Fluency isn’t about perfection, it’s not about being elaborate or fancy. Fluency is about being able to express yourself without constraint with the tools and skills you already have. It’s about unlocking what you’ve already got.
I’m Deborah Henson-Conant – I’m a composer/performer and I am the creator of Hip Harp Academy.
I see too many harp players — from beginners to advanced players — who struggle with a kind of creative stuttering, because their mind is constantly stopping them from maintaining a fluent conversation with music, a fluent connection to their instrument and their music.
Their mind is constantly interrupting with messages like “That note was wrong! I need to get BETTER! I need to practice more! That sounds bad! What if so-and-so heard me. That was a wrong note! I’ll never get this. Not good enough! Too slow! Sloppy! It’s buzzing! I need to be more this … I need to be less that … I’ll never … I’m too …. I can’t … I’m just not … “
If so … this is what’s stopping you.
And I’m sure that’s no surprise.
Faced with an internal creative struggle, almost every musician thinks “there’s something wrong with me – I need to get better” or “I just need to practice more” — but as soon as our skills do improve, we raise the bar, so we live in a constant state of “I’m not good enough” that we are literally perpetuating on ourselves.
So what’s MISSING here? What do we need to let go of? What do we need to put in its place?
Most musicians are trying to achieve an external goal. We hear another musician we admire (or who others admire) and we think that “If I could play like that” or “If I could play that piece” then I’d experience the joy and admiration that (I think) that person has.
But that doesn’t work. It’s not more notes or faster notes or a specific piece that make meaningful music.
What we really need is CREATIVE RESONANCE: the ability to connect the magnificence of our creative impulse to a deeper connection with the fundamental language of music. We need to take it down to its essence so that we can become fluent and expressive with what we can play – regardless of its ‘level’ of technical complexity and regardless of whether it has right or wrong notes. Regardless of whether our technique is good. Regardless of who is in the room.
In fact, when we’re fluent and expressive, nobody’s even listening to the notes – what ‘wow’s people is when they feel that connection.
To do this, you need to be able to connect at the HEART of the music, the ESSENCE of a piece – and when you can do that, the playing infuses your own essence.
You are playing the piece playing you playing the piece playing you.
You are playing the instrument playing you playing the instrument.
That’s Creative Resonance. It’s about discovering music as you’re playing it. And it can happen at any level of technical ability. It’s not about wowing people with complexity. It’s about connection. The connection that creates resonance. And that’s what I’m teaching the first quarter of 2022 at Hip Harp Academy.
You’ll take a piece that you already know, or one of the simple movements from my “Vision Music Suite” or you’ll learn to tell a story with music. And you’ll take one of those three all the way through the 7 principles of Creative Resonance, and those 7 principles are called the 7 Strings of Passion.
These are very special skills and tools that I use all the time. They leverage your creative assets: your riches — the rich treasure of experience and expression you already are – because if you don’t learn how to do that, if you don’t learn how to RELEASE the music that’s there, then there’s no amount of “getting better” or improving your technique or “playing faster” or “more notes” that will ever make a difference.
But when you DO learn it, it will change every piece you play, bring it alive, and make it resonate inside and out. It will expand and enrich your repertoire because it will create resonance in everything you play.
If you play the harp, join me at Hip Harp Academy for the “Creative Resonance” program – the first quarter of 2022 – and blow your own mind by experiencing how powerful and beautiful the music you already play can be – when it is FLUENT and has CREATIVE RESONANCE . Once you learn how to do this in the program, you can do it with any piece.
Will you learn new music? Sure – there’s lots of music to learn in Hip Harp Academy – but what you’ll really learn in the Creative Resonance program is how to have a new relationship with music – a relationship that expresses who you are — a relationship that will open up the rest of your life and your creative expression, and bring MORE music, more artistry to every note you play and everything you do.
Go to HipHarpAcademy.com and join me.
If you play the harp, join me for the first quarter of 2022, the “Creative Resonance” Quarter at Hip Harp Academy – using the 7 Strings of Passion to build YOUR creative resonance. Class starts Jan. 24, 2022 — Warmup week starts Jan. 17, 2022.