A Day with Karen Mueller: Autoharp from A to Zoom

Online Zoom workshop! Contact to register.

It’s fun and easy to start playing the autoharp right away, and also challenging and complex as one ventures further into melody playing technique. Internationally-acclaimed autoharp player and instructor Karen Mueller is offering two workshops that start with the essentials of autoharp playing and progress into more advanced music and techniques. You may sign up for one session, or both. The fee for each three-hour session is $40. Class size will be limited to 20 in each session to allow for optimal interaction with the instructor.

For both sessions you will need any variety of autoharp that plays in the keys of C, G and D (such as a standard Oscar Schmidt or Chromaharp), several finger picks and a thumb pick, and an autoharp that is already in tune. You may use a diatonic autoharp for much of the time, but you will also need a chromatic to play all the music in the second session. Sheet music will be emailed in advance to use during the workshop.

Session 1: Autoharp Essentials. 9:30-12:30 a.m. Start from the beginning, or review the basics. We’ll cover tuning, holding the autoharp comfortably, chord bar layouts, picks, and strum patterns to get you playing chords to accompany well-known songs in 3/4 and 4/4 time. Then we’ll begin to understand and play melodies, working with song sheets and autoharp tablature, a system of writing down autoharp chords and pick strokes.

Session 2: Moving on with Melody and Rhythm, 1:30-4:30 p.m. If you are able find melodies on your autoharp and are ready to learn more songs and techniques for greater accuracy and expression, this session will help you take your playing to the next level. We’ll work on a variety of styles, from traditional to contemporary and classical, with both melody picking and a variety of strum patterns to accompany singing.