Anouk teaches at her studio in Nijmegen and at the music school Kleve (DE).
Her philosophy is that anyone can learn to play the harp; children and adults, male or female, whether you already have musical experience or the harp is your first instrument.
From the very beginning, the sound of the harp will enchant you and pull you in, which makes for a pleasant learning experience.
Anouk adapts her teaching to the student, and strives to develop an individual connection with each one in order to facilitate the learning. She can teach any style, both on pedal and lever harp.
In addition to her training as a classical harp teacher, years of experience have allowed her to develop several specialties
Teaching by ear
In this method, a student will learn to play by listening (and watching) the teacher play tunes, rather than reading sheet music. Students often remark that tunes learned in this fashion tend to “stick” more; they only have to hear the music in their mind and the fingers follow.
For many new students, the thought of learning only by ear can be a bit daunting, but there is a definite method to doing so. The lessons build up gradually and there is an emphasis on recognising patterns, both in the music and in the hand positioning.
This method can be taught without the use of any sheet music, or its aid (sheet music is usually given after the tune is memorised). It is the method of choice for learning folk music, but can be used to learn any style of music.
Students can learn existing arrangements of tunes or create their own.
European traditional music
Having played traditional music from many different countries for over a decade, Anouk loves to teach traditional music to other harpists.
Emphasis in the lessons will be on style and arranging. Many traditional tunes have their origins in dance music, which makes it important to know the swing of the music. Since most traditional music has been handed down through the generations by ear, there is a certain freedom involved for the musician playing it; often decision on arrangements, ornamentations and interpretation are up to the performing musician and can vary every time a tune is played.
Because of the traditional element, the preferred teaching method is by ear, but it is also possible to teach from sheet music.
“Learning how to improvise was one of the key things to making me the harpist I am today. It affected every aspect of my music; from performing classical music to arranging traditional music and playing therapeutically.”
Over the past decade improvising, arranging and being otherwise creative with music has come more and more to the attention of music teachers. However, for many classically trained music teachers this aspect of teaching is a challenge. Anouk’s experience in performing improvised music, both solo and with a group make her uniquely suited to teach students to be creative with their music.