Lesson 1 : Get to Know Your Lyre
Have you ever "met" your lyre? We mean, truly "met"?
From what parts it is made of? Why it was so important in ancient Greece? How can we approach the ancient lyre today? Could it be possible to gain an important role in the modern world music scene?
"I cannot teach people anything. I can only make them think."
Lesson 2 : Tune Your Lyre to Perfection
Based on Plato's monumental work, The Republic, ancient lyre players possessed a great power that extended far beyond music and entertainment. They had the power to even change the State's laws, as long as they could... tune their lyre!
Let's find out what are the right steps and the right tool to perfectly tune your lyre, and discuss some of the upcoming potentials that you will face (sooner or later) by changing the tuning between different ancient and modern scales/modes to evoke different feelings to your audience!
"Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them."
Lesson 3 : How to Hold Your Lyre
Let’s separate ourselves from the vast majority of the lyre enthusiasts out there, and lay down the foundations to start playing our lyre with both hands! What is the right way to hold your instrument? How to secure it using a telamonas (an ancient hand strap)? Why is it so important to play with both hands?
"Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul."
Lesson 4 : Play Like the Ancient Greeks
Find out what an ancient pick looked like, and how it was used by the lyre players. Why was so important to learn how to play the lyre using a plectrum (a pick) in ancient Greece, and how it can be used today to help you advance your lyre playing quickly and expand your music repertoire to include both ancient and modern melodies.
"Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination."
Lesson 5 : Unlock Your Lyre’s True Potential
It is time to unlock our lyre's true potentials, by start using all the fingers of our right hand. We are going to add them one by one, following simple steps, until you will realise that with this simple approach only the “sky is the limit” for this amazing ancient-inspired string instrument.
"Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul."
Lesson 6 : Exercise Like the Ancient Did
You might have heard that dozens of ancient Greek melodies survive to this day, most of them partially, and at least one of them in total; the Seikilos Epitaph. What you probably don't know though, is that several of these surviving melodies are actually... exercises for wannabe lyre players!
Let’s practice with one of them, the so-called “Tetrasimon”; a simple but so effective exercise straight out from ancient Greece!
"Practice is everything."
Plus: Exercise on a lyre and your first ancient melody
Lesson 7 : Two Hands Lyre Playing
Take a moment to observe the world around you, and you will soon realise that most lyre enthusiasts play the lyre using just one hand. It is easier, we get it, but by doing so, they drastically limit their instrument's potentials; they actually doom their lyre to be an inferior musical instrument compared to other modern ones. Let’s stand out from the crowd at this lesson, add the left hand, and make a huge difference to our playing.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit."
Lesson 8 : Where do I go from here?
So, you have just finished the core lessons, and you feel the need to advance further with your lyre playing. Here is a quick video on what we will cover next in our Lyre Course 101!
Lesson 9 : Prepare your lyre for the courses
Do you own a lyre with more than 7 strings? Let's find out how to quickly prepare your lyre for the upcoming courses!
The main curriculum, including all the courses with 100+ lessons (from Course 100 up to Course 303) that expand to a full-year study, is designed for any type of lyres that have 7 or more strings.
The courses focus on learning, practicing, and, eventually, mastering different playing techniques (from arpeggios to harmonics, muting-chords to string pressing, and many more) that can be then used on as many strings as one wants to.
The 7string lyre approach was chosen because:
a. It is a number of strings that aren't intimidating for beginner lyre players.
b. Can offer a great repertoire to start with, with many ancient and modern melodies, that gradually expand as you add more techniques in your playing.
c. Gently forces the students to use the learned playing techniques at an early stage, making them gradually develop the needed confidence that is needed to become a skilled lyre player. Additionally, such an approach inculcates to a student a lifetime evolving mindset, which is so important when someone begins to learn an instrument with ancient origins, such as the lyre.
d. When you feel that you have practiced enough and have added enough techniques to your playing, then going back to a lyre with more strings will further expand your horizons, add dozens of more melodies to your repertoire, and additional possibilities on how you can progress further.
e. Masterclasses are offered to focus on lyres with a different number of strings, with the help of world-renowned lyre players. These will help you understand deeper what all these newly acquired techniques can do to your lyre playing. When the time comes, you will have a very good foundation to be able to follow along with a LyreAcademy Masterclass.
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Lina Palera is a world-renowned lyre player and a charismatic teacher with more than a decade of experience in music schools and educational institutions in the United Kingdom, Greece and abroad, working with adults and children too. She travels a lot for live performances at museums, festivals, conferences and other venues.