Hello! See I wrote another post pretty quickly! Even though I just finished my third week of the Spring 2016 semester and living the fourth week in it has a been an eventful one so far.
I didn’t mention how amazing my harp lessons are in my last post. Well they are awesome. Barbara Allen is an amazing harpist, person and teacher. If I ever play as half as well as she does with that much grace I’ll be happy. If there is a passage I am just not getting, she breaks it down for me and then I have it forever. It’s really lovely. And she likes to give me snacks sometimes because she knows that the days I have can be really long. Snacks make everything better. Thanks Barbara! 😀 ❤
I am currently learning the Debussy Dances, a piece that I never imagined ever learning. It is gorgeous but hard. Some of it I am picking up so fast and other parts are still frustrating. Barbara is so encouraging and even when I don’t have faith in myself she does.
There was a hard passage in the Debussy Trio and of course it is a small harp solo and I couldn’t figure it out alone. So the next lesson I showed it to Barbara and by the end of the lesson I got it and I got it to tempo in no time. I texted her later that day thanking her so much and that she’s a miracle worker! And she wrote that it was all my hard work and that she was just showing me how to approach that passage.
I am also learning a couple of other things and keeping up with orchestra concert repertoire. It is a balancing act and can get pretty crazy deciding on what to look at.
Here’s a throwback picture to the first time I played in front of Barbara. I was at a Long Island Harp Society meeting for evaluations. Barbara was the adjudicator. I was a Freshman in college.
My Graduate Seminar Elective and my Entrepreneurial Musician classes are new classes for me this semester and are keeping me on my toes. They are really making me think.
My Seminar Elective is called Artists As Activists. It is making re examine like what am I really doing with my art? Do I have a message or a cause? It can be a really simple answer or something more complex. One answer is that I want audiences to learn and experience the joys of the harp. It is an unusual instrument and everyone should see one and hear one. But I can also express through my art more about causes I’m really passionate about. Like issues in this world that are troubling me. I know some harpists who do use their music as platform for current events like my previous harp teacher and friend Brandee Younger.
I hope that one day I can be like her (And I always found her really cool by the way). Maybe through this class I can be inspired and figure out how to do it in my own Skyla-like way. She just released her second album and it sounds awesome! I wanted to go to see her at her album release party at Dizzy’s in NYC but I’ve been sick this whole week. This is another reason why I have been able to write this post so quickly.
I did do something pretty “brave” in that class. We had to do a short concert so I played “Little Angel” from the Children’s Hour and a piece where I sang and played my harp. I haven’t sung publicly in quite a while and I thought why not try it again. I really do like to sing and play the harp. As a classical harpist I don’t do that too much but when I get the chance and if my allergies aren’t affecting my throat I sometimes get the courage and do it. It was in front of mostly singers too which can be pretty intimating especially if you don’t know them that well. But it all worked out and I learned that my classmates are nice people and very encouraging.
My Entrepreneurial Musician class is making me face what a lot of us in graduate school who are first years really don’t want to think about right now: What’s next when we graduate. What are our business plans? We have to really be honest with ourselves and think about it. It is kinda scary. I know I have a dream, a goal but I also have to make a living. I am going to focus on Trio Delphi for my “final project” for this class. That’s my flute, harp and guitar trio. I am thinking my next post should just be about them. There’s a lot we want to do and we need to think of ways to get ourselves out there and get more gigs! Here’s a picture of us. This one is my favorite since we are all smiling.
Last week for our Entrepreneurial Musician class we went to Le Poisson Rouge. Our professor Justin Kantor is one of the two owners of the super cool venue and he told us his story.
I am very happy that I will be going to orchestra tomorrow! I am well enough and feel so much better than I did earlier in the week. I really wasn’t well enough to go to class and go to orchestra rehearsal. It really got me upset since I don’t like to miss class or rehearsal. I push myself normally but that can set you back even further. So I decided to do the responsible thing and stayed out. It will be better for me in the long run.
I also have an orchestra concert on February 26 and other concerts in the future! I need to be well!