rhythm-to-relaxation-for-blogpost_v2As a composer I’m constantly thinking about how to express different feelings, moods, atmospheres, with music.

Taking a theme and changing its expression is something I do a lot when I write musical theater.

For example, in the musical I’m working on now,The Golden Cage” when the main theme appears at first, it’s full of hope and joy.  It gets passed between the characters – and each time it appears, it means something different. When all is lost, the theme appears slowly, with a dissonance that expresses the loss of all that hope and joy.  (Don’t worry – it returns again with even more joy at the end).

You can reframe an idea, or a melody, so the meaning changes Share on X

This is something I’ve always loved to do: to reframe an idea, a melody, so the meaning changes – and it’s something that’s so powerful in music.  It can be done with harmony, with tempo, with character …  and it can be done with rhythm.

So it was a fascinating challenge for me when students of my “Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page”  course asked me to show them how to take a piece I’d originally written specifically as a fiery, rhythmic, dramatic showpiece … and to reframe it as a piece that could be played in introspective and meditative situations – as many harpists work in music therapy or at bedside in hospitals or hospice.

I was so taken with the idea that I added a whole new section to my 5-week online course, “Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page which starts on Monday (register NOW if you play the harp!). This new section shows specifically how to play – and to improvise – on the piece in introspective, responsive situations.

Harpists can use the skill of emotionally morphing music in many situations, Share on X

Adding that aspect to the course made me realize that harpists could use this skill – the ability to emotionally morph music – in many situations, not just with “Baroque Flamenco” – and it gave me the idea to take one chord progression and create a mini-workshop all about changing the character of the notes from rhythmic to relaxing.

This is especially effective on the harp because of the way physical patterns work on our instrument – and it means that harpists – even advanced beginners – can learn a simple pattern – something they could memorize in less than a minute – and create, experiment, change emotion with it ad infinitum – and use it effectively in many different situations.

Instead of just playing the music, they can play WITH it Share on X

In other words – instead of just playing it, they can play WITH it.  And “playing WITH” is the foundation of all my teaching and coaching.

When you can play WITH music that means that you can take one piece and turn it into many different pieces, for many different occassions — and most importantly – for many different kinds of human connection.

How do YOU change things in your life from rhythmic, dramatic – maybe even frantic – to relaxing? What new ways of expressing yourself and human connections does that bring?

If you play the harp, register now for my FREE Online Playalong Mini-Workshop “From Rhythm to Relaxation” on Saturday at 2:30 pm EDT. REGISTER for the Online Mini-Workshop for FREE (and don’t worry, if you can’t make it – or you missed it, registration gets you access to the replay)

Want to make sure you get it ALL … the replay, the “Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page” 5-Week Course PLUS any-and-all Bonuses  I’m adding to “Baroque Flamenco BEYOND the Page”?  Then register for FULL 5-Week “Baroque Flamenco BEYOND the Page” course NOW – the sooner you register the more you get!  See you soon!!!





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