I have a ‘real’ harp, which I love, but I am having trouble lifting it these days due to back problems. I have heard the Heartland harps online, and I have no trouble with their sound, and I do not have any of the prejudices against them that many ‘real’ harpists seem to have. If it comes to continuing to play or giving up the harp, I am happy to consider the Heartland Starlight. I know getting used to the light weight would be a challenge in playing, but that’s the reason I’m considering one in the first place!
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Don’t give up! When I was still working, I never felt like my practice accomplished much because I was usually too exhausted to practice well. People kept asking me to play though, so I had to keep practicing.
Are you taking lessons? A good teacher is a great motivator and keeps your technique and musicality in the forefront of your playing. Also they help with repertoire appropriate for your current level.
Look for a harp circle or an ensemble or just one other musician to play with. I started playing duets fairly early with another harpist who was about on my level, and we not only progressed but we had a great time. We laughed our way through many practices.
The two of us now play in an 4-harp ensemble that plays all over our area.
Retiring made a huge difference in my practicing. Now I practice in the morning and love that.
Best of luck and keep at it. You’ll be glad you did.
I have not checked out your edition of the Debussy, but I do totally agree with you about the placement of pedals. I have just finished putting the pedal markings into a new four-part arrangement (all four harp parts) for an ensemble piece, and I had no choice but to put them inside the staves and below the staves. I also like my markings as large as possible, but there was no room for that.
I am wondering if there is a standard for different countries as far as actually putting the pedal markings in. This piece had none! It took me more than two hours each to notate the markings in these harp parts. My personal feeling is that, even if the composer/arranger is not a harpist, they should hire a harpist to put in the markings before printing and offering the piece for sale. This was a very expensive piece, and I’m still grumpy about having to do all that work.susan-koskelin on March 3, 2016 at 11:19 am · in reply to: Middle School String Orchestra and Band Music #193913
You might check out a work that I just heard a few days ago titled “In the Company of Angels.” It is for string orchestra with harp, and the harp part is easy but lovely. It is by William Hofeldt. You can hear it and see the music, too, on the Kjos website at http://www.kjos.com.
You can download and print a copy of the score for this concerto at: http://petrucci.mus.auth.gr/imglnks/usimg/0/01/IMSLP185394-PMLP322451-cinquiemeconcert00krum_bw.pdf.
I am very familiar with the pain in the back and the “axe-pain” in the shoulder. I have tried many solutions. The one thing that works for me is the back support brace that I bought at Wal-Mart! It is the same thing you see construction workers and moving men wearing. If I put it on before practicing and lengthy rehearsals, I have no pain. It’s very inexpensive, and I would not be without it.
Susansusan-koskelin on June 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm · in reply to: An open letter to a bridal magazine #144709
What a perfect letter! I have tried to tell brides this very thing so, so many times. My stock statement to brides is, “It is the musician’s job to make sure your ceremony proceeds seamlessly.”
You stated everything so well with your anecdotes. My example is the wedding where the bride had forgotten the groom’s ring, and the mother jumped up to run to the dressing room to find it. She was gone at least five minutes, and I just started to play and continued til she returned. The mother and the bride both mentioned in their thank you notes how appreciative they were of that.
Hopefully the bridal magazine will change their attitude!
I did something crazy last week-end. We were having a garage sale Fri and Sat. Since the weather was so perfect, and I was bored to tears by Saturday morning, I decided to bring my harp (Camac pedal harp) outside and practice. I wish I’d had a secret camera filming people’s reactions! A few people just walked by like I wasn’t even there. But most people were just blown away. People took pictures. One lady went home and brought her son back so he could see and hear the harp. One couple came twice. Several people asked if we were selling the harp…lol. One man said, “This is the most culturally elite garage sale I’ve ever been to.” Another man said I should be selling my cds…another lol. Anyway, it was an experience.