Hands on Harp Registration
A workshop for would-be and more experienced harpers.
Tutor: Jan Couchman
Jan Couchman was the founding member of the successful Central Coast group, Fellowship of the Strings. She was also the founding member of the award-winning group, Seltic Sirens. Performing and teaching the since 2002, Jan has a life-long passion for music. Jan has lectured in creative and expressive arts at several Sydney tertiary institutions, and also has a background in children's education.
As a both a teacher and performer, Jan counts workshops as one of her most favourite experiences, and truly looks forward to sharing her harping wisdom with one and all!
No previous musical experience is necessary for this workshop - all comers as welcome!
When you register please indicate how much experience you have had so that Jan can bring material to suit different abilities.
Interview with Jan Couchman
What is the difference between a leaver harp and other kinds?
A concert harp is usually bigger with 47 strings and has seven foot peddles, to make key changes, whereas the leaver or Celtic harp can be much smaller and can range in size from 16 strings to 45 strings. It uses hand drawn leavers to make the key changes. You can have leavers on every string.
I understand that you own many harps.
I have about 10 harps and they are all different. I suffer from a newly identified disease called ‘harp acquisition disorder’. I have harps for all occasions, many traditional wooden harps plus an aluminium harp and a carbon fibre harp. All my harps are made by Australian luthiers.
Where did you do your later musical education?
Studied with Ulpia Erdos, who was harpist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
What has been your most memorable musical experience?
Playing a concert down a gold mine in Victoria. There was a festival in Victoria and we played wearing hard hats, in the freezing cold down inside a disused gold mine. My hands were so cold I could hardly play. Not my most illustrious musical experience but certainly my most memorable one.
What makes you passionate about music in your life?
Music moves the spirit, the body and the emotions. In my early I was a dancer and I call playing the harp ‘the small dance’ as it is so physical. How your body connects with the strings is really what changes the sound of the strings.
What other passions or hobbies inspire you?
Bella my cat is my next passion in line. Teaching is a great passion. I love seeing people open up to their own possibilities of expesssion and discover their potential. Helping them become confident is what really excites me.