Nancy Bick Clark

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Nancy Bick Clark will be available for private lessons at the River of Life Harp/MusicFest. She has been performing, teaching, composing, recording, and judging for over 15 years. Nancy regularly free-lances solo or with the Clark & Jones Trio, comprising her husband Frank Clark on bodhran and fiddler/guitarist Jude Jones. In 2003, she performed with the Chieftains at Riverbend in Cincinnati, and two days prior, performed at HarpCon with Frank. A clinician at Southeastern Harp Weekend in Asheville, NC, Nancy has taught workshops at HarpCon, the Northeast Florida Highland Games, the Florida Folk Harpers, Folk Traditions Store in Savannah, the American Harp Society conference, the Jan Pennington Gray Memorial Harp Camp, the Ohio Scottish Arts School at Oberlin, the Gaelic College in Cape Breton, and many other harp and dulcimer festivals throughout the midwest and southeastern U.S. Nancy taught for ten years at the University of Cincinnati College of Evening and Continuing Education, and has judged Scottish harp competitions at Scottish Games in the South (including Jacksonville, Charlotte, Charleston and Grandfather Mountain). Her five CD's contain many of her compositions, and selections of her work have aired on Thistle and Shamrock. She holds an A.B. degree from Oberlin College and an M.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and is the Past President of the Scottish Harp Society of America.

Private lessons will help anyone wishing to trouble-shoot their technique, arrangement, interpretation, or fingering. All levels are welcome, but beginners, self-taught harpers and intermediate players are especially welcome. Students may bring one or two pieces they are working on, and they will be given exercises to encourage tone control, hand positions, and relaxation, among other topics. Anyone who has just purchased a harp for the first time would benefit from an hour of personal harp training.

To set up a lesson with Nancy, e-mail her at

Here are some comments from those who have studied with Nancy:

"I constantly refer to Nancy's lesson plan, especially her "Body-Balancing Bells" and warm-up exercises. It's what I do before practicing any other thing. I truly enjoyed my lesson with Nancy in Asheville, and look forward to seeing her again soon at the River of Life Harp and Musicfest in St. Augustine." - Julianne Ford, Alpharetta, GA

Nancy's 'Frog' technique is something unique for sure- I've begun to mention her use of this method with my students! Since I am new to an authentic Scottish sound - referencing what I've learned from Nancy's example is comforting. My mother commented on Nancy's remarks/ critiques and how thoughtful and thorough they were. My two students in the competition also enjoyed trying new finger placements on their tunes. - Kathy Pearce - Jacksonville, FL , Coordinator of Northeast Florida Highland Games Harp Competition

"Nancy shows an uncanny ability to get to the real heart of traditional music. I am proud to have the distinction of being her very first student of the Scottish harp! She instilled in me a deep love and respect for the clarsach tradition in Scottish music... one that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Nancy is very intuitive when it comes to diagnosing the problems the student might have with her technique. She gently points out the areas that need work and gives the student the tools and knowledge she needs to correct them." - Anne Durant, Richmond Hill, GA

The biggest thing that strikes me about Nancy's teaching is that she is able to make things simple for the beginning learner to understand, but she is also able to provide help with teaching and the adjusting of pieces so that the beginner is able to do the most interesting things with their limited talent. She is very encouraging (which is also critical to beginning learners) and able to adapt the goals of the learner and not simply impose her own style or pattern. I think that having the confidence to go into new areas is what sets her apart. She doesn't just enjoy playing the harp; she also enjoys teaching. - Sue Kestner, Hilliard, OH (Greater Columbus)

Nancy takes the student where they are, helps them figure out where they want to go, and helps them to get there. She helps the student create their own arrangement. - Jennifer & Kaylaya Crutcher - Cincinnati, OH

I feel I am safe with Nancy to express whatever it is I want to do musically. It is helpful and necessary that Nancy focuses on technique -- whatever expression a harper does will be better if the foundation is solid. I always come away from Nancy's lessons feeling good, even if I did not perform as well as I would have liked. - Linda, McCachran-Brown - Cincinnati, OH

I feel Nancy is the BEST harp teacher. Her kind and gentle manners are such a great asset to have to create a positive environment to learn to play the harp. She will be stuck with me as a student for a long time. Nancy is not allowed to move out of Greater Cincinnati! - Cheryl Dresmann, Cincinnati, OH

"You won't find a nicer person to work with than Nancy" - Becky Bromwell - Fairfield, OH

To set up a lesson email Nancy.