With my apologies to Stephen Covey, I offer here seven habits that you need to develop to truly achieve the satisfaction you are seeking in your harp playing.
1. Tune every day. Why is this important? Your harp needs it to stay in shape, the same way you need to brush your teeth every day to stay healthy. And if you tune every day, you will be at your harp and hopefully inspired to practice. But if your harp is so out of tune that you know it will take you forever to get it back in tune, how eager are you going to be to practice?
2. Play and practice regularly. Maybe you’re not an “everyday” harpist; you have many other things clamoring for your attention. But you still need to have a predictable time in your schedule when you sit down to play. It doesn’t always have to be intense practice. You can play for pleasure, too!
3. Practice with purpose. When you practice, make sure you know what you are trying to accomplish. Set practice goals, work on technique, add to your repertoire. Give yourself something to work toward.
4. Play with and for others. Music is an art you can share. It is a gift you can give others. Don’t save it for your living room.
5. Stretch. Stretch your fingers. Stretch your brain. Stretch yourself. It feels good.
6. Make it about the music. Whatever you play, wherever you play, remember you are a medium through which the music takes life. It’s not about you. Serve the muse.
7. Never give up. When you feel tired, sad, bored, cold or ill, the harp is there for you, Be there for it. Hang in there. You will love where you and your harp can go!
Can you think of any habits to add to this list?