One thing I love about teaching at Hip Harp Academy is getting to see the “Final Beginning Projects” that each student does. This is a culmination of Annelies Kole’s experience in the Blues Harp-Style class – and this is just the beginning!

This post is from a series that shares the “Final BEGINNING Projects” from my winter 2015 “Blues HarpStyle” online course for harp players. students created short videos based on what they learned in the course, and answered 5 questions about what they got from the challenge of this project.

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[Updated by DHC 231019]

KOLE-Annelies-exportANNELIES SAYS:

1. Give a short description of what it took for you to get to the place of being able to play what you did – both logistically and emotionally

I had to practice a lot to feel the grove and to feel the 4 beats in a measure when I was improvising. But with the different lessons, I practiced almost every day half an hour.

My daughter is also very busy and didn’t want to practice as much as I did. But that was right for me.

The lessons of  ‘do what you can’ and ‘imperfect completion’ were also important lessons for me in how I treat my own daughters when making music.

And I knew having fun was the most important emotion we had to show on our video.

2. What freedoms and blocks in yourself did you connect with (or struggle with) in the process?

Freedom for me was: knowing that a few notes could be enough for playing nice riffs and improvisations. The groove is the most important thing that has to go on. That gave me the idea that I couldn’t make mistakes and I enjoyed playing the blues so much.

In the Blues - the groove is the most important thing that has to go on. Share on X

My block was: my music has to be interesting, I have to be interesting. But soon I learned that it’s not important for making beautiful or nice music. And that was another freedom the course gave me.

3. What challenges did you meet to connect with your own freedom of expression in this project?

My big challenge is to stay in the 4 beats of each measure when I play little with my left hand. Still when I play with my metronome, so I can notice that I do, I lose one beat and mostly I play more beats and I’m to late for beat one of the next measure. I practiced a lot with this. But it didn’t help yet. Only when I count out loud the whole time. And when I sing, then I got the good feeling for those four beats. For my final I didn’t want to challenge this and I played in every measure a note with my left hand. That’s why I don’t play notes with my left hand in the melody. And I counted in my head (not all the time).

4. What were your personal “Ahas”?

My personal Aha is that everybody can join in and play the blues. You only have to give them a few and clear possibilities they can use. That’s so great. And I really want to play the blues with other people.

My personal Aha is that everybody can join in and play the blues! Share on X

5. Is there anything else you´d like to tell people who are watching your video?

I love my daughter for wanting to sing the blues with me. It’ not a teenage style of music. And I want to thank her for her patience when I was losing the 4 beats and she just started one count later, although I know she had heard it, because she is good in this. She can feel the timing.


Hey, thanks for reading this example of what it’s like to go thru a course with me! Did you have A-ha’s or revelations watching the video & reading the answers she wrote? Add your comments below. Please – no critiques – just share what you learned from someone courageously sharing a project that’s the BEGINNING of a lifelong learning journey.

Check out the beginning of a lifelong #harp learning journey Share on X

Want to do some courageous learning yourself? Click here to register for my next Free Online Training and check out my next online course especially for harp players.

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