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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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Make Consistent Practice Your Secret to Success

Jul 08, 2012

We all know that “practice makes perfect” is a stretch of the truth, but most of us agree that practice is the only way to get better at anything, particularly music performance. But if our practice isn’t consistent, neither will our performance be consistent. Remember the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise’s steady, consistent pace got him over the finish...

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7 Things Every Harpist Should Know Before Choosing a College

Jul 06, 2012

With the incredible variety and number of options, how do you make a good college choice? How can you find the right music program to get you where you want to go? Is a music conservatory the right choice for you?

Rest assured, there is at least one college, and most likely several colleges, that would be a good fit for you. But how do you figure out which one is right?

Center...

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Facebook for Musicians – What You MUST Know

Jul 01, 2012

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There is one important secret musicians often overlook in using Facebook to promote their careers and stay connected. It’s almost certainly something you already know but are not disciplined about. It’s this one fact: when it comes to Facebook and other social media, people ARE watching. I heard a Wall Street Journal report last week...

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A Harpist’s Summer Reading List

Jun 29, 2012

©iStockphoto.com/zhang bo

Summer reading is a great opportunity to explore new things – new ideas, harpists, people and places, different ways to think about the topics that interest you most. With your mind at its most relaxed, new discoveries can quickly take hold, leading you to new creativity and inspiration.

“You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except...

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The 5 Steps to GREAT Practice

Jun 27, 2012

©iStockphoto.com/Sharon Dominick

All practice is not created equal. And GREAT practice leads to terrific performances.

I remember when I was a young harpist,  my mother would set the kitchen timer to make sure I did the amount of practice my teacher required each day. At that age, it couldn’t have been very long – maybe 20 minutes or a half hour – but...

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