Your Guide

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Shelley Fairplay

#happyharping I live in Wales, UK and delight in all things harp (well except for broken strings and carrying pedal harps up castle steps!)

Questions? Comments? Email me!

About this course

"Hello and welcome to my FREE online IMMERSION course. My name is Shelley Fairplay, I am totally delighted to share my enthusiasm with you for our beautiful instrument. I am excited to connect via the harp with you and I am passionate about sharing music and passing on knowledge and joy of this instrument to harpists of all levels and ages, I do hope our paths cross soon either face to face or via this wonderful online community of harpists" 

In this IMMERSION  we will focus on two original contrasting pieces, one is ‘Spring Tide of Hope’ a piece that flows and swells like a high tide coming in and then gently fades away, it has proved very popular in workshops with my Dynamic Harps students. The second is a piece is called ‘Growing for the Future’ and it a tune I wrote it to premier at the 9th National Botanic Garden of Wales family harp weekend. It is named after their ‘Growing the Future’ project that has already involved over 5000 people being trained in planting, sowing and growing. I like to think there are lots of crossovers here for START HARP where we are planting, sowing and growing more harpists for the future! Both pieces can be played as a solo or in a group.

In this short course we work on:

  • A warm up designed to work on even flow and good tone control.
  • Look at exercises related to the main pieces to focus in on tricky sections (Everyday Exercises).
  • Look at two different techniques for playing with ‘xylophonic effect’ on your harp
  • Learn the tune from sheet music ‘Growing for the Future’
  • Look at some ‘free’ improvisation ideas that can be used to extend the music.
  • We learn the main features of ‘A Spring Tide of Hope’ by ear and I will also share the sheet music of the full piece with you.

Shelley Fairplay is a soloist, arranger, coach, ensemble leader and creator of the online Fairplay Harp School ( Her over 20 years of teaching experience is far reaching, ranging from one-to-one lessons from beginner to university level, ensemble teaching regularly and as a guest tutor for groups and harp festivals, whole class music teaching including specifically for harp and of course online teaching with twelve week courses START HARP and The Flourishing Harpist, six week courses, IMMERSION workshops and the Dynamic Harps Virtual Ensemble.

She is one of the very few harpists in the world to hold all the following music and teaching qualifications:

  • Masters in musc from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (MMus)
  • Degree in Music from Cardiff University (BMus)
  • Fully qualified school teacher (PGCE)
  • Teaching diploma from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
  • Grade 8 with Distinction on the harp