One of the best things about making my living as a musician is giving workshops, meeting amazing new people and sharing some of my personal favorite tunes! Here, you can find sheet music and recordings to help you study some of this material. Further down on the page you can read more about the different types of workshops that I offer.
I also have the sheet music books the Nordic Harp Book 1 & 2 for sale, either as PDF (visit Sylvia Woods to purchase and download) or e-mail me if you prefer a "real" copy!
I offer many differently themed workshops and always adapt what and how I teach to the students' levels and interests. Here are some suggestions but I'd be happy to come up with more ideas if you're looking for something special!
Have you ever tried to play Nordic music on the harp? This workshop is for intermediate to advanced players who are “nordi-curious” – that is, who want to dip their feet into a new, vast and exciting repertoire. Here you get a chance to learn the “Scandinavian secrets” from a genuine Swedish dance musician and harpist. The class will focus on learning tunes, but also what makes Swedish folk music unique - such as scales, rhythmic grooves, accompaniment, ornamentation and more.
This workshop is for you who have already played a bit of Nordic/Scandinavian music and would like to build and expand on previous experiences. You will learn tunes by ear (but sheet music will be available) and we will focus on different types of polskas and other types of tunes, looking especially at how to achieve a truly danceable rhythm – yes, the harp is an excellent instrument for dance music! – and work a lot with the left hand.
Here, you will learn many different ideas and tricks that you can use (on all kinds of music – not only Nordic!) when coming up with your own arrangements. You will first learn an easy melody by ear, and we’ll use that to build a complete arrangement with accompaniment, ornaments, variations, left hand technique, and so on. And you will learn some patented “party tricks” I have come up with over the years – for example how to extend the range of your harp, how to change the sound of the instrument, how to use strumming and vibrato, how to use the levers in cool ways – and much more…
Yes, yes, I know - playing scales sound about as inviting as root canal work. But it doesn't have to be! Erik will show you how to easily set your harp in a specific scale, or "key", or "mode" - you will also learn the difference between these terms - and learn how to instantly get that "Nordic" sound in your playing! You’ll learn different modes from different regions and what separates them – and experience the totally different flavours they each create. We will also try out some improvisation in the Nordic style!
In this workshop, we will take a look at European music from the 13th to 15th centuries and how to adapt it to the harp. Historical harps are welcome but not necessary – the tunes will work equally well on all types of harps! Apart from medieval music in general (an overview), I offer a vast array of specialized topics: Music of the Troubadours and Trouvères - The Cantigas de Santa Maria and Iberian medieval music - Black Death Tunes of 1350 - Italian Trecento music - Medieval instrumental dance tunes - Renaissance music for lever harp, Re-creating the lost music of the Vikings, and many more.
In Swedish music there is a saying that a tune without any decorations is like a Christmas tree without its ornaments! In this workshop you will be shown how to liven up your playing by adding various types of traditonal-style ornaments. They are not limited to Nordic music of course – you will learn good general-purpose ornamentation that fits all kinds of music on the harp as well as some specific tricks for Celtic and Nordic music.
If you ever find yourself at a Nordic music session, or for that matter a Celtic session you want to infuse some "nordicness" into, then you will be glad to have taken this workshop! All melodies here will definitely be familiar to other musicians in the Nordic genre since they are all part of the standard repertoire, and for one single good reason - they're rollickin' great tunes!
Even though my focus usually lies on Nordic music, I'm very fond of all types of folk music and in this workshop I will share some of my favorite tunes, collected over the years. With music from such different places as Turkey, Austria, China, the Balkans and Iceland (to name a few), this workshop is sure to broaden your repertoire and teach you some new tricks!