10 Quick and Easy Stocking Stuffers for the Musician on Your List

Dec 23, 2013

Need to finish up your shopping in a hurry? Try these 10 easy stocking stuffers for the musician on your list.

I’m not one of those people who shops for Christmas in August. Occasionally, I will find the perfect Christmas gift in the summer. But I really prefer to leave my shopping until November and December, when it helps with my holiday mood.

The difficulty with this is that I really...

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Why You Shouldn’t Practice Over the Holidays (and 3 Things to Do Instead)

Dec 14, 2013

“Don’t practice over the holidays!”

That’s something all my students would love to hear me say.Unfortunately for many of them, it’s the best time to get some concentrated work done. Finals are over, recitals are coming up, and they must practice.

But for the rest of us, the holidays are the time to chill out, push “pause,” relax, and yes, NOT practice.

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Five Books for Your Holiday Gift List

Dec 10, 2013

Are you looking for something to give your favorite musician this holiday season? Or possibly a new book or two for your own collection? Here are some suggestions for great books for any musician on your list, including you.

 

 

 

 

1. Just for harpists: Harps and Harpists, Revised Edition

This is a classic, and one that every harpist should have. I usually give this as a...

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Are You Having Technical Issues?

Dec 06, 2013

Sometimes we have technical issues. They may slow down our practice, mar an otherwise good performance, or just be a continual source of frustration. Whether it’s one finger that isn’t as strong as the others, or just a general need to improve our fingers’ agility, there is a four-step process that will help you meet your technical challenges.

Step 1: Eliminate. The first step...

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Three Reasons I Love My Air Turn (and Why You Should Have One)

Dec 02, 2013

 

 

 

 

          Air Turn BT 105

Last spring, I finally purchased my Air Turn bluetooth pedal for hands-free page turning. Very simply, it works with my tablet computer to turn pages of music that I read from the tablet in PDF format. It’s easy, convenient, and I should have gotten it sooner.

I first learned about the digital music revolution...

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The Practice of Thanksgiving

Nov 26, 2013
Do you practice Thanksgiving, practice giving thanks?

I write a lot about practicing on this blog. In fact, there are 113 posts in the Practicing category. The frequency of the topic is not really surprising, since practice is the single biggest part of a musician’s musical life.

The word “practice” has many shades of meaning. It can refer to a habit or custom as in...

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Fill Your Technique Toolbox

Nov 22, 2013
Is your technique toolbox well stocked?

In the last post, I wrote about the three things you need to work on to improve your playing. The first of those three is technique, and I would like to go into a little more depth about that in today’s post.

As I described in the post, your technique is your toolbox. It exists to serve your playing and the more tools you have in your toolbox, the...

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Improve Your Playing by Working in These Three Areas

Nov 19, 2013

The truth is that there are only three things you need to work on to improve your playing. These things are true whether you are planning to play concerts for thousands of   

people or just play    for yourself in your own living room. They are true whether you play the harp or another instrument. And the principles actually apply to any endeavor, musical or otherwise.

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Is Your Hand Centered? Why You Need to Find Out!

Nov 15, 2013

Is your hand centered?

Often I will have a student complain to me that their fourth finger is weak, or they can’t reach an octave comfortably. Usually they ask for strengthening or stretching exercises, but often those aren’t the solutions they need.

One of the most important things we harpists can do to have an even technique and tone is to keep the hand centered. What is...

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5 Reasons Holiday Music is a Great Teaching Tool

Nov 12, 2013

Holiday music is always part of my students’ lessons at this time of year. Often it’s just fun for them to have some holiday music to play. Sometimes they need to have holiday music in their fingers for a performance. Whether they prefer religious music or pop standards, I am happy to include it in their lessons. And with a little creativity, it can be a great teaching tool, even if...

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