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.

Gallant-MelissaMelissa’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

Thinking back to when the course started and where I was at emotionally, I feel a real sense of accomplishment to submit my “Stop and Start Blues.”  It’s not where I want it yet, but I know I can continue working on it.  My mom died back in November, then I was slammed with work in December, so in January I felt depleted of both physical and emotional energy.  Working on this project has given me a creative outlet to safely work through emotional pain. 

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

I thought the 12 bar blue structure gave me the freedom to experiment yet maintain a sense of direction.  As for blocks, I have a lifelong struggle with rhythm!  This course has given me ways to work on that challenge.

the 12 bar blue structure gave me freedom to experiment yet maintain a sense of direction Share on X

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

Since I have been facing some personal emotional struggles, sometimes I had to let myself know it was ok to feel the pain, and just keep playing through the blockages.  If we don’t allow ourselves to feel, we get stuck.  I know that, but had to really breathe deeply a few times, and just let the music flow.

4. What were your personal “Ahas”?

The Aha for me is something I am still working on with this piece – accents!  The blues accents are different from my regular classical technique!  I look forward to continuing to develop the blues feel.

I look forward to continuing to develop the blues feel Share on X

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

Please know the memory on my phone ran out as I was recording my video. UGH! I’m calling it the “Stop and Start Blues” so maybe the abrupt end fits!

DHC’s Feedback:

Wow. This gave me chills. I love how totally emotionally and physically committed you were to this and I really love the harmonies you chose and the slight dissonances.  Really gorgeous – and I”m totally fine that the video ended.  This is life.  This is what happens sometimes, and it takes nothing away from the beauty that was and is there.  Bravissima!


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 Share on X

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