July 11, 2018


I am spending this week at an engineering conference.  No, it is not as boring as it sounds.  Yes, there are lots of very cool and interesting people there.  The first session I went to was what I think of as a “hero round”.  There were a few speakers who have “made it”.  That is, they are recognized as being at the top of their respective heaps (in fact, that is why they were invited to come).

They gave interesting talks that shared glimpses of challenges they have faced, how they continued to grow, what they liked best and least about working their way up.  It was fairly inspiring.  They were asked questions about glass ceilings, impediments, and pratfalls that might have befallen them.

Interestingly, their answers were similar and focused.

They both talked about the importance of doing the work.

They talked about knowing their stuff.  

About having their fundamentals firmly in hand.

About spending time to get their ducks in a row – whether they thought they had to prove themselves or if they already had command of the room.  

They also talked about the importance of continually learning. 

They talked about sometimes failing - and how much they learned in those instances.

All of those things really resonated – because no matter what you do, it matters.

Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist – it matters.

When you do the work, when you know your stuff – you are more comfortable when it’s your turn to play.  

When you do the work, you get your fundamentals in hand – and the work becomes easier.

When you do the work, continued learning is a joy and adds to your baseline.  And you learn more quickly and possibly more thoroughly.

And really – how much work is it?  We play a beautiful instrument that (at least to the people I talk to) we really enjoy playing.  Even when it’s hard.  Even when we don’t have it quite right.  Even when we think e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e else is better, more experienced, more competent than we are - we still enjoy playing.

So, keep playing.  Enjoy.  Savor learning and growing and experiencing.


June 28, 2018

OSAS 2018!!

Having too great a time at Ohio Scottish Arts School 2018 - the 40th Anniversary to spend too much time writing!  Here's a quick snap of some of the goings on*.  So delighted and privileged to work with such fantastic and talented people - teaching with Sue Richards, Seumas Gagne, and Gillian Fleetwood.  Pinch me - it's totally real!

Snaps of Ohio Scottish Arts School 2018 - 40th Anniversary. 

Start planning for next year!

*Special thanks to Therese Honey for many of these photos!

June 20, 2018

Harp the Highlands and Islands Trip 2018 Wrap-up

Well, we have completed another Harp the Highlands and Islands Trip.  We're all still basking in the glow of the fun times and new friends we developed while we were in Scotland.  And of course, we're all weathering the shocked feeling of returning to "real life".

We did have a great trip - good weather (for the most part), wonderful venues visited, joy and celebration together with new friends and old.  It was a blast!

Here are a few more photos that help capture the fun we had:

The sky is always breathtaking and we enjoyed the brief stop at Fort George before heading to Cawdor Castle but Clava Cairns were also a hit!

This is perhaps my favorite bathroom in all of Scotland - come with us next time to see it for yourself! We enjoyed visiting Glenfiddich Distillery - they give a really good tour.

We were privileged to have our harp event for the day in the magnificent dining room of Ballindalloch Castle.  More sky - because, well, just look at it!

On the last day there, even the sky looked sad - and we pass the Edinburgh sign, going the other direction...can't wait 'til the next time!
Wish you had been able to come with us?  Well, don't despair - we're already planning the next trip - watch this space for updates.

June 13, 2018

Harp the Highlands and Islands Trip 2018 Halftime report

We're about half the way through our trip - and as always the weather has been good, the sites have been great and our people are fantastic!  We've already shared some wonderful tunes as well as some delightful meals!  Here's a peek:

Wish you were here!