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#099: The Shortcut Way To Build And Maintain A Repertoire

Building a repertoire sounds like something only a master harpist would need to do. Yet all of us need to have music that we can play anytime and anywhere we want. But building a repertoire sounds like a huge project. I’m going to show you today that all you need to do to build - and more importantly, to maintain a repertoire - is one pen, 3 sticky notes and 5 minutes. 

Impossible? Not impossible. In fact, we’re going to take the seemingly impossible task of building a repertoire and make it simple. It’s a little like turning a black diamond ski run into the bunny slope, or turning Mt. Everest into a molehill. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but if you’ve ever struggled with having pieces ready to play at a moment’s notice or keeping those pieces you’ve finished in your fingers, you’re going to find today’s episode is a game changer.  

One of the first coaching students I worked with online, and this was years ago, came to me with the goal of developing a repertoire. She was relatively new to the harp and that actually made my job easier. She had very few preconceived ideas about what a repertoire should be like: what kind of pieces she should play, how long they should be, how much music she needed and whether or not she had to have it memorized. In just twelve weeks she had forty-five minutes of music that she could play confidently; she had her repertoire.

Twelve weeks to go from zero pieces to forty-five minutes was a really good time frame. There were two things that made that possible. First was her lack of “should’s.” Because she hadn’t put limitations or restrictions on what her repertoire should be like, she was open to possibilities that more seasoned harpists might have discarded. I’ll talk about that more in a minute.

Second, I introduced her to some shortcuts that made it easier to keep up with her pieces, to keep them in her fingers and relatively fresh in her mind too. Those are the shortcuts I’m going to be sharing with you today.

So if your repertoire needs a refresh, a restart or just a boost to get off the ground, this is the information you need. We will take the shortcuts, whizz past the places where you may be stuck and clear up some of the thinking that may be keeping your repertoire in the “someday” pile. And all you will need to get started is a pen, three sticky notes and 5 minutes. And to listen to this episode first, of course.

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 and suggestions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected] 


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