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We challenge you to practice like an Olympian!

Olympians go above and beyond to achieve their goals. You can too, by joining Harp Column’s 30 Day Practice Challenge! Sign up now to join the challenge, win prizes, and attend FREE live coaching sessions by award winning harpists throughout January!

(Have you already signed up? Lucky you! Tune in to Thursday’s live session to find out if you’re a winner!)

Here’s how it works:

Anyone can join Harp Column’s FREE 30 Day Practice Challenge! Sign up to receive our daily motivational emails and be enrolled to win prizes. Heads up that you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine and be a member of Harp Column Academy to view some of the challenge content.

Challenge rules

Pick a piece

Pick a piece and practice like an Olympian to give a gold-medal performance at the end of this year’s challenge.

Practice 20 minutes each day

Commit to practicing your chosen piece for a minimum of 20 minutes total each day throughout the challenge. Olympians always go above and beyond. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also choose to complete the optional Olympic event for the day. (Scroll down to see daily events.)

Post on social media

Optional: Share your progress on social media by tagging Harp Column and #HCPracticeChallenge on social media!

Download the practice log!

Win prizes!

We’re giving away great Harp Column prizes EVERY WEEK during the 30 Day Practice Challenge! Sign up for the challenge to be automatically enrolled in weekly prize drawings. Winners will be announced every Friday.

Gold Prize—a year of Harp Column magazine!

We’re giving away a full one-year subscription to Harp Column every week! Prize includes six issues of Harp Column delivered to your door (or download the PDF edition outside the U.S.).

Silver Prize—Win a Harp Column Music Gift Card!

Your choice of sheet music downloads at Harp Column Music with an HCM gift card! Choose from over 2,000 downloads from top arrangers!

Bronze Prize: Harp Column Academy Sampler Course

Watch handpicked lessons from every studio at Harp Column Academy with this special membership. Learn technique and repertoire from the best classical, jazz, Celtic, and folk master teachers!

FREE weekly coaching sessions!

Every Olympian has a coach and so do you! Join us every Tuesday and Thursday on Zoom for a free coaching session with an award-winning harpist!

Two ways to get the Zoom link:

1. Check your daily challenge email.

OR

2. Log in and come back to this section.

Opening Ceremony

Saturday, January 1, 2:00 p.m. ET.

With special guest Kathleen Wilson

Don’t miss this special opportunity to hear Kathleen’s story about how she has achieved success as a harpist and an internationally recognized athlete. Find out how she balances harp, home, sports, and community service while staying at the top of her game!

Kathleen Wilson

Harpist and marathon swimmer

 

Tuesdays in January

January 4 • 12:00 p.m. ET

Gráinne Hambly

 

January 11 • 12:00 p.m. ET

Sunita Staneslow

 

January 18 • 12:00 p.m. ET

Jacqueline Kerrod

 

January 25 • 12:00 p.m. ET

Rachel Hair

 

Thursdays in January

Katherine Siochi

January 6 • 12:00 p.m. ET

Katherine Siochi

 

January 13 • 2:00 p.m. ET

Emily Levin

(Note time change for this event!)

 

January 20 • 12:00 p.m. ET

Maria Luisa Rayan

 

January 27 • 12:00 p.m. ET

Emmanuel Padilla Holgúin

 

Watch replays

Harp Column subscribers can watch replays of live events. Log in or subscribe now to watch replays here.

30 Day Practice Challenge Daily Tips

We’ll be posting tips right here every day in January to help you achieve your goals!
(Sign up to receive the tips in a daily email and also be enrolled to win prizes!

Day 27

Music is at once the product of feeling and knowledge, for it requires from its disciples, composers, and performers alike, not only talent and enthusiasm, but also that knowledge and perception which are the result of protracted study and reflection.

—alban berg

Austrian composer

today’s motivation

Lessons in practice, performance, and failure

What do being a professional harpist and marathon swimmer have in common? Kathleen Wilson–who is both) found they share many of the same critical elements needed for success. Find out what those elements are in this sounding board article from the May-June 2013 issue of Harp Column.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Get social! Today’s challenge is to call or video chat a friend…or perhaps get to know another harpist who is participating in the challenge!

Don’t miss our last Zoom coaching session today at 12:00 PM EST! Today, we will be hearing from the 1st prize and Audience Award winner at the 2016 Dutch Harp Competition, Emmanuel Padilla Holgúin. Tune in here.

today’s bonus

Athlete/musician spotlight: Kathleen Wilson

You may remember Kathleen Wilson from our Zoom Opening Ceremony earlier this month! Kathleen is a conservatory-trained professional harpist, holding Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees, and has been principal harpist with the Charleston Symphony since 1987. When not at a harp, she is an internationally known and highly experienced marathon swimmer with a world class résumé of swims. She has several swims registered in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as firsts. She was also enshrined into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in May, 2018. Learn more about her here.

Day 26

As simple as it sounds, we all must try to be the best person we can: by making the best choices, by making the most of the talents we’ve been given.

—mary lou retton

American gymnast, five-time Olympic medalist

today’s motivation

Repertoire Rx

Sophie Baird-Daniel enlists expert harpists like Bridget Kibbey to prescribe musical prescriptions for technical maladies in this article from the May-June 2021 issue of Harp Column.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Today’s challenge is to warm up for 10 minutes before your practice session. You can work on scales, exercises, or an etude.

today's bonus

Harp Column social media manager and Nashville-based harpist Liana Alpino shares her healthy Chocolate Chia Smoothie recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 1-1 1/2 bananas, ripe is best
  • Splash of vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend and enjoy!

Day 25

[The best advice given to me is] in stressful performance or competition settings, don’t worry so much about the judges or what the outcome could be. Just play as best as you can by doing justice to the music you are trying to create.

—abigail kent

Award-winning harpist and teacher at The College of Charleston

today’s motivation

A Harpist's Guide to Performance Anxiety

Butterflies in your stomach. Shaky hands. Racing heart. We’ve all experienced stage fright symptoms. Understanding what’s going on in your brain will help you overcome what’s going on in your body. Read Grace Browning’s guide to performance anxiety in this article from the current January-February 2022 issue of Harp Column.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Define all the terms in your challenge piece score. If you already know them all, learn a new musical term. Here is an online glossary of useful musical terms from Classic fm. 

Don’t miss our first Zoom coaching session today at 12:00 PM EST! Today, we will be hearing from world renowned Scottish harp soloist and teacher, Rachel Hair! Tune in here.

Work out like an Olympian!

Three-time Olympic medalist Tianna Bartoletta (track and field) uses yoga to stay balanced, grounded, and sane during times of uncertainty and intense training. See this article from YogaJournal.com for 11 morning yoga poses that help keep this track star feeling balanced, graceful, and resilient.

Day 24

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.

—wilma rudolph

American sprinter and three-time gold medalist

today’s motivation

Katherine Siochi

For Comparison's Sake

In this Harp Column Podcast episode, Katherine Siochi discusses how she overcame the toxic power of comparison this past year during the pandemic.

today's olympic event

Monday is a great day for a reset. Set your timer and take deep breaths for five minutes today.

today's bonus

Eat like an Olympian!

Treat yourself this Monday with Olympian Gabby Douglas’ Mango Frozen Yogurt recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups greek yogurt
  • 3 mangos, frozen
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sliced strawberries (optional)
  • Chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions:

In a blender, combine honey with yogurt, milk, and salt until smooth. Move mixture to a freezer-safe, sealable plastic bag. Freeze for up to three hours, massaging every 30 minutes to encourage even freezing. Once the yogurt is thick like soft-serve or fro-yo, remove from freezer. Cut a corner tip off the bag and pipe the yogurt into bowls. Top with strawberries, chocolate chips, or other favorite toppings.

Day 23

It’s all about the journey, not the outcome. 

—Carl Lewis

American track and field athlete and nine-time Olympic gold medalist

today’s motivation

Try, try again

In this sounding board article from the July-August 2013 issue of Harp Column, Haley Rhodeside discusses her experience competing at the USA International Harp Competition and how not winning strengthened her preparation for her next time around.

today's olympic event

Stretch for 10 minutes today. Make sure to stretch any problem areas.

Work out like an Olympian!

Stretching is important for anyone regardless if you are a musician or an athlete. In this article from Healthline, Shannon Miller (one of the most decorated gymnasts in American history–tied with Simone Biles), shares essential stretches for everyone.

Day 22

To uncover your true potential, you must first find your own limits, and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.

—Picabo Street

American alpine ski racer and 1998 gold medalist

today’s motivation

Scales with Lynne Aspnes

Need a refresh on scales? Check out Lynne Aspnes’ Harp Column Academy course on technique. She has two whole lessons devoted to helping your perfect your scales.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to join Harp Column Academy to watch this course.)

today's olympic event

Spend 10 minutes on a micro practice session. Choose a measure or passage from your challenge piece that is giving you difficulty.

today’s bonus

Athlete/musician spotlight: Cody Simpson

Long before he was a singing sensation, Cody Simpson was a record-setting schoolboy swimmer in his native Queensland. Last year, Simpson surpassed the qualifying standard for the Australian Olympic trials in the 100-meter butterfly. Simpson, whose career has already included stints as a singer, guitarist, songwriter, dancer, actor, author and model, now is aiming to add 2024 Olympian to his résumé. Learn more about Simpson in this article from The New York Times. 

Day 21

Music is the heart of life. She speaks love. Without it, there is no possible good, and with it everything is beautiful.

—Franz Liszt

today’s motivation

Spring Cleaning

Clear out the clutter, spruce up your studio, and get organized with Elizabeth Morgan-Ellis’ practical tips for spring cleaning from this article in the March-April 2014 issue of Harp Column.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Give your harp a spa day. Take time to tune and dust thoroughly. If you have polish, you can do that, too!

today's bonus

Need a midweek pick-me-up? Try this antioxidant-rich açaí smoothie bowl recipe by the 2016 gold medalist of the 10th USA International Harp Competition, Katherine Siochi.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon açaí powder (or 1 frozen açaí pack)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other nut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter of choice (optional)
  • Handful of spinach or kale (optional)
  • Topping options: nuts, sliced fruit, coconut flakes, cocoa nibs, chia, flax, or pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

Put the ingredients for your smoothie base in a blender. Blend until sorbet consistency. Pour the contents of the blender into a bowl. Arrange toppings in the bowl in a visually pleasing way. Enjoy and get back to practicing!

Day 20

Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work.

—Andre Agassi

Gold-medal tennis player

today’s motivation

Fire Up Your Warm Ups

Find the right recipe to get your body primed for practice with this article by Jaymee Haefner from the May-June 2016 issue of Harp Column.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

We’re taking it back to basics today! Practice scales for 10 minutes.

Don’t miss our Zoom coaching session today at 12:00 PM EST! Today, we will be hearing from the internationally renowned pedal harpist, Maria Luisa Rayan. Tune in here.

What is the point of practicing scales? It turns out learning your scales can help you with intonation, coordination, dexterity, improvisation, and more! Learn the other benefits in this article by Victoria Longdon on Classic fm

Day 19

Treat every performance with the same high quality. You never know who is listening.

—Katherine Siochi

Gold medalist of the 10th USA International Harp Competition and principal harpist of the Kansas City Symphony

today’s motivation

How to Play

In this article from the July-August 2004 issue of Harp Column, Lynne Abbey-Lee teaches us how bringing focus and clarity to your practice sessions yields focused and clear results.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Listen to a recording of your challenge piece and doodle whatever comes to mind while listening.

today’s bonus

Olympian/musician spotlight: Yuna Kim

Vancouver 2010 gold medalist Yuna Kim is a Korean superstar with a voice as graceful and elegant as her figure skating short programs. She has even collaborated with the biggest and best in K-Pop. Learn more about her here. 

Day 18

At the end of the day, if I can say I had fun, it was a good day.

—Simone Biles

American gymnast and winner of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals

today’s motivation

Have Some Fun

“Garden Splendor” is a fun, motivational piece by Joy Slavens that is perfect for your gig book or just to pull out when you’re stressed out or need to have a moment of fun!

today's olympic event

Pull out an easy piece today that you have already learned and just play for fun!

Don’t miss our Zoom coaching session today at 12:00 PM EST! Today, we will be hearing from finalist in the Jim Joel Music Prize and ATKV National Music Competitions, and member of harp duo Addi and Jacq, Jacqueline Kerrod. Tune in here.

Looking for some fun, light reading today? Check out our Strange But True harp story archive here. 

Day 17

Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about 50 more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.

—Hunter S. Thompson

American journalist

today’s motivation

How to Approach Injuries

Elizabeth Landis explores harp injuries and how to prevent them in this Harp Column Podcast episode.

today's olympic event

Make a healthy snack to fuel today’s practice session. See today’s bonus for a tasty snack suggestion by Olympian Shawn Johnson!

today's bonus

Eat like an Olympian!

American gymnast and four-time Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson shares her Tropical Guacamole Dip recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablesponns green onions, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Mash avocados in medium bowl until chunky. Gently mix in pomegranate seeds and basil. Add remaining ingredients and season to taste.

Day 16

If you fail to prepare, you’ve prepared to fail.

—Mark Spitz

American swimmer and nine-time Olympic medalist

today’s motivation

A New Attitude About Etudes

Often mistaken for an exercise, never the fun piece on your music stand, the etude rarely gets the credit it deserves. But this guide from the November-December 2019 issue of Harp Column by Anne Sullivan is likely to give you a new outlook on etudes.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Without looking at your challenge piece music, see if you can write out your starting pedal/lever chart and the first few notes or measures of the piece.

What does it take psychologically to be an Olympic athlete? Shane Murphy, licensed psychologist and associate professor of psychology at Western Connecticut State University, gives his professional opinion in this Q&A with the American Psychological Association.

Day 15

Making music is about telling a story. Practice hard, but especially make sure to LIVE, because you need experiences to share (on stage) and what can you tell if the only thing you know are the four walls of your practice room? So always rely on your creativity and make your insecurity your best friend; only then it will help you to push your boundaries and help you to become the best version of yourself.

—Remy Van Kesteren

Gold medalist, 9th USA International Harp Competition

today’s motivation

Alison Reese

The Practice Paradox

“Sometimes improving your harp life means stepping away from the harp,” says Harp Column editor Alison Reese. In this personal recount from the March-April 2020 issue of Harp Column, Alison discusses the fear of stepping away from something even when you know it is what is best for you.

today's olympic event

Skip day. Even Olympians need to take a break!

Before Etienne Stott could win gold at the 2012 Summer games, he had to learn to master self-criticism. How did he do it? Through the power of meditation and learning how to train his mind! Listen to his testimony and find out his favorite meditation app here. 

Day 14

If you dream and allow yourself to dream, you can do anything.

—clara hughes

Canadian cyclist and 2006 gold-medal winning speed skater

today’s motivation

Playing Without Tension

Harp Column Academy master teacher Nicole Brady gives a myriad of tips for how to minimize tension in this online course.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to join Harp Column Academy to watch this course.)

today's olympic event

Did you know that getting a full night’s sleep can help increase productivity, strengthen your heart, boost your immune system, improve your memory, and even more? Today’s challenge is to plan your day so you get at least eight hours of sleep tonight.

Work out like an Olympian

In this Teen Vogue article, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas shares some lower body toning moves to try at home this spring.

Day 13

Genius is the ability to put into effect what is on your mind.

—F. Scott Fitzgerald

today’s motivation

Jaymee Haefner examines the fundamentals of playing the harp and provides strategies and tools to improve your playing in this article from the March-April 2016 issue of Harp Column.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

A penny for your thoughts? Journal for 10 minutes. Write down whatever comes to mind.

Don’t miss our Zoom coaching session today at 2:00 PM EST! Today, we will be hearing from Principal Harpist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Bronze Medal Winner of the 9th USA International Harp Competition, Emily Levin. Tune in here.

today’s bonus

FREEBIE

If you enjoyed Jaymee Haefner’s article today, we know you’ll love watching her free Harp Column Academy video on tone production! Watch here.

Day 12

In the midst of an ordinary training day, I try to remind myself that I am preparing for the extraordinary.

Shalane Flanagan

American long-distance runner and Olympic medalist

today’s motivation

Musicophilia

In his book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, neurologist and author Oliver Sacks explores the extraordinary complexity of the mind as experienced by musicians and patients. Sacks weaves neurological science throughout his vivid storytelling, giving fascinating explanations of the strange effects of music on the brain. Learn more about this book and other great musical reads recommended by Heather Cornelius in her article “Get Booked: The Musical Mind” from the November-December 2021 issue of Harp Column.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Research your challenge piece—learn more about the composer, the time period of your piece,  what the piece is about, etc. This will help you to interpret your piece in your performance!

today's bonus

Power your research today with this killer power smoothie by Dawn Burrell (Olympic long jumper).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk or orange juice
    1/2 avocado
    4 Medjool daftes, pitted
    1/2 cup raw slivered almonds
    1 ripe banana, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, frozen
    1/2 cup frozen bluebierres
    1 cup ice cubes

Instructions:

Place milk, avocado, dates and almonds in the blender, followed by frozen fruit and ice. Blend all together until smooth, adding a bit more liquid if necessary.

Day 11

If you think you’re done, you always have at least 40 percent more.

—Lauren Crandall

American field hockey player

today’s motivation

Skate your way to a better performance

This article by Kimberly Rowe from the March-April 1998 issue of Harp Column discusses the similarties between harpists and competitive figure skaters. For example, “we both spend a great deal in solitary practice and performance,” she says. At the end of the day, we are lucky to be harpists though!

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Get moving! Today, you are challenged to 10 minutes of jump roping, jumping jacks, or another physical activity of choice.

Don’t miss our Zoom coaching session today at 12:00 PM EST! Today, we will be hearing from lever harpist Sunita Staneslow. Tune in here.

For Olympic Day 2020, Olympic athletes from around the world came together to share their favorite at-home workouts in this fun and exciting video.

Day 10

I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music.

—Albert Einstein

today’s motivation

Pop the Bubble

Karen Jougla Shelton, an adult learner, discusses finding community outside of your comfort zone in this article from the January-February 2022 issue of Harp Column.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Studies have shown that listening to classical music can provide us a whole host of physiological benefits. Your challenge today is to listen to a classical piece that you have never heard before. Need a suggestion? Peruse our CD reviews or check out the #HCPracticeChallenge tag on Instagram to discover what pieces other harpists are working on during this year’s challenge.

today’s bonus

Olympian/musician spotlight: Oscar de la Hoya

A gold medal in Barcelona 1992 gave Oscar de la Hoya a taste for success and earned him the nickname ‘The Golden Boy’. But apart from winning multiple boxing world titles in different weight divisions, Oscar also found time to record a Grammy-nominated album in 2000. It featured songs in English and Spanish and even had a little help from the Bee Gees. Learn more about him here.

Day 9

I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.

—Mia Hamm

American soccer player and two-time Olympic gold medalist

today’s motivation

Let’s Get Physical

This article by Gretchen Sheetz Kirby, from the September-October 2021 issue of Harp Column, discusses how cross training and physical therapy can help you be a healthy harpist.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Get moving! Today, we challenge you to 10 minutes of jump roping, jumping jacks, or another physical activity of choice.

today's bonus

A healthy recipe from Harp Column founder, Kimberly Rowe? Yes, please! You’re going to need something to fuel that physical olympic event today, after all. See below for her delicious “Watermelon and Feta Salad” recipe that is just the perfect way to fuel your body.

Ingredients:

  • Medium watermelon, chilled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • Large bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Cut watermelon into cubes and drain. Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Put watermelon in large bowl and coat with olive oil mixture. Mix in mint and feta cheese.

Day 8

Passion is a huge prerequisite to winning. It makes you willing to jump through hoops, go through all the ups and downs and everything in between to reach your goal.

—Kerri Walsh

American beach volleyball player and three-time gold medalist

today’s motivation

Strengthening Fingers

Kim Robertson’s Harp Column Academy course “Technique with Kim Robertson,” has two lessons filled with exercises on how to strengthen your fingers one at a time.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to join Harp Column Academy to watch this course.)

today's olympic event

Take 10 minutes and work on exercises to strengthen your weakest finger.

How does the principal harpist for The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Santa Fe Opera warm up? Find out from Grace Browning herself in this free-to-watch video.

Day 7

Every day when you sit behind the harp, what’s important is that you’ve got yourself laser focused on what you’re going to be working on.

—Dr. Jaymee Haefner

Harp professor and author

today’s motivation

Brain Game

In this course on Harp Column Academy, Jaymee Haefner discusses strategies for more efficient practice and performance. Learn techniques for how to plan, how to break pieces down into manageable sections, and how to self-analyze your playing to become a more confident performer.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to join Harp Column Academy to watch this course.)

today's olympic event

Write down your short-term and long-term harp goals and dreams.

today's bonus

Happy Friday! We hope you enjoy this healthy overnight oats parfait recipe that is a favorite of Emily Levin, principal harpist for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Ingredients:

For the overnight oats:
1/3 cup oats
1 cup of milk of choice (Emily prefers oat milk)
Dash of cinnamon

For the parfait:
1 banana, frozen (cut into chunks)
1 cup strawberries, frozen
Milk of choice

Instructions:

Mix the oats, milk and cinnamon in a sealable container and refrigerate overnight. In a high powered blender, combine bananas and strawberries, adding milk as needed to keep the fruits from sticking together. You should end up with a sorbet consistency. Layer the oats and the sorbet in a mason jar, alternating as you go. Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!

 

Day 6

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.

—Jesse Owens

former American track and field athlete and four-time gold medalist

today’s motivation

Just Do It

Stop wallowing in the sea of things undone and start focusing on just one thing you can do right now. Harp Column editor Alison Reese gives advice on how to accomplish one thing at a time in this article from the November-December 2019 issue of Harp Column.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Take time to tidy/organize your stand and practice area.

Don’t miss our Zoom coaching session today at 12:00 PM EST! Today, we will be hearing from the 2016 gold medalist of the 10th USA International Harp Competition, Katherine Siochi. Tune in here. 

Need some inspiration to keep going? Check out these six tips Olympic athletes give to help you achieve your career goals. 

Day 5

It’s not about winning at the Olympic Games. It’s about trying to win. The motto is faster, higher, stronger, not fastest, highest, strongest. Sometimes it’s the trying that matters. 

—Bronte barrat

Australian swimmer and 2008 gold medalist

today’s motivation

Harp Column Archives

If you’re looking to learn something new today, check out the Harp Column archives dating all the way back to our 1993 issue!

today's olympic event

They say learning is knowledge and knowledge is power, so learn something new today. It can be about harp, your challenge piece, the composer of your challenge piece, or whatever you like. 

Looking for a good read? “The Inner Game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey is a revolutionary program for overcoming the self-doubt, nervousness, and lapses of concentration that can keep a player from winning. For other great reads check out Harp Column contributor Heather Cornelius’ recommendations here. 

Day 4

The ones who are successful are the ones who really want it. You have to have that inner drive otherwise it’s not going to work out. 

—Kerri strug

American gymnast and 1996 gold medalist

today’s motivation

Technical Exercises for Lever Harp

Musicians are athletes. Exercise your fingers with this new book available on Harp Column Music by Ailie Robertson. It includes 14 chapters that help harpists develop the technical skills they need to increase dexterity and speed.

today's olympic event

Get moving! Your challenge today is to walk for 10 minutes.

Don’t miss our Zoom coaching session today at 12:00 PM EST! Today, we will be hearing from Internationally recognized Irish harp performer and teacher, Gráinne Hambly! Tune in here. 

Work out like an Olympian

Olympians Ashleigh Johnson (water polo), Meghan Musnicki (rowing) and Adam Rippon (figure skating) created an Olympic workout you can do in the comfort of your home. Watch here. 

Day 3

I think one of the things which always is forgotten in music class, is the first thing you have to do as a musician is you have to learn how to listen. 

—hans zimmer

Film score composer and record producer

today’s motivation

Moving Beyond the Inner Critic

Rebecca Harrisson teaches us how to learn to listen to the right voice in this sounding board article from the September-October 2021 issue of Harp Column.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's Olympic event

Listen to a recording of your challenge piece and follow along with your music.

today’s bonus

Olympian/musician spotlight: Vanessa-Mae

Dynamic violinist Vanessa-Mae has sold over 10 million albums, holds over 40 international awards for both pop and classical recordings, and her concert specials have been broadcast in over 100 countries. Her second passion has always been skiing and, being of Thai descent, she was accepted by the National Olympic Committee of Thailand to represent them. Her unique bridge from artist to athlete also led to her being the guest of honour at the first ever International Olympic Committee President’s Dinner and her appointment as a culture expert to the IOC on the development of Olympic policy. Learn more about her here. 

Day 2

Focus, discipline, hard work, goal setting and, of course, the thrill of finally achieving your goals. These are all lessons of life.

—Kristi Yamaguchi

American figure skater and 1992 gold medalist

today’s motivation

How to Practice

If you enjoyed yesterday’s tips from Rachel (Lee Hall) O’Brien, be sure to check out her HCA course “How to Practice” for more amazing tips on how to get the most out of your practice time.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to join Harp Column Academy to watch this course.)

today's olympic event

Stimulate your brain! Complete this Harp Column word search.

What do olympic athletes and musicians have in common? Quite a lot, it turns out! NPR’s Renee Montagne talks with music commentator Miles Hoffman in this interview about the intense world of competitions.

Day 1

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

—Olympic creed

today’s motivation

Practice Makes Progress

Harp Column contributor and practice guru Rachel (Lee Hall) O’Brien shares five tips to take your practicing from drudgery to dynamite in this article from our July-August 2020 issue.

(Heads up: anyone can join the challenge, but you’ll need to subscribe to Harp Column magazine to read this article.)

today's olympic event

Plan out your weekly practice goals for the whole 30 Day Practice Challenge.

Every Olympian has a coach and so do you! Join us every Tuesday and Thursday on Zoom for a FREE coaching from award-winning lever and pedal harpists. Plus, we have a bonus Opening Ceremony with professional harpist and competitive swimmer Kathleen Wilson TODAY at 2:00 PM EST! Tune in here. 

today's bonus

Eat like an Olympian!

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 28 medals. Power up for the challenge with his post-workout smoothie recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup of berries (Michael prefers blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado

Instructions:

Combine ingredients and blend until smooth.