Practicing Harp Happiness:
Technique and Musicianship Collection

Sharpen the practical skills you need to be a better harpist and musician.

Episode #036: Sight Reading Should Be Easy: 4 Simple Strategies

Does sight reading scare you? Do you wish you could instantly play any new piece you want to learn, even just enough to get the idea of how it sounds? Being able to read music fluently and learn it quickly is a “someday” skill for many harpists. Fortunately, you can improve your sight reading with a few essential skills that you are probably already practicing. The dramatic and nearly instant results will amaze you!

Listen Now

Episode #034: Tweaking Your Technique: 3 Ways to Level Up

Is your technique your biggest harp issue?
Perhaps you know your technique is holding you back. Maybe you know you need to find the next level but aren’t sure how to get there.
Today Anne reveals three ways to level up your technique and free your fingers to do your bidding. The good news? You might be doing the right things already. The better news? A faster, more accurate and secure technique is just a few simple tweaks away.

Listen Now

Episode #028: Expression from the Ground Up: Form and Flow

The most powerful musical expression isn’t created by magic. It’s written into each note. It’s up to the performer to discover it and bring it to life. If you’ve ever questioned your expressive choices or felt uncomfortable making those choices, today’s show reveals how to discover the composer’s intention and interpret it with creativity and confidence. Plus I’ll show you where to look - and listen - for the hidden expressive clues in any piece.

Listen Now

Episode #024: Glorious Glissandi: Your Essential Practice Guide

Without question, the glissando is the signature harp sound. It’s likely the very first thing you ever tried when you first touched a harp. It’s equally likely that at this point in your harp journey you have questions about how to make them sound glorious. On today’s show I will share the expressive secrets to a sweeping glissando plus the technical specifics. Whether your favorite term is glissando, sdrucciolando or flux, you can make it magical.

Listen Now

Episode #021: Music For The Ears: Are We Too Visual?

I used to listen. For instance, when I first started playing the harp there were no electronic tuners; I had to learn to tune by ear. I am convinced we harpists have lost some essential listening skills. What role does listening play in your daily practice? I believe listening is too often the last resort. On today’s show I suggest some practical strategies for making focused listening and informed musicianship part of your harp playing every day.

Listen Now

Episode #020: Finger Agility For The Accident Prone: Your Guide To More Facile Fingers

Do you think you’re too old or too uncoordinated to have agile fingers? Think again. Agile fingers aren’t just for the young or the gifted and they don’t happen by magic. Developing finger facility is key to faster learning and more stumble-free playing. Listen and discover the three things you need to stop doing and the three you need to start doing now to teach your fingers to play with more speed and security at any age.

Listen Now

Episode #017: Goal Setting For Harpists 2: Choose Goals You Can Meet

The first step in achieving a harp goal is believing you can achieve it. On this show I interview Houston harpist and Harp Mastery® Certified Coach Caitlin Mehrtens. Caitlin is expert at helping her students succeed and she shares her advice on how to choose the right goals for you, as well as the two most powerful factors for success.

Listen Now

Episode #016: Goal Setting For Harpists 1: The Four Levels of Goals

Do you resist setting goals for your harp playing? Maybe setting goals feels like it will stifle your creativity or take the fun out of your harp playing. Maybe you think goals are only for “serious” harpists. This show reveals why goals are crucial for every harpist who wants to improve.

Listen Now

Episode #014: Taming the Terrible Thumb: 3 Secretes to a Musical Thumb

Is your thumb timid or a tyrant?
We harpists rely on our thumbs - just try playing a scale without them. They are our longest fingers and undoubtedly our strongest. They double our reach on the harp strings. But how musical are your thumbs? In this episode, I will show you how your thumbs can be expressive with a supple, fluid sound that can make a melody sing or blend in beautifully with your other fingers, and how to fix common thumb problems.

Listen Now

Episode #013: Master Your Metronome: Do's and Don'ts for Metronome Haters

Which would you choose: practicing with the metronome or sitting through your kid's favorite cartoon AGAIN?
If the metronome feels like torture, this show will save you from going click crazy. The metronome isn't just for playing fast; it's for creating time to be correct and musical too. You'll learn the proper (and nearly painless) ways to use the metronome - not as a paperweight- and save tons of practice time too! You can play along with me too!

Listen Now

Episode #010: Beyond Dynamics: 3 Keys to More Musical Harp Playing

Musicality is so much more than dynamics. It is truly our own self-expression, our individuality revealed through our music. In our role as interpreters of music written by others, we often limit ourselves to following the indications the composer has written on the page. But with so many more tools and options for bringing creativity to our music, why should we stop at dynamics?

Listen Now

Episode #009: Fingers on the Strings: Pointers for Placing

Placing is the first thing we learn when we start playing the harp. After our first glissando, after we find middle C, our first discovery is that we must suspend our hands in mid-air and that placing is how we stay physically connected to our instrument. But placing brings its own set of challenges.

Listen Now

Episode #006: Minor Keys: A Scale of a Different Color

Have you ever thought of your music as having colors? Or thought about a color difference between major and minor?Maybe to you a minor key is just another key. But to me a minor key is so much more. As a musician, I first learned to listen critically with minor keys. As a teacher, I have seen that minor keys (much more so than major keys) open the door to understanding music theory.

Listen Now

Episode #004: What Does a Shaky Technique Really Cost You?

Fast flashy scales and graceful arpeggios are one sign of a strong harp technique, but they aren’t the only indication. In fact, even if you never expect to play fast music or super-difficult music, you need a strong technique.

Listen Now