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20 Fun Harp Things to Do in 2020

I know you take your harp playing seriously, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun with it. In fact, having fun is more to the point than you may think.

A friend recently related a conversation she had with her daughter who is a talented painter. Her daughter was encouraging her to paint with her, but she replied saying she couldn’t paint anything good. Her daughter then gave her this incredible gift of wisdom saying, “You don’t paint to make something good, Mom. You paint because it’s fun.”

It’s important to remember that we play the harp for the same reason: because it’s fun.

In this new year, be sure to include fun in your harp curriculum. Here are twenty ideas to spark your imagination. Some are creative; some are geared toward growth. All of them will help you connect to your harp in a new way. 

  1. Is 2020 the year you build your repertoire? Then get out your calendar and your music and schedule one new piece a month to learn, review or add to your list.
  2. Take a lesson with a teacher you’ve always wanted to study with. If you have to travel to your lesson, make a weekend of it.
  3. Detail your harp. Plan a harp “spa” day. Get last year’s dust out of the nooks and crannies. Polish your harp. Replace the worn strings. Go one step further and schedule a regulation. Your harp won’t just look beautiful; it will sound amazing too.
  4. To keep that dust off, you could make a harp “slip,” an elegant sheer dust cover for your harp.
  5. Ask a harp friend to be your “progress partner.” You can help keep each other accountable to your goals and on track. Be sure to plan celebrations for when you meet your goals!
  6. A harp retreat is a powerful way to create focus and momentum. There are plenty to choose from, including the Harp Mastery Retreat this February in Florida. 
  7. Throw caution to the wind and play fast. If you’re tired of sluggish fingers, then make your plan to pick up the tempo a step at a time over the next twelve months.
  8. Create a plan to strengthen your technique. You can improve your technique but it takes focused effort and a little bit of time each day. 
  9. Schedule a performance. Creating a deadline is the easiest way to spur you to practice. You can make it a major recital or 15 minutes at a local preschool, but get it on the calendar now.
  10. Looking to make your practice more like a game? Pick a theme - a genre, a composer, a color, anything - and focus your practice around it for the day.
  11. Go to a harp concert. Support the local harp community, assuming there are other harpists where you live. If there is no harp concert in your area, attend another concert. Live music is inspiring.
  12. If you have a local chapter of the American Harp Society, join the chapter and attend the meetings. The Society welcomes harpists of all ages, levels and lever harpists are welcome as well as pedal harpists. Being a part of the harp community will keep you “in the loop.”
  13. Or you can supersize your harp experience and attend the American Harp Society 2020 Conference this June in Orlando, Florida. I will be there, and I would love to see you there too!
  14. Reflect a little on your harp journey. How did you start the harp? What have you learned along your way? Write your harp story, and finish it with “To Be Continued.”
  15. Play along to harp videos. Yes, I know this sounds weird, but log onto YouTube, put in a pair of earbuds and play along with some performers on pieces you know. Pick the most expert performers you can find. It is a wonderful way to push your playing to a new level.
  16. Create an instant ensemble. Choose a harp ensemble piece you love. Record yourself playing one part, and the play the other part along with your recording. Or you record one part and have a friend record the other. 
  17. Schedule a harp photo shoot. It doesn’t have to be a professional shoot. Just grab a friend, a cell phone and dress up a little. You could stage the set for your shoot or go to a fancy location. Just make it fun.
  18. Play a pretend concert. This can be a fun, no-nerves way to try out playing for an audience. Set up some chairs in your living room and play for an imaginary audience. Smile and bow just as if it were the real thing. Don’t forget to have a tea and cookies “reception” after your concert.
  19. Make a fancy video. Dress up in your fanciest clothes and video yourself playing a favorite piece. You can post your video, or just send it to a friend or family member, or just have fun making the video.
  20. This is for the ultra-creative harpist. Write a short story about your harp and then set it to music, selecting pieces or composing your own music to create a soundtrack for your story. Let your imagination run wild!

One more thought for you: any of these ideas are even more fun with a friend.

Wishing you a happy and harp-y new year!

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