Mastery or Fluency?

Aug 05, 2013

That hippest harpist Deborah Henson-Conant wrote a great blog post recently about mastery. She pointed out that the heralded “10,000 hours to mastery” isn’t what most adult learners are interested in. (By the way, you can read about the 10,000 hours in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success .) What they want, DHC writes, is fluency. And I totally agree.

I...

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My Homemade Harp Base Cover

Aug 02, 2013

We all know the importance of protecting your harp from the weather and from bumps and scratches. And if you move your harp often, as I do, you must have protective covers.

I am definitely a fan of those wonderful transport covers that Lyon Healy has. But they are expensive and very bulky. (I know – bulky is the point.) And I have three concert grand harps to cover.

So when I needed a new...

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The Three Steps to Memorization

Jul 31, 2013

         
 
 
 
 
 
   
© Photo-K – Fotolia.com

“Please memorize this for next lesson.” These are words that send chills through many musicians. Do you dread playing from memory? Do you feel ill-equipped for this task?

So many times I hear students of all ages say, “I could never play from memory. I...

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My Emergency Practice Plan in Action

Jul 29, 2013

Somehow I lost the last month. I had great intentions and a well-crafted practice plan, but it just didn’t work. We had a family reunion, plus I held harp camp and my website has been having issues. I had minor surgery. My son moved out of his apartment into another apartment and then went to on Italy for the summer. It’s been busy here, not really unusual, just busy.   ...

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Musings on the Canon

Jul 26, 2013

It wasn’t the bride’s fault that she picked the steamiest day imaginable for her lovely garden wedding. But there I was, under a tent, playing a wedding ceremony in the middle of a heat wave. To top it off, I was playing the Pachelbel Canon. I know people either love the piece or hate it, but I don’t usually mind playing it.

This time, however, I found myself playing the...

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Summer String Survival Tips

Jul 23, 2013

We just finished another fun week here at Harp in the Mountains. Harp camp is always fun, and this year I was privileged to have a great group of students. As always, we rehearsed a lot, but we had fun too. And this year’s heat wave made the swimming pool the best place to take a break from practice.

We like to call ourselves the only harp garage band. The garage is a perfect space for us...

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Concentration? 100%

Jul 15, 2013

As I am writing this, I am beginning another year’s Harp In The Mountains Festival. This is the seventh year that I have hosted a small group of dedicated harp students, mostly high school and middle school age, for a week of ensemble playing and learning about the harp.

This year the students range in age from 11 to 17, and as you might guess, their skill levels are very different. But I...

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The Perfect Practice Recipe

Jul 08, 2013

Have you ever been stumped trying to figure out how to organize your practice? Sometimes it’s because we have too much to do; other times it’s because we don’t have enough to do and our practice is aimless. Here’s my solution for those times I need a little structure: I use my “40/40/20” recipe.

The “40/40/20” method is easy to explain. Every day,...

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A Little Help From My Friends

Jul 03, 2013

 

   ©iStockphoto.com/RTimages

It was a little over a year ago that I started blogging at Harp Mastery. My idea in starting the blog was to share some of the things that I have learned about the harp and harp playing, music and being an active musician. Through this blog, I have been privileged to virtually meet harpists from all over the world who are on all different...

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Can’t Practice? Ten Tips for Getting It Done

Jul 01, 2013
At Harpmastery Day in June, my friend and colleague Candace Lark and I co-presented a workshop on “Practice Strategies for Results, Growth and Pleasure.” Here are some notes from the first part of that workshop.

Practicing is difficult. It requires concentration, discipline and time.

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