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Live 30: Harp accessories

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Last episode before Christmas!

And one of my favourite topics – harp accessories for your practice, meaning a great excuse for a trip to stationery shops and some DIY ideas!

Watch the lesson

Essentials – quick overview

– harp
– tuning key
– tuner or a tuning app
– music stand

My favourite practice accessories

1. Notebook (3’14”)

  • useful if you attend harp lessons, but even more if you’re learning on your own
  • we tend to overestimate how much we remember: writing things down helps
  • you don’t have to spend too much time and energy on planning your practice, and deciding what you should start your practice from: it’s all right there!
  • keeping all notes together helps you track your progress
  • makes it easier to revisit previous pieces

During my MMus I picked some colourful Moleskine notebooks for my harp lessons, and I kept them to this day. For my own students, I either use their notebooks, or I write their lesson notes on the iPad, which makes it easy to later email them to each student. Some choose to print the notes and put them all in one folder, which is a great idea too!

2. Sticky tabs (7’10”)

  • marking tricky sections with colours – you can still see the notes underneath
  • you can write on them, or circle the notes (and then remove them)
  • you can develop your own colour system – I use pink for pedals, and blue for tricky bits in orchestral parts
  • or you can gradually remove them from the sections which you learnt, aiming to have a completely clean score
  • pick semitransparent ones
  • be careful when removing them

3. Flash cards (10’21”)

  • why I find them better than the apps (however – if you know a really good app for reading music, please put your recommendations in the comments!)
  • how flash cards work (detailed instruction in the PDF below)
  • how you can adjust them to suit your own needs (putting C’s in red, F’s in blue, writing them in as semibreves, quavers, etc, depending what you’re working on)

Method no 1: drawing from a box or a bag – one, or more flashcards – at random

Method no 2: using a box with divider system, if you want to be sure that you “know what you know” (instruction in the PDF)

Christmas piece

I’m playing for you Hej, w dzień Narodzenia (“Heigh-Ho on the Christmas Day”) from my Polish Christmas Carols book.

Buy the collection HERE:

Cover of the Polish Carols with harp and Christmas tree

See you again on Friday 27 December (as usual 11:00 am UK time) for the last Live Lesson of 2019!

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Live Harp Lessons: series of free tutorials for beginner and intermediate harpists

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Every Friday at 11:00 (UK time).