Kill Your “Can’t Do” Attitude: How To Defeat Your Limiting Beliefs

Mar 04, 2019

Have you ever been sure that you just can’t do it? Maybe the problem is a passage that you can never play correctly or a tempo you think you can never achieve or a skill level that you fear will always be beyond you.

You tried to stay hopeful. You’ve stayed committed, putting in hours of work, but that end result still eludes you. The question that haunts you is this: “What...

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Practice For Two: A Guide to Effective Rehearsing

Feb 25, 2019

Two people making music together is like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – two great things that are even better together.

Playing solo is fine, naturally, and playing in an ensemble is fun. But nothing is more enjoyable and rewarding than practicing and playing music with a friend. Being part of a duo can be a wonderful bonding experience where the whole is more than the sum of the...

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Quick Fixes for Left Hand Octaves

Feb 18, 2019
 

Not happy with your left hand octaves? Let’s fix that!

The octave is a defining interval in Western music, marking the outer limits of the progression of half steps and while steps that form the scale.

It is also a critical interval for a harpist’s left hand to master. It’s not that the right hand doesn’t play octaves, of course; it’s simply that left hand octaves...

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Grins and Grimaces: Putting on Your Concert Face

Feb 11, 2019

The close-up of the soloist reveals the look of intense concentration on her face. The performer’s total commitment to the music is visible in her closed eyes and slightly furrowed brow. There is strength and beauty in her expression.

A quick ramble through YouTube videos will reveal a wide variety of “concert faces.” Some of the most remarkable will be found in videos of live...

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3 Reasons You Can't Finish a Piece and How to Fix It

Feb 04, 2019

Why can’t you finish that piece?

Composer Franz Schubert never finished his Eighth Symphony. If you aren’t up on your music history, you might think it was because he died before he could complete it, but that was not the case. Schubert wrote the first two movements of the symphony in 1822, but he lived, and composed, for 6 more years. In fact, scholars cannot ascertain exactly why...

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Habits: Is It Time For a Change?

Jan 28, 2019

There is no question that we all are creatures of habit. The only question is whether our habits are intentional or accidental, whether they propel us forward or hold us back from the future we deserve.

From a scientific viewpoint, a habit is merely a triggered response that has become automatic. What I find interesting is this: the power of the habit lies in the trigger. If you’ve ever...

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The Musician’s Success Secret

Jan 21, 2019

Is there a secret that every successful musician knows - and you don’t?

“She always seems so confident.” “She never lets things get to her.” “She doesn’t seem to feel the pressure.” “She looks like she’s having fun.”

Other the years I’ve watched performers who just didn’t seem to get flustered. They didn’t seem...

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Flute and Harp: Forging the Future

Jan 14, 2019

Joan Sparks, Louis deLise, Anne Sullivan

What is it about the flute and the harp? These two instruments in combination evoke elegance and grace, both visually and aurally. Perhaps a Jane Austen drawing room comes to mind, or the most recent wedding you attended. Whatever else flute and harp music may be, it certainly is everywhere.

Like many harpists, I can remember my first flute and harp...

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My 2019 Designed: How I Put It All Together

Jan 07, 2019

Welcome to 2019! I love a new year. It feels like a beautifully wrapped present with your name on it, just waiting for you to open it. What might be inside??

If you’ve been following the last few blog posts, you’ve learned the steps to designing your 2019, to setting goals and creating a plan to achieve them. The process we have used is a little untraditional and whimsical, and I...

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Design Your 2019: Finding the Pea

Dec 31, 2018

In this third post in the “Design Your 2019” series, we discover the most important factor in achieving your goal.

The “Princess and the Pea” was always one of my favorite fairy tales. In this 1835 classic story, Hans Christian Andersen writes about the test that a prince’s mother devises to ascertain if a prospective bride for her son is truly of royal blood.

A...

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