How to transport 10 harps!!!

I am faced with a wonderful dilemma: “How does one transport 10 harps?”

Now that these wonderful harps have been donated and riggorus work is going into launching the program, there are logistical hurdles to overcome. Such as, how am I going to transport 10 harps, actually 11 counting an instructional harp, all over the desert valley!

I suppose I am now an official carpenter along with the other career paths that I would never think I would go down.

I have dreamed up the idea to build a box that will go into my car. The La Quinta High School Theatre department, under the direction of Kathy Karstens, are helping me realize this dream.

I spent 3 hours walking around Home Depot and beginning my sketches of this box.

Building Materials for the Harp BoxThank you to my Dad for the use of his pick-up truck!!!

4 Plywood boards, 2 2″X2″ pieces of wood, 10 3/4″X3/4″ poles, a box of screws, 2 packages of corner braces, 4 casters, a piano hinge and a latch for safe keeping of these precious harps.

 

Here are the first “cuts” for this soon to be Harp Box!Harp Box Building

Stay tuned for more updates…

Harp in schools!

Happy New Year!

There is so much to be thankful for and look forward to this year. Here in the desert there are many generous individuals. Years ago a gentleman had donated 19 harps to the Eisenhower’s Lucy Curi Cancer Center. The Cancer Center began a Healing Harps program that gave harp lessons to the community and in turn the students would play for the patients and staff at the Center. Unfortunately this program ended in 2011 or 2012, leaving these harps to sit in a storage room.

These harps have been so graciously donated to the Palm Springs Unified School District for the use in both school districts here in the valley, including Desert Sands Unified School District.

 

Harpsicle Harps for the PSUSD & DSUSD.

Harpsicle Harps for the PSUSD & DSUSD.

Here is a current photograph of the harps in my harp studio. I will be keeping these harps in good condition for the kids. Harps need regular tuning, string replacements, stored in a place with moderate humidity and cared for in many other ways.

 

Please stay tuned for more updates on this program.  I am currently writing a curriculum for 3rd, 4th & 5th graders.  I am very interested in ideas of finding an accessible way of teaching the harp.  There are so many possibilities.  What do you do? Please reply below….

Is being a “musician” worth it?

This morning I sat down with my cup of coffee and read a really inspiring article: Get Real about Music Careers. This article does not hide the idea that becoming a musician is not as glamourous as it sounds.  Not all highly-qualified musicians make it to the very few coveted orchestra positions or studio recording work.  We continue our craft by “getting by” with the other various work that fulfills us but does not always pay the bills.

When I was a child, my mother sent me to piano lessons. It turns out that I really like the piano but I decided back then that I wanted to play the harp instead.  So at age 9, I asked to play the harp.  Not knowing why I wanted to do this, I still ‘wanted’ to. There were no dreams or aspirations towards becoming the top performing harpist but never-the-less it looks exciting. By age 11, I still wanted to do this and it had taken my parents that long to find a teacher and get set up.  My first teacher, Dominique Piana, would ask me what I aspired to do with the harp and I just wasn’t sure.  Until I had met a lady, Aida Dagort, who was a retired harpist from the movie studios.  It was then that I latched onto the idea of playing and recording for movies and tv shows.

I now am what I call a professional harpist.  I have done the adequate training to perform and teach the harp and it is what I do as my full-time “profession”. When I acquire new students, young or old, I ask them what they would like to do with their harp training.  I enjoy the answers and keep them for their future. I encourage them to dream big but am realistic with them about the ‘real’ world. I tell them of the work I do and hope that it is enough to inspire them to continue working at their art.

No longer do I strive to work in the music studios.  It doesn’t not appear to be everything it is cracked up to be.  Now as an adult, I can enjoy the work I do get. I love what I do and I would not trade it (but I have tried to in the past and I always come back to my harp). One of the most special aspects of being a musician is meeting new people and imprinting in their lives in some way. If I am teaching, I feel that I am not just their music teacher but I am teaching them other life skills.  With freelance work, I truly enjoy entertaining clients to the point of having them come up and want to talk with me about life and music. It is rewarding to get to know new individuals and share with them my life’s work.

Part of the article touches on a very important message, that I completely agree with.

“Having a compelling artistic voice, being an artist who connects with people, excelling at your craft.”

Yes, it is absolutely worth it!

Metallica

Harp-tallica . “Nothing Else Matters”

A friend of mine from Eastman School of Music created a duo called Harptallica, which is really awesome!  Check them out!  Here is a little sample of my arrangement of Nothing Else Matters.  Enjoy and have a happy Friday!

ERICA

Harping on!

Ta Dah!  I am learning how to create new things for my website and have decided to start a blog.  When I started to think about the topics to write about, I thought about my current situation.

My husband and I have recently relocated to the greater Palm Springs area.  Moving is not something I enjoy from a personal standpoint, but especially from a professional one.  It is as if I have just graduated from college and I know that there are opportunities out there for me but I must go find each and every one of them.

If you were me, what would you do?

I have come to a conclusion that life is about the personal relationships that we create, develop and maintain.  There is nothing like meeting someone in person. An email or phone call does not begin the type of relationship that can be fostered for years to come. I have found myself traveling around the desert to various venues and businesses, just saying, “hello”. It sometimes feels as if I am selling myself, but in the end I suppose I am.  I know there are many opportunities out there just waiting to begin and I can’t wait!!!

Stay tuned…