Presentations and Programs
Celtic Harp on the Prairie
A selection of mostly American songs from around the mid-1800’s with historical background. Beautiful tunes from Stephen Foster, folk tunes like Red River Valley and Shenandoah, and more. Song Sheets provided.
For a listing of Mary’s published works for harp, see Melody’s Traditional Music (takes you off this page to the Melody’s page)
Workshop Presentations are listed below.
Mary teaches topics that are of keen interest to harpers and harpists everywhere. Handouts are provided with repertoire that can be utilized by students for their own performances. As a harp music publisher (Afghan Press Harp Music Publications), she is also available to edit your harp books, making them appealing to all harpists, with helpful fingerings and correct notation. Please note that Afghan Press is no longer accepting new artists due to the already heavy load, but we will work to make your book appealing to stores which retail harp music.
Keeping up with the tempo
You’ll learn to utilize the left hand to assist the melody, and to eliminate notes that won’t be missed so you can repeat numerous times without fatiguing the right hand. Tunes are mainly in the Celtic vein, with emphasis on Scottish tunes. Among the tunes I have used for this class are: Glenlivet, The Bride’s Reel, Blarney Pilgrim, Flowers of Edinburgh, Merrily Kiss the Quaker, Morrison’s Jig, Trippin’ up the Stairs, and Lannigan’s Ball among others. We will also go over a series of exercises to limber up the fingers, and to prevent straining muscles and tendons.
Ensembles on the Fly
Have you even been in a situation where your were called upon to play a song as an accompaniment when you practiced it as a solo? Or the other way around? In this workshop we will take some tunes and look at them from the solo point of view and from the ensemble point of view. Different treatments on solo playing will include accompaniments and harmonies. Different treatments on ensemble playing of the same tunes will include countermelodies and ostinatos. Handouts will be provided. This workshop may be helpful for those wishing to jam more comfortably.
Contrary to popular belief, improvisation takes more planning than you might think. In this workshop we will concentrate on three tunes: an American folk song, a hymn and a pop tune. Using composition techniques, we’ll create an improvisatory rendition which can be used in many ways and many situations.
You can then use the techniques learned in this workshop to create many more renditions of many more songs, and to begin to improvise.
Learn techniques to isolate the melody from a hymnal arrangement, make it imminently playable on the harp with easy harmonies and accompaniments, and add a flute countermelody.
The Amateur Small Ensemble
You have friends or relatives who play various instruments, and you’d like to put together a group (or they are urging you to join their group). You’re used to reading the notes on the page, but one member of your group plays by ear, and you’ve been asked to play for a friend’s wedding. What to do?? This workshop will guide you to choosing repertoire and organizing or arranging it for yourself and your recreational group. For the beginning to intermediate harpist, this class will help you feel more comfortable and give you confidence playing in a group.
A geographical approach to sight reading using BINGO techniques. If you’re fast at BINGO, you can be a great sightreader! Learn the techniques necessary to be a good sight reader. See the youtube at the bottom (scroll down.)
An in-depth discussion with handouts on how to approach music publishing, not from the copyright issue, but from music theory to notation to plastic coils to shipping. Longer description: Business of Music Publishing | Type: Lecture| Level: Any
Mary Radspinner, co-owner of Afghan Press and Melody’s Traditional Music, will talk about what it takes to create and publish your own music. She’ll cover the many situations that come up during the process of writing, arranging and publishing your own or others’ harp music. Here are just some of the topics she’ll cover in this fast-paced 90-minute workshop: creating harp-able arrangements, desktop publishing and music editing software, proofreading, what you do after the arrangements are done, cover and binding considerations, PDF music, pricing and sending samples. She’ll answer what Net 30 is and much more.
Self Connection and Balance with the Harp
Using seven beautiful melodies, we will explore connection and gratitude. By creating balance and self connection as a performer/player, we can better connect with our audience for a more meaningful experience. Harps not required
The Breath of Music; Harp Meditations for the Player
Wear loose clothing and be prepared to do some deep breathing, a little singing and maybe a few passive exercises on the floor. We will play short passages for each other as well as for ourselves throughout the workshop, emphasizing breathing and phrasing. Bring your harp, but not your music stand.
Business of Harping: become an entrepreneur | Type: Lecture| Level: Any
Join Mary, co-owner of Afghan Press and Melody’s Traditional Music, for a lively give-and-take discussion on thinking ‘outside the soundbox’ on the possibilities and earning potential in being a career harpist or harpist supporter. Join the discussion about the many contributions you can make to the harp world in any capacity, at any level. Explore what else you can do besides playing weddings.