Woohoo Summer!

Woohoo Summer! 

This week Summer officially begins. Where I am, Summer will start on a day that is predicted to be nearly 100oF. Yay.

But when Summer starts like that, at least there is no confusion – it’s definitely Summer, no lingering doubts.

And certainly no time to stay home! Because Summer is also time to get out and play! I’ll be doing a couple of things and I hope I will see you there. Here’s where I’ll be for the next little bit.

At the end of June, it’s time for the Ohio Scottish Arts School – YAY! I love so much about OSAS – the people, the format, the tunes, the silly games, the hanging out with friends, the playing music, the comradery, the tradition. I’ve been going to OSAS as a student or a teacher from the very early days of my harp life and it’s like coming home. I’m so delighted to be teaching with Wendy Stewart, Kelly Stewart, Tiffany Schaefer, and Haley Hewitt! And a number of you will be coming which makes my heart happy – to see old friends and to meet friends in the flesh for the first time at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, OH. Can’t wait!

Then in July, there’s the Somerset Folk Harp Festival which is always a maelstrom of activity (in a good way). This year there is an amazing lineup of instructors, and I am so grateful to be among them. Somerset is offering me the opportunity to do that thing I do by mashing up my technical world with my music world and I’ll be teaching two workshops.  On the Saturday I’ll be presenting Preventing and Avoiding Injuries: Ergonomics for Therapeutic (and other) Settings which is open for any level and will be helpful to all harpers not just therapeutic musicians. It will be hands on and interesting no matter where you play.  On Friday it’s Repertoire for Every Patient! with tips, techniques, and approaches to make a small but workable repertoire be useful no matter who you play for in the healthcare setting. It will be focused on therapeutic music, but the principles are the same no matter where you play. I hope I’ll see you there – please say hi! And if you’re on the fence about coming, I hope you will decide that yes, you need to come – registration is still open!

In August, it’s off to Scotland to see Glasgow, Edinburgh, a brief jaunt to Skye and a turn about the Highlands for a bit. I (really!) will try to remember to take photos, but you already know I’m so bad at that because I’m usually too busy gawping at all the beauty! I have a small but feisty group and I’m really looking forward to seeing the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I’ve wanted to see this event for years! I know so many of you wanted to come along but weren’t able to for one reason or another – so watch this space and start planning for next year!

And then it will be September! Whew! I hope I do a decent job sharing all the fun and learning and visiting friends (and photos – really, I will try!). I’m excited to see several of you and I’m happy to share some of the experiences with all of you. I’ll share photos here and on my facetagram.  As always, let me know if I should be looking for you in a particular place, ask questions, and share your thoughts in the comments!

Woohoo Summer!

Do the thing that scares you

Do the thing that scares you 

What scares you? Ok, let’s scale it back to what scares you about playing. You don’t have to say it out loud (unless you want to), but definitely say it in your head.


I’m most scared of doing something wrong. Not so much when I’m by myself (ok, yes, but…) more when I’m playing with other people. Because the options of doing something wrong are very uncomfortable

     I’ll sound really bad (not fun)

     We (as a group) will sound really bad (embarrassing and not fun)

     I will be blamed for sounding bad – not just this time but every time after that (continuingly embarrassing and not fun)

(and the perceived outcome – no one will ever want me to play with them again)


I had the wonderfully terrifying opportunity to join in on a final tune in a recent show. The bass player and the guitarist both told me that it was easy, just follow along. That there was only one chord. That I just had to hit that chord on the 1 and all would be well.

So, I did the normal thing – I said yes (!)

And then I panicked! (the much more normal thing for me)

It’s never that easy. I’m not good at following – especially a tune I have only heard a couple of times before (and frankly, I wasn’t really listening then)

Then they told me the key – Bb min (yup, that would be five flats – not easy on a lever harp tuned to 3 flats.

I might have hyperventilated a little bit just then.

But I dared to hope.

I looked up Bb min (thank you Maestro Google). And verified that the 1-5-8 chord would be playable (Bb – F – Bb) and that the V chord would be playable (F – C – F). And my hope grew infinitesimally.

But I would have to stay off the IV chord! And I’d definitely have to stay off the iii!

That didn’t completely calm me though – because I’m not good at catching the change (and I don’t practice it enough).

So, I looked up a chord sheet for the tune. The bass player didn’t lie – it really did only have one chord! (ok, there was one place where there was a change to the V, but only one and if I missed it, it would be over quickly).

I felt an eerie calm come over me at that point.

And then an icy chill – because the bass player and the guitar player had had a rehearsal. They knew what they were doing while I was going to have to wing it on stage in a performance.

Do you know what happened? Want to guess?

If you guessed that – no, I backed off and gave it a miss, come on – have a little faith!

If you guessed that – yes, I did it – you win a cookie! I went on stage and played my single chord – up and down the harp – in time and actually on the (right) chord. I was shocked. Then I was delighted. Then I was a little more self-impressed than the feat deserved, but – celebrate the tiniest wins, right?!

So, the next time some terrifying opportunity arises, I’d like to encourage you to step up. Breathe and step into it! If it helps, remember that, while your heart hammers and your palms sweat, you will come out with a new accomplishment under your belt. And from there, you could go anywhere!

Want to share your secret dread (it could be someone else’s if you prefer – you know, asking for a friend)? I’d love to hear it (and feel just a little less alone!). Let me know in the comments!



Don’t Get Me Out Of Here!

Don’t Get Me Out Of Here!

We talked about why you might experience anxiety playing for other people and we shared a few reasons that might happen (you can revisit that here). And that’s all well and good – kumbaya and all – but what can we do to get past all that mess and on to the fun part of sharing music with other people? Well…

Let’s start with recognizing that it’s normal to feel a bit discombobulated before performing. That feeling is a response to a perceived threat. And few things feel as threatening as having your fears exposed like you’re the stomach of a biology class frog.  It can be a bit daunting! But it’s important to know that it’s not just you (even though it feels like it!) – everyone gets a bit tangled when they’re going to do something uncomfortable. Welcome to being human.

Of course, it can be difficult to do some of these things.  It is easy to forget to not be scared when your inner wildebeest thinks it’s been scented by a hungry lion! But if you don’t control your fear, it will control you. And besides, we do this because we enjoy it – so we might as well enjoy it!

You can’t really grow out of being human but you can learn to be better at it. So here are some ways to help yourself get out of your own way. *

  • Breathe! (or meditate or pray, as you prefer) This is so important to help you keep a clear head and to not hyperventilate! It also helps lower your blood pressure and heart rate which makes you feel calmer (because scared people don’t have a lower BP and pulse!). (Sometimes I write “BREATHE!” at the top of the set list – just in case I forget).

  • Assess the situation. I like to look over the audience and realize I don’t (typically) know the people.  It’s not like favorite teacher (or a frenemey) was watching. Those people want to be there and be part of the experience. They want to be there! Bask in the beauty of that! And let it assuage your fear a bit.
  • Name the beast. What are you most afraid of? Say it out loud (or write it out or paint it – you get the idea – make it real outside your head). When it’s outside your head, you can skewer the thoughts with questions and observations. Remind yourself that, while your brain is trying to protect you, there is no physical danger, and you are ok – just scaring yourself. If you can, laugh at what’s scaring you.

  • Sing Happy Birthday. If you’re ruminating on these thoughts, sing a song, take up the space in your brain and interrupt the thought train the same way you stop an earworm!
  • Take care of you. Do your best to get some rest and eat well. This is not the time to break your caffeine habit (or start one) or radically change your diet!
  • Acknowledge your preparation. We often start to tell ourselves that if we just had one more week, we’d be set. Give yourself enough time to prepare and use that time to make yourself comfortable that you are in fact ready.
  • Practice. The best tip I ever got about performing was to practice! Get out and perform every chance you get. Don’t just play for the cat and the curtains – but for real (and appreciative) people! As recently as just a few years ago many of us went out to share music with our neighbors. No reason you can’t still do that. They will be just as appreciative without the threat and pall of diseases!
  • Think! I know it’s tempting to focus on thinking that you’re not ready, you’re feeling sick, and you’re afraid. Instead, actually think about what you’re doing. Hear your tunes in your head. Focus on what comes next. Do this not only as you perform but also when you’re practicing at home – get in the habit of thinking before you play.
  • Turn your frown upside down. Practice delivering your internal dialog positively. Remind yourself of how hard you have worked and how well you are doing. No, I don’t mean lie to yourself. Be honest. If you can’t, pretend you’re talking to a friend of yours and tell that person.
  • Perform. Your real goal isn’t to slay it but to do better than you did before. You can only improve compared to yourself.

You don’t have to feel like you have to make a break for it or send out a message to “Get me out of here!”. You can, of course, also try just telling yourself to get over it, but I haven’t found that to be a particularly successful strategy.

Keep in mind that all of these things are not “one and done” you might have to do one, start to play, employ another, play some more, etc. You are also you (you might have noticed) so not all of these may work for you – use some and see what works best. And then incorporate it every time!


Have you used any of these strategies? Did they work for you? Do you have other methods of dealing with your nerves? I can always use more ideas, so let me know in the comments!


* As I mentioned in the earlier post, I’m talking about situational anxiety which is NOT the same as generalized anxiety. If you suspect you have more than just a twinge of getting in knots over stepping on stage – seek professional help.

Remember & Honor

Remember & Honor

It’s Memorial Day – a day to remember and honor all those who have lost their lives in combat protecting those things we hold dear. In the middle of enjoying a day off and the unofficial start to summer, take a moment of gratitude.

Get me out of here!

Get me out of here!

When I asked you what you wanted me to write about, a surprisingly large number of you asked me about dealing with the anxiety of playing in front of other people. While I wish I could say that I don’t know what you’re talking about, all that came to mind was Nietzsche, who pointed out that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And that hard to shake feeling of Get me out of here!

(actually that usually is my thought process – going round and round between “I don’t want to!” and “it won’t kill you to try”)

Why we get nervous or anxious before we play for other people can come from a lot of things – probably more that we could cover herePS. But the clear winner is that we are afraid that we will not acquit ourselves well in the moment. A fancy way to say that we’re afraid we’ll mess up and everyone will laugh. Or worse, they won’t laugh right then, they will tell us that it was great, and then will gather over the cookies and laugh.

Where did that come from?!

Well – here are a few places it can come from:

  • Basic insecurity which can grow from failing previously (and I don’t know about you, but I have had some spectacular fails).
  • Comparing ourselves to others (we’ve talked before about that before here and here).
  • Outsized expectations of ourselves – Are you now shooting for admission to that exclusive conservatory? No? Then lay off.
  • Perfectionism. Really? Perfect is boring. And while you want to do well, your audience wants human experience (otherwise, they’d listen to a recording)

All of these though are just faces of fear – fear that we won’t do well, that we’re not good enough, that everyone will laugh at us for daring to think we’re better than we are.

The best advice I’ve gotten to address this is to maintain perspective. When you get up in front of people to play you might project your fears and insecurities and feel all that anxiety. In a worse case, you’re projecting them so loudly that you cannot hear your audience. While you’re thinking “please let me not screw up beyond redemption” your audience are thinking things like:

  • I wish I could do that (play an instrument).
  • I wish I were that good.
  • I wish I were that brave.
  • I wish I were that competent.
  • I wish I were that accomplished.
  • I wish I were that capable.
  • I wish I were that fearless.
  • I wish I could do that (get up in front of a bunch of people, open a window to my soul, and share what’s inside).

Listen to them – at least more than you’re listening to you.

Next week, a little less philosophy and a little more practicality with some ways to move past the anxiety, so that you can sit on the bench and play for others. Until then, I have to go off and hope you found this helpful and aren’t laughing at me thinking I know anything. Let me know in the comments (even if you are laughing at me).

PS – This is all outside of clinical issues including anxieties and depression which are serious but also a far cry from that sick feeling that I think you were asking about. If you are experiencing significant anxiety and/or depression, please seek competent professional help. Sorry, I’m not that kind of psychologist.

Dogs and Tricks

Dogs and Tricks 

If you have enjoyed the luxury of getting older (so far), you might have noticed that things have changed. Some of those things are no big deal – if you’re not as tall as you were before, you can adjust your bench and your harp.

But if sometimes it feels like you’re the proverbial old dog and every tune is a new trick, it can get discouraging. What if you feel like you can’t learn tunes like you used to? Or you can’t remember them when you do learn them? Ugh. That would be frustrating.

Well, no one wants to go down without a fight, so what are some things you can do to help improve your capacity to learn and memorize music? Here are a few ideas:

  1. The Ground Rules

    1. Be confident – you can keep learning and memorizing music!
    2. Your brain is not static and will continue to develop and make new connections. This continued growth and development is greatly improved by learning and memorizing.
    3. Do you (don’t worry about how fast you learn, just keep learning).
    4. Failure is essential for learning to happen! Those aren’t mistakes – they’re part of a process of developing connections that are essential to learning.
  2. To keep your brain sharp

    1. Take a walk. Yes, I know I sound like a broken record, but research in a variety of fields points to the utility and importance of taking a walk. It doesn’t have to be anything huge – just take a stroll, in the fresh air, at a pace that you can comfortably maintain for about 20 minutes. You can also break that 20 minutes up into a few walks. This one is hard to wiggle out of – you won’t be sweaty, you don’t need to change, you just need to put on some (appropriate) shoes and go. Walking will help refresh you and clear your mind so you can focus on the task of learning.
    2. Follow grandmotherly advice. You know that a French Fry addiction is not healthy (or M&Ms or Coke, or what ever your vice might be). Eat well and care for yourself – better overall health will improve your cognitive health and capability.
    3. Check your hearing. As we age our hearing declines. But we also have so much noise in the world that loss of hearing is all but assured. Having healthy, supported hearing will make learning tunes easier and will be good for your overall health. When you can’t see, you wear glasses and if you need to have hearing aids, just do it.
    4. Get rest and take care of you. Let me summarize a lot of research – smart people get sleep and sleep makes you smarter. *
  3. To improve your intake and retention of tunes

    1. Acknowledge that age is changing how you take in, process, and put out information. It’s not good or bad, it just is. And this is true whether you are a relatively newly minted adult or a very seasoned human (in your red hat age) – we are always aging and changing so rather than expecting yourself to be the same as you were when you were younger, know where you are now. (and if you’re reading this and younger – make a note, might as well get used to it and adapt from the start)
    2. Embrace where you are now – now that you’re older, notice how you see the world – and process the information – differently. With age comes more neural connections which support being more able to see the whole (even if you can’t read the fine print!). If you know this about your processing, you’ll realize that you get the gist quickly and can fill in the details later. When you were younger you were able to hang on to details (e.g., a longer string of notes), so now, focus on larger segments (maybe phrases) and be assured you’ll be able to fill in the gaps later.
    3. Speed is only one measure of learning. If you don’t learn as quickly, do you notice that you learn more thoroughly now? (psst you probably do, whether you’ve noticed or not)
    4. Focus on what you’re learning. Don’t try to task switch or multitask. Do one thing and pay attention.
    5. Simply learning will make you better at learning (practice!).
  4. Strategies for learning

    1. Build a map. I help my students learn a tune in all their sense modalities. We listen, we play, we shut our eyes, we squeeze. Ok, we don’t smell or taste but if I could figure out how, we’d do that too. Having all these different sense “paths” for the tune means that we have built “maps” in each of these modes, and this strengthens memory for all those modes.
    2. Take notes to help you remember. Record if possible so you can review.
    3. Build your brain muscle. Do other activities that benefit your memory – do puzzles and word teasers, memorize your grocery list. Do these “brain games” consistently and regularly, so that you stay sharp (or become more so).
    4. Only compare you to you, today. You’re not the you of 20 years ago. And you’re not the hotshot sitting next to you either. Just focus on learning and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.
    5. Keep learning – the more you do, the better you’ll be at it.
  5. Strategies for recalling

    1. Start where you find yourself. If you can’t remember how a tune starts, play what you do remember. Listen to the tune in your head and play along. See if by playing what you do remember you can pull yourself along to the next bit – until you’ve played the whole tune. I do this a lot – I just play the phrase I do recall and keep playing it until the next phrase comes to mind (etc.) until I have the tune again. I also check any sources I have if I really get stuck (sheet music, recording, phoning a friend).
    2. You already know a lot – which gives you a good platform for storing new information. Use it and leverage any similar phrases to help you build better “maps” of the tunes.
    3. Keep practicing from memory – the more you do, the better you’ll be at it.
    4. Focus on what you’re recalling. Work on remembering one thing and pay attention.

Remember too, that you had to learn to learn, and this is simply one more step. This is a start – give some of these a try and see how you go and let me know in the comments how you get on!


*Yeah, no researcher would write that in a scientific journal, but like I said, I’m paraphrasing!

How to practice more

How to practice more-

I’ve talked before about spending your practice time wisely so that you get something from every minute you’re on the bench (here and here – or just type “practice” into the search box above this blog post!). And I stand by that, but…the “right” answer is always more complicated. Today, let’s talk about the actual time practicing.

The busy workshop/festival/camp season will begin soon. Days on days of back-to-back opportunities to learn and interact. And hours on the bench – playing, listening, reading, waiting.

You want to be ready for it!

Sometimes your practice needs to include time to accommodate yourself to sitting behind your harp, playing for way longer than your normally do. As an example, say you’re going to a week-long workshop and each day you’ll spend 2 hours in each of 3 workshops. That’s 6 hours right there. And then there’s practicing what you’ve learned, getting together with friends, and sharing tunes, having sessions (or just session-ettes) and you’ll have easily spent 8 – 10 hours behind the harp.

How much time do you spend behind the harp each day now? 30 minutes? An hour? That’s kind of a big difference – an order of magnitude! Yikes, it’s tiring just thinking about it.

So, it’s not too early to begin building your stamina so you can not only endure but enjoy every minute of your summer experiences! What would be some good ways to do that? I’m so glad you asked!

First, you can simply increase the amount of time you devote to practice. I use 10% as a guide – I try to add 10% more to ease into more time. If you practice for 30 minutes a day, you might add 3 – 5 minutes a day every 3 or 4 days. If you’re practicing for an hour, you might add 5 – 10. You get the idea – add a little so that it’s manageable. You don’t need to work yourself into a frenzy or an overuse injury!

Or you can add another practice session. If you practice in the evening already, you might add a morning session. If you’re practicing 30 minutes in the evening, you might add a 10-minute session in the morning. You can divide up your work too – in the morning you might only do technical book work and in the evening, you could work on your tunes.

Building on this, once you have the two sessions fixed in your day, you can increase the time of each of them (again using the 10% rule). In our 10-minute/30-minute example, you’d add a minute or 2 in the morning and 3 – 5 in the evening. This has to fit into your life, so plan ahead. Because the morning session will be 30 minutes before you know it. You have to be willing to wake up that much earlier – which might be easier when it’s 10 minutes than when it’s 45!

If you have the luxury of working from home, coming home for lunch, or having a harp in your office, you could add additional short practice breaks. Adding two (or more) 10-minute sessions will get you there, especially when added to your regular practice time.

Building up slowly gives you the best chance to increase your playing time. Doing so consistently gives you the most opportunity to be really ready for the summer. This approach is appropriate for all players, from children to seasoned adults – just be sure to start where you are (and not where you “wish” you were or where you think you “should” be).

Another aspect of this strategy to be raring to go by summer is to use one of those sessions to focus on technical work. Fundamentals like you learn from the “torture books” (who comes up with these nicknames?) will stand you in good stead by honing your form and ingraining those basic elements of playing. Spending that time now ensure that you won’t have to work so hard when you get there because things will “fall” into your hands easier!

 How would you go about building your strength and stamina for the summer? Let me know in the comments!

Spring Sharing

Spring Sharing

We are half way through the Spring – the point in the year when most places have Goldilocks weather – not too cold, not too hot, not too wet. It’s time to take it outside!

During the lockdown, some of us took to our porches to share music with neighbors and friends.  We were staying apart and we did all we could to help each other from a distance.   It wasn’t fun and we were all delighted when it was over.

But that time is over (thankfully!). We’ve gone back to our regular lives and try to forget about that ickiness. Blech – leave it in the past.

Except one thing – that time sharing our music really helped people. It brought music – which always eases hearts and minds – to people who needed it at the time.

Let your “harp” grows three sizes!

What I have learned is that those same people would love to continue to share that time.  I was fortunate enough to have neighbors mention how much they enjoyed the covid concerts. That they missed them, that they kinda hoped I’d start again. (insert slightly exaggerated happy dance here)

So, you know what they say, give the audience what they want!  I’m excited to be returning to my concerts – without the covid this time!  These concerts aren’t big events.  I play for a small group and for about 30 minutes or so.  The audience enjoys a bit of culture and time together. 

What do I get? What a good question!  I get a warm, supportive, test audience! Because we’re close together and it’s so informal, we’re very relaxed.  I can test out new material on them and they give me immediate feedback.  Big corporations pay a lot of money for this kind of focus group – and I get mine for the small price of tunes in plein air!

What’s the point? I want to encourage you to do the same thing – go out and play on your porch, sidewalk, or cul-de-sac.  Invite your neighbors. Let them know you miss seeing them and that you’re using playing for them as an excuse to have a get-together. People are still lonely and wanting to have community and you can help build that! That is a superpower!

If you’re not a party planner, you might not know how to make it happen.  Here’s what I do – I send out an email (once I made little flyers – the point is to get the word out). In that, I encourage them to bring a chair and a beverage and tell them what time I’ll be starting about-ish and where. Remember it’s casual, so -ish is timely enough. Then I go out and do the thing.  Sometimes it feels like it’ll be just me and then suddenly, there’s loads of people there. 

What to give it a try?  Here it is step by step:

  1. Decide to do it (yay!)
  2. Invite people (see above)
  3. Make a set list – 25 minutes is about 8 – 10 tunes
  4. Practice
  5. Go out, do the thing, make some friends
  6. Feel your heart grow three sizes 😊

So, what do you think? Will you join me in going out to share some music with neighbors?  Let me know in the comments!


We all like getting praise. It’s fun and comfortable, and it’s nice to get a pat on the back from a hand that isn’t attached to our own arm! As tasty as praise is though, we learn so much more from feedback. Critique. Criticism. On the other hand, it’s not always easy to get feedback! Sometimes – just ouch!

But criticism does contain a bunch of things to be learned. So how do you take in and use criticism and use it to grow your playing? Here are some things you can do:

First breathe – remember that it’s criticism, not an eye-wateringly awful attack. Then you’ll be ready to…

Determine if you think the input is valuable. Criticism from a knowledgeable person who shares the evaluation for your benefit (that was a long winded way to say they’re not overtly trying to wound you) can yield valuable nuggets (even if it hurts). If you doubt it (or disagree), get a second opinion, and if they don’t jibe, ditch it!* And, if the comment is from some nitwit off the street? Really? Give it the weight it deserves and chuck it out!

Look at why the comment stung. If it’s because you kinda already knew it, you just didn’t want to admit it – learn. If it is picking a scab, thresh through it to find the useful bits. And remember that you can elect to ignore it.

Make sure you heard what is said…not what you think was said. Be clear about the message before you form an opinion of it. Focus on the comment. Breathe and don’t let your inner thoughts run away from you. We can all learn and improve. Reframe the input if you don’t like the words (when the message is solid).
Once you know what was said, focus on what you can learn. What changes can you make? Ask questions if you don’t see a way forward. A good provider of useful feedback will answer the questions. If you feel stung by the words, take a moment to breathe before you ask a question. Keep your ego in check! Don’t let your fears cloud out what you can learn. We can all improve…yes, even you!

Be kind to yourself – feedback does help you grow…when you can use it. Using it is not possible if you are beating yourself up.

Finally, know that sometimes when someone stings you with criticism, it’s more about them than it is about you. But it is up to you to find the useful stuff, form it into something you can use (or at least learn from), and grow.

Have you ever gotten “ouchy” feedback? How did you use it to improve (or what did you learn)? Have you ever found yourself giving cringy critique? How would you improve it (if you could do it again)? Let me know in the comments!


*Of course, I don’t mean only seeking praise! The second opinion may put a finer point on the critique, clarify it, or refute it.

Let’s Travel!

Let’s Travel!

Military Tattoo Mini Getaway! Aug 5 – 10th

Turns out it’s not a great time to go to Ireland.  But never fear, when it’s time to pivot, we’ve got a plan – welcome to your Scotland city getaway! Let’s take on Glasgow and Edinburgh in true style and enjoy a great European getaway. Let’s enjoy the high Summer season and the world famous Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo. This marquee event is one of the best cultural traditions that Europe has to offer. We’ll surround our show with lots of the amazing sites and musical sounds that make these anchor cities cultural treasures.

You might have already been to Scotland but have you experience the Tattoo?  I know I haven’t and I can’t wait Wondering what we could possibly see? How about: Flying into/out of Edinburgh or Glasgow (or into one and out of the other!). We’ll use a mix of public transport and private transfer to enjoy the historical centers and their sites. We’ll balance our time with organized tours and independent downtime, with marquee sites for the first-time visitor and local gems for the tenured guest. You know that I’ve got my favorite spots and views and I’m excited to see if you agree!

How will we spend our time? Like this –

On Day 1, we’ll meet up and get to Glasgow. We’ll check in with the local scene on the High Street and walk off that jet lag with a welcome dinner in true Scottish style.

Day 2, our Glasgow adventure will continue as we take in some of the local sites and iconic places. We’ll spend the day enjoying all things Scottish. We’ll spend a little time learning tunes (and appreciators will do things us harpers will be envious of). We’ll round out the day with dinner which is just a walk away from our hotel.

On to Edinburgh which awaits us with plenty to see and to do on Day 3! We’ll arrive in style by train and pull into Waverly Station. From here, we are just a short distance to our hotel, just off the Royal Mile. We’ll set out to enjoy the local area and enjoy learning another tune before dinner.

On Day 4, Edinburgh continues to delight and today we will take in one of the marquee events! After enjoying Rosslyn chapel to the south of town, we’ll have an early afternoon workshop before heading to the Military Tattoo at the Castle. This spectacular show never disappoints and promises to entertain and delight.

I can see our seats! (just kidding, sorta).

We’ll round out our time in Edinburgh with a few optional tours and destinations and complete our workshop series on Day 5. There will be plenty to choose from depending on your interests. From The Whiskey Experience to Holyrood Palace, we’ll get you started in the right direction to enjoy all Edinburgh has to offer. We’ll end the day with our signature farewell dinner then give everyone a little time to pack up before our airport transfers tomorrow.

Day 6 is Departure Day.  But before we say goodbye, we’ll fit in your final hours with any last minute activities or venues that might interest you. You know that you will leave magical Scotland with a song in your heart, a new tune in your head, and a smile on your face (and perhaps a reason to return soon!).

What’s Included?

  • Breakfast at our hotels and dinners at unique locations daily.
  • Balance between scheduled experiences and unscheduled time to explore further or relax as you choose.
  • Plenty of downtime to enjoy unscheduled moments any way you please.
  • All attraction tickets and passes for experiences and guided tours (always with local experts).
  • All transportation including airport transfers upon arrival and departure.
  • Daily music workshop time to develop those crucial skills on a harp that will be there waiting for you.

As always, we take your interests into account and as we get to know you, we will be able to find those little corners of Scotland that delight and enchant. From magical bookstores, fabled artworks, and secret passageways, we’ll share with you those little things that make this the experience of a lifetime.

Our total trip cost for the 2024 season is $2900.00 plus airfare.

So you’re interested, right?! We’ll be hosting an online Q&A session so contact us to join the meet up and for more information and all the details. And you know you can always send me questions too. A minimum of six participants is required for this experience so invite your favorite travel companion/harp appreciator to come along – ’cause what could be more fun than visiting Scotland with me?!

Coming? Let me know in the comments! I have some great tunes lined up!