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#160: The Other Side of Harp Playing: How to Develop Your Musicianship

Maybe you’ve noticed or maybe you haven’t, but these podcasts are organized into three different categories. One category is “Practice and Performing” and another is “Music and Meaning.”  The third category is “Technique and Musicianship.” Technique is one of those self-explanatory items, but musicianship probably needs a little more description. 

A common dictionary definition of musicianship is “the skill or artistry involved in performing music.” Other definitions include the word “knowledge” along with skill and artistry. Musicianship as a category is so broad that it actually encompasses everything about playing music except for technique, although technique obviously has a role to play in musicianship as well.

I like to define musicianship as the craft of music. It is the part of playing music that is common to musicians whatever instrument they play, or whether they sing or compose. For us harpists, it’s everything about music that is not specifically related to the harp. It’s note reading and music theory, rhythm and expression, music history and interpretation. There is so much to musicianship that it can feel overwhelming. Where do you begin to start developing your personal musicianship skills?

For our discussion today, I want to start with two important ideas. First, you already have a level of musicianship skills. You’re not starting from scratch. Developing your musicianship is a process, just like developing your repertoire or your technique. 

And secondly, I want to offer a new way to consider musicianship. It’s a slightly different perspective, one we will work with today that will help you identify specific things you can do and are already doing to become the musician - and harpist - you want to be. 

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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