OK … I have to brag.  I have to brag about my students.

The fact that I HAVE students is exciting, frankly – because I like to teach in groups – and the students I work with live all over the world – so it’s only in the past 18 months that I’ve had a classroom I can teach them in (thank you the course is sold out, the students come from all over and they’ve just submitted their first homework assignments: A drawing of the 5-part arrangement form we’ll be using throughout the course, which teaches musicians to create arrangements, and improvise on them, at their own level of ability.

Here’s the structure the way I explained it …


I want my students to know this structure completely, to embody it so it gives them freedom – and one of the first ways we do that is to play with it in drawings.

So I asked them to create their own versions and below are two of the many I  loved.

The first is Rachel Schlafer-Parton’s … I’m pretty sure she lives on a farm — and somehow I think that’s relevant to this version of the form.


This is a cute drawing when you first look at it. If you look at it a little more deeply, it’s far more than cute – it embodies not just the structure, but the feeling you might have at each part of the structure – especially if you were a bird.

The second is from Cymber Lily Quinn, who lives in Hawaii.  Again – I see the structure – and also FEEL the character of it.


If you think I’m teaching children you’re half-right – they definitely embrace their inner children — but in fact, they’re all adults – some are professionals, some are near-beginners  – and all shades in between.

They’re all experts at something else in the world and they’re all investing their whimsy and passion in the harp, they’re all committed to the spirit of ‘imperfect completion’ and I just wanted to say …. my students ROCK!!!!!


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