At the end of my online course for harpists, “Blues HarpStyle” I invite everyone in the course to share a Final “Beginning” project – their own Blues on harp.
In 2015, 21 of the 50 people in the course created Blues videos to complete the course. I’ve posted each of these in this blog so scroll down to the bottom to see how you can link to each one of them. And here’s a collage of all the people in the videos.
Each video in the blog series represents the beginning of a player’s Blues Journey after 5 weeks of learning the rudiments of Blues on the harp (Update in 2017 – we’ve added a 6th week to the program!)
We call these Final BEGINNING Projects because I tell the students to focus on imperfect completion as a way to end one phase of learning and begin the next, rather than sliding into an endless pattern of trying to perfect something.I tell students to focus on imperfect completion as a way to end 1 phase of learning and begin next Click To Tweet
Each Final BEGINNING Project is based on the 12-bar Blues. If they don’t all sound like what you think of as ‘Blues’ that’s because they’re not meant to conform to tradition – but to take a traditional form and use to it explore an idea or a story- or just have fun.
Each video is under 2.5 minutes long – many as short as 90 seconds, and I encouraged students, when creating their Final-Beginning Projects, to make the songs about something.Each video is under 2.5 minutes long - many as short as 90 seconds Click To Tweet
So you’ll see a “Store-room Blues” by Jade Barnaby, a “Sorry I Missed Your Party” by Harriet McKenna that’s gotta be the best “I’m sorry I couldn’t be at your Birthday Party” letters ever. Librarian Sally Walstrum wrote and performed her “Library Blues,, and Kathryn Kuba Dandurand, a therapeutic harpist who plays in hospitals created “A Bad Case of the Hospital Blues.”
There are many more – 21 in all – some of them with sets or costumes … or both. And each player answered 5 questions about their process. I hope these insights will help readers to experiment and embrace the bravery of sharing something new and imperfect yourself.
I hope you’ll enjoy the chance to see the beginning of someone’s journey.
Then go out and do something silly or beautiful or experimental or brave … and perfectly imperfect … and experience what it’s like to create a beginning for yourself.
Here are the project video links!
- Emily Brecker Greenberg – “Breakout Blues“
- Nicole Mueller – “Those Bluesy Days“
- Kate Kunkel – “The Long Road Home“
- Diane Almond – “The Brush Tail Possum Blues“
- Sally Walstrum – “Come to the Library Blues“
- Annelies Kole – “Clean Up Blues”
- Frauke Haenel – “A Bluesy Song“
- Kathryn Kuba Dandurand – “A Bad Case of the Hospital Blues“
- Cath Connelly – “I Need Twelve Bar Blues“
- Charlene Elderkin – “The Crazy Co-op Customer Blues“
- Margi Miller – “Blues with a Friend“
- Margie Bekoff – “Lap Cat Blues- Sharp Nails“
- Karen Goodin – “Tolly’s Winter Blues“
- Inge Wiekenkamp – “Rock Around the Clock”
- Harriet McKenna – “So Sorry for Missing Your Party”
- Kathy King – “Fairy Tale Princess Blues”
- Moira Paga – “Train of Life Blues“
- Joy Zahner – “Welcome to the Tropics“
- Jade Barnaby – “Storage Room Blues“
- Siwei Wong – “Blame it on the Boogie“
- Vale?rie Huart – “No Name Blues“
If you play the Harp, Register Now for Hip Harp Academy or learn more about Blues Harp-Style — either way, sign up for a year of creative learning including “Blues HarpStyle” along with 10 other courses just for harp players in improv and repertoire building led by a Grammy-Nominated master harpist (who’s a LOT of fun to learn from!)