teaching

Workshop musicale "Introduzione alla musica Nordica" con Erik Ask-Upmark, per tutti gli strumenti.

Prima di tutto: Mi dispiace, che il mio italiano e orribile. Pertanto, il corso dovrà essere in inglese (con qualche parola in italiano!) Spero sia accettabile! E adesso... I am very excited to give my first-ever proper workshop in Italy! On October 31 at the "Capodanno Celtico" in Busto Arsizio, I will host an introduction to Nordic Music. It will take the form of two one-hour workshops, the first for beginners (if Nordic music is entirely new to you) at 15:00 and the second for advanced players (who already have come across some Nordic music) at 16:30. The cost for the workshop is 20 € and can be paid directly to me then. I will play the harp but all instruments are welcome to the workshop, hopefully we can make a spontaneous folk orchestra! We will play the same tunes in both workshops, namely "Björnlåten" (La canzone dell'orso) (recording here) and the polska song "Hur du vänder dig, så laga att du har en trogen vän" ("comunque ti giri, assicurati di avere un amico fedele!") - recording here. I also include a bonus tune, a Schottis ("danza scozzese") (recording here) in case we have time for it. You can find them all and even some extra tunes below here. Ci vediamo il 31 ottobre!!


One of the best things about making my living as a musician is giving workshops, meeting amazing new people and sharing some of my personal favorite tunes! Here, you can find sheet music and recordings to help you study some of this material. Further down on the page you can read more about the different types of workshops that I offer. 

I also have the sheet music books the Nordic Harp Book 1 & 2 for sale, either as PDF (visit Sylvia Woods to purchase and download) or e-mail me if you prefer a "real" copy!

Tholson Rosenberg Björnlåten Herr Mannelig
Hur du vänder dig Ingen har såna hästar Jungfrun hon växer Var det du eller...
  Harp Book #1 Harp Book #2   
   

 Suggested workshops

I offer many differently themed workshops and always adapt what and how I teach to the students' levels and interests. Here are some suggestions but I'd be happy to come up with more ideas if you're looking for something special!

Nordic music on the celtic harp

Have you ever tried to play Nordic music on the harp? This workshop is for intermediate to advanced players who are “nordi-curious” – that is, who want to dip their feet into a new, vast and exciting repertoire. Here you get a chance to learn the “Scandinavian secrets” from a genuine Swedish dance musician and harpist. The class will focus on learning tunes, but also what makes Swedish folk music unique - such as scales, rhythmic grooves, accompaniment, ornamentation and more.

Nordic Harp Music – building a repertoire

This workshop is for you who have already played a bit of Nordic/Scandinavian music and would like to build and expand on previous experiences. You will learn tunes by ear (but sheet music will be available) and we will focus on different types of polskas and other types of tunes, looking especially at how to achieve a truly danceable rhythm – yes, the harp is an excellent instrument for dance music! – and work a lot with the left hand.

Arranging tunes, plus: erik’s "Silly Harp Tricks"™

Here, you will learn many different ideas and tricks that you can use (on all kinds of music – not only Nordic!) when coming up with your own arrangements. You will first learn an easy melody by ear, and we’ll use that to build a complete arrangement with accompaniment, ornaments, variations, left hand technique, and so on. Also, Erik will show you some patented “party tricks” he has come up with over the years – for example how to extend the range of your harp, how to change the sound of the instrument, how to use strumming and vibrato, how to use the levers in cool ways – and much more…

"Fun With Scales" in nordic folk music

Yes, yes, I know - playing scales sound about as inviting as root canal work. But it doesn't have to be! Erik will show you how to easily set your harp in a specific scale, or "key", or "mode" - you will also learn the difference between these terms - and learn how to instantly get that "Nordic" sound in your playing! You’ll learn different modes from different regions and what separates them – and experience the totally different flavours they each create. We will also try out some improvisation in the Nordic style!

medieval music
(for all harps
)

In this workshop, we will take a look at European music from the 13th to 15th centuries and how to adapt it to the harp. Historical harps are welcome but not necessary – the tunes will work equally well on all types of harps! Sources may include the Spanish song collections Cantigas de Santa Maria and Llibre Vermell, as well as music of the troubadours and maybe even a piece or two from the Nordic countries. Apart from playing the tunes, we’ll look at accompaniment and arrangement possibilities and briefly discuss the pitfalls of recreating medieval music in the first place.

Spice up your playing - ornaments, trills & frills

In Swedish music there is a saying that a tune without any decorations is like a Christmas tree without its ornaments! In this workshop Erik shows you how to liven up your playing by adding various types of traditonal-style ornaments. They are not limited to Nordic music of course – you will learn good general-purpose ornamentation that fits all kinds of music on the harp as well as some specific tricks for Celtic and Nordic music.