Blog 2019 Fall Retreat Member Login Login

Speed Up Your Bass Clef Reading

Is bass clef slowing you down? It’s something of a mystery to me why bass clef should present a stumbling block to harpists who read treble clef perfectly well.

Perhaps we just put more effort into learning (and teaching!) treble clef and figure that bass clef will get better over time. Or maybe we are so eager to play more music that we don’t spend quite enough time on all the fundamentals that would make learning music easier.

But it’s not too late. You can improve your bass clef reading. And it’s not too hard, either.

But you need to do a little practice on it every day.

In this post, I will give you five ways you can start improving your bass clef reading today. (Of course this will work for any clef you need to learn or just want to read better.)

  1. Let your right hand help. Play a bass clef line with your left hand and have your right hand play along one octave higher. Often our right hand “reads” music better than our left hand, and by...
Continue Reading...

How to Play Music You Hate

I don’t like starting a blog post with such a negative title, but I might as well admit it; sometimes we have to play music we just don’t like. You can probably instantly bring to mind that one piece of music you really can’t stand. Maybe it’s a holiday carol you’ve heard in too many shopping malls or maybe it’s just a piece that is definitely not your musical style. But now you have to play it, and so you sigh, maybe grit your teeth a little, and prepare to endure – oops, I mean, practice – it.

Just because you love music doesn’t mean you like all music. I have fairly eclectic musical interests myself, but I always smile when I remember my parents’ totally divergent interests. Both music lovers, they enjoyed a subscription to the opera for a number of years. My mother wept happily through the Italian grand opera masterworks, while my father slept his way through them. His interest, though, was captivated by the Mozart...

Continue Reading...

5 Things Football and Music Have in Common

music miscellany Nov 09, 2015

It’s Sunday night, and I’m watching football, fingers crossed for the success of my Philadelphia Eagles.And then it hits me.May be music and football have more in common than I thought…

1. “Football” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone, just ask a Brit who thinks it should be played with a round ball and a goalkeeper. Music isn’t just one thing either. Different styles and genres, instrumental or choral, rap, pop or jazz – it’s all still music. Find your particular focus and passion and enjoy the ride.

2. Football is about showing up every day. Peyton Manning, quarterback of the Denver Broncos, is known for his dedication not only on the practice field but in his off the field studies as well. His in-depth study of the opposing teams and his dedication to every aspect of his sport have contributed to his superstar football career. This kind of dedication is what makes a superstar musician as well. Practicing, performing,...

Continue Reading...

7 Steps to More Beautiful Scales

news technique Nov 02, 2015

Scales aren't just about technique.

Scales happen in "real" music too, and when we need to play them, we want them to be expressive, fluid and musical.

In this video, I demonstrate seven steps you can use to make your scales more beautiful in anything you play. And I have prepared a handy reference checklist for you as well. Just click on the link, enter your email address and it will be on it's way to you!

Thanks for watching the video!


Click Here for the Beautiful Scales Checklist


Continue Reading...

Practice with a Kick, an Arrow and a Glass of Water

news performing practicing Oct 26, 2015

Practice, practice, practice; the story of the musician’s life. And we hope that by devoting many hours to practice, we will be able to perform when it counts. But we should be able to do more than just hope.

Preparing for performance, whether it’s a lesson or a recital, is a matter of practicing in three very different ways, and these three vignettes about a kick, an arrow and a glass of water are perfect illustrations.

The Kick: Proper practice

Bruce Lee was an American martial artist and film and television actor. He is a legend among fans of martial arts films. He founded his own style of martial arts which emphasized practicality, flexibility, speed, and efficiency.

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. – Bruce Lee

If we are to play any piece of music well, we need to know it as thoroughly as the man that practiced one kick 10,000 times. Intimate and deep-rooted knowledge of all...

Continue Reading...

Where is Music Leading You?

music miscellany Oct 19, 2015

Blog Harp in the Mountains 2018! About Anne Resources Contact MY HARP MASTERY Where is Music Leading You? POSTED ON OCTOBER 19, 2015 BY ANNE Vecchio portone con batacchi leoniniDo you think you know where music is leading you? Is it to a career, a fulfilling avocation, or a rewarding way to connect with other people? Or are you approaching one of those places where you’re not sure what the next step is or which way to go?

There are often “opportunity moments” in music study, moments when we experience the power and possibility in going a new direction or trying something new. Your first musical “opportunity moment” was probably when you decided on an instrument to study. That was the beginning of a musical journey for you, and you ave likely discovered since then that the path was not as straight or as clear as you had expected.

I’d like to look at some of the more usual “opportunity moments” and share with you some of the advice that...
Continue Reading...

The Secret of Professional Musicians

musicianship Oct 12, 2015

Professional musicians exude a confidence that is the envy of many aspiring music students. They seem unflustered and calm,not burdened with nerves or uncertainty. How did they get to that level of security? And how can you get even a little bit of that for yourself?

The secret to that confidence is easy to identify; it’s experience. Whatever it is, whatever sort of performance, whatever type of music, they’ve done it before, and probably many times over many years.

We all understand the value of experience, how it is a foundation that supports you and a cushion that prevents hard landings. But do you know what kind of experience you need? And do you know how to use your experience to best advantage?

The most obvious kind of experience is performing experience. Playing everywhere you can and for every audience you can find is the easiest way to create comfort for yourself when you perform. That doesn’t mean every concert will be easy or that you will never feel...

Continue Reading...

Are You Holding Yourself Back?

musicianship Oct 05, 2015

It’s no secret that the person in our mirror is the one that can make the biggest impact on our lives. If you feel like you’re doingGirl walking through a magic door in sky everything right, but it’s still not working, this story is for you…

Many years ago, I started karate lessons. It wasn’t something I had ever thought I would be doing, but when my son started karate, it seemed like an interesting idea. I liked the structure, the discipline and the exercise, both physical and mental, that it demanded.

Only weeks after we started, the studio help a “board breaking” event, where all the students were invited to come and be instructed on how to break boards with their hands. Naturally I was a little concerned for my hands, but the sensei (who was also a musician) assured me that I would not hurt my hands and that, yes, even brand-new beginners could do this.

So that evening, the younger students gathered in their circle and the adults...

Continue Reading...

What’s Your (Metronome) Number?

musicianship Sep 21, 2015

I was sitting in the audience at a concert. A performer was onstage receiving well-deserved applause, and I heard two people in front of me commenting on the performance. “She played well, but it was too fast,” said one to the other. Just a moment later, someone behind me said to their neighbor, “I really think she should have played it a little faster. It was under tempo.” Did these people actually hear the same performance, or were they just listening for a metronome number? 

Obviously, they heard the same performance, but in different ways. And what their comments made clear was that there is no single “perfect” tempo, but that tempo is as much as part of overall musicality as dynamics and tone. Tempo is just one of the musical elements that we performers choose to communicate our musical ideas. It is part of our personal expression of a piece of music.

But if tempo can be an individual choice, what are we to do when a composer has given...

Continue Reading...

Build Your Repertoire without Having a Breakdown

performing Sep 14, 2015

The scene: A visitor comes to your home and sees your beautiful harp in its special place in your living room. “Play something for me,” she says. You gracefully take your place at the harp and play a piece of music that enchants and delights.

Or does your scenario run this way: When your visitor says, “Play something for me, ” you respond, “Well, I don’t really know anything, that is, it’s not finished yet and you probably wouldn’t like it anyhow…”

It’s a shame not to be able to play something for friends who ask (or for an audience, for that matter), especially if you’ve been playing for some time, but that isn’t the worst part. The worst part is the embarrassment at having to admit it. It’s hard to feel like you’ve accomplished anything if you have nothing you can show for it.

That’s perhaps the most powerful reason to always have ready repertoire, nothing fancy, but music that you can...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.