Introducing the Creative Harping Series
– learning to play music by ear – and so much more!
Christina’s compositions and arrangements are superbly transcribed into clear notation for harpists of all levels to enjoy. Many of her books offer three arrangements of each song so that harpists of all levels can have a successful experience re-creating the tunes they hear on the CDs.
For over two decades, the Creative Harping comprehensive teaching method has freed harp players from the written page, allowing them to create their own music and experience the joys of improvisation and ‘jamming’ with fellow musicians.
This ground-breaking tuition Series offers 10 unique Courses, delivered as a collection of video-lessons, and are available as DVD sets as well as via Online Streaming.
Creative Harping – Streaming Series
This is the Signature Method for Learning to Play Music by Ear. It is the Basis for Music Development for the International Harp Therapy Program. Each Series is described below…
The Complete Set of Creative Harping #1-10 is available for a 20% saving and there is no shipping charge when purchasing the set.
Learn how to improvise in the Dorian Mode and add The Chanter to your repertoire. Wonderful scenery of caves, dragons and fire open the lesson.
Learn how to improvise in the Aeolian Mode and add the songs Little Boats, Mary Young & Faire and Greensleeves to your repertoire. A countryside journey through England opens this pastoral video.
The Aeolian Mode touches and enters into the inner depths of our Soul. It is often referred to the relative minor of a major key of music. In this lesson you will have the choice of three songs to focus on. In the Int’l Harp Therapy Program (IHTP), students are required to memorize one of the songs and then follow it by an improvisation in the same tempo and time signature.
They are to utilize at least three variations of the left hand improvization patterns so that the music does not sound repetitiously ‘boring’ but lends itself to creative flow. If you are preparing for study in the IHTP, you will want to focus on memorizing one of the songs followed by the short improvisation (not to exceed 4 minutes in length). When you enrol in the program, you can then send on these recordings to your mentor and be far ahead of your schedule on music development.
The Mixolydian Mode elicits a very relaxing and calming atmosphere like ocean waves. Very often Celtic music is written in the Mixolydian Mode having that bit of distant forlorn sound. This is created by the lowered 7th in the scale. There are 3 beautiful songs to study in this lesson utilizing the learned previous left-hand patterns from the Dorian and Aeolian lessons and now adding unique right hand patterns.
Because the Locrian Mode is quite a unique mode and not much music is written in this mode, we use components of the Locrian Mode and anchor it against the Aeolian Mode. The most common use for this combination is when harp players are attending a person who is transitioning out of this life.
Most of the music we listen to is in the Ionian Mode. It is described as uplifting, happy, peaceful among many other descriptive words. No wonder then that we are surrounded by this mode when we are walking through shopping centers where the promoters are aiming psychologically to keep us happy and satisfied.
“The function of the wing is to take what is heavy and raise it up into the region above where the gods dwell. Of all things connected with the body it has the greatest affinity with the divine.” – Plato.
The #7 Lesson in actuality is simply creating the pentatonic 5 tone scale but we affectionately call it the Angel Mode – perhaps because we are indeed swept up and raised to the divine when we can touch an instrument and create the most beautiful sound.
The Harmonic Minor tuning creates a haunting sound that we hear in the music from Greece, Israel, Egypt and the Mesopotamian areas.
To create this sound, it is a matter of setting the levers ahead of time and taking your improvisational skills and the 3-chord structures that you learned in the Ionian Mode and applying them to your new tuning with the levers set in a new configuration.
Two children ages 8 and 10 from the Middle East came to the Hospice as their mother was transitioning. After we met in the foyer and they learned how to improvise on this tuning, they were able to go back to the room and play for their mother. Lovingly she acknowledged them, smiled and finally closed her eyes. I am sure they will always remember that moment of playing the harp for her. They all seemed to know exactly what the song was.
In the book – Cradle of Sound – Harp Therapy Manual, there is an extensive section of the qualities of each of the Elements and how they play out in the cycles of our lives,….
from years, to seasons, to hours of the day, affecting the rhythms of the body and psyche. When we are out of balance and have too much of one element overpowering the others, we can balance ourselves with foods, aromas, colors, and sounds. This lesson gives a basic overview of the qualities and what kind of music works best when you need to calm a child or lift someone out of depression. Music helps when helping to ease rigidity in a person’s life or conversely if they are non-directed to give them some structural guidance. It is a fascinating study. In our therapeutic music study, we learn what kind of music to play not only when working with special needs or people with Alzheimer’s, but how to aid and assist through gentle sound while the elements dissolve at the end of life.
All the previous 9 lessons have prepared you to be able to incorporate your left-hand and right-hand improvisational patterns, your new techniques including hand position, musicality and understanding….
… of how to best use the range of the harp now into modulations that have a rich history. In ancient days, the learned harpers of Ireland were required to have three strains of music at their fingertips – that of Suantraighe, Goltraighe and Geantraighe. Simply interpreted, that of relaxing a person, going into the depth of the soul, and creating enlightenment or to set the foot a tapping.
Christina teaches her passion around the world. Here she is with students in Australia, via video link to students in Hong Kong and with a large class in California. Click the images to see the whole photo.
Christina teaching in Australia
Christina greets harpers from Hong Kong
Because the focus of the Creative Harping Program is learning how to improvise without the need of written music, it has proven popular with musicians of all abilities.
It has been specially created to cater both for the ‘beginner’ harpist as well as experienced players who wish to get away from just reading the dots and want to learn the art of improvisation, creating spontaneous music that flows effortlessly from one feeling to another.
“Would you love to know how to play for hours on end, on your own or with other musicians, without needing any music
– effortlessly drawing upon tunes and chord-cycles and improvising on them whilst moving through a rich variety of moods and flavors of music? So many people who have gone through the Creative Harping Program from start to finish now have this ability to enrich their own lives as well as those of family, friends and audiences.”
Each video-lesson is enhanced with beautiful scenery depicting the mood of the music, and each Course will introduce you to new songs to add to an ever-expanding repertoire for you to use as a springboard from which to jump into your own improvisations and creativity.
We do recommend that you proceed step by step through the lessons in each Course – and each Course builds on the previous one, so likewise are best done sequentially. Finding your own pace is important, so do resist the urge to rush ahead or bite off too much in one go! And do try to both watch and play along regularly.
The Creative Harping Series provides the basis for music development for students of the IHTP International Harp Therapy Program and is particularly suitable for harp players who have an interest in communicating through music in a healing environment.
Watching them as often as you like whilst consulting the accompanying Course Support Papers means you can extract every last bit of knowledge in your own time. Plus the benefits and enjoyment from playing along with the videos grows and grows…