World Nyckelharpa Day

Hello!
I am really excited to announce that we have World Nyckelharpa Day next year (and every year after we hope!). It's a really simple concept - this is an opportunity for all nyckelharpa players around the world to go out onto the streets, into concerts or online and shout about the nyckelharpa from the rooftops! So it's not one or two major concerts - it's the knock-on-effect of as many people as possible everywhere to get this wonderful instrument trending. We're going to do this with the hashtag #worldnyckelharpaday

There are more details on the website World Nyckelharpa Day.  Different social media outlets have been set up. Follow and Join in!

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Easy Fundraising for Halsway Manor

Hello!
We do a lot of workshops at Halsway Manor and they are fundraising to be able to complete some expansion building works. When this is done it will make a very large difference to the size of the courses we can run. They have signed up with Easy Fundraising, which is a really simple easy way to help raise funds for Halsway Manor without it costing you a penny! All you have to do is sign up and then assign Halsway Manor as your recipient and every time you buy something by clicking through from Easy Fundraising, that retailer makes a donation. Simples! Click the link have a look around and sign up and help Halsway expand!!
:))
Vicki

 

 

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Harpas at Halsway Nyckelharpa Festival 2019

Hello!
The festival weekends just keep getting better and better. David and Daniel were two amazing players! We're still yet to reach the magical number of 50 players together - but there's no rush... maybe next year! We had several makers over this year from the continent. Aurelie Georges, bow maker. Annette Osann, nyckelharpa maker, Tino Mixan, bow maker and of course the amazing Olle Plahn, instrument maker.

Next year the weekend is a week later - 18th - 20th September 2020. It means that for one year there is no clash with Bromyard Folk Festival (where we hope to be) and also Medieval Music in the Dales. We have not, as yet, made any plans for who we plan to have as the tutors. This is partly due to uncertainty as to what is going to happen with visas for visiting tutors. It is unlikely that we can afford two sets of visas for two tutors. We are also likely to see an increase of 20% on all instruments from the EU due to import duty. Although this site tries to be apolitical, due to the very collaborative nature of the instrument and its global community, these are very unsettling and sad times.

So let's look to a future where the nyckelharpa does in fact take over the world. It has, as we speak already started. World Nyckelharpa Day is set to be on 26th April next year. You'll be hearing plenty about this as the months go on! I am running lots and lots of beginner classes all over the place: Essex, Lancaster, Hertfordshire, Northumberland, Scotland and of course Somerset - so you have no excuse not to come along and have a go! More about both of those things later!
:))
Vicki

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Advanced Nyckelharpas at Halsway 2019

Hello!
The week went by in a complete flash! It makes me wonder how we fit everything in to a weekend event when the weeks go by so fast. This year we built upon the nyckelrhythmics, this is building up quite nicely now! (You'll have to come on a course to find out more about them, but sufficed to say it usually involves props!)

The week was shared with Paul Hutchinson who was exploring music from old manuscripts, the favourite of which being The Maniac. It certainly was a maniacal tune that's for sure! We attempted it and made for a great exercise in working in A major. For me the one of the highlights was being able to bring my newly acquired silverbasharpa and teaching tunes on that. It's such a huge rich sound with all the strings thrumming away that everyone will want one!

Next year we have moved the dates of the advanced week, to March. This means that logistically we will be sharing the Manor with Jonny Dyer doing Scandinavian Accordion tunes and also Emmanuel Pariselle building melodeons. It's going to be epic, so sign up now! Spaces are limited!
:))
Vicki

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Beginners/Intermediate Weekend March 2019

Hello!
Another amazing weekend! 22 of us, including participants from Belgium and a tutor from Canada. Lots of new people taking up the nyckelharpa. I decided to run my nyckelrhythmics, develop the cups and bring back into play a harpafour. I had so much fun and the weekend was gone in a flash!

The polska cups is something I used to help develop dexterity, timing and working together. What makes this version special is that it is a polska. Watch the video to see it in action. If you fancy learning it, full instructions are on the blog site. Click here!

So now it's full steam ahead on lesson planning for June and September.  There is still a space left for the advanced course in June. September is filling fast and we'll soon be into camping/dorm rooms only.  In the mean time here are some photographs from last weekend...
See you soon!
:))
Vicki

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Happy Christmas! – Christmas Tune PDF

Hello!
I'm typing this from the road. It's been a long excellent month and three gigs left to go before we get to take a break for a couple of days. We found ourselves in the very pretty grotto at Warwick Castle last week and so I sat down and filmed a bunch of Christmas carols, so from tomorrow I'm going to release one video a day until Christmas. Add that to the tunes I've shared out over the last few years it's starting to build into a nice little collection. So I've put them all into a pdf in order of difficulty for you to download and play. Of course you won't had had all the videos until Christmas day - but that means you have a new carol every day between now and then! So CLICK HERE for the pdf!
Enjoy and Happy Christmas!
:))
Vicki
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List of Carols in order of Difficulty
14.12.18 - Good King Wenceslas
01.12.17 - The Holly and the Ivy
22.12.18 - Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
25.12.15 - Nu Tändas Tusen Juleljus
22.12.17 - När Juldagsmorgon Glimmar
02.12.16 - Nu Är Det Jul Igen
09.12.16 - Mary Free
15.12.17 - Down in Yon Forest
16.12.16 - On Christmas Night - Sussex Carol
07.12.18  - Jingle Bells
23.12.16 - Jul, Jul Strålande Jul
08.12.17 - Gläns Över Sjö och Strand
21.12.18 - I Saw Three Ships
24.12.18 - In Dulci Jubilo
23.12.18 - Deck the Hall
25.12.18 - Ding Dong Merrily on High


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Badges!!

Hello!
We have badges. Much like I decided I really wanted wristbands at Halsway I got it into my head that I really wanted to make badges. I also knew that I wanted a nyckelharpa design, but I'm quite rubbish at drawing! So when the wonderful Daria Kulesh included a little Siennaharpa as part of our new album cover (you'll have to wait for the rest of the cover!) I knew that, that little angel was going to make a perfect little 25mm button badge. So at the moment we have two designs. The little angel by Daria and also the moraharpa heart sound hole. I've set them up with their own page where you too can be the proud owner of a badge and sport it with pride.
CLICK HERE to go to the badge page and order yours!
:))
Vicki
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Tutors Revealed for Harpas at Halsway September 2019

Hello all!
It is now my great pleasure to announce the tutors for September 2019! As we all know (or if you didn't, then you do now!) the nyckelharpa is ultimately descended from the mighty kontrabasharpa. This year I can reveal we have two amazing nyckelharpa players who specialise in kontrabasharpa. The might Daniel Pettersson and the amazing David Eriksson. Don't take my word for it - watch these two youtube playlists of them playing and get on the phone and book your place at Halsway Manor right now! (If you're a total beginner on the nyckelharpa - get yourself booked onto the March weekend to be able to come to September.)
Click Here for more details.
See you there!
:))
Vicki
Phone Viv at Halsway Manor to book your place: +44 1984 618274
(Halsway haven't as of time of writing put the event on their website yet - but bookings are open)

About Daniel Pettersson - (Sweden)

Daniel Pettersson comes from Västerbotten, a northern region of Sweden. Having grown up in the world of traditional music, he is now recognized as a very fine interpreter and innovator of northern repertoire. Daniel studied at the Eric Sahlström institute and at the "folkhögskola" in Malung. He gives concerts and teaches throughout Sweden and abroad. He has featured on several recordings and collaborated with musicians of different styles. Daniel was awarded the title of "nyckelharpa world champion" in the year of 2000. In 2014 he became the first to earn the title of Riksspelman, interpreting the Västerbottnian repertoire on the kontrabasharpa (a 1800-century-style Nyckelharpa).

About David Eriksson - (Sweden)

David comes from Västerbotten in the north of Sweden but now lives in the north part of Uppland. He is a member of several bands and constellations and he frequently appears as a guest artist in many different kinds of bands and genres. He is a professional nyckelharpa player and he studied at Eric Sahlström Institute for nyckelharpa, and continued with a Bachelor’s degree and pedagogy degree at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He is a “Riksspelman”, has won the Swedish championship in older traditional nyckelharpas, and has received several other scholarships and awards. 2016, he won the worldchampionship on the kontrabasharpa. Beside the bands, he works as a teacher, composer, writer and a freelance musician and he is also a nyckelharpa maker. More at: www.massivet.nu and www.lyy.se

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2019 here we come!

Hello!
It's been an awesome 2018 for the nyckelharpa. Lots of lovely new players. So I'm now ramping up to start all over again in 2019!

We kick off the year in January with a complete beginners day at Benslow Music Trust in Hitchin in Hertfordshire on Saturday 12th January. Spaces are limited to the number of instruments I have (as of today I'm not sure how many spaces are left - I'll update this entry when I find out!

In February I'm travelling up to Morpeth in Northumberland where I'll be running two days of workshops. The format isn't 100% set yet - but at the moment it's looking complete beginners on Saturday 9th February and more advanced on Sunday 10th. Once I know who is interested I'll devise a differentiated plan so that everyone gets the most out of the two days.

In March I'm back at Halsway Manor for the beginners/intermediate weekend. Instruments are still available for this. Once we have more people signed up I'll be able to book in a second tutor. So get booking!! The earlier the better!

In June I'm running another advanced weekday course. This year I included musicianship skills, with Dalcroze Eurythmics inspired sessions and the infamous cups routine. I'll be moving both these forwards and have already started compiling new and cooler ideas.

September sees us back at Halsway Manor. We've only just had this years festival weekend, so I'm taking a small break before booking tutors for the weekend. Watch this space!

I'll be putting in smaller one day workshops here in Essex through the year, so keep checking back. If you have four friends that would like a workshop day it is possible to book one at your house. So get in touch!
:))
Vicki

12.01.19 - Benslow Music Trust Complete Beginners Day, Hitchin
09.02.19 - Beginners Workshop in Morpeth, Northumberland
Instruments are available to borrow
10.02.19 - More Advanced Workshop in Morpeth Northumberland
22.03.19 -  Halsway Manor - Beginners and Less Confident players weekend
Instruments are available to borrow
03-07.06.19  - Halsway Manor - More Advanced  Players four day course
06-08.09.19 - Halsway Manor Full Nyckelharpa Festival Weekend

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Harpas at Halsway Nyckelharpa Festival 2018


Hello!
We've just come back from another amazing weekend at Halsway Manor. Another 45 nyckelharpa players. We had the amazing Torbjörn Näsbom and Josefina  Paulsson tutoring this year and they gave a formidable concert on the Saturday night. But it wasn't without issue. Watch the video to see why we needed to call out Barnaby from Midsummer Murders!

I also gave some workshop sessions on different instruments, the 1408 Siennaharpa, the 1526 Moraharpa and the kontrabasharpa. Watch out for more of these instruments we're going to be increasing in number very quickly I think!

Bookings have now opened on all three courses next year. If you're after that elusive single ensuite room then best get on the phone to Viv at Halsway straight away! If you want to borrow a nyckelharpa in March - get your request in to me right away!!

Next year there won't be a class for people who have never played before in September - so get yourself along to March or one of my other dates!
:))
Vicki
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The Year of the Scaffolding

Hello!
I've just come home from an amazing week at Halsway Manor. This is the 11th course that I've run at this amazing place and every time I come I fall more and more in love with it. The idea of this particular course was to give people something to really get their teeth into. A week of instrument learning - yes, we did tunes, but the idea was for me to really teach the instrument and help people get the best out of it.

This was a week course to allow us to really get down
to important technique and not turn everyone's brain to mush! The group size was kept small so that I could give everyone more attention and give some 1-2-1 lessons. We had time to work on musicianship skills, go for an evening trip out to the amazing Pebbles Tavern in Watchet and even go up into the Quantocks to blow the cobwebs away.

It felt good to be putting together some hefty teaching materials and I've got some good ideas of how to take them forwards to next year's advanced course. The date is already decided. 3rd - 7th June 2019.

Numbers will be limited to 10 again, so if you'd like to come get your name down on my list now! I suspect there may be a waiting list....

In between now and then though we have the full festival weekend in September and the next beginners/intermediate next March! We've got another 3 spaces to fill on the September course before I declare it full, so get in touch now!!
Hope to see you soon!
:))
Vicki
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Advanced Nyckelharpa Course at Halsway

Hello!
In three days time I will be at Halsway Manor again, this time teaching a more advanced nyckelharpa course. This week is adding the third stage of nyckelharpa tuition - the advanced people. I've tried to make this a real instrument learning course, something to really give my instrument music teaching skills a good workout.

I've plotted and planned and scheduled and worked quite hard to create something a little bit different. Sometimes learning music isn't about the musical instrument itself so a lot of my development time has been devising different ways of teaching.

We'll see what happens - but as long as everyone comes out the other side being better musicians and able to get around their instrument better, then my job will be done! See you all on the other side!
:))
Vicki

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GDPR

Hello!
There's been a lot of talk about GDPR recently and everyone making sure they're compliant. So I decided it was time to do something a little more official with my mailing list! So far I've only used a little piece of software that I can use to email a lot of people all at once, which is great for contacting all the people coming to a particular course, but to do the main mailings out to advertise weekends I've decided to make it more official and use mail chimp. So if you'd like to be emailed about the Halsway courses - sign up now.
:))
Vicki

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#tunefriday and Youtube

Hello all!
For more than two years now I've been building up a bank of teaching videos, loose grouped together with hashtag - #tunefriday. They all uploaded to my Nyckelharpa youtube channel and then teaching pages made at my Nyckelharpa Effect in blogger.

These videos take quite a lot of time to put together, especially the ones where I play as an ensemble. So I choose to monetise the videos with adsense. To be honest the ads never really brought in much money, I've had some donations, I think the tally at the moment comes out that I have earned around £1 per video, not bad I suppose, but they all take between 1 - 6 hours to make depending on the complexity of the video. I love making these videos and will continue to make them.

Youtube are just about to change the rules for being eligible to monetise the videos which means I will have to have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of listen time in the last 365 days. Read all about it on the BBC website - click here.

This is tough. At the time of writing I have around 420 subscribers (Up around 100 on last week due to some frantic social networking!) and around 1000 hours of listen time. I could just give up on the adverts and maybe spend less time on the complicated videos. I could decide to really go for it and reach the new criteria. I could ask for more donations. I'm quite stuck. I love making these videos and I believe they make a difference in bringing the nyckelharpa to an ever wider audience.

So - if you're reading this and you like my videos. Help me not to have to make a choice. Definitely subscribe and if you feel inspired and that these videos have helped you. Do think about donating so I can keep making the really cool multi-layered videos like the ones below.
:))
Vicki
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Happy New Year!

Hello!
Happy New Year to all 'harpa players everywhere! The countdown is set to the first Halsway course of the year. The original plan was only to have one class in March - but just like last year the signups went nuts! So I've asked Ella again to be my second tutor for the weekend. I've been tasked with amassing an amazing ten instruments. So hopefully there will be a whole heap of new harpa players by the end of the weekend!
It's going to be an exciting nyckelharpa time at Halsway this year with three different courses!

In March we have the Beginners and Less Confident players weekend - there are three spaces left if you have your own instrument for intermediates.
In June we have the course for more advanced players. This is a weekday course and the numbers are limited. This is because the teaching will be based around each participant. I'm really excited to be able to be able to focus on the advanced teaching for a few days!
In September we have the full weekend for everyone. Josefina Paulson and Torbjörn Näsbom are the two Swedish tutors and they are amazing! Because of the waiting list for beginners in March - a beginners class in September is about to be opened too.
Very exciting times!

In the meantime it's full steam ahead with lots of different projects. We released a new album in November full to the brim of nyckelharpa and viola d'amore, have a listen! Then visit the Purcell's Polyphonic Party website!
🙂
Vicki

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