Causeway Harp School is based in Portballintrae on the North Coast of Ireland and is led by highly experienced and qualified teacher, Katy Bustard. Educated at Queen’s University (BA, MSc) and the University of Exeter (PGCE), Katy has worked as a teacher for 16 years in classroom, one-to-one and group settings. Katy has also achieved dipLCM and ALCM diplomas from the London College of Music in Pianoforte Performance and Irish Traditional Harp Performance. It is her vision to connect her community with the unique heritage of the Irish harp and to make learning this beautiful instrument more accessible.
Although Katy is a classically trained musician, she enjoys teaching harp in the traditional Irish aural style. This means pupils need not have experience of reading musical notation as tunes are learnt by ear. This method of teaching enables learners to begin building a repertoire of tunes from the very beginning and pupils are coached in developing their own individual playing style.
Katy especially enjoys introducing adult players to the Irish harp and hosts a weekly harp club for beginner – intermediate players in the picturesque seaside village of Portballintrae on the north coast of Ireland.
This is a wonderful opportunity for adults to pursue what has often been a lifelong dream, whilst also meeting new people and making friends. The harp is a hugely rewarding instrument to take up in later life due to its unique soothing tone and beautiful sound, even in the hands of a beginner. There is nothing quite like getting together with friends to play ancient music on the harp, whilst enjoying a view of the wild Atlantic Ocean!
Katy is also the harp tutor at Dunseverick Primary School in County Antrim. Thanks to generous funding from the Arts Council Of Northern Ireland, the pupils here have access to a set of school harps for their lessons and performances. Pupils here are also part of a school harp ensemble who perform regularly for the school and wider community.
Based on her work with beginner harp players, often on small harps, Katy has recently published her first book of tunes for 20 and 26 string harps. You can read more about the book here. Beautiful paperback copies and PDF downloads are available on the shop page.