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Bachelor of Music from Michigan State University
Master of Music from Boston University
Free-lance Producer - WRCJ 90.9 FM Detroit
Contract Second Harp - Detroit Symphony Orchestra
This 1-on-1 personalized online course is designed for harpists at all levels, from beginners to advanced students. The substance of the course will depend on the skill level of the student. All students should expect to spend a portion of the lesson time on technique – exercises and etudes – with the remainder of the lesson devoted to repertoire.
Beginners will learn the fundamentals of hand and arm position, finger action, and fingering of melodic and harmonic intervals. More advanced students will focus on scales and arpeggios. Music theory is an important aspect of playing the harp, and all harp students will be coached on essential music theory fundamentals. Repertoire for beginning students will be chosen by the instructor. More advanced students can choose their own repertoire with the instructor’s approval.
About the Instructor: Christa Grix has over 35 years of experience teaching harp students at all levels, and studied under the renowned harpist Lucile Lawrence, collaborator with Carlos Salzedo of the Salzedo method of playing the harp. Christa Grix fell under the spell of the harp during her first lesson at the age of 16. Two years earlier, she was transfixed by a live jazz performance at her high school. Those two events form the foundation for her career. Christa Grix has the rare gift of understanding how to play both classical and jazz harp, making the transition initially from jazz rhythm sections to symphonic string sections effortlessly. Contracted to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for more than 30 years, Christa has been privileged to work under some of the best conductors worldwide, including Leonard Slatkin and Neeme Jarvi. She has traveled through Europe, the U.S., and Canada as a harp soloist and as a clinician at major conferences and festivals.
Christa has 4 recorded albums with the label Freefall Music – Christa’s Presents (2014), Moonlight on Snow (2012), Cheek to Chic (2002), and Freefall (1996). She is also an on-air development host for Detroit's WRCJ-FM, researching, writing, and producing educational spots that highlight the many connections that exist within both jazz and classical music spheres. She has made both international and national appearances, including performances in Ontario, Washington, France, Czech Republic, Mexico, and at the 2011 World Harp Congress in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The famous neurologist Oliver Sacks once said “Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears - it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more - it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.”
In addition to developing technical facility and musical expressiveness, harp students will find that they develop neuromuscular coordination. The harp is an instrument that taps into both sides of the brain. Studying the harp improves the connection between the brain and the fingers, arms and (for pedal harpists) legs and feet.
Students enrolling for this course on ipassio can be sure that they receive individual attention from the teacher, as the class strength is limited to 1 or 2 students. It also gives teachers the opportunity, to gauge their student's progress in depth and make changes whenever and wherever required, to ensure the student gets the maximum out of this course. Since this course is detailed, students get the advantage of learning intricate details about this art form. The limited strength of the class also ensures that there is a strong bond between the students and their teacher clearing out any inhibitions that the student might have. The sustained guidance available from the teacher ensures that the student does not deviate from set goals or targets. Learning from a revered, experienced exponent of this art form, through the long duration of this course, keeps the student inspired and motivated to achieve more.
Student should have access to a harp, either lever or pedal, for daily practice. Use of a metronome will be required. Students may be required to purchase epertoire books, exercises, and etudes following initial lesson. Every level of musical experience and background is welcomed.