Dive into the fantastic world of folk harp playing. Harpists are welcome to join us for a weekend of harp workshops and sessions with tutors Steph West and Merit Zloch. This is our first weekend of what we hope will be an annual weekend dedicated to harp playing in a folk context.
Using repertoire from the UK (with Steph) and Germany (with Merit) we’ll explore the music, arrangements and techniques for playing the harp in folk context.
The course will be taught by ear with notation available at the end of the weekend. You are welcome to bring your recording devices.
Who’s it For?
As a guide, this course is aimed at Grades 1-5 or equivalent. It’s not for complete beginners. At the lower level, you’ll have been playing for at least one year with regular harp lessons, and be able to play a simple song with left hand. We will split into two groups, one working steadily to build confidence, the second working at a faster pace to suit more able students who want more of a challenge.
Merit Zloch is a harpist, composer and music teacher. She sees herself in the tradition of the itinerant harp players of the 19th and early 20th century, travelling with her harp throughout Europe charming people with her original compositions and arrangements of historical dance music.
She has played in bands almost as long as she has played the harp and is constantly fascinated by the interplay between musicians. She likes to arrange and develop pieces together with her band colleagues and to improvise.
Merit researches historical dance manuscripts and organises musicians’ meetings, bals and instrumental workshop weekends.
Steph West is both a harpist and singer. She works as a performer, teacher and workshop leader. Whilst studying early music at the University of Birmingham Steph fell in love with the clarsach/folk harp. Steph’s main trad styles are English and Irish and she has worked as a performer and teacher with artists and organisations in both fields: EFDSS, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann, Irish flute/whistle virtuoso Jacquelyn Hynes, Shooting Roots youth folk arts project, Edinburgh International Harp Festival and Guildhall’s CYM. Steph currently plays with her European bal / swing band Midnight Patisserie and her singer-songwriter duo with drummer Paul Radmeyer. Steph is currently working on English trad repertoire for the harp, bringing out a book and courses in 2019.
The only harpist with 9.5 fingers, Steph also works within the integrated/disabled arts world. She works as a performer with the British Paraorchestra and RNS Moves. She has also mentored for Open Up Music, who are pioneering the National Open Youth Orchestra.