August 26, 2015

Reading Challenge wrap up

Did you set a reading goal for yourself? Did you make good progress to that goal? The original idea was to set a short term goal to read at least one tune each day.
I didn’t do as well as I would have liked. I didn’t get to read every day.  And I fell well short of my goal.  That happened for a number of reasons – the sort of reasons that often trip us up – 

  • I didn’t have a real plan for what I was going to read
  • I didn’t make sure I had the “bandwidth” to insert reading into my daily practice – some days I don’t have a lot of time to practice and I chose to spend the time I had on work that has a shorter horizon.  
  • I didn’t prioritize reading.

Now, to be fair, part of the reason I didn’t has as much time included that I worked to prepare to teach a workshop (ironically – on sight reading!).  I also need to prepare for some upcoming events that required I spend time writing which meant I didn’t have the time to read. 

And, of course, reading isn’t really a contest so I could slag it off – I only needed to read some ensemble arrangements.  But I have to admit, I’m a tad disappointed.  Not only because I didn’t make my goal but also because I set the goal but then didn’t do enough to make it happen. That’s how it goes when you make a wish rather than a goal.  

How did you do?

August 19, 2015

Hot motivation

It’s summer.  It’s hot.  No one really wants to do anything except perhaps go to the beach.

But soon it will be autumn and quickly after that it will be Christmas – so there’s practicing to be done and tunes to refresh and other tunes to learn – and to do all that you have to stay motivated.

And if you’re joining me on the Reading Challenge, staying motivated to read all those dots is essential.  Likely, you also set goals at the beginning of the year and making progress on those means you have to stay motivated!


Here are five ways to stay motivated while its summer (or any time really):

1. Have a goal – keep the end in mind.  You might be tired of hearing me say this but it is essential.  You won’t be able to stay motivated if you forget where you wanted to go.

2. Take it in small steps.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time! Identify the small tasks that make up the path to your goal and use those small steps to make progress.

3. Sit a lesson from someone (or someone new).  Few things are more motivating than having a lesson.  If you're not taking regular lessons, participate in a workshop.  If you have regular lessons, take a lesson from someone else to gain a fresh perspective on what you are doing most of the time.  There are still summer workshop opportunities and the autumn workshops are just around the corner!

4. Believe in your goal – and yourself.  If you think you will fail, then you certainly will.  Have faith in yourself and your work.

5. Be kind to yourself.  Listen to your self-talk.  If what you say to yourself is something you wouldn’t dream of saying to someone else (picture your best friend), then don’t say them to yourself!

August 12, 2015

Happy 20th! It’s time for Camp!

I am very thrilled to be heading off to 20th Anniversary Harp Camp. So glad some of you will be joining us! Kris and I are looking forward to a highly personalized and fun-filled weekend so you can extend your technical skills no matter where you’re starting.


Harp Camp has small class sizes so we can give each person personal attention. It is very intimate, we focus on very specific teaching at the harp, and away from the harp we include the sights, sounds, textures, and tastes that make our harp life full!

Our campers typically have a great time – and left tired and with their heads full – just like we like it! And we have a blast!

What a way to have summer fun! See you when we’re finishe

August 5, 2015

2016 Harp the Highlands and Islands Tour!

We are very excited to be planning the 2016 Harp the Highlands and Islands Tour – this will be our 5th year! We’re planning to go at the height of summer when the sun shines and it is beautiful!

We are looking forward to traveling 30 July – 6 August 2016.  See the beautiful, powerful sights of Scotland while we’re learning and playing and having a great time. 


Our trip is designed for harp players at all levels. Each day we’ll have a harp event – learn a tune, add to your harp lore, and more all while experiencing the history of our musical heritage. Don't play the harp?  We're happy to have all musicians with small traditional instruments and appreciators of the music are also welcome - there's no lack of interesting things to do!

We kick off from Edinburgh and spend the next eight days seeing the highlands and Skye.  Our tour is intimate, consisting of just six travelers on each outing. This very small group size allows flexibility so that each day we can see the very best Scotland has to offer as well as those special things that can’t be planned. And each tune will match our travels, experiences, and mood.

All this for just $3499/ppdo. Book early for a discount — book by 15 September and pay just $3000. Book by 31 December and pay $3200. Got a crowd? Call for options.

This schedule also positions you should you decide to stay on after our tour and go to the Festival, the Fringe or the Tattoo. I hope you’ll join us. For more details go to this year's website.