Harp Classes

October 5 - 7

What is Harp Seattle? Harp Seattle is a three-day festival at Dusty Strings Music Store & School in Seattle, WA for harpers of all levels to participate in an event that has been part of the folk harp community for over a decade. Workshops by seasoned presenters are crafted to enhance the skills and knowledge of players at all levels so there’s something for everyone. Two evening concerts at Dusty Strings are included with registration: Friday, October 5 with Aryeh Frankfurter & Lisa Lynne and Saturday, October 7 with Martha Gallagher and Alfredo Rolando Ortiz.

Early bird registration has closed. Registration includes an all-access pass to the weekend’s workshops, concerts, and happenings. Cost before June 15th: $295. Cost after June 15th: $345. Register online, by phone, or in-store. (Harp rentals and extra concert tickets available. Registration does not include room and board.)

Concerts: Registration includes one ticket to each concert. To purchase extra concert tickets, please use the following links: Friday, October 5 - Aryeh Frankfurter & Lisa Lynne; Saturday, October 6 - Martha Gallagher & Alfredo Rolando Ortiz.

Questions? Email music@dustystrings.com or give us a call. Join our Facebook page, Dusty Strings Harp Seattle, for the latest information and to connect with other attendees! To register for Harp Seattle 2018, click 'Add to Cart' below.

Workshop Schedule

Friday, October 5

Interbay Tour
Friday, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
See where the magic is made! Tour Dusty Strings Co.’s manufacturing facility located at 3450 16th Avenue W in the Interbay neighborhood. The tour begins at 10:00 AM on Friday, October 7 and lasts approximately two hours. Participants are responsible for their own transportation. Please plan accordingly to be in Fremont in time for the Welcome Reception at 12:30 PM on Friday.

Welcome Reception
Friday, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Meet this year’s presenters, staff, and attendees, get important information about the conference weekend, and hear a little preview of the concerts!

Delight in Simplicity: The Advantage of Limitations
Martha Gallagher · Friday, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
It’s easy to think of what you can’t do as opposed to exploring what you already know. Discover how less can be more as you create your own beautiful arrangements. Challenge your imagination by learning a slow, simple tune that will help you identify potential stumbling blocks, then apply simple tricks, tools, and techniques for overcoming them. These principles apply to both small and full-size harps on which you might want to do more but feel limited by their size. For beginners or anyone with a small harp (22-27 strings or lap harp).

Creating Music for Therapeutic Settings
Lisa Lynne · Friday, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Learn chords and progressions you can use in therapeutic settings and how to choose appropriate music for any situation. Practice improvising in any key and get tips for playing music in medical settings. Share ideas and experiences and look at the current climate of music in hospitals and hospices. Included is a slideshow presentation on the history of Harps for Hearts, a successful fifteen-year program that places harps in hospitals throughout southern California. For all levels.

Tips for Arranging Traditional Music
Aryeh Frankfurter · Friday, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Learn easy, useful tips for creating evocative arrangements with movement, lift, phrasing, and dynamics. Create intros, bridges, and outros as you work from tunes that you can easily add to your repertoire. Aryeh also shares his approach to the left hand and shows you how to apply these techniques as you play. For advanced beginner to intermediate level players.

Injury Prevention
Alfredo Rolando Ortiz · Friday, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Improve your awareness of how you play and perform so you can better facilitate difficult passages, techniques, and other aspects of your playing. Learn to correct bad habits and prevent tendonitis. For all levels.

Travels with My Harp
Margaret Betts · Friday, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
In 2011, Margaret received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study the culture and practice of harp in fourteen countries across Asia, Europe, and South America for twelve consecutive months. Margaret brings her research and findings to Harp Seattle 2018 with a one-of-a-kind presentation that includes a slide show of incredible photos to document her experience. Participants also discover a variety of techniques used by harpists around the world to improve musicality, including tips for stretching and breathing, how to conduct historical research, how to study scores, and how to exercise “mental practice” away from the harp. If you’re planning a trip abroad or simply want insight into how harpists around the world approach their instrument, this workshop is for you!

Regulating & Maintenance of Lever Harps
Ray Mooers · Friday, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Ray demystifies lever regulation as he demonstrates this simple process that can be done at home. Learn to use the tools available so you can do it yourself!

Friday Night Concert: Aryeh Frankfurter & Lisa Lynne
Friday, 7:30 PM (doors open at 7:00 PM)
Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter are a storytelling, multi-instrumentalist duo with Celtic harps, Swedish nyckelharpa, Ukrainian bandura, bouzouki, cittern and more. They hail from Portland, OR and tour extensively, both having successful recording and performing careers built from years of street performing and a background as rock musicians. They’ve performed with some of the biggest names in folk and acoustic music and have sold well over a million albums combined. Audiences are enchanted with their unique show of breathtaking music both traditional and original, with wondrous stories and humor entwined.

Saturday, October

Swedish Tunes for Folk Harp
Aryeh Frankfurter · Saturday, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
From brooding marches to joyful polkas, the music of Scandinavia is not only rich and moving but easily accessible to lever harpists. Dive into the striking sounds of Nordic music by exploring several Swedish tunes and emerge with new tunes and ideas for your repertoire. For advanced beginner to intermediate level players.

All That Jazz

Martha Gallagher · Saturday, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Marvelous music from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s comes alive in this workshop where no jazz harp experience is necessary. Discover the sounds and pieces characteristic of the era and the techniques and tricks to play them. Achieve with ease and panache new chord possibilities for songs heard in many wonderful, old movies. For intermediate to advanced harpers.

Latin and South American Rhythms
Alfredo Rolando Ortiz · Saturday, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Explore the unique rhythms, poly-rhythms, and syncopations from several countries, including habanera, conga, cumbia, tango, zamba, joropo, polca paraguaya, and cha-cha-cha. Develop ideas for creating your own rhythmic accompaniment patterns for other types of music. Learn how to minimize left hand effort during repetitive rhythmic patterns. For all levels.

Playing by Ear and Composing
Lisa Lynne · Saturday, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Free yourself from the written page and unleash your creativity! Explore chord templates, progressions, and keys for improvising. Learn how to read and write simple chord charts, how to transpose on the spot, learn a song by ear, communicate with other musicians, and take a solo in any key. For all levels.

Take a Harp on the Wild Side: Beginner’s Blues
Martha Gallagher · Saturday, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Discover the wide world of blues music played on the lever harp. Learn the form and structure of blues music and improvisation, rhythm (including some percussive techniques), and how to create a groove. Add new techniques to your toolkit that you can apply long after the workshop is over, such as working levers with ease. For advanced beginners to intermediate level players with little or no blues experience.

Latin American Harp Techniques
Alfredo Rolando Ortiz · Saturday, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Expand your potential for playing pop, jazz, and Latin harp with techniques such as mini-glissandi, muffled glissandi, muffled bass patterns, trino (a mandolin-like effect), and some of Alfredo’s own approaches to playing. As with all of Alfredo’s classes, emphasis is placed on learning to play with minimal effort. For all levels.

Recording Your Music

Aryeh Frankfurter · Saturday, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Recording your music and sharing it is essential to developing your musicianship and professional aspirations. Every musician should record themselves, whether at home or in a professional studio, demo CD, or download cards. Cover all the bases of recording, including basic recording techniques for harp, pointers about copyright law, and the stages of recording from tracking, mixing, and mastering, to the final, packaged product. For all levels.

The Alexander Technique for Harpists
Catherine Madden  · Saturday, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM and 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
The Alexander Technique is a great tool for harp players who sense they are causing harm to their bodies in how they play or who simply want to break free from tired habits. Rediscover your whole self through exercises and discussions designed to help you move in coordination with your creative intentions. Harp not needed but encouraged. Students may take either or both of the workshops as the content is not sequential.

Performing with Confidence

Lisa Lynne  · Saturday, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Everyone gets nervous performing in front of others, whether on stage, at a wedding, or simply playing background music at a venue. Explore the roots of nervous energy and its physical sensations when it comes to performing in front of others. Share stories and experiences of stage fright and approaches to rising above your nerves so you can give your best performance every time. For all levels.

The Art of Busking
Aryeh Frankfurter  · Saturday, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Busking, or street performing, can be as easy as setting up your harp in a public place and playing. Being a successful busker, however, is an art that requires creating visibility and financial success. Learn how to attract an audience and provide them with opportunities to support your music. Discuss common mistakes, challenges, and how to make the best of every situation. For all levels.

Getting Your Music Out into the World
Lisa Lynne  ·  Saturday, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Discuss the many aspects of today’s music business landscape so you can dive into marketing and promoting your music. This workshop reveals strategies for getting gigs, writing press releases, blogging, creating a website, and getting the most out of social media. Learn about online venues for sharing your music that you might never have thought of, and how to bring your music to your community. Think outside the box in this open forum with real-world advice on maximizing opportunities! For all levels.

Saturday Night Concert: Martha Gallagher & Alfredo Rolando Ortiz
Saturday, 7:30 PM (doors open at 7:00 PM)
Singer/songwriter Martha Gallagher is an enigma that defies musical pigeon-holes. Her original songs glide in the blink of an eye from wailing blues to Latin grooves to Classical inspirations, from swingin’ jazz to vibrant contemporary folk. Her chameleon-like voice ranges from smokin’ hot to achingly tender, and everything in between. Raves Todd Moe of North Country Public Radio, “Martha Gallagher is Janis Joplin-Joan Baez-Jean Redpath all rolled into one! Her music lifts up the spirit and reminds us why we’re here.”

“Alfredo Rolando Ortiz is a superb harpist and exciting artist. His technical virtuosity is matched by his depth of musical expression. His performances feature strong vibrant rhythms, marvelous dynamic contrasts, stylistic verve, and profound sensitivity.” - Susann McDonald, Distinguished Professor, Indiana University School of Music, former head of harp at the Julliard School, former Artistic Director of the World Harp Congress.

Champagne Reception
Saturday, 9:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Stay after the evening’s concert and enjoy champagne or sparkling apple cider as you get to know the artists, Dusty Strings staff, and the other attendees.

Sunday, October 7

Harp Circle
Sally Verrinder · Sunday, 10:00 AM – 11:30 PM
Gather in the round and share a tune while participating in this time-honored Dusty Strings tradition.

Celtic Jam
Tudy McLain · Sunday, 10:00 AM – 11:30 PM
Jam on Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Breton, and other Celtic tunes. All instruments welcome, song suggestions encouraged!

Harp Talk
Ray Mooers  · Sunday, 10:00 AM – 11:30 PM
Ask questions and learn about such topics as harp construction, maintenance and repairs, humidity and dryness, strings, tonewoods, and Dusty Strings’ rich history.

The Soul is the Song: Improvising in Sacred Settings
Martha Gallagher · Sunday, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
The beauty and power of improvisation is at home in sacred and liturgical settings. Learn the art of timing in a worship service, adjusting seamlessly the length of a selection, and orchestrating the right atmosphere and energy for the service. Explore ways to use melody, harmony, rhythm, and tempo so you can start improvising right away. For all levels.

Creative Business Strategies for Harpists
Monica Schley · Sunday, 12:00 PM - 1:30  PM
Ever thought of quitting your day job, or moving it to part time? This workshop is about making more money in music. Customize a business plan that highlights some of your best skills on the harp and your favorite musical interests. Create a business strategy tailored to you to diversify your music business and create new revenue streams. Learn the nuts and bolts of marketing and promotion, while focusing on an array of opportunities like recording, teaching, publishing, YouTube, Facebook, and Bandcamp, harp therapy, writing, e-books, transcription, performing, weddings, corporate events, workshops, trade shows, residual income, funerals, and more. Project your goals from present state to fruition! Please bring a notebook.

Master Class
Alfredo Rolando Ortiz · Sunday, 12:00 PM - 1:30  PM
Get hands-on coaching from Alfredo as you explore a range of concepts in this lively and welcoming master class. Apply new concepts to your playing, such as special effects, Latin American rhythmic styles, accompaniment patterns, and injury prevention. For all levels. No need to practice ahead of time. Sheet music provided.

Group Photo
Sunday, 2:00 PM
Join all the performers, staff, and volunteers and take a group photo for posterity on the Dusty stage!


Margaret Betts
Margaret (Shelton) Betts is a professional harpist in the Pacific Northwest. A native of Tacoma, WA, playing the harp has been her passion and joy since the age of six. A graduate of the University of Puget Sound summa cum laude in harp performance, Betts has performed extensively with orchestral, choral, and chamber ensembles, including as the principal harpist of the Olympia Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to performing, Betts served as Chairman of Membership for the World Harp Congress and treasurer for the American Harp Society Greater Seattle Chapter. Betts is delighted to bring a world of experiences to Harp Seattle.

Aryeh Frankfurter

For more than twenty years, touring musician, record producer, and recording artist Aryeh Frankfurter has delighted audiences around the globe with passionate, enduring, and evocative music. His uncommon approach to Celtic and folk harp music —and command of the Swedish nyckelharpa—have earned him accolades from The International Folk Harp Journal, Alternate Music Press, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Classical Guitar Magazine. He’s performed for Prince Charles and Lady Camilla Bowles Parker, for an audience of thousands at Dalhalla Amphitheatre in Rattvik, Sweden, at Sweden’s Musik Vid Siljan, as well as festivals, fairs, conferences, and music camps as both a performer and teaching artist. His music has been syndicated on Public Radio International (PRI) and he’s shared the stage with Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne, Barbara Higbie, and Liz Story. “A gem among the San Francisco musician scene,” writes The Bay Area Folk Harp Society Journal.

Martha Gallagher
Singer-songwriter Martha Gallagher defies expectation with her instrument of choice, the folk harp. “My vision of the Celtic harp is expansive,” she says. “This incredibly versatile instrument gives voice to the wonderfully diverse music that sings through the heart of my very being.” Gallagher seeks to “acknowledge and honor the harp’s rich history, while at the same time exploring its ability to speak with a contemporary musical voice.”

Gallagher has shared this vision through performances and original works for over thirty years, including tours throughout the U.S. and Canada, appearances on BBC Television and Good Morning Arizona, sharing the stage with six-time GRAMMY® winners The Chieftains, and teaching and performing at the American Harp Society National Conference, Somerset Harp Festival, Berklee College of Music, and Boston Conservatory. To date, Gallagher has produced seven albums of original compositions on her own indie label, Singing Strings.

In 2011, while touring Dusty Strings’ manufacturing facility with co-owners Ray and Sue Mooers, Gallagher noticed a stack of abandoned wood pieces in the corner. Ray referred to them as “the orphans”: pieces of tonewood that did not have the requisite matching pieces to make a harp. Gallagher envisioned an “orphan harp” built out of a variety of tonewoods and, after some persuading, Ray and the team set out designing and building it out of pieces of maple, bubinga, and black walnut. The story of the first Orphan Harp inspired Gallagher’s piece, “The Orphan’s Odyssey,” which premiered at Lake Placid Sinfonietta. Gallagher continues to perform on the harp (who she named Hope), as well as arranging and performing her original works with symphonies and ensembles.

Lisa Lynne
Multi-instrumentalist Lisa Lynne gained world-wide recognition for her original music featuring Celtic harp after making television appearances on NBC, CNN, Fox News Atlanta, and the award-winning PBS special, Alone in the Wilderness. Lynne’s unique approach to life and business, as well as her groundbreaking work in therapeutic music programs, earned her the attention of The Wall Street Journal and in 2011 Los Angeles Magazine chose her as one of L.A.’s fifty most inspiring women. A Windham Hill recording artist, she also owns her own production company and recording studio, Lavender Sky Music.

Lynne’s passion for music therapy led her to start the program Hands-on-Harps to place musicians in hospitals, and she became the first musician-in-residence at City of Hope National Cancer Center in Los Angeles.

Lynne’s recordings have surpassed a million in sales, placed in the Top 20 Billboard Charts (her album Hopes and Dreams reached #6), and she holds top spots in the Celtic, New Age, and World Music radio airplay charts. Her new book, How to Succeed with Self-Produced Concerts, is on sale now through her website and will be available for purchase at Harp Seattle.

Catherine Madden
Catherine Madden is Principal Lecturer for the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program, Director of the Alexander Technique Training and Performance Studio in Seattle, and Associate Director and Research Director for BodyChance in Japan. She is a regular guest teacher for Alexander Technique training schools and arts organizations in Australia, England, Germany, Japan, Scotland, Switzerland, and the U.S.

For nearly twenty years, Madden studied the Alexander Technique with Marjorie Barstow who was the first to graduate from F.M. Alexander’s first training course. Madden’s well-known abilities to observe and analyze movement in relationship to artistic performance has made her a popular coach in Seattle and internationally for musicians, dancers, actors, speakers, teachers, and private students.

A founding member of Alexander Technique International (ATI), Madden recently published Integrative Alexander Technique Practice for Performing Artists: Onstage Synergy (University of Chicago Press) and is currently at work on a second book about teaching the Alexander Technique.

Susan McLain
McLain (known to many as Tudy), is the founder of Greensleeves Harp Music, providing professional harp music to the Pacific Northwest for over twenty-five years. A past principal harpist with the Seattle Philharmonic, McLain has performed and recorded Celtic and concert harp music with Beth Kollé, Michael MacBean, and Laurie Riley. She’s taught at the International Folk Harp Conference and Vashon Island Harp Camp, and has performed at 2,000 weddings.

While serving as President of Seattle Musicians Association Local 76-493, McLain was appointed by Governor Gary Locke to serve on the Washington State Arts Commission and Strategic Plan for the Arts, where she championed improved working conditions for folk musicians. In addition to harp, McLain also teaches private flute and pennywhistle lessons and leads the Irish Music Ensemble at Dusty Strings Music School.

Ray Mooers

Dusty Strings co-founder Ray Mooers was already an accomplished hammered dulcimer builder and player when he became fascinated with the lever harp and took a beginning harp class. He began collecting information on harp design and construction, and started experimenting with building lever harps in 1984. Using the “perfectionist” joinery that had established Dusty Strings’ reputation, the company’s first production harp, the FH26, had an innovative solid mahogany soundboard and was warmly received by retailers and customers. The company has since put over 16,000 harps into people’s hands all over the world.

Alfredo Roland Ortiz

Internationally acclaimed composer, author, educator, recording artist and soloist Dr. Alfredo Rolando Ortiz has recorded over forty albums and is the winner of a Gold Record in South America.

Born in Cuba, Ortiz immigrated with his family to Venezuela when he was eleven years old. Four years later, he began studying the Venezuelan folk harp with a school friend and soon after, the Paraguayan folk harp under Alberto Romero. During his first year in medical school in Medellin, Colombia, he began performing professionally and recorded his first album. Music supported his studies until graduation in 1970.

In 1975, Ortiz moved to the United States where he continued working in the medical field as well as a harpist and recording artist until 1978 when his wife, Luz Marina, became pregnant. In order to have time for his growing family, he decided to commit himself full-time to both his family and the harp. Since then, he’s performed at the World Harp Congress, International Folk Harp Conference, Edinburgh International Harp Festival, Somerset Folk Harp Festival, and the American Harp Society Conference.

With a multicultural repertoire that covers folk, classical, and popular music from many countries, as well as his original compositions, Ortiz has performed all over North and South America and Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, and the Czech Republic. Throughout it all, however, he considers his most important concerts to be playing in the delivery room during the births of his second daughter and two younger grandsons.

Monica Schley

Monica Schley is a harpist, poet, mother, songwriter, wedding musician, teacher, bandleader, and touring artist. She earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she studied English and music, and took rigorous harp lessons with Frances Miller, principal harpist of the Minnesota Orchestra. She’s also taken master classes with harpists Ruttiger Opperman, Park Stickney, Laurie Riley, and Lori Andrews.

As a performer, Schley has worked with established local and national composers Jherek Bischoff, Samantha Boshnack, Butch Morris, Evan Flory-Barnes, Ahamefule J. Oluo, Jim Knapp, Eyvand Kang, Christina Vantzou, rap artist Kanye West, and with the bands Secret Chiefs 3 and Hey Marsailles. Orchestrally, she has played with Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Rock Orchestra, Degenerate Art Orchestra, and New Seattle Brass Ensemble.

A Certified Clinical Musician, Schley works with Providence Hospice as a therapeutic harpist.

Some of her writing can be found in literary journals, at pyragraph.com, Harp Therapy Journal, and King County Metro’s Poetry on Buses. She lives in Seattle with her husband, designer/illustrator Stephen Schildbach, and their two children.