@camacharps.co.uk or 02920 620900 to reserve your space, book early to avoid disappointment as spaces are very limited. You can also book online at www.rowlandsonline.co.uk

___________________________________________

Lap harps – Treasure or Trash?

Posted in News on May 5th, 2016 by shelley – 1 Comment

Lap Harps – Treasure or Trash?

One man’s trash is another mans treasure.

All harps welcome!

I have long felt that the lap (or knee) harp has been viewed in this light.

To some it is the harp for beginners looking for an inexpensive starting point, it is the therapy harp, the wonderfully portable harp, an instrument perfect to sing to, the storytelling harp.

To others it an instrument limited in range, does not have the resonance they desire, it may have no chromatic capabilities and it is sometimes considered not a ‘proper harp’ because it cannot play orchestral music.

What is it to you? 

Whatever the type of harp you have, my online beginner course START HARP is about making it a treasure and allowing you to enjoy creating beautiful music from day one. In the first Beta class one lady used a 12 string non-chromatic lap harp and learnt to read music, play tunes by ear, improvise, and some great foundation harp technique.  So whilst a lap harp may not take you to the Albert hall, it really can awaken your inner harpist!

I have 15 harps and have been using them to teach ‘hands on harps’ workshops for years, I know for a fact they have inspired many people to take up the harp. I meet people years on who tell me they now have their own harp, take lessons and love playing the instrument. It gives me chills just thinking about that. Amazing.

When it comes to learning the harp,  what truly matters is that you start!

Learn basic harp techniques

So please do not wait any longer, if you have always wanted to play the harp, or you have made the first steps and would like to take your beginner journey further visit www.StartHarp.co.uk for details!

Following the successful launch and first class that started in January 2016, the next class for START HARP LEVEL 1 (BETA) starts on May 12th 2016. Registration is now open and you can sign up for LEVEL 1 by clicking >>HERE<<.

START HARP LEVEL 2 (BETA) is about to run for the very first time, also starting on the 12th of May. Registration is now open and you can sign up for LEVEL 2 by clicking >>HERE<<.

Not sure which level would be best for you? Take this fast quiz >>HERE<< to help you find out!

Why I made beginner harp classes “START HARP” digital

Posted in News on May 4th, 2016 by shelley – Comments Off

Why I decided to make beginner classes “START HARP” digital.

Three years ago I finished writing my beginner harp tutor book, START HARP, I was so delighted to have finished this project that was so long in the making! I had wonderful graphic designers work on pictures to go in the book and it really seemed like everything I had ever imagined.

However, when I looked at it in the light of day, it seemed so flat, so 2D, so NOT me! All the things that I valued most about teaching and delivering lessons to students had been robbed, here was a very clinical ‘How to get from A-B book’ type of book. There was no way I was going to publish it.

A few years later I began to get into online learning myself, such as some courses with the Open University, Berkley College and Harpist Deborah Henson-Conant. I found that learning online was perfect for me, I could work at my own pace, anytime of the day or night and there was not even any traveling involved. Teaching videos with a tutor felt surprisingly personal and the level of teaching was brilliant. I also enjoyed the fact that video lessons allow you to keep repeating the same information over and over as many times as you need (without the tutor even knowing you hadn’t grasped it first time!). Brilliant!

And so the penny finally dropped… I could create START HARP as on online course, all the painstakingly planned lessons and artwork from the original book could be used, but in addition I could create play-a-long practice videos, improvisation tracks, tunes by ear and plenty of time focusing on techniques.

Of course the project has grown in work load due to this, but it has tuned into something better and more useful than my book could ever have been. Most importantly going digital has changed the whole thing back to what I believe is fundamental to true teaching, inspiration, communication, energy in delivery, clarity and diverse to appeal to all learning styles.

Do you know anyone who has always wanted to learn the harp?

If you have always wanted to play the harp, or you have made the first steps and would like to take your beginner journey further visit www.StartHarp.co.uk for details!

Following the successful launch and first class that started in January 2016, the next class for START HARP LEVEL 1 (BETA) starts on May 12th 2016. Registration is now open and you can sign up for LEVEL 1 by clicking >>HERE<<.

START HARP LEVEL 2 (BETA) is about to run for the very first time, also starting on the 12th of May.
Registration is now open and you can sign up for LEVEL 2 by clicking >>HERE<<.

Not sure which level to take? Take this quiz >>HERE<< to help you find out!

 

Challenges I faced creating START HARP!

Posted in News on May 3rd, 2016 by shelley – Be the first to comment

What were the challenges involved in creating my brand new START HARP online course? 

Now that the first START HARP LEVEL 1 class has been completed and BETA run with a wonderful group of budding harpists I believe I have a somewhat rose tinted view of what creating an online class is like.  So I thought it would be interesting to revisit what the  challenges were in making START HARP happen!

Originally taking the leap of faith to actually film myself teaching and believe that it might be useful and relevant to students from across the world was a massive step. During the first few weeks I felt like I was doing a major performance every time I started recording. It took time to plan the lessons, prepare the harps/room/myself for filming, record, edit, upload, check, organisie in the online classroom and then release!

Learning to edit videos was slow and made me have a very ‘back to school feeling’ but this in itself was actually great, whilst my students were having a total immersion into beginning the harp for the very first time, I was on my own similar learning curve with the editing software. This reminded me of what it is like to be completely in the dark about something and to need total clarity and encouragement along the way.

Choosing and investing in video equipment and new software was a logistical nightmare but thankfully my trusty mentor Deborah Henson-Conant came to the rescue, she runs a brilliant program called ‘Harness Your Muse’ and her assistance with the set up short cut a thousand steps!

Then there was the task of creating a studio with appropriate lighting and backdrop. After initially setting up in my home in our sitting/dining room for a few months I realised I couldn’t entirely take over our living space for the 12 month recording phase, the house had to change, so my husband and I set to creating a proper studio space in my harp room, everything had to move out, be re-orgnasied and then appropriate backdrop, lighting and props moved in!

Taking a sabbatical from my one-to-one teaching for the year to make it happen has been a massive wrench, I love all my teaching and I miss my wonderful face-to-face students terribly. In 2017 when all the recording is done I look forward to returning to one-to-one lessons but as I already generally work 65+ hours a week I knew I couldn’t find another 20 hours a week any other way!

Which part was hardest? All the above combined!

Is it worth it? If I can help people all round the world take their first steps (or giant leap!) into becoming a harpist then yes… so in truth that answer is yet to come, would you like to join me and help me find out?!

If you have always wanted to play the harp, or you have made the first steps and would like to take your beginner journey further visit www.StartHarp.co.uk for details!

Following the successful launch and first class that started in January 2016, the next class for START HARP LEVEL 1 (BETA) starts on May 12th 2016. Registration is now open and you can sign up for LEVEL 1 by clicking >>HERE<<.

START HARP LEVEL 2 (BETA) is about to run for the very first time, also starting on the 12th of May. Registration is now open and you can sign up for LEVEL 2 by clicking >>HERE<<.

Not sure which level to take? Take this quiz >>HERE<< to help you find out!

Take the START HARP quiz!

Posted in News on May 3rd, 2016 by shelley – Comments Off

Which START HARP course is right for YOU!?

Take the Quiz to help you find out now!

 


Get your hands on a harp! Harp Taster Sessions in Cardiff!

Posted in News on January 26th, 2016 by shelley – Comments Off

Harp Taster Sessions in Cardiff

Have you always wanted to try the harp?

Come along to a ‘Harp Taster’ session on the National Instrument of Wales at Telynau Vining Harps with Harpist Shelley Fairplay.

During the workshop you will be introduced  to a variety of different harps including Celtic, Concert Pedal and Lap harps. You will be allocated a Celtic harp to use throughout the session and be guided through your very first stages of learning the harp; how to sit, basic harp technique and of course how to create beautiful sounds! By the end of the session you will have learnt how to find all the notes on your harp, played an accompaniment along with Shelley and also be able to play a tune on your own! No guarantees, but we should also warn you that you may well totally fall for this incredible instrument and awaken your inner harpist!

You will be allocated your very own Celtic harp to play on during the session!

If you have any hopes and dreams of once day renting or even owning your very own harp, Elen from Telynau Vining Harps will be available during the sessions to answer any questions you might have, including prices and information on Camac harps for sale and details regarding their harp rental scheme which starts from just £50 a month.
The workshop runs from 6.45pm to 8.30pm and includes a short tea break. The sessions are open to all ages and require no previous musical knowledge. Please note under 18’s must be accompanied  by an adult.

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Cost: £30

Time: 6.45pm  - 8.30pm

Dates: 21st April 2016, 16th June 2016.

Venue: Telynau Vining Harps, 116B Pantbach Road, Birchgrove, Cardiff, CF14 1UE. For directions please click here.

Booking: Booking is essential, please contact Elen Vining on info@camacharps.co.uk or 02920 620900 to reserve your space, book early to avoid disappointment as spaces are very limited. You can also book online at www.rowlandsonline.co.uk

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Start Harp – Online Beginners Harp Class – Blog

Posted in News on December 11th, 2015 by shelley – Comments Off

Start Harp – Have you always wanted to learn to play the harp?


On the 14th of January 2016, harpist Shelley Fairplay is launching a beta test for the brand new harp course ‘START HARP’.
Start harp is an online computer based harp class for complete beginners which enable students to access tuition from their own home. The course content is provided via with teaching videos, downloadable written materials, playalong practice videos, live webinars and homework submission.

Start Harp is a learning platform that welcomes with open arms ALL budding harpists on lap, lever or pedal harp.  It is a course aimed at beginner harpists whatever their musical background, wherever they are based and on whatever type of harp they are able to purchase or hire. Start Harp aims make the harp more accessible to anyone who would like to experience playing and learning this beautiful and incredibly diverse musical instrument.

Being able to finance purchasing a harp can be difficult, as can finding a local teacher in your area with spaces available to teach. Or even if a teacher is available, fitting in lessons at a suitable time to work with your lifestyle can be difficult.  Start Harp is a course designed specifically to enable beginner harpists to access harp teaching whatever your location or musical background, and accommodates learning harps of all different shapes and sizes including small lap/knee harps.

Shelley Fairplay says “I have met many a budding harpist over the years who has brought a small inexpensive lap harp to learn on, or had a beautiful instrument made by their partners, and then had the disappointment not being able to find teachers for this type of harp. This created a very strong passion in me to create a beginners course accessible for everyone. “

Start Harp Facts:

  • Start Harp will be delivered in three separate levels, 1,2 and 3.
  • Each module will be delivered over 12 weeks, with ten lesson weeks,  one ‘catch up’ week mid term and a review week at the end.
  • The course materials can be accessed online at whatever time of the day suits the students lifestyle.
  • The content is delivered in the form of video tutorials, reading materials and play along practice tracks.
  • It is also optional for students to submit 6 pieces of homework and receive feedback from Shelley alongside attending 6 live Q and A webinars, where questions can be asked and answered live during the session.
  • The live sessions are recorded and can be replayed at a students leisure.
  • All students will be given access to a closed Facebook group where alongside Shelley all START HARP students can interact to share ideas, support each other through challenges and celebrate successes.

What does it cost?

£295 for each module – 50% discount for beta test