The Flourishing Harpist – 19th September 2021


The Flourishing Harpist

A NEW course for harpists looking to enhance technique, expand knowledge and develop effective practice skills. Do you get frustrated with any aspect of your harp playing? This course is designed specifically for adults who already play the harp and are looking to trouble shoot, develop, and push their harp skills to the next level.



The Flourishing Harpist

A NEW course for harpists looking to enhance technique, expand knowledge and develop effective practice skills. With a vast content this course creates a library of ideas you will be able to refer to for ever more!

Do you get frustrated with any aspect of your harp playing? This course is designed specifically for adults who already play the harp and are looking to trouble shoot, develop, and push their harp skills to the next level.

Following the success of Shelley Fairplay’s international START HARP online method, which has been teaching harp students across the world since 2016, she is delighted to announce a  new 12-week online course “The Flourishing Harpist”. This course will be running for the fifth time starting on the 19th September 2021. The below video was recorded in April 2020, to see a very excitable video of me talking about the course the day I finished it you can see the post on my Facebook page >>HERE<<.

Topics have been carefully selected by Shelley after observing and listening to the challenges adult learners are frequently faced with and provides practical, achievable strategies and information in areas in which students would like extra assistance.

Each week we will cover a focus topic, along with various activities and a specific piece enabling us to delve into and practice the skill discussed. Pieces written specifically for the course cover a diverse variety of styles and feel, ranging from Celtic, classical, blues, lullaby, love song and more.

The tuition will be delivered via video lessons, live Q & A, live student masterclasses and online “out of hours” support via closed Facebook group and email. Elements of music reading, playing by ear and improvising will all covered during the course.

The course materials can be accessed online at whatever time of the day suits the students’ lifestyle. The content is delivered in the form of video tutorials, reading materials and play along practice tracks. It is also optional for students to play live during the 6 online masterclasses and receive feedback from teacher Shelley alongside attending 6 live Q&A webinars, where questions can be asked and answered live during the session. The live sessions are recorded so if students are unable to attend, they can be replayed at a students’ leisure. All students will be given access to a closed Facebook group where alongside Shelley all students from her online courses can interact to share ideas, support each other through challenges and celebrate successes.

Course Delivered Via:

  • Twelve weeks of weekly video tuition (90 to 120-minutes each week) delivered to you via online learning patform Ruzuku.
  • Six 60-minute live Q & A live sessions
  • Six 90-minute live group masterclass sessions, join us online with your harp, webcam and receive live coaching and feedback with fellow classmates.
  • “Out of Hours” assistance via closed Facebook group for course members only

The Focus Topics:

Simple As 123(4!) – How to work out your own fingering in a new piece

Know Your Shapes – Work on confident placing to aid playing without hesitation 

Metronome Magic – Counting techniques and working well with a metronome

What On The Harp Is That? – Looking at a wide range of mysterious topics that come up in harp playing, including unusual techniques, harp specific symbols on music and notational challenges surrounding lever and pedal markings.

Words, Words, Words – Rhythms made easy using simple word tricks; it really works!

Technically Possible?  – Using ideas covered in the START HARP ‘Foundation Techniques’ we remind ourselves of how we would like our bodies, hands, fingers and brain to work together to make beautiful music.

Couch to 5K? – Ideas and exercises to work on agility, flow and speed in our playing.

Duo and Ensemble – Looking at the joys and pitfalls of playing and rehearsing with other musicians, what can you do to help a rehearsal run well? How can you prepare? What do you need to know before you start?

Sound and Silence –  In this we look at the huge variety of damping techniques and discuss ways to limit buzzes in our playing.

You CAN Do It – Looking at the art of breaking pieces down to make anything easy.

It Takes Two to Tango – The hands together challenge, where we look at ways to approach getting the left hand and right hand to play well together. 

Is Twenty Plenty? – Effective practice skills, we will look at ideas on how, when, what, where and why!


This course will begin on the 19th September 2021, it will be the fourth run of the course. You will have 12 months to access all the materials.

The course will be £495 at full price, it is currently discounted to £395.


…being able to access tuition at any time of the day or night to suit you.
…being supported by an online community of like-minded course mates.
…being able to repeat lessons as many times as you need at your own pace.
…being able to learn to play the harp in the comfort of your own home.
…sitting down at your harp, playing your favourite tune and someone telling you it’s beautiful.
…joining a course where you can sound wonderful from day one.


Q: What are the benefits of learning online?

A: You will have the opportunity to work at your own pace, replay any learning materials over and over until you understand the lesson and fit your learning and practice sessions in around your daily life at a time that suits you.

Q: Will you need your own harp and equipment?

A: You will need to have access to a harp, a computer with internet access and, for homework submission, a way of making videos (e.g. by using your phone, internal computer camera, other filming devices).

Q: What will be provided?

A: All course materials will be provided online, you will be able to download and print course handouts to keep and you will have access to the online classroom for a minimum of 12 months after the course opens.

Q: Who is Harpist Shelley Fairplay?

Shelley Fairplay is a performer and teacher with over 20 years experience teaching harp, harp ensembles and workshops for all ages.  She’s also the founder of ‘Harpist for a Day’, a program that gives non-harpists the opportunity to go from first note to concert performer in a single day. Her successful concert series ‘The Three Strands: Passion, Sorrow and Joy’ was premiered in the UK in 2014, and her CD of the same name was released in 2015. Her 2016 concert series ‘HarpOSphere,’ like all her concerts, featured her own original works along with her arrangements of popular, classic and traditional tunes.  She has performed throughout the UK, and appeared in Europe and the U.S. as a soloist and alongside internationally renowned harpists including electric jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant. Her Dynamic Harps Ensemble, features both an adult and children’s group, filled with harpists who enjoy learning and performing music from films, pop, shows, classical, Jazz and celtic genres. Shelley Fairplay has University and music college qualifications (Degree and Masters in music), teaching diploma from ABRSM and she is a fully qualified school classroom teacher with over 10 years of class and workshop teaching experience.