“I told him the family that plays together stays together, and he agrees.” Fern Nelson

Fulfilling a Bluesy Goal

Fern saw a harpist as a child and always wanted to play, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that she got her first harp and started to play.

At the beginning of summer 2021, Fern shared that her summer goal was to play a Blues with her partner, Will – even though she’d never played a Blues before in her life. So please enjoy the maiden voyage of Fern and Will’s Blues Adventure.

One of Fern’s takeaways from her project:

” I can actually sit down and play with just a few clues, not the whole paper. Will and I had fun!”

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[Updated by DHC 231019]

Enjoy the debut of Fern and Will’s Blues Adventure.

For Fern’s “Final-Beginning” project, she took what she learned in the first two modules of “Blues: Harp-Style” and shared them with her partner, Will. 

This project is truly in the spirit of the “Final-Beginning” project, in that it’s Fern’s final project for the class – but it begins a whole new chapter of her life, creating the possibility of a lifetime of collaborative adventure with someone she loves.

Here’s a short Interview with Fern about creating this project:

Describe the project – what do you call it?

Satie & Pachelbel’s Jazzy Love Child

What principles from “Blues: Harp-Style” or from chats did you use to develop, perform, and record this project – and how did they play a part in your process?

Get in a blues groove and keep working on it
Modules one and two can serve me for the rest if my life
Seeing other peoples’ work was encouraging
I love the pentatonic scale form that you showed us.

What did it take for you to be able to play what you did – both logistically and emotionally.

Logistically Will and I were in different physical spaces from time to time; he in the desert and me by the ocean which are 2 1/2 hours apart.  He is in the desert because his mother has come to live with us and her doctors are in the desert.
(We are blessed to have two homes and live in the best of both worlds).

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

Will was looking mad in the videos so I suggested that he get in character and the hat and the sunglasses did it!  He was groovin”

What challenges did you meet while connecting with your own freedom of expression in this project?

I kept struggling with the notes and my fingers and tensed up instead of relaxing.

What other parts of your life were impacted by what you learned in this class, and how?

Will and I have decided to practice/play the blues together every day and continue to improve.  I told him the family that plays together stays together, and he agrees.

What were your personal “Ahas”

I can actually sit down and play with just a few clues, not the whole paper.  I have the riffs on a cheat sheet, and I can put them on my phone so if I want to play but am nervous that I will forget something I will feel confident since I have the riffs.  I have memorized the Melody and walking and slap bases and the chord progression so that is not a problem.

Is there anything else you want people to know when they watch your video?

Will and I had fun.  What a blessing to have a man that enjoys music so much and will have fun and play with me.  We will continue to grow our blues piece together.  He does some guitar ballads with singing (he has a wonderful voice) and we are going to see where a harp can fit in.


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