I once had someone suggest to me that Harp Mastery® was a little ambitious as a name. Was I intending that my blog and my website would only help people at the highest level or help them to become masters of the instrument? Or was I proclaiming myself a “master” of the harp? Eek, definitely not. In response, I told her I believed that mastery didn’t have to be defined as the ultimate level of achievement, although that is how we often think of it. I had a different idea of mastery in mind.
Certainly the term can be applied to the virtuoso whose skill and artistry are, or are destined to become, legendary.
But I believe that all of us harpists, at whatever level of accomplishment, can attain the feeling of mastery, a feeling that encompasses confidence in our ability at our skill level, pride in our achievements and pleasure in our playing. Is that true mastery as we would apply the word to harp legends like Renié, Hasselmans or O’Carolan? Possibly not, although I feel certain those harpists would have felt confidence, pride and pleasure in their harp playing.
I think it’s essential, however, that all harpists, particularly those of us who struggle to feel like we are making progress toward our goals, understand that every level of harp playing is not just a growth stage but an accomplishment in itself. We may not feel like harp masters, and we may be very far from feeling like virtuosi, but we can recognize the results of our hard work and celebrate how far we have come. Every piece we learn, every technical or musical skill we develop is another step on the mastery journey.
So today, I want to talk more about mastery, not the virtuoso kind, but everyday mastery, the kind we can all enjoy. We’ll review the key components of mastery and of course, I won’t leave you just with the big concepts. We’ll get super practical and tactical and I’ll show you what you can do in your everyday practice to bring you closer to that place where competence, confidence and joy converge.
For those who attended Finish Camp, this will amplify what we spoke about there. But this is about much more than just finishing a piece. This is about starting your mastery journey from wherever you are and creating your mastery path to suit you and your own personal harp goals or dreams. I am sure you will find some mindset gold in this episode and you are going to want to bookmark it to return to it again when you need a pep talk.
Also, if this episode resonates with you, please share this with a couple of harp friends. Sometimes we can feel discouraged by our inability to make a positive impact on the world around us, let alone feel like we are making progress in our harp playing. So you can do your friends - and me too - a big favor by spreading a little podcast sunshine their way.
Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode:
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