Why You Need to Stop Following the Fingering

Aug 24, 2020

“Hurry up! You’ve taken enough pictures. They’re already in the next room!”

 

I heard this refrain constantly on one European trip. Actually, I didn’t hear it; I said it. My husband is always the one lagging behind the tour group to capture an interesting photo. In those moments, I’m always afraid we’ll miss what the tour guide is telling us, but...

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All Opposed! Training Your Thumb to Play Well With Others

Jul 20, 2020

The fingers must be educated, the thumb is born knowing. Marc Chagall

 

In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence. Isaac Newton

 

Naturally, as a human, I am grateful for my opposable thumbs. But as a harpist, I often wonder why my thumbs often seem to do the opposite of what I want.

 

When I want a seamless scale, my thumb fumbles...

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Are You Practicing Scales the Wrong Way?

Jun 29, 2020

In the previous blog post, I revealed how fluent scales are a critical factor in playing with more technical security, more musical flow and learning with more ease and confidence. Today I show you the four factors your scale practice must include to produce the results you want.

 

One of my favorite musicals is “The Music Man.” I love the setting, the characters and the...

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The Failsafe Fix For Fast Flexible Fingers

Jun 22, 2020

What harpist wouldn’t want fast, flexible fingers? Just imagine if your fingers were agile and even sounding, so that your music would have flash and sparkle. 

You may be like many harpists in search of the elusive trick to a facile and nimble technique. You might even believe that you’ve tried everything, and you will have to accept the fact that your fingers will never get...

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5 Fingering Do’s and Don'ts

May 18, 2020

“To change the fingering or not to change it; that is the question.”

If Hamlet had been a harpist, his famous speech might have started with those words.

We harpists often struggle with the fingering markings printed in our music. Sometimes the fingering choices of the composer or arranger feel clumsy and awkward; at others they threaten to tie our fingers in knots. Often instilling...

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How to Practice Past Obstacles: Redefining Your Limits

Nov 04, 2019

There are things you do for your children that you would never have done for yourself. There are icky things, sticky things, difficult things, unusual things. For instance, I am pretty sure my father never would have dreamed about lugging a harp around if I hadn’t needed him to. For my son, I took karate lessons.

I’ve never been much of a sports person and I never would have thought...

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Are Your Fingers Failing You? 10 Quick Fixes

Sep 30, 2019

When was the last time you said this: “If it weren't for those 2 measures in the middle, this piece would be no problem for me?” 

We've all been frustrated by those spots where our fingers always seem to miss the strings or fumble or trip over each other. And it seems that no matter how much we drill them, they still feel unreliable or shaky. 

It's a fact that some...

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