Making Music: a Labor of Love

Sep 04, 2016

Hard labor. Labor pains. Manual labor. Labor of love?

A “labor of love” sounds like an oxymoron, two seemingly opposite words. In terms of our musical studies, we might define it as the hard work we do in pursuit of excellence or in the service of our passion for music.  But this definition makes one critical assumption: that we will realize results that will justify our...

Continue Reading...

In a Practice Rut? 7 Ways to Make Your Practice More Creative

Aug 28, 2016

Are you in a practice rut, feeling a little bored, unproductive or unchallenged?

We all get into a rut occasionally. Usually it’s not from lack of discipline. Actually, often the diligent workers are the first ones to feel stuck in the practice mill.

Sometimes our practice can feel directionless or purposeless, like we are practicing in circles. Sometimes we simply don’t know what...

Continue Reading...

Quick Technique Checkup

Aug 14, 2016

What harpist couldn’t use a checkup for their technique?

Our technique is crucial. It’s how we do what we do. No matter how well we read notes, how quickly we memorize or how deeply we connect to the music, if our fingers stumble over the strings, no one will want to listen.

The world is complicated, but working on your technique doesn't have to be. So put your weighty exercise and...

Continue Reading...

Create Your Perfect Practice Routine

Aug 07, 2016

 

They say that perfect practice makes perfect. But are we all looking for “perfect?”

For most of us, we are simply aiming for “better.”  It would just be nice to know that we are working on the right things in the right way.

We are a culture obsessed with productivity - getting more done, developing systems, employing strategies, hacking our schedules. But...

Continue Reading...

The Season for P-L-A-Y

Jul 31, 2016

To everything there is a season…

There’s an old saying, “Make hay while the sun shines.” Farmers know they must reap the hay in dry weather. If it is gathered when it is wet, it rots before it can be used.

The seasons of the calendar and of our lives flow so seamlessly that it is easy to miss the moments of transition.  Suddenly it seems the leaves are gone from...

Continue Reading...

Why Hands Together Doesn’t Work

Jul 24, 2016

Playing hands together instead of hands separately is always a challenge. But why should it be so much more difficult? And what are the best strategies to use to make it work?

Picture the best multi-tasker you know.

This is the person who never says “no” to a project or a request, appearing to keep all the balls miraculously in the air, juggling phone calls, emails, family...

Continue Reading...

Taking a Vacation from Practice

Jul 17, 2016

When you took your last vacation did you take your instrument with you?

I heard an alarming statistic the other day. According to recent research, about 41% of U.S. workers don’t use all their vacation time, and some 56% of Americans haven’t taken a vacation in the last 12 months. In other words, many of us are just too busy to take the vacation we have earned. And that...

Continue Reading...

Play Better Octaves Today!

Jul 10, 2016

Octaves – the interval that we harpists play perhaps more than any other. From a musical perspective, octaves add richness and depth to the music we play. But from a technical perspective, they can be surprisingly challenging to play well.

We all know the basics. Octaves are most often played with thumb and fourth finger. But there’s much more to a well-played octave than that. In...

Continue Reading...

Freedom and the Pursuit of Music

Jul 03, 2016

Today, as we in the United States celebrate the founding of our country, we will remind ourselves of the freedom we enjoy, freedom that is the very core of our national heritage and our American attitude. We recall the famous words from our Declaration of Independence:

 

   

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their...
Continue Reading...

What Will You Accomplish This Summer?

Jun 26, 2016

What do you want to accomplish this summer? Will you just get a nice tan or will you be more ambitious?

For me, since my teen years, summer was always about projects - reading the complete works of a single author, learning to knit (that one didn't work out so well), practicing my Christmas repertoire, or maybe cleaning out the attic.

Naturally, I still went on vacation and hung out with my...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.