"Stay in Shape With Little Effort" May 10, 2016
I've worked a lot with adult students and most of them find it difficult to find time to practice regularly. When life's responsibilities crowd out music it's still possible to stay in shape with little effort.
I encourage my students (adults and children alike) to create a repertoire collection as they progress. The music in this collection changes as skills develop and personal preferences change, but there's still purpose to the habit.
Carefully chosen maintained repertoire is an easy, enjoyable way to maintain skills and stay in shape. Look at the Handel concerto here above, or in our catalog. There's plenty of rigor in this to keep hands in shape. If you don't have a long time to practice, sit down and play through something like this on regular basis. Even you lever harpists can play this, there's a version with no lever changes! Ed Druzinsky, former principal harp of Chicago Symphony used the first harp part from the Magic Fire Music (Act III) from Die Walküre (Wagner) as a frequent warm up (he memorized it). It's plenty strenuous and accomplishes much: keeping the part in the fingers, providing a great warm up and reinforcing skills.
When you're short on time, use each minute at the harp wisely and choose music that will serve more than one purpose. Instead of heading to an etude book, find music you love that reinforces the skills you learned in your etude books. If you do that, you'll stay in shape and always have music at the ready when you're asked to perform.
Music of Handel arranged for harp can be found for purchase here http://hornandharp.com/handel.html.