Fran Barsby Harpist Professional Harpist based in West Sussex
Fran holds an Honours Degree from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Music and a Masters Degree in Research in Education form the University of Bath. During her studies Fran enjoyed learning with teachers including Catherine White, Eleanor Turner, Gabriella Dall'Olio, David Watkins, Skaila Kanga, Louisa Maria Cordell, Charlotte Seale, and Anne Hughes Chamberlain.
Fran is incredibly passionate about encouraging students to push harp horizons and to enable as many people as possible to access and study the instrument. With over a decade of teaching experience, both in schools and privately, she now teaches face-to-face in person in the PoppyHarp Harp Studio, online to students around the world. Fran has also launched The PoppyHarp Online Harp School which contains tutorials and courses on playing, performing, music theory, aural, music history and more. Fran enjoys conducting masterclasses and workshops at events such as the Harp On Wight International Harp Festival, Edinburgh International Harp Festival, Pilgrim Harp Events. She previously spent 6 years teaching Harp at Kings High Independent School for Girls and Harp at Warwick Preparatory School, The Blue Coat School Birmingham and Music GCSE at Kimichi Independent Secondary School and Perry Beaches Accademy. Fran has also lectured on harp and composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, with the Young Composers Project Birmingham and in numerous schools around the UK.
Fran is a busy performer enjoying playing for weddings and events. As the Resident Harpist for Pilgrim Harps she also enjoys performing and working at events such as Edinburgh Harp Festival, Pilgrim Harps Open Days and Come and Try the Harp Events around the UK. Fran has enjoyed performing in venues such as St John Smith Square, Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester Minerva Theatre and many more. Her solo and ensemble career with groups such as the International Harp Ensemble, and various chamber groups and orchestras has taken her around Europe. Fran enjoys performing an eclectic range of music but is especially passionate about pop music and bringing the harp into the 21st century. She is especially proud of her project, The PoppyHarp Composers Project, (formerly the Future Blend Project), which brings composers and harpists together to work on new music that compliments the harp but that does not compromise the character of each individual composers ideas.
The Story of PoppyHarp
PoppyHarp began as a final year project at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire by Fran Barsby. It was a way to publish tuition books without the crazy costs and palaver of a publishing company. It quickly grew and became a shop in the beautiful gardens of the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick. In just a few months PoppyHarp outgrew this space and moved to a large town centre location in Warwick, UK. Due to family commitments and Covid-19, sadly the shop had to downsize and Fran continues to run PoppyHarp by appointment only. PoppyHarp is a harp showroom for Pilgrim Harps, Derwent Harps and Silver Spear Harps. It is also a tuition and harp hub for harpists locally - running harp based events and opportunities. PoppyHarp studio is now based in West Sussex.
2015 Our beautiful home in the Lord Leycester
2016-2020 High-street shop Warwick
2020 - 2021 Harp Studio - Warwick
2021 - Present Harp Studio - West Sussex
"Fran is a shining light and the most colourful harpist" Anna 2022 - Harp On Wight
"Incredibly happy with my beautiful new Pilgrim Harps Skylark in Walnut bought from the brilliant and incredibly helpful Poppy Harp! Can't wait to start playing on it and recording with it! " "Thank you so much for being so helpful and patient whilst I decided which harp I liked most! I'm really really happy with my new harp! Definitely lots of practicing! Diolch!!" Gareth 2018
"Love PoppyHarp. Very kind, helpful and very patient. Came away with a wonderful harp. Thank you Fran for making this a wonderful buying experience. Love the Pilgrim Skylark!!" Helen 2018
"Fran, So lovely to meet you, your books are wonderful and I wish you all the success for the future, which you so deserve. Thank you." Donna from Pilgrim Harps 2015
"Fran is a passionate young musician. Her playing and enthusiasm are truly catching!" Gabriella Dall'OIio 2015
"Fran, I'm so pleased we met in Birmingham. Your passion for the harp and Pilgrim is amazing. You should be so proud of yourself! If you ever need Pilgrim for anything just give me a call." Penny from Pilgrim Harps 2015
"What a fantastic Book collection! We'll be wishing you much success (well deserved)" Kirsty and Dom 2014
"Amazing! Really is such a great book to match a wonderful person!" Erin 2014
"Many congrats! Hope PoppyHarp is a big success!" Richard T 2014
"Congrats on all of the awesomeness! You are one hell of a driven woman and it'll be interesting where the clouds take you" Ben 2014
"Never met a superstar before, many congrats" Kate 2014
"Congratulations on your amazing book collection. Your amazing and deserve the success coming your way!" Georgie 2014
"Congratulations on a FANTASTIC launch, you deserve it after all your dedication and hard work. Your an inspiration to me and a valued friend." Jamie 2014
"Lovely to seen you again after way too long! Congratulations - I'm so happy you are doing so well!" Yrja 2015
"Wow Fran! What an amazing thing you have done! Wishing you every success in the future." Cathy White 2015
"Congratulations on all you've achieved so far! I can't wait to see what you do next!" Amy Turk 2015