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Rachel O’Brien

How to Practice

Rachel O’Brien is an expert in mindful practice and author of Purpose In Practice: 26 Rules for the Practicing Musician.

“If you think about it, practicing is really an art in itself. No one sits down to their instrument for the first time and suddenly knows exactly how to practice.”

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How to Practice

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About Rachel O’Brien

A winner of Astral’s 2017 National Auditions, Rachel (Lee Hall) O’Brien has appeared at the Kimmel Center, Severance Hall, and Lyon & Healy Hall. She is also the winner of the 2013 Lyon & Healy Award, and was awarded top prizes from such competitions as the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) Concerto Competition, the Saratoga Harp Colony “Play with the Pros” Competition, and the James Bland Music Contest of the Lions Club. She is also the recipient of the Anne Jett Rogers Award and the Alice Chalifoux Award, and was the 2015 CIM Presser Scholar.

O’Brien has performed as orchestral harpist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Akron Symphony Orchestra, the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and has been a fellow with the National Repertory Orchestra. She has appeared as soloist with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra.

Passionate about advocating for and introducing the harp and classical music to new audiences, Rachel regularly performs in non-traditional spaces such as schools, nursing homes, private homes, marketplaces, and mountain overlooks. Rachel O’Brien teaches on faculty at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. She also maintains a private studio as a Roanoke harp teacher and is an instructor of Eurhythmics, an approach to rhythm through movement.

Rachel received both a Bachelor and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied harp performance under the tutelage of Yolanda Kondonassis.