At the end of my online course for harpists, “Blues HarpStyle” I invite everyone in the course to share a Final “Beginning” project – their own Blues on harp.

In 2015, 21 of the 50 people in the course created Blues videos to complete the courseI’ve posted each of these in this blog so scroll down to the bottom to see how you can link to each one of them.  And here’s a collage of all the people in the videos.

BHS3-2015-Spring-FinalCollage-LoRes_v1

Each video in the blog series represents the beginning of a player’s Blues Journey after 5 weeks of learning the rudiments of Blues on the harp (Update in 2017 – we’ve added a 6th week to the program!)

We call these Final BEGINNING Projects because I tell the students to focus on imperfect completion as a way to end one phase of learning and begin the next, rather than sliding into an endless pattern of trying to perfect something.

I tell students to focus on imperfect completion as a way to end 1 phase of learning and begin next Click To Tweet

Each Final BEGINNING Project is based on the 12-bar Blues. If they don’t all sound like what you think of as ‘Blues’ that’s because they’re not meant to conform to tradition – but to take a traditional form and use to it explore an idea or a story- or just have fun.

Each video is under 2.5 minutes long – many as short as 90 seconds, and I encouraged students, when creating their Final-Beginning Projects, to make the songs about something. 

Each video is under 2.5 minutes long - many as short as 90 seconds Click To Tweet

So you’ll see a “Store-room Blues” by Jade Barnaby, a “Sorry I Missed Your Party” by Harriet McKenna that’s gotta be the best “I’m sorry I couldn’t be at your Birthday Party” letters ever. Librarian Sally Walstrum wrote and performed her “Library Blues,, and Kathryn Kuba Dandurand, a therapeutic harpist who plays in hospitals created “A Bad Case of the Hospital Blues.”

There are many more – 21 in all – some of them with sets or costumes … or both.   And each player answered 5 questions about their process.  I hope these insights will help readers to experiment and embrace the bravery of sharing something new and imperfect yourself.

I hope you’ll enjoy the chance to see the beginning of someone’s journey.

Then go out and do something silly or beautiful or experimental or brave … and perfectly imperfect … and experience what it’s like to create a beginning for yourself.

Here are the project video links!

  1.  Emily Brecker Greenberg – “Breakout Blues
  2.  Nicole Mueller – “Those Bluesy Days
  3.  Kate Kunkel – “The Long Road Home
  4.  Diane Almond – “The Brush Tail Possum Blues
  5.  Sally Walstrum – “Come to the Library Blues
  6.  Annelies Kole – “Clean Up Blues
  7.  Frauke Haenel – “A Bluesy Song
  8.  Kathryn Kuba Dandurand – “A Bad Case of the Hospital Blues
  9.  Cath Connelly – “I Need Twelve Bar Blues
  10.  Charlene Elderkin – “The Crazy Co-op Customer Blues
  11.  Margi Miller – “Blues with a Friend
  12.  Margie Bekoff  – “Lap Cat Blues- Sharp Nails
  13.  Karen Goodin – “Tolly’s Winter Blues
  14.  Inge Wiekenkamp – “Rock Around the Clock
  15.  Harriet McKenna – “So Sorry for Missing Your Party
  16.  Kathy King – “Fairy Tale Princess Blues
  17.  Moira Paga – “Train of Life Blues
  18.  Joy Zahner – “Welcome to the Tropics
  19.  Jade Barnaby – “Storage Room Blues
  20.  Siwei Wong – “Blame it on the Boogie
  21.  Vale?rie Huart – “No Name Blues

If you play the Harp, Register Now for Hip Harp Academy  or learn more about Blues Harp-Style either way, sign up for a year of creative learning including “Blues HarpStyle” along with 10 other courses just for harp players in improv and repertoire building led by a Grammy-Nominated master harpist (who’s a LOT of fun to learn from!)

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