This post is from a series that shares the “Final BEGINNING Projects” from my winter 2016 “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.

Coursen-AlexandraAlexandra’s answers to my 5 Questions:

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

It took time to try to absorb the very new information, and to try to understand what the blues were.  Also to find my peace with this genre.  I ended up not wanting to approach it in its classic outline and form. 

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

I wanted to put my stamp on it, to find ‘sound ideas” and make them permanent (compose).  Within 3 weeks  I wanted to over-complicate: approach the musical lines in contrary opposite ways, try to do something novel.  My underlying block is that I don’t internally relate to the blues genre.  And I have little to no history of listening to the blues, so it is foreign, and not internalized.

I wanted to put my stamp on it, find sound ideas, and make them permanent Click To Tweet

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

I got distracted by the a flat hybrid scale, and might have been better off sticking to the more classic blues structure.  I struggled with the difference between syncopation and swing. 

4. What were your personal “Ahas”?

When I kept it simple in the beginning and” did what I was told” I had more fun; and I think it takes a long while for me to get the first steps in hand before moving on to other things, especially since I have no background in blues.

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

That’s my great uncle’s hat.  Also, I really like putting my harp on a chair and standing while I play it.  Playing the harp while standing, is the new treadmill desk.

Playing the harp while standing, is the new treadmill desk! Click To Tweet

DHC’s Feedback:

Love the atmosphere of the solo section (and really loved when it made you laugh) and that you allowed it to be simple enough for you to play around with.  This is great — you let yourself not overthink and have fun – that is HUGE!!!  I also love that you found a vamp that works for you, love that you got your dissonant seconds in there (they’re becoming a signature!) and I especially love that I believe you’ve found a structure – and absolutely internalized it — one that you can use over and over with other compositions.

And Wow!  The background noise was SO PERFECTLY TIMED!!!!


Hey, thanks for reading this example of what it’s like to go thru a course with me! Did you have Aha’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 creative exploration.

Check out the beginning of a lifelong #harp learning journey Click To Tweet

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