Live Harp Lesson 40 – Spotting patterns… before reading the notes

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Have you ever experienced that feeling…

…when you spend a big chunk of a practice session on learning a few bars of music… then as it becomes more familiar, you move on to the next and let go of the first one… and only afterwards you realise that the pattern is actually repeating and you didn’t have to learn it all over again?

Music is all about patterns, but it can feel very frustrating when you only seem to see the repeated sections when someone points them out to you. If that sounds true, come and tune in to today’s live lesson – I’ll be sharing tips on how to look for the patterns BEFORE you start learning the notes.

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An important reminder…

Now that we’re all well too aware of the benefits of frequent hands washing, here’s an important reminder on how to protect the sensitive skin on your hands when playing the harp and avoid getting blisters

Also check out the article published Harp Column magazine on navigating Covid-19 as a harpist

About today’s topic

if you feel that you need to hear a recording of the piece before you can start learning the notes – you’re not the the only one!
next time you learn a new piece – try these tips first…


Let go of the naming the notes (just for now) and focus only on the rhythm. Find sections which share the same rhythm, as they MAY share more similarities.

Repeated notes

Locate the repeated notes within your section.

Connect the dots to see…

…which way the music is moving (down or up)? Then check how far your fingers need to move between the dots.


…your (connected) dots and rhythms with other sections.

Look more closely…

…at the endings of each section. This is where they will frequently differ.

About the piece

Today’s piece is Sound the Trumpets by Skaila Kanga. You can buy the music here

Although the technique required for playing this piece is not very challenging, the way the music which had to be notated may mean that it is not the easiest one to READ and learn from the score. Don’t feel discouraged by that and take as much time as you need working through the different sections!

 Music from 17’19”

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