Learn to play the harp anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home!
Live, inter-active, one to one harp tuition via the internet (patent applied)
A unique on-line learning opportunity with an experienced and fully qualified teacher in Celtic, Pedal and Medieval harp, and director of the Cornwall Harp Centre - Sarah Deere-Jones LRAM LGSM.
Regular on-line harp lessons with back-up E mail notes and questions and answers
Sign up for lessons and study to enter ABRSM exams to gain world recognised musical qualifications. Exams can be taken in some countries abroad or scheduled in Cornwall with a short residential stay and some pre-exam coaching at the Cornwall Harp Centre.
On-line teaching can be backed up by taking a residential course at the Cornwall Harp Centre once or twice a year to check on technical progress. See 'courses' page.
Unlike some on-line music lessons, these are live, interactive and one to one, enabling lessons to be tailor-made for each individual student, not just pre-recorded downloadable video 'lectures'!
A unique opportunity to learn the harp anywhere in the world, or save travelling time to and from lessons and reduce your carbon footprint - learn at your own individual pace and convenience!
Technical requirements To start your on-line harp lessons you will need the following:
Broadband connection - broadband quality varies and sometimes a slight delay in picture/sound synchronisation occurs but its possible to get used to this problem and it doesn't impair learning.
Digital camera - (you can probably use your normal digital camera if it has a USB connection).
External microphone - This needs to be fairly close to you and the harp.
(It is possible to obtain USB webcam, with headset and Microphone from us for £20)
Your own Harp! - with at least 22/23 strings and all semi-tone levers. If you are a complete beginner, we can help you to source harps, contact us for details.
Skype(TM) 'voice over internet' system - sign up for a Skype account which is free (www.skype.com) and download the software, choose your skype address and password and you're ready to go. Skype 'calls' are free.
Sign up for a course of lessons - You can sign up in advance for a minimum of 3 half hourly lessons, or two hourly lessons at a time, and pay by Pay Pal or by credit card via our website shop page. Lessons are weekly or fortnightly for beginners at pre-arranged times, on tuesdays and thursdays between 11am - 11pm UK time. For beginners half an hour is long enough but as you progress and particularly if studying for an exam, you need to have hourly lessons. Lessons cost £20 per half hour and £40 per hour.
Email - you receive back-up notes on each lesson, reminding you of what to study and prepare for the next lesson, and what technical aspects to concentrate on! Music books will be recommended which can be ordered on-line, exercises can be emailed to you in advance in a PDF. You are also welcome to ask questions and get support in between lessons via e mail.
Before your first lesson, a free 10 minute 'set-up' period will be scheduled to make sure all the technical issues are solved. For subsequent lessons please make a note of all the settings including lighting and harp position so you do not have to waste lesson time repeating these refinements.
Gain a qualification in harp
You can study to enter the harp exams from Grade 1 - 8 run by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Sarah recommends music from the ABRSM stipulated lists and goes through it in your lessons plus all the required scales and arpeggios, bringing you up to the required standard. Aural tests required by the exam board can be practised using CDs produced by the board. For overseas students who visit UK frequently, Sarah can enter you to take an exam in Cornwall, exam sessions run three times a year on specified dates, and you can stay at the harp centre for a few days before your exam and have extra coaching in advance. But in some countries these exams are already organised, (contact ABRSM direct for enquiries)- In this case you can enter yourself on-line. The ABRSM are internationally recognised by all musical institutions, their exam system is a respected qualification, and if you are successful you receive a certificate and notes from the examiner. Please note, for anything above grade 1, you will need a 36 string celtic harp as a minimum size and lessons will need to be an hour.
or simply learn for fun
You do not have to study for exams although they give you something to show for all your hard work, and are a true way of assessing achievement and standard. But you may prefer to study for your own pleasure with no stress. Sarah encourages a wide selection of music and so long as progress is being made is open minded about repertoire, pace and direction.
It is recommended that on-line harp students attend at least one weekend residential harp course at the Cornwall Harp Centre per year. This is encouraging for those studying alone, it boosts enthusiasm and its always fun to meet other learner and on-line harpists. Its also a useful time to discuss any problems on technique or theory in person with Sarah.
The best harp teachers are or have been, professional harp performers themselves - click on the link below to see Sarah peforming her own composition 'Fantasy for Celtic Harp' on You Tube-
Tips for on-line harp students
In order for your on-line lessons to work well, you need to be in a quiet room on your own with good lighting near your computer. Switch off anything making background noise and remove any distractions. Your pre-arranged lesson time will be strictly limited so any distractions (phonecalls, children etc) will simply waste time in your lesson that you have paid for!
Skype(tm) - in the bottom left of your start up window there is a box which needs to be ticked to be 'on-line' when you dial up for a lesson. Its easy to forget to do, and be left wondering why connection is not being made!
Do not sit with a light source behind you (window, lamp etc) as it bleaches the foreground making it impossible to see your hands. Sit fairly close to your camera, and at right angles to it with the harp's levers facing the camera. Make sure sarah will be able to see all of the harp strings and levers and your hands. Have fairly good foreground lighting illuminating your strings (a desk lamp will do).
Your microphone needs to be fairly close to pick up the harp and voice, clip on mics to your clothing are a good option.
Enlarge Sarah's picture with the full screen option, it makes it easier to see detail.
If you live in a noisy environment headphones are a better alternative to the rather ineffective computer speakers and aid concentration.
Timing will be critical as your lesson maybe between other lessons. You need to come on line strictly on time, with any required music and exercises with you, and your harp with all strings intact and tuned up. So get ready a few minutes beforehand and remember your technical settings from your first 'set up' session so that you will be able to see and hear each other.
You will receive a back up e mail after each lesson, reminding you what to practice and prepare for the next one. You will be welcome to ask any questions in between lessons by e mail. Remember to order any recommended music in plenty of time so that it will be with you when it is needed.
As with any other music lesson, you will need to make time to practise in between lessons- EVERY DAY! The more practise you do, the better and the faster you will progress!
Your on-line lessons need to be paid for in advance by Pay Pal or credit card via our on line shop page. Please keep up to date with payments so they dont interrupt the regularity of lessons. Its terribly important to have regular lessons and anything less than fortnightly is not recommended for beginners although as you advance monthly lessons are possible.
You will arrange lesson times with Sarah by e mail but a regular 'same time same day' slot is necessary for the purposes of her timetabling. You may on a 'one-off' basis change a lesson time giving at least 24 hours notice, but generally you are required to keep the slot originally arranged. If you miss a lesson with less than 24 hours warning you will be charged for it.
Lessons are £20 for half an hour and must be purchased in a course of three at a time (£60), or £40 per hour purchased two at a time (£80). Beginners need to have weekly or fortnightly lessons, anything less will not be successful. Lesson times are arranged by e mail but the lessons are on tuesdays and thursdays 11am-11pm UK time.
To sign up please register with us first by e mail. Inform us when you have paid for lessons and we will then give you a set-up, our skype address and a start time.
e mail us at - info(at)cornwallharpcentre.co.uk