I'm really a beginner, and I'm a little apprehensive about attending this seminar. Will I be in over my head?
Absolutely not! Many beginners attend Beginning in the Middle. You will learn a great deal from observing those with more experience, and we've carefully chosen our instructors for their ability to work with harpists at all skill levels, including those just starting out. Take note of the "levels" guidelines, and choose the classes that are right for you. If you are confused or need more information, don't hesitate to contact us directly.
If you've never played in an ensemble before, or have been playing only a few years, sign up for level one. If you have previous ensemble experience and have been playing several years or more, sign up for level two. If you'd like to try level two and discover that the music is too difficult, contact us and we will re-assign you to level one.
A group lesson is limited to four people who work one-of-one with the instructor for about 15 minutes. Others may observe but not participate in the lesson. You will all learn by listening to each other. You will be asked to play, so please bring something to work on with the instructor. This could be music you're learning or questions about your technique or music. This is a great way to get the direct insight of our outstanding faculty as they discuss your personal questions and concerns.
Group lessons are available at no additional charge and playing space can be reserved via the registration form.
If you would like instruction in a private setting, you can sign up for a private lesson with the faculty when you register. These lessons are charged an additional fee. Private lessons are extremely limited and most instructors fill their schedules before the start of the seminar, so be sure to indicate on your registration form if you would like a private lesson. The lessons will be assigned first come, first serve based on the postmark or electronic date of your registration. If there are any free spaces available, you may sign up for a private lesson at the registration booth at the seminar.
If you plan to participate in a harp ensemble or other classes marked "harp required," you must bring your own harp. You may want to bring your harp to other classes as well. Some participants find it handy to have their harps available to try out the new techniques and music they learn throughout the weekend.
I do not plan on bringing my harp to Beginning in the Middle. Will there still be things for me to do?
Yes! Many workshops do not require you to have a harp, and in some cases, a harp will be provided for you, such as in our popular "group lessons." There are plenty of harps around, especially in the exhibit area, and you can often sit down at one of these harps to try something out. We guarantee there will be plenty for you to do and learn even if you cannot bring your harp.
I'm not used to moving my own harp—will there be anyone around to help me?
Yes. Just come to the conference registration desk and ask a member of the BITM staff for assistance. If you bring a harp, please bring your own transport dolly. You may be able to borrow one from us, but you will have to wait in line!
We have never had any problems with harps in the past, and the faculty and staff feel very comfortable using their own harps for seminar classes and concerts. However, we cannot guarantee the safety of your harp, and we recommend that your harp insurance be up to date before attending the seminar. Beginning in the Middle cannot take responsibility for damage that occurs to harps during the seminar.
All activities usually take place inside the Williamsburg Lodge. There are many dining options close by and at the hotel. Rooms are not included in your tuition, and participants must book their rooms directly with the hotel. Be sure to ask for our discounted group rate, and remember, rooms are limited, so please book early. Visit the Contact page for information about hotel registration.
Your Beginning in the Middle tuition does not include food. There are several restaurants in the hotel, along with lots of dining options to accommodate all budgets within walking distance. Reservations are recommended for some restaurants in nearby Colonial Williamsburg.
Beginning in the Middle events, restaurants, shops, and Colonial Williamsburg are within walking distance so a car is not a necessity. You may want a vehicle if you plan to tour the surrounding area's attractions.
There is an Amtrak station one mile from the hotel.
Plan to arrive Thursday afternoon, if possible, so that you can register, have dinner, and attend the orientation meeting and festivities beginning at 7:00 p.m. Registration is from 5:00—8:00 p.m. on Thursday. If you arrive late on Thursday, you can register on Friday morning.