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 and it is her vision to raise up a new generation of harpists and to contribute to the revival of Ireland’s great harp tradition here on the north coast of Ireland. Katy is committed to making harp music part of the community 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.
Being a classically trained musician in addition to playing and teaching traditional music, Katy recognises the importance of musical literacy in the development of independent musicians. In addition to teaching harp by ear, Katy has also recently published the first in a series of books to complement her teaching and to support learners on their musical journeys. Volume 1 in the series, ‘Traditional Irish Music for Small Harps: Arrangements for 20 and 26 strings’ is available now and is suitable for beginner-lower intermediate level harpers.
Pupils of Causeway Harp School have achieved very high standards in the London College of Music exams in Irish Traditional Music, with all pupils achieving high Merits and Distinctions. Pupils also have opportunities to perform regularly in the community and further afield.