The year 2022 is bringing us a lot of harp competitions just in the first half of the year; what exciting news this is! This means a lot of opportunities for many harpists, and just to name two:
I am a strong advocate of competitions. In my day, I absolutely LOVED doing them. Doing competitions gave me goals, focus, discipline and 🦋 in my stomach (in a good way!). I started competing at around age 9. I won many prizes; I was thrilled when I got 8th prize at age 16 at the USA International Harp Competition, then super excited for Silver Medal in the next competition and then another Silver Medal a competition later 😂.
I also won 1st prize at the American Harp Society Young Professional Division, 1st prize in the Renie Prize and Grandjany Prize of the American Harp Society Foundation as well the Anne Adams Award (please forgive the bragging 😒, otherwise how will you know?) ☺️.
I also did not win any award or placement in a few other competitions, and sure, that hurts for a competitive soul, but I also saw the positive side: I worked really hard on new repertoire, got to push myself to my highest playing, got to travel and see places, made friends, and now looking back, I can say I tried as much as I could.
Over the years I have helped prepare many students for competitions, and I realize my experience having done MANY competitions gives me another angle in teaching, which is that of a COACH. It is not a regular type of teaching, but one focused not only on the artistic component but also on the psychological, emotional and physical preparation.
And I LOVE working with STUDENTS on this. So, if you are thinking of preparing for a competition, go ahead and give it a try, it is a wonderful experience. And let me be part of that journey, reach out to me and allow me to help you prepare.
Conservatoire de Tournai, Belgique