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#051: Get Out of Your Own Way: The Story of the Sacrificial Leaf

Are you trying to do too much? 

As a harpist or harp student, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There is so much music to learn, so many skills to develop, so much technique work you need to do and not nearly enough time to do it all.

If this sounds distressingly familiar, I have good news and bad news. 

The good news is that this is totally fixable. The bad news is that only you can fix it.

Don’t give up yet though, I do have powerful suggestions and advice for you today that will help you figure out what is really important for you to practice and what isn’t. My guess is that about half of what most of us practice daily isn’t really essential or helpful. That’s a scary idea! 

Stop for a moment and imagine the implications of that. It could very well be that you’re spending an hour of practice and getting only 30 minutes worth of results. You think you’re using your time well, but you may be doing too many repetitions or warming up for too long or trying to learn too many pieces at once. In other words, you may be sabotaging your own progress. 

Don’t feel bad if this sounds like you. We’ve all done it, including me. Learning to do less is not instinctive.

On occasions when you have seen master musicians perform, perhaps you noticed how graceful and efficient their movements were whether they were harpists or played another instrument. That economy of movement is due to their understanding that the music requires less from them, not more. Extra motion impedes their technical ease and the music’s flow in addition to being distracting for an observer. Efficient movements allow for greater technical freedom and deeper musical expression. Sometimes you can do more with less. You must choose what to keep and what to let go. 

On today’s show I’ll share 7 things you might want to let go of and what to keep instead. And I’ll start by telling you the story of the sacrificial leaf, something I learned about on a recent trip to the Everglades. 

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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