Thanks for dropping by!
As you will see from my website, I'm passionate about anything to do with harps, and I have been since I first saw one at age ten, and I said to my mum ' that's what I want to do!'
As a teacher, it's my goal to help develop a life long love of music, and that is different for every single student, and every harpist who joins one of my ensembles. We don't all have to follow the same path - some learn to play the harp to tick off exam based goals, while others do it because they 'have always wanted to play' and some do it because their mum thought they should. Lessons should be informative, practical, varied and have an element of interest and fun. I like my students to gain an understanding about the history of music, and understand the theory of music at the level they are working at.
Becoming successful as a harpist takes dedication, diligence and perservance - there ain't no magic fairy dust here, honey!
I'm a big believer that everyone should join an ensemble. The fun really starts when you bring your love of music and share it with other musicians. I like to start people in ensembles early - after a few months of getting to know the instrument, so they can share the fun sooner!
As a composer and arranger, I'm passionate about creating finger friendly and interesting music, and making plenty of music available to harpists of all levels. I like to gently push the boundaries with my arrangements and my students, popping in little surprises occasionally - just to keep things interesting for the harpist, and for me, the arranger.
My philosophy on learning and playing the harp comes from a fairly isolated harp journey as a teenager - there weren't harp events to attend, there was no internet, YouTube or online learning, and my lessons were a two hour drive each way - I had a dedicated mum, and I was so keen that the distance was never an issue for me.
As a result, I now organise and plan events which I would love to be a student, audience member or attendee at myself. My students who are fully involved and engaged in the extra events I create (outside of lessons) are the same ones who are making great progress, are in love with music (for life) and support and strengthen our fabulous harp community.
As a child I had lessons in piano, guitar, voice and later, as a young teenager, I started to learn to play the harp. I studied tertiary music obtaining a Bachelor of Music (in Harp Performance) at Auckland University School of Music, and went on to gain a Diploma of Teaching, majoring in Music and English, and then a Diploma of Children's Literature. I have continued to have lessons, and attended workshops and lectures with many other harpists and teachers over the years, and considering a continual education important in my role as a teacher.
I have been involved in arranging harp ensembles, harp weekends and retreats since 2001, and my most recent role is as artistic director for Harp Fest NZ 2023 , the first harp festival in New Zealand since 2004.
In 2022 we formed Harps Aotearoa Foundation to fill the musical needs of the harp community in NZ by providing high quality harp related experiences for all ages, stages and abilities. I took on the role of chair person of Harps Aotearoa as well as being one of the founding trustees and generating ideas and events. Our first major event was the highly successful Harp Fest NZ 2023 which rocked the harp world in NZ and abroad. Check out the website and my calendar for related events.
2023 Hangin' with the Harp (Atlanta Harp Centre) Sight Reading for the Harp
2023 Artistic Director of Harp Fest NZ 2023
2022 Chair of the newly formed Harps Aotearoa Foundation
2022 - Forest of Harps ensemble music books
2020 - Dyades - duets across the world
2020 - created Zoom Room Harp Chats
2020 Harp Retreat with Rachel Hair (Scotland)
2019 - taught 'KiwiCelt' tunes at Edinburgh International Harp Festival
2019 - tutor at 'Retreat to the Harp', with Keziah Thomas and Alex Rider, Surrey, UK
2019 - Harp Retreat with Maeve Gilchrist (Scotland/USA)
2018 - 100 Harps Showcase
2017 - taught at Benslow Clarsach Course, Hitchen, UK with Danielle Perrett.
2017 - created the Harp Music Club subscription music
2017 - Gliss harp trio, then quartet and now (2023) quintet
2016 - created the BegEnz range of beginner ensemble music books
2015 - performed at Southeastern Harp Weekend and as warm up artists for DHC at Ashville, North Carolina USA
2015 - created the first annual NZ Harp Performance Competition
2013 - director of the Auckland Harp Orchestra, now Forest of Harps
2012 to present - World Harp Congress correspondent
2009 - First Harp Retreat (weekend residential course) continued every few years
2008-2020 Editor of the NZ Harp Society journal
2008-2013 President of the NZ Harp Society
2006-9 - four 'Sightreading for Harp' books with Lisa Williamson
2002 and 2004 made little harplets, Jamie and Oliver
2001- First Harpenz ensemble weekend with Lisa Williamson. 16 attendees. These continued every two years until 2021
1991 - Attended Auckland University School of Music, then Teacher's College
1987 - Began playing the harp!