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.

Hadaway-MeredithMEREDITH SAYS:

So here is my “final” version of “My Cat Knocks Over the Perfume,” a musical setting of my poem by the same name. Though the version here is purely instrumental, I will experiment with reading the poem aloud before (or during?) the piece going forward.

Meredith’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.

The logistics were a challenge for me.  I had never made a video nor had I uploaded anything to YouTube before this course.  I had to ditch an earlier version because the sun came out in a blaze of light behind my strings making them totally disappear and giving my hands a ghostly appearance — kind of cool but very distracting.  When I re-recorded in a new position, I kept making mistakes.  In the end, I embraced the imperfections — a great lesson from the course: keep it simple, keep it real.

I embraced imperfections - a great lesson from the course: keep it simple, keep it real. Share on X

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

This project was a departure from my usual style of slow, expressive playing.  

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

I love the rhythmic aspect and playfulness of this music — a challenge for me but one that feels liberating.  I’m looking forward to taking some of the lessons we’ve learned back to my contemplative music as well.

4. What were your personal “Ahas”?

One “aha” that excites me is the notion of creating musical settings for my poems.  The structure, scales, and harmonies we have learned make it possible for me to create a musical “poem” to parallel or enhance a written work.  Great potential for further projects!  

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

I am hugely grateful to DHC and my classmates for support and feedback throughout the course. We’ve learned so much more here than just “the blues.”

We've learned so much more here than just #TheBLUES. Share on X

DHC’s Feedback:


Before even listening, I want to say that I, too, am excited about the possibility of you being able to combine your poetry with music and if you start a blog where you’re sharing that, I want to subscribe! And I hope it’s OK for me to share the poem – which I thoroughly enjoyed.

And also, of course, after reading your description now I really want to see the one with the ghostly hands!  OK … now I’ll listen ….

OH YAY!!!  I laughed!!!  I love that I laughed — just before the outhead – and then again at the end —  how fun!  I can’t wait to see how you start combining this with your wonderful poetry!   So happy you took the course, Meredith, and I look forward to seeing you in others soon.



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

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