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The Tipping Point: Where Practice Becomes Progress

Have you ever felt that success - in your music practice or in any other endeavor - was just beyond your reach? That you seemed to be getting closer and closer to your goal and still not actually attaining it?

  • Picture a sports game where the teams appear evenly matched until one spectacular play changes the momentum of the game. 
  • Or an inventor whose attempts have all failed until an accident in the laboratory creates a new path forward.
  • Or a precariously balanced ledge where one small addition suddenly makes the entire shelf tip over.

That’s the tipping point, and there is a tipping point in your practice too.

The phrase “tipping point” is used in the science of epidemics to refer to a moment when a normal and usually stable occurrence, like an outbreak of flu, for instance, turns into a large-scale health crisis. 

In his book, “The Tipping Point,” Canadian author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell describes this phenomenon as it manifests in...

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Don’t Do This! 7 Sneaky Harp Happiness Killers

It’s spring cleaning time, the season to spruce up, refresh and brighten, to clean out the closets, sort out the drawers and get a fresh start. I’m always amazed to realize that, once again, my junk drawer is full, my closet is a disorganized mess and I need to do something about it. It seems to be so easy to accumulate those piles and so daunting to face getting rid of them.

I generally give my harp playing a “spring cleaning” too. While the need for musical refreshing is less obvious than the pile of papers on my desk, it is no less real. There is a “winter rust” that accumulates, due to over-crowded schedules and too little practice time. I need to brush away the cobwebs and bad habits and get my playing back in shape.

Perhaps you don’t have any harp “spring cleaning” to do. But maybe you haven’t realized some of the seemingly innocuous habits – I call them Harp Happiness Killers - that can drain your energy,...

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