Cheryl Ann Fulton
Performer - Teacher - Scholar
Take your harp playing to the next level and beyond!
Click here for Cheryl’s online courses for harpists of all levels.
"Harp Secrets is absolutely superb, and the wisdom it contains with regard to harp playing, musicianship and life is really astounding…."
- H. Reid Shaw
“Some brilliant performers are not very good teachers, but Cheryl is the polar opposite. She is incredibly knowledgeable, encouraging, and hugely generous with her deep understanding of music and the harp.”
- Elle Vevea
Discover beautiful ways to deepen your mind/body connection and elevate your mastery in many disciplines with my free Touch & Tone Tools & Images Guide when you sign up on my email list.
About the Harp Secrets Foundations online course
Looking for a different approach to learning the harp? Whether a student or teacher -- and no matter what level -- look no further than Cheryl Ann Fulton’s Harp Secrets: the Foundations of the Touch & Tone Technique for Harp. This internationally acclaimed harpist and teacher has spent years developing a course that creates incredible tone, stamina and passionate flow. This holistic approach to the harp starts with total relaxation and then shows students how they can work with their bodies and not against them to become amazing players.
How do you play a whole note? How do you find the best hand position for your own unique hands? How do you play with chi energy that comes from your core and flows unimpeded to your strings?
Cheryl goes over all this starting with hand and arm anatomy and then shares her numerous secrets. She approaches everything at a wonderfully slow, but deliberate pace -- going over the exercises in her videos so you can play along. There is even a session with a chiropractor giving tips on posture, stretches and exercises.
A huge bonus is when Cheryl demonstrates you get to see and hear some of her amazing harps -- from her lever and pedal harps to her medieval lap harps and her massive Baroque triple harp.
I feel like I could write a novel expressing how amazing Cheryl is as a teacher, and how fortunate I have been to have had her as my instructor from the very beginning of my harp journey. Right at the start, she taught me her brilliant Touch and Tone Technique, which not only set me up for ergonomic health but allowed me to achieve a rich, beautiful sound even as a novice. She has also helped me use this technique to develop nuance and musicality that I previously thought were beyond me. She is such a perceptive listener that whenever I am struggling she is able to diagnose the issue, whether musical, kinesthetic, or mental, and design an exercise on the spot to help me through it. Did I mention that she does this all through Zoom? Her ability to hear, feel, detect, and guide, even over the internet, is remarkable and a little spooky - but in a good way!
Some brilliant performers are not very good teachers, but Cheryl is the polar opposite. She is incredibly knowledgeable, encouraging, and hugely generous with her deep understanding of music and the harp. Our lessons are fun, exacting, and designed with my continuing progress in mind. With Cheryl as my guide, I know that I can only flourish and thrive as a harpist.”
- Elle Vevea
Elle Vevea is a researcher and writer living in Colorado. She took her degree in Historical Forensics at Oxford University (DPhil) with a focus on artist's materials and formulae of the Middle Ages. She has worked as a museum archivist, a copy editor, a designer of traditional and historical colors for interiors and professional artist's oils, and would love to become a minstrel one day. To that end she currently plays a hexachord strung Kentigern medieval harp by Ardival, as well as a 31 string Gothic Music Maker lever harp and is hoping to add a triple harp to her collection.
In over fifty years of musical study, I have never received such detailed, focused, and helpful instruction. Cheryl is constantly listening, evaluating, and adjusting her teaching to what will be of most benefit to the student.
I always know why she is asking me to do a particular exercise. Her technique has resulted in great tangible improvement in my technique, confidence, and musicality on the harp.
- Dr. John Prescott
John Prescott received his PhD in musicology from UC Berkeley and is a sought after teacher and pre-concert lecturer throughout the Bay Area
I started studying harp with Cheryl as an alienated-from-music-performance, ex-piano major after almost 40 years of not playing any instrument at all. With Cheryl's patience and faith in me I have reconnected with my "musical soul." She has tamed my oppressive inner critic and taught me to play with fluency and ease as well as with a quality of tone that I actually enjoy hearing. She has taught me to understand music in more depth and detail than I had thought possible and, with her instruction in Medieval harp, she has helped me to bring together music and the mysticism of the Middle Ages. In addition to being an outstanding, one-of-a-kind teacher and musician, she is also a wonderful person, sensitive and deep, and I enjoy connecting with her as well as learning from her. .
- Patti Wiley
Patti Wiley is a psychotherapist in private practice and an organizer and leader of women's groups on the Camino de Santiago, Spain. Her passionate interest in the mysticism of the Middle Ages was one of the things that drew her to Cheryl as a harp teacher. Patti is 75 years old, lives in Davis, California, and has been studying harp with Cheryl for 8 years
I studied with Cheryl as part of my doctoral work at USC and have continued my studies with her privately. She has also coached me in ensembles and worked with me on composition and accompanying myself on the harp while singing. Cheryl’s teaching is as practical as it is inspiring. Her devotion to the technical craft, deep knowledge of history, and love of music come together to create a profoundly enriching experience for me and all her students. She is a creative teacher and always meets students where they are with patience, compassion, and respect for each unique artist. -
- Katina Mitchell
Katina Mitchell is a musician and teacher based in San Diego, California. She holds degrees in music from Rice University and the University of Southern California, and teaches at Palomar College.
I find that Cheryl's playing and teaching beautifully meld rhythmic articulation and phrasing with coordination in the body. I know of no one who has so deeply thought of the physicality of historical performance practice as Cheryl. And as an Alexander Technique teacher, I appreciate that the coordination she has found involves what we call “the engagements and resets of spiraled motion” to express the rhythmic intentions of a piece.
~ Claire Happel Ashe
I have studied with Dr Fulton for more than five years having found her through a series of synchronicities. Previously I studied harp for more than ten years and developed physical problems with my fingers & wrists as well as limiting musical practices such as obsessive sheet music dependencies. Through her excellent Touch & Tone techniques like the Gather & Release and Wave In & Out as well as ongoing detailed ergonomic evaluations I no longer have physical pain or blockage when playing my harp. Through her assistance I am on a trajectory to be playing into my 80's. Her music theory lessons have taught me how to deconstruct a piece to get the big picture structurally and not get lost in disconnected, individual notes - to read whole sentences and not spell out every word. She has taken me from a clumsy beginning student to a more calm and confident intermediate student. I HIGHLY recommend her for all levels of harp expertise; beginner, to get the right start, to advanced, to facilitate ease & speed and more advanced, sophisticated musical expression, and everyone in between.
~ Judith Weiss, MD
Judith is a family physician and practices a harmonious approach to health, music, and all life: human, animal & plant. In that context, she studies holistic medicine, energy work, homeopathy & Torah. As well as playing harp she is a soprano and enjoys singing in choirs and is working on accompanying herself on her harp. After recently moving to Idaho, she met her soulmate; a jack of all trades & master of many. Together they garden, take care of chickens & enjoy their community.
Music is an important part of my life, and after years of saying “someday,” I was thrilled to take up the harp as an adult. Lessons with Cheryl have given me a wide palette of expressive sounds, and my hands never become sore or tired when playing my harps. Cheryl’s approach to fostering musicality using her Touch & Tone Techniques and applying them to fingerings creates an easy flow in even the gnarliest passages. Most importantly, Cheryl always considers my goals and preferences. She finds pieces that are engaging and at the right level, so that I remain motivated to continue my musical journey with the harp.
- Teresa Bailey
Teresa is a dedicated amateur singer and player of bowed strings, recorder, and lever, medieval and renaissance harps. She has performed in the United States, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden in chant and chamber choirs, as a vocal soloist, and as a multi-instrumentalist in various early music ensembles.