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Practicing Harp Happiness

#040: Moving Up: How to Find the Next Rung of the Ladder

Today you are going to get a promotion. Or rather, today I am going to give you a promotion. Or even better, today you are going to give yourself a promotion.

A promotion is exciting. It may come with a new title, or a certificate or a diploma. It likely entails new responsibilities and new challenges as well as new and as yet unimagined opportunities. It signifies a higher level of competence and the confidence that others, at least, have in your achievements to date and in your potential. And that gold star, that new job title, that salary raise is proof of your accomplishment.

But where is the proof of your harp accomplishment? How do you know that you’re making progress, or keeping pace with whatever goals or timelines you have set for yourself? Where’s the guidebook that says, “You are here,” and shows you how to get to “there?” 

Yes, we do have some ways to gauge our progress. Music exam systems, like the ABRSM or RCM exams, provide an...

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#039: Love Your Chords! 3 Ways To Make Them Lush and Lovely

You and your harp are the perfect Valentine’s love story. You met your harp, fell in love and the rest is history. When I talk about harp happiness here on the podcast and elsewhere, I’m talking about that love connection you have with your harp - that magical feeling that you began with and about continuing that feeling, deepening it, nourishing it, helping it flourish. 

 Of course, sometimes harp happiness has its bad days, those days when the joy just isn’t there. Those moments of frustration are the bumpy part of a harpist’s journey, and today’s podcast is about one of the major bumps in the road for all of us harpists: playing chords. We want our chords to sound lush and lovely but sometimes they just come out like a disorganized cluster of random notes. 

There are so many ingredients to playing a lovely-sounding chord.You must place multiple fingers quickly and accurately on the strings and then play them either at exactly the same...

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#038: Kaleidoscope Practice: Focusing On What Matters

Imagine you found yourself stranded alone on a deserted island. It’s a beautiful place or it would be if you knew a little more about it. Are there dangerous animals or poisonous plants? How will you survive? You need food, clothing and shelter, but you have no idea how to provide them for yourself. Out of necessity, you begin carefully and slowly, learning just as slowly by sometimes painful trial and error. 

Sometimes harp practice can feel like that deserted island. You tune the harp and sit down ready to work. But you don’t have a clear direction. You don’t know if you’re doing the right things the right way. And there’s no one by your side to give you advice.  You have plenty of notes from your last lesson, but essentially your teacher told you what to work on or accomplish, not so much actually how to do it. Are you wasting your practice time?

On the other hand, you’ve probably experienced the feeling after a lesson where your...

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#037: Playing Without Fear: My No-Sweat Performance System

Let’s face facts: performing is scary. 

Even though you’ve practiced that piece a million times and a million different ways and you feel you know it backwards, forwards and inside out, there are so many variables in a performance situation that it’s no wonder we’re scared. 

Yes, there are ways to “bulletproof” your music and yourself. But that’s not what today’s show is about. Today we are putting the focus on the fear itself. That feeling of fear is real, even though we can tell ourselves there isn’t anything to be actually afraid of. We are going to call out the fear we feel, bring it into the light, give it a name and learn how to get past it.

We’re not talking about perfection here. We’re talking about management: of your fear, your expectations, your adrenalin, your focus. And while I can’t guarantee that you won’t have any fear, I can promise you that the strategies we will talk about...

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#036: Sight Reading Should Be Easy: 4 Simple Strategies

Does sight reading scare you? Do you wish you could instantly play any new piece you want to learn, even just enough to get the idea of how it sounds?

Being able to read music fluently and learn it quickly is a “someday” skill for many harpists. Fortunately, you can improve your sight reading with a few essential skills that you are probably already practicing. The dramatic and nearly instant results will amaze you!

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode:

Get involved in the show! Send your questions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected] 

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#035: The Genetics of Musical Genre: Do You Have to Choose?

music and meaning Jan 17, 2022

If all music uses the same basic elements, why do musical styles sound so different? And why do some connect with us so powerfully and others leave us cold?

Some harpists love to experiment with diverse musical styles.Others prefer to stick with what they love. Today’s episode explores elements of musical style. Discover why your favorite music touches you, and learn how to connect with styles new to you. Musical adventures await!

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode: 

Get involved in the show! Send your questions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected]

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#034: Tweaking Your Technique: 3 Ways to Level Up

Is your technique your biggest harp issue? 

Perhaps you know your technique is holding you back. Maybe you know you need to find the next level but aren’t sure how to get there. 

Today Anne reveals three ways to level up your technique and free your fingers to do your bidding. The good news? You might be doing the right things already. The better news? A faster, more accurate and secure technique is just a few simple tweaks away.

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode: 

Get involved in the show! Send your questions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected]

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#033: Choosing Your Next Step: How to Eat an Elephant

The energy of the New Year can be a trap as our good intentions become overwhelming. We burden ourselves with too many resolutions, too many projects and too many brilliant ideas. That’s the fast track to disappointment.

Today Anne explains why the best strategy for harp success in the new year is a one step at a time approach. Choosing your next best step and creating a plan to ensure you take that step are key to your harp happiness this year.

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode: 

Get involved in the show! Send your questions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected]

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#032: My 2022 Harp Happiness List

music and meaning Dec 27, 2021

I’m going to get a little personal about harp happiness and it will probably surprise you.

On this last podcast of 2021 I share my favorite harp moments of the past year and my harp goals for 2022. They aren’t the type of goals you probably imagine. Yes, there are some achievement type goals but there are more esoteric ones too. I hope they may inspire you to decide on some 2022 harp happiness goals for yourself. Here’s to a Happy New Year for all!

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode: 

Get involved in the show! Send your questions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected]

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#031: Relax, Review, Enjoy: A Practice Plan for the Holidays

Is holiday harping making you stressed? As the angel said, “Fear not!”

We all find it difficult to find practice time during the holidays, even though this is the time we need to keep our fingers ready to play. In this episode of the podcast you will discover a stress-free practice plan that will keep you in shape, no matter how many cookies you still need to bake. All it takes is a few minutes and a little planning.

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode: 

Get involved in the show! Send your questions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected]

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