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.

LATO-MayaMaya’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 was very difficult for me as I’m not in a good place at the moment.  My illness kept me from playing the harp for several weeks now…  As it’s very hard for me to play at the moment, I decided I would play something I already know so I actually played a melody Deborah showed us in one of the first lessons.

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

I still wanted to create something but I didn’t know what to create at first because I wanted it to be special but I simply couldn’t do much.  So I decided why don’t I show people how I feel or at least try to get some parts of it across.  That was not an easy decision because I’m always a little afraid of telling people what illness I have but I thought it was time to fight the stigma!

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

I couldn’t really express myself while playing, because playing was too big of a challenge for me; actually it was the editing process that I could express myself in.  I’m not good at editing videos though.  However, I wanted to get across how my symptoms influence my life and how they interrupt the reality.

I wanted to get across how my symptoms influence my life and interrupt reality. Share on X

4. What were your personal “Ahas”?

I can create something, no matter what. It doesn’t have to be perfect or melodically fascinating, as long as you get a point across.

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

If you read this before you watch the video: I’m diagnosed with schizophrenia and this video shows a small part of what it’s like for me to have this illness.  I want you to know that I’m also quite happy to have schizophrenia because it has made me the person I am today and I’m quite happy with myself.  I still hope that I can totally recover one day as I know that it is possible (despite all the things people say about it).

Schizophrenia is nothing you have to be afraid of, with a lot of people you won’t even notice that they have it if they’re not in a severe psychotic episode. And it’s the same as with any other illness: People HAVE the illness but it’s NOT what they ARE!

I'm diagnosed with schizophrenia - this video shows a small part of what it's like to have this illness. Share on X

DHC’s Feedback:

This is so powerful Maya. I encourage you to think about sharing it within the mental health community when you’re ready – or maybe 5 minutes before you’re ready (since sometimes I think we’re never ready).

All I can say is that you nailed it — and in a creative way I never, ever would have thought of.  There’s nothing else I can say about it, because it’s such a powerful, clear experience, so YOU, so truthful.  The whole thing was perfect including the ending, the way the story came in, the final image, the way the music faded. You did what art, at its best, seeks to do – which is to actually give us the experience of another human being.

This is a video that I think would be very meaningful to a lot of people.  It’s very powerful  … like you.


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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