Monday, March 28, 2011


The summer harp experience bolsters and encourages creativity. At the end of it all, you've met incredible people, done amazing things and worked harder than you ever would on your own. You're hyper and exhausted and can't wait to do it all again.

L.A is lucky to have four such harp programs taking place this year - all being offered by four talented and enthusiastic local harpists. To find out more about the summer harp experience and these four very special programs - read on! 

March 10, 2011 -

Hey Megan!

Welcome back to dah Etats-Unis! Total culture warp, yeah? France is great, but sometimes it’s nice to be back home...

Susie Allen, Marcia Dickstein, Mary Dropkin and Allison Allport all have summer harp programs going on this year, and I thought our harp community would like to learn more about them, particularly since many take place in California!

So I shot them all an email, asking for a bit more information.

What I discovered is that there is more to the summer harp experience than can be expressed by reading a brochure or a web page; it sounds as if the instructors receive as much from the summer harp experience as its participants.

So Megan, the reason I am writing is to ask about your camp harp experience.

You're back home to teach at a harp program.  Why do you come every year, especially all the way from France?

What makes the summer harp experience different than say, going to weekly lessons or a university program?

Thanks Megan, and have fun with your family!

~ Heidi

March 12, 2011 -

Howdy Heidi!

Yes, WEIRD  to be back! But I've got to be honest... I couldn't wipe the grin off my face in Whole Foods yesterday. It just felt so good to be in there. Oh! And of course it's great to see my family! :-) 

About the summer harp experience, yes, I've been going to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan for a few years. This will be my fourth summer, and I hope to be a "life-r." There are faculty members that have been coming for 30 years!

I love it because it's such hard work and hard play - expending energy for the students during the day, feeling them give back just as much energy. Then, sharing inspiring times with faculty members during off hours (camp fires, meals, drives into town, 4th of July on the lake, etc).

I think it's so intense because it's mutually decided: everyone there has made the decision to dive deeper into their art and bring it all to the table. Good stuff!

One day at "camp" is like a week or sometimes months in "real life." Your art advances. And what I love about Blue Lake is that it's such a diverse range of art... dance, theater, visual arts, composition and music with faculty from all over the world. The combo makes an electric atmosphere...just writing this makes me excited to be there!!!! It's like a re-charge for the year.

...Last but not least: I love the smell of my luggage coming off baggage claim: Campfire. 

Ok, jet lag calls! Talk to you later, Heidi.

~ Megan

Below is information about four special harp programs offered by four special harpists.
Have you had a summer harp experience? Are you planning one for this year? We'd love to hear about it - please leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

(Special thanks to Megan Metheney-Lauzet for sharing her experiences at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.)


Mary Dropkin:
University of Redlands Summer Harp Camp
July 18 - 23, 2011
Click here for more information 

The focus with the University of Redlands Summer Harp Camp is to develop a deeper appreciation for music and enjoyment of the harp while working with a supportive group of teachers and clinicians who share the same passion for music and the harp. Open to lower intermediate and advanced level harp students.

"…Well, I suppose our big "drawing card" is the almost unbelievably reasonable price, and our clinicians, Lynne Aspnes, John Wickey and Jan Jennings, will all be heading  up to Vancouver right after our camp.  Also, harp technician Steve Moss will be regulating pedal and lever harps from Monday through Friday of that week *
It looks to be a fun-filled, hard-working week!!  ~ ~ Mary Dropkin

* Contact Mary to schedule an appointment with Steve Moss


Allison Allport:
Idyllwild Arts Summer Program
Harp Workshop: July 24 - August 6, 2011
Click here for more information

Idyllwild Arts is a beautiful and special place. The camp is situated in a dramatic mountain range and forms its own small town of creative students and dedicated faculty. After an intense two-week session, students leave the camp with new friends, expanded musical skills and a greater love for playing the harp. Open to harpists with at least one year harp experience.

"I went to Idyllwild Arts myself as a student, and it was there that I realized I wanted music in my life forever. It was also the first place that I truly connected with kids my own age. Back then, there was no harp teacher and no other harp students. I greatly enjoyed the experience, but sometimes lacked the specific help and camaraderie I needed. Now, as for the past nine summers, I am glad to be able to use my experience to bring even more power to the Idyllwild experience for young harpists". 
~ ~ Allison Allport


Susan Allen:
Summer Harp Course
July 9 - 23, 2011
Click here for more information

Susie Allen's now infamous summer harp course program travels in 2011 to France, very close to the chateaux of the Loire Valley and just outside the city of Tours. Courses will take place in a home on a river in a private park of 8 hectares and just steps from the village of Artannes-sur-Indre where all services can be found.  Beside harp studies, there will be swimming and canoe-ing. Open to all levels, ages and types of harps!

"…Let's see, Ellie and I will be teaching all aspects of playing, from arranging, to jazz, to classical, contemporary, interpretation, performance practice, and pedagogical studies. We will also have time for fun, after daily master classes, practice and lessons.

The harp course is unique among others because we follow the very ancient apprenticeship model; students live with teachers and spend every day in their presence, both with and without the harp. This way, anecdotes are shared, comments and discussions about our instrument take place, and general life practices of being a professional musician are followed.  The learning takes place at all times and in a multiplicity of ways, not only between teacher and student but between student and student." ~ ~ Susan Allen


Marcia Dickstein
Central Coast Harp Workshop
August 12 - 14, 2011
Click here for more information

The Central Coast Harp Workshop is a jam-packed musical weekend held on the beautiful west coast of Morro Bay, California. Time is spent on individual's needs; whether it is repertoire, interpretation, technique, stage presence or physical issues. Chamber music and ensemble playing is a special opportunity during this wonderful weekend of music. All levels and all types of harps are invited!

"For the past several years, I have run the Central Coast Harp Workshop as an opportunity to hone repertoire, discuss individual harp issues, learn about new repertoire and spend time with other musicians. As the workshop is only a couple of days, a lot of information is packed into a short time period!

The feeling is casual but the music is serious. We talk and play, eat and spend time in a beautiful place. The finale is a recital where every player is invited to perform, sometimes for their first time ever!"                                ~ ~ Marcia Dickstein



Megan Metheney-Lauzet
Susan Allen
2011 Summer Harp Course
Marcia Dickstein
Central Coast Harp Workshop
Mary Dropkin
University of Redlands Summer Harp Camp
Allison Allport
Idyllwild Arts Summer Program
Steve Moss Harp Service
2011 World Harp Congress

All photos used by permission.
"Harp, Sun & Fun" created from a United Airlines poster by Stanley Walter Galli, circa 1958.
"The Lakes After Arpeggios" created from a Canadian Pacific Railway poster, artist unknown, circa 1920s.


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