For me, and probably for you too, happiness is closely related to harp-iness. I have loved the harp since I was little. I love the instrument itself, with its graceful appearance and its warm, liquid sound. I love harp music, whether I’m playing or listening, and I am energized when I am around others who feel the same way.
Sometimes, though, I meet a harpist who has lost that lovin’ feeling. Maybe it’s a student who is stuck and beginning to despair of ever playing the way she wants. Perhaps it’s a professional harpist who is so weighed down by career demands that she doesn’t have the energy to renew her relationship with the harp.
The harp is a demanding instrument, and we all can feel discouraged, disillusioned, or just plain tired from time to time. Whenever I need to adjust my attitude, I run through a 12-point checklist. These 12 points are habits I consider essential to harp happiness. Making sure that I have all of these habits in place is the best way I know to get back on track and start enjoying making music on the harp.
All of these habits are important. Skipping one of them is like driving on a flat tire; you might still get where you’re going, but the ride will be slow and bumpy. The first six habits all relate to practicing and your personal relationship with the harp. The last six are all about playing and stepping outside your practice room. Whether you’ve been playing for four months or four decades, these habits will keep your harp spirits high.