(Photos of previous non-virtual Jazz Harp Camps)
Virtual Jazz Harp Camp, live from Valeyres, Switzerland
New edition starting soon! (April 2022)
Five days of intense jazz harp study in a small group setting with Park Stickney
A small group of pedal harpists (maximum 8) will meet for 5 live online classes, over a period of around 3 weeks, for a unique and exciting program which will cover the most important theoretical aspects of jazz harp.
The five classes will each last 1.5 hours and students will have access to recordings of the classes immediately after each session.
The goal for this course is that by the end of the camp you’ll have explored all of the most important theoretical concepts of jazz harp, including the main ideas that I cover during my regular teaching in conservatories across Europe, and in the workshops and masterclasses that I give around the world.
Learning to play jazz on the harp, like anything else in music, is a lifelong project, and every harpist’s path is unique, as is the music they ultimately make. However, there’s a shared core material, topics which are necessary (or at least very useful) for anyone playing jazz harp.
While it takes more than 3 weeks to master these topics, and to be able to comfortably integrate them into your playing, it is possible to understand them and start to explore them relatively quickly. This class will give you an understanding of these core materials, from a harpist’s point of view.
Subjects will include:
Basic Chords / chord voicings
The importance of tritones and the number 12
Scales: Chromatic – Whole tone – Altered – Diminished
Polyrhythms, rhythmic training
Advanced pedal techniques
Practice suggestions and techniques
The fee for the camp is $375. This includes the 5 workshops (7.5 hours total), plus all course materials (handouts, class recordings, chord practice mp3s). Additionally, students have the possibility to take individual lessons at a 20% discount for 6 months following the start of the course, as well as a 20% discount on CDs and music at the harplab store during the 3 weeks of the class.
Best of all, each participant will receive the Official Virtual Jazz Harp Camp 2022 Patch!
(patches from previous Jazz Harp Camps)
The class will be held via Zoom. You must have the ability to access a Zoom meeting, either by computer, iPad or smartphone (computer or iPad is preferable). I will be using multiple cameras, so you’ll be able to see my feet, hands and face, as well as any handouts.
Time/date: The class will stream from Switzerland (GMT+2), and will probably take place in the afternoon in order to facilitate harpists in the US, Asia and Europe. However, a final time/day decision will be made once the class is formed, in discussion with the participants.
Language: The class will be in English, although French is also an option.
Payment: By PayPal at the time of registration.
To register, or if you have any question, send me a mail!
Can I just take one class? Do I have to take the whole series?
Sorry, it’s not possible to pick and choose. The course is designed as an intense overview/exploration, and each subject is linked to previous material. Having a different mix of students each time would complicate and slow down the group’s progress. However, if you don’t feel you’re ready for a 5 day course, perhaps a 1-1 lesson is a better solution for you.
Can’t I just find all this jazz theory information on the internet?
You can definitely find a lot of information online–and it’s a great idea to look around! However, this class is different in that most of the material is designed specifically around the needs and challenges of the pedal harpist. It also gives you a “curated” view of this material, from my specific point of view. I’ve chosen the theoretical topics which I consistently find to be the most useful/interesting/fun in my teaching.
What level harp/jazz should I have?
This course is probably for the advanced pedal harpist, someone who’s comfortable at the instrument, and plays at least at the undergraduate college/conservatoire/musikhochschule level. Jazz experience isn’t necessary. (Jazz enthusiasm, however, is essential!) If you have any questions, send me a mail.
What will all this jazz theory stuff do for me? What’s the point?
It will help you have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the music you play (and not just for jazz–for any genre of music). Being more aware of what’s happening “under the hood” harmonically can empower you, give you an idea of how the composer built the piece (this is also true if you’re the improvising “composer”). Harmonic awareness can aid in memorization, sharpen your listening skills, and can also give you more confidence in performance. Rather than just “following a recipe” when you play a piece, you’ll have a greater understanding of the role of each ingredient and spice involved. This can help you create your music in a more organic “flow” state and will allow you to react more fluidly to unexpected situations (!) in performance.
It will also remove some of the doubts of “should”–as in, “all that theory stuff that I should know but don’t.” You’ll discover that you already know some of these concepts, sometimes with different names. Often what’s missing in our theoretical knowledge is a framework to highlight the missing pieces, and techniques for applying these concepts in your music making. Finally, as much of this work involves active pedal use, you’ll probably have a completely different relationship with your harp pedals at the end of the course, a deeper degree of subtlety which will give you greater speed and clarity in your pedal approach.
I’m broke. Coronavirus cancelled all my concerts.
I understand (believe me, I understand!). This is definitely a challenging time to be a working musician. The irony of course is that this might also be exactly the right time to learn some new skills. If you’re having financial issues because of the current situation, but still would like to take the class please contact me so we can discuss possibilities.
To register, or if you have any question, send me a mail!