May 9, 2013

Preparing to go to Camp!

Many of us get to spend at least part of our summer participating in Harp activities.  We have discussed some of them here.  I think we all really look forward to the excitement of seeing old friends, meeting new people, playing together and more.

But one of the biggest challenges for us is to be fully prepared. We spend our precious free time and our money to go so it is really important that we be prepared to get as much from each event as we can. Here are five ideas to help you get more from your harp activities:

1.       Increase your daily practice time – even a weekend workshop has a lot more playing time that your average practice session.  Summer always seems to sneak up on us – so start increasing your practice time from now so you won’t have to ramp up quickly and get hurt.

2.       Increase your stretching – as much fun and as fatiguing as these activities are they still involve a lot of sitting – at the harp, at meals, while chatting.  So start increasing the amount of time you stretch each day – that way you will have developed the habit before you need it at a workshop.

3.       Increase your listening – many of the folk harp events have an emphasis on the oral tradition and learning by ear.  Learning this way takes practice so don’t let your hard earned ability to learn languish in the winter – practice learning by ear from cds or other people playing.

4.       Take care of yourself – start now getting enough sleep, eating carefully and taking some exercise so you have the stamina to get through the long days of harp activities.

5.       Have a plan – before you even get to the venue have a good idea what you would like to learn and how you will go about acquiring that knowledge.  Do not wait until you arrive to select the workshops you’d like to attend or even to find out who’s teaching.  Know what you came for.

There’s so much to learn, with a little time and effort now by the time the summer season kicks off, you’ll be more than ready!

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