12 Ways to Use Your Metronome to Create Time

Jun 01, 2020

Perhaps you’re one of the musicians who consider the metronome to be a tyrant, an expression-killing dictator, a relentless critic. You probably turn on your metronome only when you absolutely must, using it to help you correct an uneven rhythm or speed up sluggish fingers.

If those are the only ways you have used your metronome in your practice, then you haven’t explored what I...

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3 Steps to Making a Video You Can Be Proud Of

May 25, 2020

With lockdown restrictions still in effect, you may be deciding to make your very first harp video. Perhaps you have tried before, but found the process too difficult. In this post, I show you how to streamline the process and like - possibly even love! - the result.

Any experienced musician will tell you that making a recording is far more difficult than playing in front of an audience. There...

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5 Fingering Do’s and Don'ts

May 18, 2020

“To change the fingering or not to change it; that is the question.”

If Hamlet had been a harpist, his famous speech might have started with those words.

We harpists often struggle with the fingering markings printed in our music. Sometimes the fingering choices of the composer or arranger feel clumsy and awkward; at others they threaten to tie our fingers in knots. Often instilling...

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A Storyteller’s Guide to Musical Expression

May 11, 2020

There’s an art to telling a good story. Famous yarn-spinners like Mark Twain or the legendary Scheherazade knew how to captivate their audiences. It didn’t seem to matter what the story was about or how far fetched the premise was.The storyteller’s art is less about the material than it is about the delivery.

Children know this instinctively. I can recall countless sleepover...

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Finding the Finish Line: When Is Your Music Done?

May 04, 2020

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

This famous philosophical poser can be a starting point for a fun debate. Is it a physical science question or a metaphysical one or both? However you consider it, there is an element of mystery that can spark your imagination.

Here is another question that is similarly difficult to answer: If a piece of music...

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3 Ingredients of a Perfect Plan

Apr 27, 2020

In the last post, I wrote about why having a plan for any goal you want to accomplish is beneficial. In this post I reveal the three necessary ingredients of any plan.

Every plan sounds like a good plan. But if every plan were a good plan Indiana Jones wouldn’t have been captured trying to recover the lost ark, Dorothy wouldn’t have been swept up into Oz by a tornado and Columbus...

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3 Right (and 3 Even Better) Reasons to Make a Plan

Apr 20, 2020

What is a plan? It’s a set of instructions for doing something you want to do. It is the single most important ingredient in your success in accomplishing your task. Don’t believe me? Just try putting a piece of IKEA furniture together without following the instructions.

Sure, you can always wing it. But you’ll be risking the failure of your entire project. 

When it comes...

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Eliminate the Noise: How to Create Focus in the Midst of Chaos

Apr 13, 2020

This might have been a quiet time. 

Generations ago, an epidemic or plague shut people in their homes with no means of contacting the outside world. A yellow quarantine notice kept everyone outside away and isolated those within. Life inside would have been very quiet.

Today, the internet has brought the noise of the world inside even though we can’t go out. It provides a measure of...

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Make Success a Habit with this Simple Formula

Apr 06, 2020

Success is an elusive concept. We know that success doesn’t have to be defined in terms of a bank balance or superstardom or awards. However, convincing ourselves that we are indeed successful can be difficult.

This is particularly true in music, when we can feel accomplished one day and feel like we are back at square one the next day. Even when we understand that this is a necessary...

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Why Keep Practicing? A Long Term Strategy

Mar 30, 2020

First there was the shock. What is happening? What am I supposed to do about it? How can I keep myself and my loved ones safe?

Then there was the feeling of a “snow day,” that surprise gift of a day when the snow has made travel impossible. Schools and offices are closed, and you’re stuck in the house. Once you sort out the cancellations and make that first cup of hot...

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