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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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Tips for Painless Performing

Mar 14, 2014

There’s really only one secret to performing. Do it a lot. You get better at it. That being said, there are skills you can actually develop that will make it easier.

Too often, students are thrown into difficult performance situations without really being prepared for them. If things go well, everyone’s happy. If things go badly, the damage can be difficult to repair. I think...

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Do You Practice Your Why?

Mar 10, 2014

“Why?” is the biggest question in the world. It’s annoying when a toddler asks it incessantly. “Why?” is your frustration when your computer chooses the worst possible moment to crash. And it’s the question that almost never has an answer.

“Why” is also a popular question. Simon Sinek’s book “Start With Why” presents the bold...

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Why √Čtudes are Important

Mar 07, 2014

"And your étude for this week…”

Etudes When I was a young student, hearing my teacher say those words made my heart sink. An étude meant boring. dull and possibly difficult work that seemed unrelated to the music I wanted to play. As a piano student, I hated the Hanon book. And as a young harpist, I loathed the LaRiviere.

Piano technique is no longer something I...

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5 Qualities of Successful Freelance Musicians, or How to Love Your Work

Mar 03, 2014

We often talk about what freelance musicians need to DO: make phone calls, send out contracts, talk to clients or potential employers, keep a music stand in the car. But the long list of tasks seems less daunting when you distill it and realize that there are habits and attitudes that you need to develop to be successful in the freelance market. It doesn’t matter whether you’re...

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Insights from the Kaleidoscope Challenge

Feb 28, 2014

© Zdenek Precechtel – Fotolia.com

Recently, a group of dedicated harpists and I finished the “Kaleidoscope Challenge.” “Kaleidoscope Challenge.” This online challenge was 4 weeks of practice techniques and FaceBook camaraderie designed to make our daily practice more efficient, focused and effective. The techniques were part of the “practice...

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