12 Harp Habits to Let Go Of (and 1 to Keep) in 2021

The popular thinking is that New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time and while I don’t fully agree, I understand the reason. Resolutions are usually constructed to fail. In fact, while more than 55% of people believe they will keep their resolutions, less than 10% of people (and some studies say as little as 4%) actually do.

The problem is that although we feel motivated, even excited, by the idea of making these changes, we rarely set ourselves up to succeed at them. We rely on our motivation to sustain us in our struggle and frankly, motivation is not enough. Neither is self-discipline or willpower. What we need to do is to clear the obstacles in our path.

I’m guessing that at least one of your resolutions or goals for 2021 has to do with your harp playing. In order to help you clear the way so you can beat the odds, I encourage you to let go of some of the habits or beliefs that might hinder you. It is likely that these things have slowed your progress in the past and we need to stop them from affecting you in the future. Starting today.

12 Things to Let Go Of

  1. Let go of the fingering. Sometimes accidental fingerings turn out to work even better.
  2. Let go of practicing and play. It’s not just about making it right; it’s about making music.
  3. Let go of the mistakes. It happened. You’re human. Get over it. 
  4. Let go of the nerves. They’re a physical reaction not a crisis point. They don’t need to stop you unless you let them.
  5. Let go of the wrong notes. Music isn’t about one note. It’s about the big picture.
  6. Let go of the familiar. When was the last time you tried music in a new style of genre?
  7. Let go of the fear. Sharing your music is a gift, one from the heart and unique to you.
  8. Let go of the tempo. What’s the worst that would happen if you play fast? (see #3 above.)
  9. Let go of the negative self-talk. Whatever you’re telling yourself, you’re probably wrong anyway.. Everyone else is not better than you. 
  10. Let go of the “shoulds.” Try substituting “I will” for “I should.”
  11. Let go of the baby step idea. There is a time for small steps, but it is fun to try a big leap once in a while. You don’t know what you’re capable of until you try.
  12. Let go of the somedays.. Why not now?

1 Thing to Keep

Keep the joy. It’s why you started and it’s more than enough to fuel the rest of your journey.

Lots of things in 2021 will be outside your control. But your music doesn’t have to be. Let me know if the comments below what you want to let go of this year and why.


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