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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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The Pursuit of Mastery

Nov 08, 2013
                                                   The pursuit of mastery bears gifts.
                                                 ...
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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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