Deborah Henson-Conant

Telling stories with music at HipHarp.com

Right now, students in my “Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page” class are about to submit their Final (Beginning) Projects.

I call them “Final (Beginning)” projects because I like students to realize that they’re not the end of their relationship with what they’ve just learned – but  the beginning.  The projects give them a point to rest and regroup, to sit on what they have learned before going on to integrate the work more and more into their lives.

But many people (me included) get nervous about completing and submitting anything, let alone something called a “Final Project.”

Any submission of anything can feel like it’s a moment of truth, something that will go on our permanent record, something that defines us, that restricts our future, something that closes the door to being potentially better than it is right now — rather than than something that unlocks a door to the next step.

So I made this video encouraging students to lower their expectations.

Last night one of the students sent me her favorite takeaway from that video, so I want to share it here:

“I just want to encourage you, at every level you are – wherever you are in your career, wherever you are in your life, wherever you are in your playing – and  it’s easier said than done – to lower your expectation.

And that in no way lowers what comes out. On the contrary, when you lower your expectation, often a lot of beauty that couldn’t get over that unrealistic hump – real true human beauty that could not get over that unrealistic hump there – it can come out.

So lower your expectations so that the beauty and the humanity and the gorgeous, imperfect, real, human, actual voice of passion or beauty or just trying something for the first time, so that it can actually get into the music.”

(DHC, from “Lower Your Expectations – Final Project” video from “Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page”)


My “Hip Harp Academy” is just about to open for early registration.  Fall is one of the BEST times to join the Academy and start your yearlong training with the first Fall class: “HIp Harp Toolkit.”   Learn about “Hip Harp Toolkit”, the first guided class of the Academy year, and then sign up for the Academy here – you’ll get $100 off during early-bird – if it’s not advertised yet, just click on the “Register Now” link and you’ll see the discount already applied!