I am delighted to now be in a position to offer bespoke group workshop experiences to groups, families and visitors to the Causeway Coast, offering an ‘Introduction to the Irish Harp’. We are located just a short walk away from the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giants’ Causeway. We are blessed to have such a wealth of beautiful scenery, coastline, stunning sandy beaches and dramatic cliff walks around us here in Portballintrae, but when it rains (as it often does), it’s nice to just enjoy the views from indoors!
I have teamed up with the inspiring creative hub, The Designerie, Bushmills, to create a workshop experience for families and groups to get together for an ‘Introduction to the Irish Harp’. We will learn about the history of the Irish Harp as part of Ireland’s cultural heritage, the background of the music we play, basic harping technique and we will, of course, learn to play a traditional Irish tune.
The Designerie hosts the work of local artists and crafters, including some of the artists themselves, and offers a beautifully creative and inspiring space in which to hold our workshops.
To my delight, there is also an artisan coffee corner, hosted by Graham of Causeway Coffee! Naturally, we will have a break for coffee and scones during our workshop and sample some of Graham’s speciality coffee!
Irish Harping has recently been awarded UNESCO status as an intangible cultural heritage, recognising the instrument’s unique place in Irish music and cultural life. The harp is Ireland’s national symbol and has been played in Ireland for more than 1000 years. This is a super opportunity to have a go at playing the harp yourself and learn to play a traditional Irish tune.
I play a handmade Irish Harp by Mervyn Waugh of Turmennan Harps, County Down, Northern Ireland. This is a stunning heritage instrument with a beautifully warm and resonant tone. Workshop participants play small 20 string lap harps, which sound so sweet and are lightweight, portable and sit on the lap comfortably.