I’m just back from my first harp lesson of the semester. It’s the start of my eighth year of harp lessons. It’s another opportunity to joust with the critical voice that would like to take me down by saying, “You really should be further along than this.” And another opportunity to counter the offensive by remembering that there’s no schedule for progress and mastery, that it takes however long it takes.
I admit, I would have enjoyed it immensely if I gone to my lesson having mastered rolled four-finger chords, and the combined glisses and harmonics of one piece, and the quick two-finger tremolo in the second piece I’m working on. And I’d be thrilled if I had awakened one recent morning able to sight-read and sight-play something more complex than first-grade piano pieces at tempos faster than 50 beats per minute. Alas, none of that has happened.
So today we worked on the rolled chords, and the two-finger tremolo. Again. Both are better due to the work I did on them this summer. And my teacher continues to find ways to help me get my fingers to cooperate with what the music would like them to do. The rolled chords and the tremolo were better at the end of my lesson than they were at the beginning.
And that’s the point. It’s not how many years I’ve been taking lessons, not how long it’s taking me to finish these two pieces, not that I’m still working on rolled chords. It’s that I’m still working, still learning. It’s that I am blessed with a teacher who sees and inspires the progress I make, who continues to believe in me and my harp journey. It’s that I am still in love with the harp and the process of learning to play.
I had a good harp lesson today. . . . . .