You don’t get it

Do you ever wish you could just let go and play music?  Or draw – or sing – or dance?

Nobody is stopping you.  But you can’t.

And is it true?  Is it TRUE that nobody’s stopping you?  

You feel tied down by a thousand tiny silken voices like the delicate strings holding Gulliver down in the land of Lillyputia.

Who tied those strings?  Can you even hear the voices?  Are they as elusive as incoherent echoes?

Do you have to hear them, do you have to answer them –  or can you just LET GO??

Yes.  You.  Let go.  The person holding all those delicate strings is YOU.  And the “letting” of the “letting go” is the challenge.

And letting go is a practice.

After nearly three years of building a virtual creative school for harp players, starting with the nuts and bolts of arrangement, through Blues and harmony, I’m finally hitting the motherlode: the place where what I’m teaching and what I’m learning are flowing directly into the same stream:

It’s not about you “Getting it” – it’s about letting IT get to YOU.

I’m learning – and teaching – that “letting” comes from the practice of doing tiny things that you CAN do, instead of constantly reaching for the things you can’t.

The challenge is to unleash the power, the joy and the pure simplicity of actually DOING the thing that you can already DO.  Clicking with it, and then letting it take YOU to the next place.


If you’re not already signed up for “Summer Harp Jam” you can still join. Register NOW!

Each week we explore a different tiny progression or “Jam” that has infinite possibilities for expression – and learn to click into it at whatever level YOU are at – right now, with the abilities, the instrument, the body, the mind, the age, the time that YOU actually truly have.  Right now.  As you truly are.

“I’ve played harp for nearly 50 years. I have a strict classical background & never in my wildest dreams thought I could improvise. This makes it all come together in a way that I can relate to.” (Sally Walstrum)

“You made it so simple for me that it clicked in my head and I was adding a lot of extra notes on my own which gave me more confidence.  Maybe I can improvise after all!” (Ellen Jordan)

“I just realized that  I can play a really gorgeous improv and nobody will know how simple it is! And I can do all kinds of things with my right hand that sound great with the 1-6-2-5. (Nell Morris)

The challenge is learning to let it be easy.  To let it take you.  To yourself.


Email me if you have questions, or just sign up and join with yourself in the adventure of discovering your own ability to express yourself.


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Can Freedom be Followed?


Today I have a free Webinar for Harp Players (or people who like to crash harp player events) called “Play with Freedom” Register for FREE here.
(Registration includes a replay link)

We often think of creative freedom as complete independence, marching to our own drummer (who is, supposedly, us?).

So how could FOLLOWING someone else increase your personal creative freedom?

Well … if I don’t know how to find my way to a door, then even if nobody’s stopping me from going out it – it might as well be locked to me.

I can theoretically have all the freedom in the world – but if I can’t  find it, if I don’t know how to use it, then I can’t embrace that freedom. I can’t embody it.

That’s where following someone else can help me.

I used to watch my boyfriend’s kids at the computer – the oldest one would control the mouse and keyboard, and the others would watch her.  I couldn’t figure out WHY they’d want to WATCH instead of doing.

And then I started watching my boyfriend on his computer and I began to understand that as we watch other people do things, we pick up things about flow that we simply can’t get by following directions, or figuring it out ourselves. I learned a lot just by ‘doing what he did’ – and I remembered that I learned a lot of music that way as a kid: by singing back what I’d just heard my mother sing.

It’s like that phenomenon in music, that when you play with a stellar musician your own musicianship spontaneously rises to meet them (at least, while you’re playing with them!)

That’s Why I created “Summer Harp Jam”

Those are the principles behind ‘Summer Harp Jam’ my brand new summer harp program for harp players.  Yes, harp players.  We harp players are a micro-niche.

This isn’t my first course for harp players – I have a whole curriculum of creativity in other online harp programs, but this one is different.

In my other courses, each week builds on the last, all leading towards one goal.  But in “Summer Harp Jam” each week is different, and what you’re building is a collection of jams you can play on.  So you can’t get ‘behind’ and you never have to catch up.  If you miss a week, you just jump in on the next week and you can review later on.

I  wanted to create a summer program with no pressure, no stress to keep up.  So you can play very simply if you’re more of a beginner – or embellish as much as you want if you’re advanced. You play with the jams using the skills you already have right now – and I help you find out how to connect with them.

I wanted to create something to give harp players the EXPERIENCE of Freedom.  I wanted them to be able to STOP thinking, STOP trying to remember how something works or even be creative –  and just be able to kick back and PLAY – because that’s how I learned the basics of both improvisation and rhythm.   “Summer Harp Jam” is like a virtual summer camp that gives you 6 weeks of pure play – and the play IS the learning – just like in a summer camp.

Tiny Structures

The whole idea of “Summer Harp Jam” is to work with tiny structures (Jam sequences) that are so easy to learn that you can get the basic structure in about 30 seconds. The fun comes when you play WITH these small structures – by learning to improvise OVER them, or expand them, or change their style.

And people can do it at any level of technical ability because I show you how to both simplify and embellish what I’m doing – just like I learned as a kid.

By the end of the summer you have a whole playbook of over two dozen jam sequences that you can play alone or with other people, in styles from samba and bossa nova to open rubato forms, like you’d use for hospice playing.

The Weekly Playalong Jam Session

At the core of the program is the weekly “Playalong Jam Session” where you truly just sit down and play, using one very simple musical form called “Call and Response.”

Instead of having to figure out rhythms, melodies or arrangement forms, with “Call and Response,” you just play back to me everything I play to you – and depending on your technical level you can either play exactly what I play, or simplify it or embellish it – and that simplification or embellishment is the main ‘teaching’ part of the program.  In other words – each week I show you the jam, and then how you can play with it – simplifying, embellishing, adding rhythm – and showing you how you’d play it alone or with other musicians. I also show you how to change its ‘style’ – so you can use the same basic jam sequence to play a rhythmic groove – or to play rubato and meditatively.

Then we just play follow-the-leader -a LOT!  And depending on how you feel any day, your  response can be an echo of what I played – or respond to it, like in a conversation – so you can use the downloadable MP3s over and over to build your repertoire of responsiveness over time.

Want to see what that’s like?

Register for FREE online Playalong Webinar with Deborah Henson-Conant

Come to a FREE Playalong Webinar today and get a taste of  “Summer Harp Jam.” Register for free here.  If you miss the jam, registering will give you a link directly to the replay as soon as it’s on line.

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Play with Freedom! FREE Play-along Webinar July 5 at 4pm EDT

Do you wish you had the creative FREEDOM to just sit down and PLAY?  What does that even mean?  Is it something you either ‘have’ or don’t?  Or … is it something you can learn?

Find out – July 5th at 4pm EDT!

Register for FREE online Playalong Webinar with Deborah Henson-Conant

play-with-freedom-webinar-vai-jam-v1_550p In this Playalong Webinar Deborah Henson-Conant will show you one of the coolest secrets to musical freedom – how to jam on a simple progression.  And from there she’ll tell you how you can go much, much further! So bring your harp and your inner – and outer – PLUCK! And join DHC for this FREE playalong webinar.

Can’t make it live?   You’ll get a replay link after it’s over so you can watch the replay video.  Saw this too late?  This same free sign-up form will lead you straight to the replay once it’s online.

 July 5th at 4pm EDT

Register for FREE online Playalong Webinar with Deborah Henson-Conant

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