I can still feel overwhelmed and lost in the social media world — the same way I often feel in the real social world — but I have a very strong sense of connection to the 5000+ people who ‘like’ my official Facebook page, and I often find myself curious about them …

They’ve become a kind of creative and logistical mastermind for me — and I go to them with questions about how to understand tech problems, build unique tools, find a better power-supply to run the lights on my harp  – and for sometimes-silly, sometimes-profound conversations about everything from watermelons to personal tragedies.

Last week, on a whim – I asked how many people who ‘like’ my page also play the pedal harp – the kind of harp you see at the back of an orchestra – the kind of harp I used to play all the time (and that I played again recently in my “Für Elise” video).

I was floored by the number of comments to that Facebook post – nearly 100 in short order.

But it just made me more curious. 

I started wondering why?? How did each of them come to play this unusual, esoteric, off-the-beaten-path, hard-to-get-around instrument?

So I asked — and I got a magnificent deluge of tiny, wonderful stories about what led to each person taking up this unusual instrument – nearly 60 little stories – some that made me laugh and some that had me in tears.  Here’s one of my favorites – you can read and enjoy the rest right here (thanks to Betty Widerski who answered my Facebook question about how to create that very link to a specific post … and then wrote a whole blog about it)

“My grandfather, who can hardly play a radio and has NO musical ability whatsoever, left a harp concert with the dream of one of his grandchildren playing the harp. And, I was the blessed one out of eleven grandchildren who was asked if I would like to take lessons. So, at the age of ten, he drove me three hours round trip, once a week to my lessons, rented a harp for two years, and then bought me my pedal harp when I was thirteen. He has only asked one thing of me the entire time and that is to play “Claire de Lune” at his funeral. So, twenty-seven years later, he is now 89 and hanging in there, and I believe it’s because I keep telling him I’m not done practicing …” Kipper Edens Ackerman

 

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