The Three Pieces You Absolutely Need to Know

Apr 14, 2014

There is a great article in Harp Column magazine this month by Nadia Pessoa. It’s all about survival skills and being prepared for musical emergencies. Not dealing with a broken string, but being prepared to play when you weren’t expecting it.

In the article, Erin Earl Wood mentions her teacher telling her to always have 20 minutes of music memorized, just in case. That’s...

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How to Cancel a Performance the Right Way

Apr 11, 2014

It happens. We keep careful records and live by our calendars. But sometimes circumstances change, and we have to cancel performances we committed to. What is the best professional etiquette for those sticky situations?

There are two kinds of situations that require slightly different handling.

First is the emergency situation. It is last minute (the day of the performance or the day before)...

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Do You Hate Your Metronome?

Apr 07, 2014

Most of us musicians will admit to a love/hate relationship with our metronome. Its relentless clicking, ticking or beeping reveals our failings. It has no mercy, and it never gets tired. Batteries even seem to last longer in a metronome than in any other electronic device.

So why has the metronome been an essential tool for generations of musicians?

Consider carefully what the metronome does.

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The Woodshed: Do’s and Don’ts

Apr 04, 2014

Woodshedding (noun) a centuries old practice technique designed to produce correct and consistent performance through relentless repetition. Sound like fun? Not likely.

The legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker is often cited as a musician who owed his success to the woodshed. As Parker told the story, after some embarrassing performances as a young musician, he began...

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Bach, and My Friend Edward Aldwell

Mar 31, 2014

Today we celebrate the 329th birthday of a musical giant: Johann Sebastian Bach.

I have always had an affinity for Bach’s music. It speaks to me in its order and its beauty, its complexity and its elegance.

And I love playing Bach’s music, although I remember struggling, as a young piano student, to play without using the pedal. (Ah, the irony – I’m stuck with seven...

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How Much Music Theory Do You Need?

Mar 28, 2014

 

 

 

 

       
               
   © Chad McDermott – Fotolia.com

No doubt about it: music theory is an essential for every music student, no matter the skill level or age of the student. As any seasoned performer will tell you, a basic understanding of music theory helps you learn music...

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Warm-up with Chords!

Mar 24, 2014

Chords, especially chords with four notes, can be troublesome for harpists. We have to find all the right strings, have the notes sound balanced, roll the chords evenly, or play them perfectly unbroken. A little bit of dedicated chord practice will go far toward making your chords more beautiful and more expressive.

And of course, it’s even better when you can make that chord practice...

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Attention Freelance Musicians: How to Get Your Clients to Ask You Back

Mar 21, 2014

Your freelance music business will thrive if you can count on repeat business. If you think you can’t get repeat business, let me show you how.

Suppose you play weddings. These people will only get married once, at least to each other. I’m not suggesting that you hinge your business on a future divorce, but there are likely other celebrations where your music would be ideal. How...

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You Can Have Even Fingers in 7 Easy Rhythms!

Mar 17, 2014

We all want more even fingers, more fluid scales, rippling arpeggios and dazzling speed, but often that seems light years away. However, using these simple rhythms to practice your scales, arpeggios and even trouble spots in your repertoire pieces, you can get results quickly.

The basic principle is this: Some fingers develop more strength than others, and this is because we generally ask them...

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You Can Have Even Fingers in 7 Easy Rhythms!

Mar 16, 2014

We all want more even fingers, more fluid scales, rippling arpeggios and dazzling speed, but often that seems light years away. However, using these simple rhythms to practice your scales, arpeggios and even trouble spots in your repertoire pieces, you can get results quickly.

The basic principle is this: Some fingers develop more strength than others, and this is because we generally ask them...

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