Debussy is generally credited with the rise of the Impressionist movement in music. The Impressionists focused on the mood and atmosphere of music, conveying it through tone color and flow, rather than sharp musical detail.
The paradox of this music is that, although it often seems outside of time even without a tempo or pulse, the very formlessness of it is written into the music. Following Debussy’s printed directions is often the easiest way to get the expression you want. You can and should approach this music in the same way you would begin a Bach or Mozart piece - but you need a little more information first.
On today’s show we will explore three features of Debussy’s Clair de lune. You will discover:
In this episode, I will reveal three ways in which you can make your music - any piece of music - more musically expressive. You will discover:
Plus, I think you’ll learn how to do the most creative and interesting practice you’ve ever done!
Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the...
Are you a “Last Minute Letty,” getting on the right strings at the last second?
Maybe you are a “Not Ready Yet Nellie,” and you make the music wait while you find the right strings.
Or maybe you are a “Fumbling Freddy,” struggling to make your placing clean and correct.
The tips I share In this podcast episode will help you fix your placing issues and learn to help your fingers find the right strings, on time, every time.
Let’s get your...
Musical flow, or continuity, can be hard to achieve, if you don’t know how. In this episode, I reveal what you must do to create continuity as well as what you must not do. If you have struggled making your music sound seamless, expressive and effortless, this is the podcast episode for you.
You will learn:
If you'd like to go a little deeper, my 30 Days to Done course shows you exactly how to use those four steps to take a piece of music from bumpy start to seamless finish, in - you guessed it! - 30 Days. The link...
“United we stand,” are words familiar to every American, but few of us know that they first appeared as lyrics of what was perhaps the first song of resistance in the colonists’ uprising against British taxation.
This podcast episode is dedicated to the story behind this song of the American Revolution, once iconic and now much less familiar than its jeering British contemporary tune, “Yankee Doodle.” With words by John Dickinson to a tune borrowed from an English opera, this song became a key player (pun intended) in the American quest for liberty.
No, it wasn’t a harp tune, but I will play it for you anyway and you can download my harp arrangement of it too!
Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode:
Have you ever thought of your music as having colors? Or thought about a color difference between major and minor?
Maybe to you a minor key is just another key.
But to me a minor key is so much more. As a musician, I first learned to listen critically with minor keys. As a teacher, I have seen that minor keys (much more so than major keys) open the door to understanding music theory. And as a harpist, I appreciate minor keys for the creativity they allow me, again more than major keys. And I love the way minor sounds, its tonal color.
Today's episode isn’t just about the facts of minor but also its color - what makes minor sound like minor and what makes it sometimes sound almost like major. Major and minor are more closely related than you might think. But it’s not all rainbow talk today.
You will also learn:
You’ve practiced hard to learn your piece. Now what do you do with it, especially if you aren’t planning to perform it? Keep practicing, and if so, for how long? Put it away?
If you’ve ever wondered how to tell if your piece is really done or what to do with it when it is, you are not alone.
Starting a piece is the easy part. Your energy level is high and you’re ready to dig in. Then the going gets tougher as you drill the notes and the fingering. Finally, the piece begins to turn into music. This is when you discover that you have no clue what to do with it now.
On this week’s podcast episode, I reveal not only how to decide when your piece is finished, but also the four “finish line” options which allow you to polish your piece for performance, or put it away with pride and a couple of things in between.
Having a clear plan for your piece is key to your...
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:
Plus, when you listen, you’ll have access...
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:
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:
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...