The Aeolian Harp

Aug 10, 2012

©iStockphoto.com/marlenka

The Aeolian harp  is a stringed instrument that is played by the wind. It is named after Aeolus, the ruler of the winds in ancient Greek mythology. You have heard one if  you have ever had your harp outside, and heard the breeze play the strings by itself.  Enjoy this short tribute to the Aeolian harp.

The Aeolian harp summerhouse...

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Don’t Lose Momentum on Your Vacation

Aug 08, 2012

No room for a harp!

You deserve a vacation, some time off away from everything, even away from practicing the harp. But how can you make sure you don’t lose momentum when you’re not able to practice for a week or two?

Some instrumentalists have it easy. They can grab the handle on their instrument cases and go.

Not so for us harpists. If you have a little harp or a Harpsicle, you...

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Michael Phelps: The Greatest Olympian of All Time

Aug 06, 2012

This past weekend we saw Michael Phelps win his 22nd Olympic medal, earning him the title “Greatest Olympian of All Time.” What does that incredible achievement mean for the other athletes who compete in these and future games? How can they or any of the rest of us ever expect to be “the greatest”?

http://youtu.be/gHFhGDWP9Fs

In sports, it is often easy to identify the...

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The Why of Key Signatures

Aug 03, 2012

©iStockphoto.com/Thinglass

At some point in every music student’s life comes the moment when she must learn all the key signatures. And at some point for every teacher comes the question from that same student: “Why do I have to know them?”

There are some easy reasons that we all give our students. They may need to learn them  for an exam. Or we can...

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Refresh Your Practice

Aug 01, 2012

©iStockphoto.com/laylandmasuda

August is here, and we all need some summer refreshment. The dog days of summer can sap your energy and make practicing a chore. But with a little imagination, you can refresh your practice routine using these lighthearted practice themes.

The other day I came across a recipe online for a drink that  looked really refreshing, a cucumber melon...

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Olympic Fanfare for Harp

Jul 26, 2012

 Here’s a very brief harp video for you to enjoy in honor of the start of the summer Olympic Games.

This is my arrangement of “Salut des étendards” or “Salute to the Standards” written by Joseph David Buhl. Buhl was a French trumpet player, composer and conductor of the early 19th century. His “Salut” was written as a military fanfare...

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Competition Tips from the Judges’ Table

Jul 25, 2012

©iSiStockphoto.com/DNY59

Recently, I was privileged to be a judge at the Young Artists’ Harp Competition in Rabun Gap, Georgia. If you or your students are planning to enter a competition, these are some tips from the judges’ table that will help you make your best impression.

There’s an old Joni Mitchell song called “Both Sides, Now.” I...

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Valuable Lessons from Harp Camp

Jul 23, 2012

Playing at the Green Drake Gallery
(not pictured – Paige Setzer)

We had another fabulous week at this year’s Harp in the Mountains Summer Festival . As always happens at camp, I was reminded of some truths about practicing, performing, teaching and leadership that I’d like to share with you.

This is the sixth year for Harp in the Mountains Summer Festival. It is...

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3 Tips to Improve Your Stage Presence

Jul 13, 2012

“©iStockphoto.com/cscredon

Every performer knows stage presence is important, but it can be hard to evaluate, let alone improve, your own visual effect on an audience.

The visual image you present before you play a note can make the audience predisposed to enjoy your performance. Or not. And while we like to think that audiences use what they hear to judge us, the human...

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What Mr. Rogers Taught Me About the Harp

Jul 11, 2012


Last week I attended the American Harp Society National Conference in New York City. In reflecting on the fun day I spent there, I found that my three most important take-aways from the conference were things I learned in my childhood watching “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Let me share with you how I made the connection.

I was on the exhibit floor at the...

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