Music for an American Triumph Over Tragedy

Sep 11, 2013

I do not choose to recognize September 11 as a day of mourning any longer. We remember those we lost and grieve their passing. But we as a nation, true to our history, have overcome. We remember but we survive. We mourn but we continue. We honor and we rebuild.

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite music. It is music expressive of our country and our people , and I find it...

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The Three Necessary Stages of Memorization, Part 1

Sep 09, 2013

It is easy to know when we don’t have a piece memorized. It is more difficult to know when a piece is “ready” to be performed from memory.Memorization is a process, and one that requires time and effort. It is not simply practicing a piece until                                     ...

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What to Do When Frustration Threatens Your Success

Aug 30, 2013

 

 

 

 

From time to time, we all experience what I call “potentially terminal frustration.” This is the kind of deep frustration that causes us either to give up and walk away or break through and achieve.

The barriers can seem insurmountable. Consider what used to be considered impossible: breaking the sound barrier, running a four-minute mile, a decent frozen...

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A Fun Scale Pattern for the End of Summer

Aug 28, 2013

Sometimes it’s really fun to play the harp.

Practicing is pretty hard work, and while it’s rewarding, I wouldn’t call it fun, particularly technical work like scales and arpeggios.

But the other day, when I sat down to practice, I was regretting the coming end of summer. My train of thought lead me to the famous Gershwin song “Summertime,” and my scales adapted...

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15 Places to Share Your Music (and Make Extra Money)

Aug 26, 2013

This is the time of year to make plans. And if your plans include doing some extra playing in public and maybe earning a little money, you need to read this post.

Sometimes opportunities for playing are right in front of us, but we miss them. Instead we are staring at the phone or checking our email waiting for an invitation. You don’t need to wait to be asked; you do the asking!

Most of...

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What Are Your Plans This Year?

Aug 23, 2013

     © Chad McDermott – Fotolia.com

Here we are at the last official week of summer. The schedule is once again the ruler of our lives. with school, work, meetings, and performances.

I have always enjoyed this time of year. The beginning of everything holds such promise. I remember looking forward to the new clothes I would have for school, the new classes, the new...

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Five Essentials for Your Teaching Studio

Aug 19, 2013

I love cool gadgets, but when it comes to teaching music students, the best teachers go old school. They realize that having a successful and profitable teaching studio requires a few basic ingredients to run smoothly and create opportunities for their students to grow.

If you teach, you probably have all these systems in place already. But if you’re like me, there are always refinements...

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My Top 5 Takeaways from my Emergency Practice Plan

Aug 14, 2013

    

 

 

 

 

           One page of my practice log

I want to report back to you on my experience using the 40/40/20 plan as the structure for my emergency practice.

First, the results. I did get enough practice, despite two days of travel time when I could only manage one hour instead of two. Everything that needed to be prepared...

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12 Ways to Start NOW!

Aug 12, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

           
 
© berc – Fotolia.com

We all have dreams and goals, but achieving those dreams and goals is not easy. There are endless traps and distractions. Often the hardest part is just getting started.

Maybe you’re the type that can’t sit down to practice until all your other daily chores are...

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Two Essential Wrist Techniques

Aug 07, 2013

   © William Ceron – Fotolia.com

It’s all in the wrist. Maybe not ALL, but certainly, a harpist’s use of the wrist is an important feature of technique.

Normally, I believe the wrist should be steady. When you play a scale, for instance, your wrist shouldn’t flex in and out to accommodate your fingers. Instead, it should be part of the support system for...

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