This blog is one of a series.  Each includes one of the students’ final projects from my online course “Blues: Harp-Style” along with  their answers to five questions I asked them to answer. You can very tiny lap harp that she found in San Francisco music shop.

Watch & Comment at YouTube

Jana’s Answers to my Five Questions:

– 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

Ok, lets start with the logistical problems: I DIDN’T have a harp! I’m traveling in the U.S. right now and my harp is waiting to welcome me back home in Vienna (Austria).

One thing my harp does not know yet is, that it has a small sister now – a tiny, tiny harp from San Francisco. I bought it in a very cool music store in SF (I didn’t intend to buy a harp, I found that music store by chance and was curious about what they sell, etc. – I saw this baby harp and honestly: Who can withstand a puppy? 😀 )

However, this harp made it possible to hand in my final project (it’s not the project, I originally wanted to work on but: different instruments speak different languages – and luckily this harp’s language was easy to learn and we bonded quickly.)

Still, it’s not that kind of Final Project that had time to grow (The whole process – from first playing this harp, then coming up with an idea to finally recording it – took about 3 hours 😉 )

As to the emotional aspect, in this case it was mostly about finding a language both of ‘us’ (the harp and I) can speak, in other words getting to know what strengths we have in common and focusing on those.

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

Again, it was a very short process in this case, so I am not able to answer this question referring especially to this piece, I can share my usual experience I have in terms of creative process though: What I struggle most with, is my inability to focus and/or  to work on something over a longer period of time. That doesn’t only refer to music but basically to my whole life.

So in this course I again encountered the boundaries I set myself with not working on my ideas, not pushing myself forward. Not (yet?) having developed this skill I am very grateful about the idea of IMPERFECT COMPLETION, which allows me to share raw ideas and unpolished work of mine with the world, without making me feel bad and incapable.

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

Freedom = Decisions

– What were your personal “Ahas”?

1) I don’t have to play my harp in order to make it create a beautiful sound! I had the best time sitting in the park with my baby harp and just listening to the amazing sound that was created by the strings vibrating in the wind… The sky’s the limit (LITERALLY!)

2) DAMN, I LOVE PERCUSSIVE MUSIC!!!!

– Is there anything else you’d like to tell people who are watching your video?

This video is the outcome of amazing weeks in America, therefore I want to thank everyone, who made my U.S. experience such a powerful one! Thanks to: Annette and Kurt, Bob and JoAnna (and everyone, who helped me to find this place to stay in SF: Verlene, Kevin, Liza and Diana), Sandra (I recorded the video in her apartment!), and last but not least: DEBORAH! *Marigolds*

And of course all the others, that I can’t remember the names of xD.

Ah and as I just love these short poems (and I think both of them can also refer to music) I want to close with these few lines:

“History, maketh a young man to be old without either wrinkles or gray hair, privileging him with the experience of age without either the infirmities or the inconveniences therof.” (Fuller)

“Words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions,
think.” (Lord Byron)


The next “Blues: Harp-Style” course begins July 29th and runs through the end of August 2013.

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