Laurie has been teaching harp for over 30 years. She enjoys working with absolute beginners as well as those with more musical experience on both lever and pedal harps. All are welcome - her students range in age from six years old to adults. It's never too late to learn! Lessons take place at her studio, Harps by the Sea, in downtown Santa Barbara.
Emphasis is on establishing a healthy hand position and technique so the student will be prepared to pursue any genre of music, be it traditional Celtic, classical or pop. Music theory is an integral part of studying harp and students are encouraged to learn to create their own arrangements. Laurie has been trained in teaching the Suzuki Method through Book 2, which is a successful path for young children in establishing confidence in ear training and good technique. Laurie's ultimate goal is that her students enjoy sharing their music in performance, either in a casual gathering of family and friends or in a more formal recital or concert setting.
Ensemble playing is encouraged and students are expected to prepare both solo and ensemble material for semi-annual recitals.
What's better than one harp? More harps! There's nothing like the sound of an orchestra made up entirely of harps. Student recitals include solos played by each student, as well as a few ensemble pieces. Playing with a group reinforces good musical skills, plus it's a lot of fun for the musicians and the audience.
Throughout the year, Laurie offers ensemble classes, specifically designed to support students in honing their ability to listen and count, as well as arrange their own music.
Even if you don't live in the Santa Barbara area you can still take lessons with Laurie via FaceTime or Skype. If you are a beginner it will be best for you to see a local teacher in person but if you have some experience and would like some coaching from Laurie on arranging your own music, lessons via computer or iPad can be scheduled.
Beginners often choose to rent a harp for several months before deciding how seriously they wish to pursue their studies and what type of instrument to purchase. Please inquire about the availability of rental harps.