Teaching

Education is one of the most important things in the world, and music lessons can be a vital part of any person's development, regardless of age or ability.
My teaching hours are some of the happiest moments of my week. Especially while we were on Zoom a lot lately, I could see in the self-view how much all my students manage to put  smiles on my face :)

While my specialty lies in making jazz, blues and improvisation on the harp accessible to all, a good overall training in harp technique is still an important part of everything I teach.
I combine this with development of musical knowledge and with aural, sight reading & collaboration skills. The approach depends on the genre of focus, but even more on the specific wishes, needs and learning personality of the student. I also make sure to constantly develop as a teacher, and enrich my skills and methods.
Whichever genre, and whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced player, do count on your share of talk about musical structure and chords;), this is my religion and will greatly improve your practising and insight in your pieces.

For players interested in graded music exams, I teach both the Trinity and ABRSM curriculums, and all of my students who went in for their exams have passed, most often with merit or distinction. I have had the honour of contributing to the new 2020-2023 Trinity repertoire lists, both by advising on jazz related repertoire, and with a blues composition of my own (grade 6 lever harp).

I teach in my studio in London, at pupil's homes in select West London areas, and on ZOOM. Once European travel opens up again, the option for occasional live lessons in The Netherlands may return as well. 
I provide workshops with specific focus on blues and/or jazz and improvisation. This often takes place in tandem with a colleague, so each teacher brings their own methods and personality into the mix which can be really valuable. I have taught alongside Sabine Meijers, Steph West, and others, both live and online.

Harpists with a special interest in jazz can also attend one of the workshops or courses organised or supported by the Jazz Harp Foundation. The calendar at www.jazzharp.org lists these and more education opportunities worldwide.
Want to really dive into learning jazz harp on a higher level? Then consider to attend a Jazz Harp Academy intensive course, or check the www.jazzharp.org education pages, and follow the JHF Jazz Harp Weekly on facebook and instagram for more info on lessons and courses with the jazz harp greats. 



More detailed teaching information on specialised Blues for Harp, the basics of Jazz for Harp, and improvisation.

Contents cover several levels:

  • style, form and structure, the role of the harp,
  • rhythm, chords, scales/modes and their uses
  • improvisation skills and freedom
  • articulation, and advanced harp specific techniques for this
  • lever/pedal skills

The lessons can be teacher led (methodical) or student led (reactive).
Goals depending on student's level, wishes and progress, varying from personal enjoyment to performance, auditions/examinations and use in professional settings.
Private lessons are offered in person or online (or a combination), and where possible and desired, peer groups can be formed and function as a practice club and support group (self led or teacher led).

Main formats and focuses offered:

  1. Beginners approach.
    For total beginners wanting to develop chord playing and improvisation skills straight away along with solid harp technique.

  2. Specialised Blues for Harp lessons.
    Explore styles, bass lines, patterns for comping and melody that work for the harp.

  3. Initial jazz harp training.
    To assist professionals and advanced players in their search of jazz knowledge and improv skills. I provide clear and solid initial harmony and basic skills training (contents above), ideal as a base to then move on to more specialised jazz harpists for next step.

  4. Low frequency lessons in jazz, blues and improvisation skills.
    For young students and amateurs, as an addition to regular harp lessons with their own harp teacher.

  5. Workshops, e.g. 'Blues for Harp' / 'Intro to Blues, Jazz & Improv for harp' / 'How to teach initial blues/jazz/chord playing and improvisation on the harp'
    Solo, or as a 'tandem' with a colleague (previous editions include workshops in The Netherlands & worldwide with Sabine Meijers, and in the UK & online with Steph West). These workshops were 

initially established with Sabine Meijers for the Jazz Harp Foundation, redeveloped over time with expanding knowledge and skills, reshaped and improved while living & learning in London, and didactically further refined while presenting alongside Steph West. 

 

Get in touch

Brenda Dor-Groot 
London
United Kingdom

+44(0)7501 596806

brenda@dorgroot.com

Connect with Brenda