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5 Tips for Playing Impressionistic Music

Jul 14, 2014

I was quite young when I fell in love with the music of Claude Debussy. I didn’t know the theoretical reasons that made his music radically different from what came before. I only knew that it was beautiful and expressive and touched me in a special way.

Debussy is often considered the initiator of the Impressionist movement in music. Impressionist painters had recently made their break...

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The 7 Things an Audience Expects from You (and it’s not a perfect performance!)

Jul 07, 2014

The audience is hushed; the lights are dimmed. The performer walks out on stage, trying to make her stride confident and hoping that the confidence will show up in her playing as well. Will the audience like what I play? Will they be disappointed? Will they like me?

Over my years of teaching I have helped countless harpists prepare for performance. Some of the performances have been...

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Why I Need to Get Out of My Practice Room More Often

Jun 30, 2014

Here we are at the halfway point in the year. As we begin the second half of 2014, we can seize this opportunity to reevaluate, redirect or recommit to our goals. Many of us have long since forgotten or abandoned our New Year’s resolutions. In some cases, our plans have changed and made our resolutions irrelevant. Some of us have given up, and the more determined ones among us have made...

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Kaleidoscope Practice is here at last!

Jun 21, 2014

Kaleidoscope Practice: Focus, Finish and Play the Way You’ve Always Wanted

Have you ever felt stuck in your practice? You know the feeling, the one where you believe that the music will never get any better. You don’t know what to practice; you don’t even want to practice any more.

Or maybe you just need a new approach, something to put the spark back in your practice and...

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A Quick Start Guide to Playing Baroque Music

Jun 17, 2014

Not sure what Baroque music is exactly? Uncertain about how to approach it musically? Do you know the particular musical characteristics that are the essence of Baroque style? This post is not a music history lesson, but it will give you the information you need to play this kind of music with understanding and style.

First, the facts

I promised this wouldn’t be a history lesson, but...

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Why aren’t you working?

Jun 13, 2014
  • Is your calendar a blank?
  • Is your phone so quiet you keep checking the ringer to see if it’s broken?
  • Is your bank balance shrinking daily?
  • You’re a good musician and you’re ready to work! What are you doing wrong?

It’s not enough just to be good at what you do. It’s not the best players that get the jobs. It’s the best salespeople.

Does that make you...

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Resistance and Recovery

Jun 09, 2014

I’m back.

In his book “Do the Work!” Stephen Pressfield writes about the most powerful anti-creative force we know: Resistance. Resistance is the enemy that attempts to keep us from accomplishing any creative endeavor, or any other kind of achievement. Resistance attempts to destroy momentum and, with it, our faith in ourselves.

You may have experienced Resistance when:

  • you...
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The Top Seven Reasons You Need Kaleidoscope Practice

Jun 02, 2014

What is Kaleidoscope Practice?

Kaleidoscope Practice is my system for approaching your daily practice with the “finish” in mind. Whether your “finish” is a solo recital or just playing for your own pleasure, Kaleidoscope Practice helps you practice more effectively and efficiently and play more confidently and fluently.

So here are the top seven reasons you need...

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Is it Done Yet? The Final Stage of Music Learning

May 26, 2014

This is the third in this three-part series of posts on the Three Stages of Music Learning. This post is about the final stage: the Finish. You can find Stage One and Stage Two here.

I have a cake recipe that my family loves. It’s a recipe for pound cake, and when I bake it right, it’s sweet, moist and delicious. The trick is in the baking.

It has to start in a cold oven, not...

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Making it Through the Messy Middle: Music Learning Stage 2

May 23, 2014

This is the second in this three-part series of posts on the Three Stages of Music Learning. This post is about the second stage: the Messy Middle. Here’s the previous post about Stage One.

“When will we get there?”

The traffic is backed up for miles on the interstate, or the flight is cancelled. Tempers are beginning to feel the strain, and the child picks this time to ask...

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