So How Was the Concert?

Nov 05, 2013

The concert is over. I pack up the harp, drive home and anticipate the first question I will hear as I come through the door: “So how was the concert?”

My husband never wants to hear about the difficulty of trying to neatly thread the ensemble needle between the flutes and the celli, or what the intonation challenges were. He wants an answer that’s more along the lines of...

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Macro Practice – the Big Picture

Nov 01, 2013

Have you ever felt bored or frustrated with trying to perfect all the details when you practice? This is necessary work, however difficult, but trying to perfect all the details can keep you from getting a piece to the stage where you can play it, even if you only play if for your own pleasure. It’s like looking at a drop of water in a microscope and never seeing the ocean. Or not seeing...

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Compared to What?

Oct 30, 2013
“Compared to what?”

“It’s not good enough,” I say when my practicing isn’t going well. “It’s not ready yet,” says a student when the recital date is getting close.

What I find interesting about these statements is that they feel like statements of fact, but they are not. They are judgment statements. And although we may feel certain about...

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Etude a Day Challenge Wrap-up

Oct 25, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    © jro-grafik – Fotolia.com

Last month I launched my first “Etude a Day Challenge.” The participants were challenged to play through one etude a day from a book of etudes I selected for the 25 day course. My goal in presenting the challenge was to give harpists...

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The Third Stage of Memorization

Oct 22, 2013

Memorizing music is a long process. Once most people have passed the first two stages, they think they are done. But that really is only the beginning.

In previous posts, I wrote about the first two stages of memorization: rote memorization and conscious memorization. Rote memorization relies on repetition to develop knowledge strengthened by physical habit. Conscious memorization requires...

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Weird Music Teacher Tips

Oct 18, 2013

 

 

 

              © vlorzor – Fotolia.com

No, not tips for weird music teachers. Just some offbeat ideas to help with those difficult music lessons.

Your student didn’t practice this week? Did they forget to bring their music to their lesson? Maybe they need some help, motivation or inspiration? Or maybe they just feel stuck?...

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Are You a Good Listener?

Oct 16, 2013

Here’s a thought for the day: Music is about listening. Ok, so it’s not earth-shattering news, but sometimes we get so caught up in making music that we forget to listen. We practice, play and practice some more. But if we are not listening, we are not using our best resource for correction and inspiration.                     ...

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Why Memorization is a Poor Substitute for Note Reading

Oct 11, 2013

Do you memorize instead of reading the notes?

 

 

 

 

 

       © Elnur – Fotolia.com

If so, you’re not alone. Many people do this believing it is easier, at least for them, to learn the notes for a specific piece rather than learn to read them in general.

If you are one of these people, you are probably aware that you do it and that...

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Happy birthday, Camille Saint-Saëns!

Oct 09, 2013

    Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns
  "(October 9,1835 – December 16, 1921)

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (October 9, 1835 – December 16, 1921)

Today I would like to honor the birthday of composer Camille Saint-Saëns, born October 9, 1835.

The Saint-Saëns work we harpists most often play is perhaps “The Swan,” whether we perform it as a harp...

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How is Your Alberti Bass?

Oct 07, 2013

How is your Alberti bass?

This familiar bass pattern is named after the Venetian composer and singer Domenico Alberti (c. 1710 – 14 October 1740). It bears his name due to its frequent appearance in his popular harpsichord sonatas. In the centuries since, it has become a stock accompaniment pattern. You can find it harp music from Dussek to Damase. And despite its ubiquitous presence, it...

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