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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What To Do Now: Making Music in Interesting Times

Mar 23, 2020

There’s a saying known as the “Chamberlain Curse” that has a new significance these days: May you live in interesting times. It speaks directly to where we are now across the globe.

For many of us, these times feel less interesting than confusing, discouraging, overwhelming and frustrating. I take heart, however, knowing that this is a unique opportunity for us as musicians to...

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Yes You Can! 12 Things to Do When You Can’t Practice

Mar 16, 2020

You just can’t do it.

It’s 9 PM and you’re finally finished with a non-stop day. You can’t even remember what you did today, but you know this is the first chance you’ve had to sit down and catch your breath. You know you should be practicing. But you just can’t do it.

They happen to all of us, even the most dedicated harpists, those days when you just...

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Floppy Fingers? Develop Strong Fingers the Smart Way

Mar 09, 2020

No harpist ever had floppier fingers than I did. 

I had been playing the harp for eight years, and still my fingers were all over the place. Every knuckle bent the wrong way. My double-jointed thumbs slid off the strings. I didn’t know how to fix them, but it was clear to me that unless I straightened my fingers out, my dreams of being a harpist were going to stay merely dreams....

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Family Connections: Alphonse Hasselmans

Mar 02, 2020

One of the powerful motivators for me in my harp playing and my teaching is the sense of legacy. I love thinking about the harpists who came before me, for whom the music that I know as standard repertoire was new and exciting, who studied with the legendary masters of the instrument. This history inspires me with a feeling of gratitude and an awareness of the responsibility that I carry as a...

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7 Reasons Tuning Your Harp Is Worth the Trouble

Feb 24, 2020

There’s a famous quote attributed to the composer Igor Stravinsky that every harpist knows: Harpists spend 90 percent of their lives tuning their harps and 10 percent playing out of tune. It has the painful ring of truth.

The harp is a treacherous instrument in this regard. The magic of the organic materials that comprise so much of the instrument is that they make the instrument very...

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