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.

Hawley-JaneJANE SAYS:

This piece is called “Journey of Life.”  It was meant to be sung by my sister for church-ECKANKAR.  Since I couldn’t get that to happen for the video my challenge was to play and sing at the same time.


Jane’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.

I found sleep very difficult at times because jazz ran through my brain at night with all the possibilities. The problem was that what I can create in my head doesn’t come out in my fingers.

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

So after trying again and again to get this video right(and much time taken by visitors) I had to just tell myself enough is enough and remind myself this is the beginning not the end of the journey in jazz. I realize that I haven’t accompanied myself so much as play the tune but that’s where I have the issue of staying within a 12 bar pattern. I would have added measures in order to fit in riffs that were most likely too long.

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

I enjoy the freedom jazz allows in noodling. I really enjoyed the aspect of playing along with prepared music and doing more by ear – something I really need work on. 

4. What were your personal “Ahas”?

I’ve taken other sessions with DHC and each one gives me something new, different and challenging. I am in the process of writing a harp composition and learning the slap bass gave me a sound I needed in this new composition.

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

I am one very nervous player in front of a group but learning to be imperfect has given me the courage to do videos and upload them to Youtube.  I’m very good about beating myself up over mistakes but one thing about taking DHC’s classes is her emphasis on imperfection – a great reminder for me.  I’m becoming better at accepting the level of playing that I can do rather than looking at all I cannot.  Long way to go but thanks to DHC I’m sharing my music more and more.

Thanks to DHC I'm sharing my music more and more. Click To Tweet


DHC’s Feedback:

Great, Jane! I loved watching you really feeling the rhythm in the intro and how the piece got stronger and stronger as it went along.  Love that ‘Blue’ note in the melody – and it really comes out strong when you started singing along with it (especially in the last chorus!).  It’s so exciting to know this is just the BEGINNING of this piece, that you WROTE it, and that you’ll be playing it and enjoying it for years to come!  Congratulations!  It’s been really fun to work with you and see this all develop!  Oh and I really loved those chords at 1:40 and again at 2:22 – those are wonderful.  Brava!


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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