September 11, 2013

Get back to your harping

The summer is, for all intents and purposes, over.  The kids are back in school, everyone is back on a tighter schedule, the days are noticeably shorter and (at least in some places) starting to be cooler.  You might have spent less time at your harp while you enjoyed the beautiful summer.

But cooler days have the potential to mean more time to be at your harp.  There it sits, all gorgeous and beckoning.  But just like getting the kids out the door early is a challenge at the beginning of the school year, getting back to your harp after a summer holiday can be difficult.

Autumn means returning to schedules – often tightly choreographed schedules.  That schedule thing can really get you, making you realize how much you have left to get done in the (noticeably shorter) day.  You have to fit practicing in – you know you’ll be getting the inevitable holiday requests sooner than you are ready.  You have a tool to help you, you just have to use it. 

To get more out of your time at the harp, use your calendar to your advantage.  Here are four ways to help you get your practice time in, reduce the “it’s a chore” feeling, and make some progress:

1. Mark it down – write practice time on your calendar.  Just like you would any other appointment.

2. Make it a priority – sitting to your harp is good for your physically and mentally so make (and keep) that appointment with yourself.  Don’t cheat yourself – make your harp time a priority.  Does your time at the harp rates above other pressing tasks like washing the newspaper or reading the dog.

3. Plan ahead – spend a little time planning what you will do when you get to your harp.  What do you need to practice?  What do you want to work on?  What deadlines do you have coming up?  Make sure you have a little time to work on those things you need to work on.  And don’t forget to have fun – it shouldn’t be all work!

4. If it can’t be a priority, make peace with that – there are times where other things are more pressing, or we make them more important, or we allow them to take more of our time. That’s ok, but accept that and work with it.  If your harp priority has shifted lower, for any reason, do not beat yourself up about not practicing, just acknowledge that right not you will spend less harp time each day and accept the loss you will experience (in tune memory, in technique, in strength, etc.). 

After all, you’ll get back to your harp…when the time is right!

No comments: