Fire Up Your Warm Ups

Fire up your warm ups, by Jaymee Haefner

This article is part of a year-long series by Jaymee Haefner that examines the fundamentals of playing the harp and provides strategies and tools to improve your playing. Is there a topic you’d like to read about? Let us know. Email us at

Find the right recipe to get your body primed to practice.

Keep your thumbs up, sit up straight, and do your warm ups every day. My teachers’ words echo through my memory as I pass on the same advice to my own students. Warm ups have always been a comfortable routine for me—like a favorite pair of jeans that are perfectly broken in, even if they are showing just a little bit of wear. But wait, is that good? Beyond the familiar routine and our teachers’ advice, why do we bother with warm ups? And more importantly, why do we tend to do the same ones every day?

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About Author

Jaymee Haefner’s performances have been described by Daniel Buckley as possessing “an air of dreamy lyricism… interlocking melody lines with the deftness of a dancer’s footwork.” Jaymee joined the University of North Texas (UNT) faculty in 2006 and was appointed as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the College of Music in 2010. Recently featured at the 50th Anniversary American Harp Society (AHS) National Conference in New York City, and the 2014 AHS National Conference in New Orleans, she has also performed throughout the Dallas‐Fort Worth area, in Mexico, the Czech Republic and Russia. Her recordings include features with the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, baritone Daniel Narducci and Alfredo Rolando Ortiz. She published a biography entitled The Legend of Henriette Renié and presented lectures at the 2014 World Harp Congress (WHC) in Sydney, the 2008 WHC in Amsterdam and the 2009 AHS Institute in Salt Lake City. Jaymee was Chairman of the 2011 AHS Institute and was recently appointed as the Treasurer for the World Harp Congress, she also and serves as the National Harp Associations Liaison for the WHC Review publication. Jaymee’s current projects include a “Better than One” duo with harpist Emily Mitchell and her “Crimson” duo with violinist Matt Milewski. Both ensembles are currently preparing CD recordings. When she isn’t practicing the harp, Jaymee trains in karate and is a first-degree black belt. She obtained her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the University of Arizona and her Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University.

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