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What is Musicality?

Feb 21, 2014

What is musicality? Is it something you are born with, or something you can develop? And if you can develop it, how do you go about doing that?

Merriam-Webster defines musicality as “sensitivity to, knowledge of, or talent for music.” That’s great as far as it goes, but it’s hardly the sort of definition a practicing musician would find helpful.

There’s no question...

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Creating Practice Space – Do You Know What You Need?

Feb 17, 2014

Do you have practice space?

Not just a space where you can practice, but space in your life for practice. Creating space for your practice is perhaps the most important thing you can do if you want to make progress with your music.

“I just can’t practice right now.” Maybe you have said that from time to time; I know I have. There are days that are too hectic and times when I...

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How You SHOULD be Using Your Metronome!

Feb 03, 2014

The metronome. I can see my students repress a shudder each time I reach for it in their lessons. I remember that feeling, the feeling that you have to keep up with that infernal clicking , but you can’t keep up and why can’t you just turn it off and play the piece?

In contrast, I can’t recall the exact moment that my relationship with the metronome changed. At some point, I...

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Three Musical Lessons I Learned from my Computer Crash

Jan 31, 2014

Musical lessons from a computer crash? Absolutely! Read on…

My laptop’s hard drive died this week. The data on the drive is unrecoverable. This is an incredible inconvenience, and one that many people face everyday. As we entrust more of our lives, our work and our memories to these technological marvels, we discover how dependent we become on them. And in those first few hours...

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No Teacup Pinkies!

Jan 29, 2014

We all know that the harp is a four-finger instrument. Our pinkies are just too short to be useful, no matter how much we might long for just one more finger to help us out.

This leaves us with the problem of what to do with those diminutive digits. The proper thing to do with your pinkies is to let them follow your fourth finger like a shadow. Those two fingers should move in tandem, opening...

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Finding Your Professional Musician Spirit

Jan 24, 2014

What is the spirit of an professional musician? And do you have to be one to have one?

image The usual definition of a professional musician is a person who gets paid for playing music. Simple, and true enough, as far as it goes. But most professional musicians would define it much more broadly.

Professional musicians know it’s not just about the money, although that’s certainly...

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Sightreading in Slow Gear? The Three Things You Must Fix

Jan 20, 2014
Is your sightreading stuck in slow gear?

When I was growing up, I used to love riding the bumper cars at the amusement park. You remember those tiny little cars where you actually try to crash into everyone else and there are no rules? My brother and I would zoom around the rink, aiming for each other, but usually one of us would have a faster car than the other. It was so frustrating to have...

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How to Energize Your Practice by Learning ABOUT Your Piece

Jan 17, 2014

Has your practice lost momentum? Try learning ABOUT your piece. You might just find a new perspective and new energy.

Does this scenario sound familiar? You have a new piece on your music stand and you feel like a race car, revving up for a lightning fast start. Ready, set GO! You dig into the notes, fingering, pedals. You are excited about playing this piece.

Starting a new piece is fun and...

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10 Tips on Playing Debussy

Jan 13, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think of when you think of Claude Debussy’s music? Is it the sweeping surge and play of the waves of La Mer? The clarity of his piano preludes? The many moods and colors his music can evoke?

I love playing Debussy’s music. It challenges me to be my most expressive, and at the same time, use my...

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How to Create Momentum, Part 2

Jan 10, 2014

In the last post, I offered some ways for busy professional harpists to create momentum in the new year in their playing and in their business.

Today I would like to suggest some similar momentum-creating ideas for adult students or non-professionals or teachers of the same.

I have a number of adult students, and I love teaching them. They are motivated, focused on what they want to do and hard...

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