Online Music Lessons: Best Practices

Aug 21, 2017

Online music lessons may sound like nirvana to many music students – being able to study music wherever you are and no matter where your teacher is. If you’re a music teacher, though, you likely instinctively sense the possible drawbacks and limitations of learning music at a distance.

Nevertheless, online music learning is increasingly how students young and old, experienced and...

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Practice Your Musical Creativity

Aug 14, 2017

Musical creativity isn’t a “yes or no” thing. It isn’t a “have it or don’t have it” kind of skill. It’s more of a “use it or lose it” proposition.

This isn’t a scientific argument. It’s based solely on my observations and experience. But let’s consider this scientifically…

Science would urge us to apply...

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Is Your Repertoire Ready?

Aug 07, 2017
Is your repertoire ready to play?

Imagine you received this phone call today:  

"Good morning [YOUR NAME HERE]. I'm so glad I caught you. We are having our church social coming up next weekend, and our committee thought it would be lovely if you could play for us. I know it's short notice but it would be so nice if you could come and play. Please say you will. Everyone would love it.

" ...

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Your Harp Technician – Your Harp’s Best Friend

Jul 30, 2017

Who is your best “harp” friend? Is it your teacher, your harp circle buddy, a fellow student, a colleague? Maybe your best harp friend is your harp itself.

Your harp has a best friend too, and while you’re right at the top of the list, the next best friend your harp has is likely your harp technician.

Your harp technician is not just a “harp doctor.”  He or...

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Playing the Right Notes at the Right Time

Jul 23, 2017

Playing the right notes at the right time may be enough.

 

J. S. Bach

“There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.” – J. S. Bach

It’s quite a statement, whether Bach was indulging in some tongue-in-cheek modesty or absurdly reductionist thinking.

But what if it were – at...

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Is Learning The Harp Harder Than You Thought?

Jul 16, 2017

Is learning the harp harder than you thought?

I can imagine the moment, probably because so many of us experienced something similar. You see the harp. You hear the harp. You fall in love with the harp. You buy a harp. You start practicing the harp.

The next sentence ought to be “You play the harp.”

But that’s not usually how it happens. More often, particularly for the adult...

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Become a Better Musician This Summer: 20 Ways to Do It

Jul 09, 2017

Becoming a better musician is truly a lifelong pursuit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make significant progress this summer.

I am by nature an optimist. Even so, each year about this time I find myself despairing at how fast the summertime flies. I always have so many projects, musical and otherwise, that I want to accomplish in the summer, but the summer seems to fly by.

To...

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The Healthy Harpist: 15 Critical Checkpoints

Jul 02, 2017

Are you a healthy harpist?

No, this is not about proper nutrition or about getting enough sleep. Those are essential for everyone, not just harpists.

And for a change I’m not referring to good practice habits.

Instead, I want to help you build and maintain the correct physical habits that are necessary to play the harp well, without pain, stiffness and tension, the habits that will...

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Why Counting Counts and Why You Should Be Counting

Jun 26, 2017

Counting. Chances are that it’s either something you do nearly automatically or it’s something that you never do.

I can still hear my piano teacher insisting that I count out loud, and I can still feel my resistance. Counting, particularly aloud, didn’t come easily or naturally and I didn’t see the point.

I have now spent decades on the other end of scenario as the...

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Music on Your Desert Island List

Jun 19, 2017

What music is on your "desert island" list?

You've played a version of this game before, I'm sure. You imagine that you were stranded on a desert island with no foreseeable hope of rescue. Think Robinson Crusoe. You begin to create a way of life for yourself on your island. One of the items that you discovered on the island was a CD player. (Fortunately, this CD player runs somehow on solar...

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