Do you need a coach?

Apr 12, 2013

Working with a coach can make a big difference in how you play. Look at the staff of any baseball team. There’s a pitching coach, a hitting coach, a fielding coach, a catching coach, a bullpen coach, a first base coach, a third base coach. Sports teams spend big bucks on coaches for their players.

When I was a Curtis student, there were times I envied the singers. While I...

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Playing Music: The Good Parts

Apr 10, 2013

We love the good parts. The best scene in the movie, our favorite chocolate in the box, the center of a Tootsie Pop. In music, performances, applause, beautiful gowns, a love of music, or just being able to play a piece well are some of the good parts. And these are usually the things that inspire us to pursue music in the first place. But how do we feel about the not-so-good parts, like...

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When Opportunity Knocks

Apr 08, 2013

When an opportunity comes to you, how do you decide whether or not to pursue it? What factors should you consider? Do you take every opportunity or should you be selective? I have some guidelines that may be helpful when you have this kind of decision to make.

 Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Opportunity! Some people naturally embrace every chance that presents itself. This...

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Happy Birthday, Salzedo!

Apr 05, 2013

Carlos Salzedo: harpist, composer, teacher, innovator, born April 6. 1885. I never met him, but my teacher was his student, and I have had many opportunities to talk with others of his students.  I love the stories, much like I love hearing family stories about relatives I never knew. But in the true tradition of music, my deepest connection to Salzedo comes through his recordings and his...

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No More Memorization Mistakes

Apr 03, 2013

With recital season upon us, it may be the perfect time to check your memorization techniques.

Memorization mistakes are probably the most dreaded of all performance difficulties. But it is possible to learn to avoid making them, or at least minimize the aftermath.

How do you make certain your music is well memorized? I have a few suggestions.

First of all, you need to understand the real...

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Push Back to Develop Your Strength

Apr 01, 2013

Feeling overwhelmed or discouraged with your practicing, playing or anything else? Push back!

“Dynamic Tension” is an exercise system developed by bodybuilder Charles Atlas in the 1920’s. The core principle of Dynamic Tension is self-resistance, using your own muscles to provide resistance to train other muscles.

Atlas always said he got the idea for this system...

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Music for a Good Friday

Mar 29, 2013

On this Good Friday, I would like to share with you the music of Good Friday 286 years ago, the music of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.

The St. Matthew Passion is a monumental work, calling for double choir and double orchestra. It is imposing in length, around 3 hours. It is dramatic, a moody and emotional depiction of Christ’s suffering on the cross. It has been sung,...

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Some Lessons I Learned

Mar 27, 2013

In today’s post I share with you some of the lessons I have learned on my musical journey.

I am often asked for my opinion on the most important things for a young harpist to learn. Usually students who ask the question are looking for the ultimate practice secret or repertoire piece. Parents of students are looking for practical information on harp buying and colleges.

But the things I...

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Could you tune without a tuner?

Mar 25, 2013

What if all the tuners and tuner apps disappeared tomorrow? Could you tune your harp?

Of course, the tuners will not all disappear. In fact, tuners and tuner apps are everywhere and easier to use than ever.

But could you tune your harp without one if you had to? Have you developed your ear to “hear” intonation instead of merely “see” it on your tuner?

It’s funny...

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Five Fun Harp Things to Do This Weekend

Mar 22, 2013

Put some harp in your weekend,  just for fun!

 

 

 

1. Polish your harp. I like to keep my harp clean with regular dusting and occasionally a damp cloth, but once a year or so, I enjoy “detailing” my harp, cleaning all the nooks and crannies and giving it polish all over. Here’s a YouTube video on harp cleaning from harp regulator Steve Moss.

2....

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