Blackhills Summer Harp Course

Monday July 23rd to Friday July 27th 2018 (5 days)

                      Blackhills, Nr Elgin, Moray

Alison Kinnaird   Harps

Monday July 23rd to Friday July 27th 2018 (5 days)

Tutor: Alison Kinnaird, MBE

Classes will be held in the Coachhouse Music Studio - still in the beautiful Blackhills Garden setting.  Classes run from approximately 9.30 a.m. - 3.30 p.m. each day, with breaks for refreshments and lunch.  Home-cooked food is locally sourced with fresh daily baking.  Picnics and al fresco meals whenever weather permits.  Dinner and informal get-togethers each evening.

Teaching is all aural - no need to read music - but musical scores will be given out at the end of each session.  Alison will teach a variety of  traditional Scottish tunes, techniques and songs.

The course is aimed at those with some experience of harp playing, and therefore not suitable for complete beginners.

Sample Timetable

9.30  Class
10.45  Break
11.15  Class
1.00  Lunch
2.00  Class
3.30  Break
7.00  Dinner

 The mid afternoon finish for teaching sessions means that there is plenty of time available to relax in the grounds around the house, or enjoy longer walks through the extensive surrounding farmland and moorland.  The woodland garden extends over seventy acres and is famous for its wonderful collection of rhododendrons and other exotic plants which have naturalised in the mild microclimate of the glen, and form spectacular displays around the lakes and on the slopes of the valley.

Alison Kinnaird has been at the forefront of the revival, and continuing success, of the Scottish harp. She plays both gut-strung Scottish harp and wire-strung clarsach, and is recognised as an authority on both the instrument and its history, being the first player to research the repertoire of the harp in Scotland and one of the first to record an album of Scottish harp music, 'The Harp Key'. She is co-author (with Keith Sanger) of the first history of the harp in Scotland, 'Tree of Strings'. Her many recordings have received critical acclaim and she has published four books of harp music, one of them a widely used tutor, 'The Small Harp'. As well as being a renowned performer, Alison teaches and lectures on the world stage. In 1995 she was a presenter, along with Evelyn Glennie and Yehudi Menuhin, of the Channel 4 education series, 'The Music Show'. In 1997 she was awarded the MBE for her services to music and art.

The cost of the five-day course is 250 (reductions for students), which includes all tuition, meals and wine with dinner. Organic, locally produced food is used wherever possible and vegetarians are welcome.

Accommodation is available (first come, first served!) in one of the Blackhills Estate Cottages (25 per night with breakfast) or local B&Bs (list available).


If you are interested in taking part on the course, please contact Steph Christie whose contact details are below.


Other local activities in the area:

John Christie specialises in wood fired pottery, made at Blackhills, glazed with simple, but often very beautiful, mixtures of locally dug clay, vegetable ash and feldspar and fired on the premises in a 64 cubic foot wood-fired kiln.

There is an all weather tennis court in the grounds.

Further afield, the Moray coast and Speyside offers abundant golf courses, fishing, distilleries, castles and historic houses and spectacular countryside to explore.

Contact Steph Christie by e-mail at
or by mail at Garden Cottage, Blackhills, By Elgin, Moray, Scotland. IV30 8QU
or by telephone on 01343 842223


Blackhills Pottery

Blackhills Estate Homepage