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Practicing Harp Happiness

#004: What Does a Shaky Technique Really Cost You? [3 Surprising Ways Your Fingers May Be Holding You Back]

Fast flashy scales and graceful arpeggios are one sign of a strong harp technique, but they aren’t the only indication.

In fact, even if you never expect to play fast music or super-difficult music, you need a strong technique.

Technique isn’t just for speed. For instance  if you struggle to make your music flow smoothly or be more expressive, these could be signs that you need some technique work. 

In this week’s episode, I reveal the 3 most important reasons - not including speed and security - you need a stronger technique and how to begin developing it without hours of drudgery.

Even if you’ve never been a fan of exercises and etudes,  when you listen to this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How your musical expression depends on your technical level.
  • The skill you need to strengthen to create more flow in your music.
  • How to prepare your fingers for that next piece you want to learn. 

Plus, when you listen, you’ll have access...

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#003: Canon Law: A Harpist’s Guide to the Pachelbel Canon

music and meaning Jun 07, 2021

 What’s the one piece any harpist could name after just the first two chords? It’s the Pachelbel Canon of course.

Whether you’ve played it a thousand times or have yet to learn it, the Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel has become standard repertoire for harpists. The piece has embedded itself in our musical culture so deeply that it is on every gigging harpist’s most requested list and a favorite with any audience. 

But it isn’t all that easy to play, unless you know the shortcuts.

In this episode I explain some of the musical elements of the Canon with the idea that the more you understand about this piece, or any piece, the easier it is to learn it quickly and to play it well.

Plus, I share some of my favorite Pachelbel practice techniques with you, ones that can save you a lot of practice time and frustration, even if you’ve played the piece before. You’ll discover:

  • Why your harp version isn’t really a “canon.”
  • ...
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#002: How to Have a Perfect Harp Lesson [What Your Teacher Really Wants From You]

 Every harpist wants to play well for her teacher. Somehow, though, we always find ourselves explaining that we played so much better at home.

I know; I’ve been there too. But over my years of teaching I have gathered some insights from the other side - the teacher side - that will help you understand what your lesson really should be about, the right way to prepare, and how to save  yourself from “lesson meltdown.”

On this week’s podcast episode, I not only reveal what your teacher really expects of you, but I also give you my top strategies for:

  • Staying focused not frazzled.
  • Creating the “inspiration mindset.”
  • Understanding what and how to practice when you get home.

Plus, when you listen, you’ll learn about a new course to help you strengthen your technique so those finger fumbles won’t get in your way.

Join me as I walk you through the strategies you need to make every lesson a great lesson. 

Links to things I...

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#001: Find Your Practice Style: Style No. 3 “The Beagle”

practice May 10, 2021

We harpists all have our own practice style. You might not have thought about it until you discovered some of your harp friends have very different ways of practicing. Maybe this made you wonder if you’re practicing the right way or doing it all wrong.

In today’s episode, I review the first 2 practice styles - maybe one of those is yours! - and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about practice style 3 - The Beagle - the strengths, the challenges and if you’re a Beagle, you’ll learn how you can use your Beagle superpowers to make consistent progress in your harp playing.

I know it sounds a little goofy, but bear with me. This is important because when you understand your own preferred style of practice, you can practice more effectively which will save you time and help you get your pieces finished faster. And that’s a HUGE win. 

And at the end of the show I will give you a point-by-point comparison of all three practice styles....

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