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Romanticizing Your Life With the Harp.

Hello my dear faithful readers! Today I am here to talk to you about Romanticizing your life and making the harp part of your dream life style. What is romanticizing your life? It is an online movement to viewing ones life as if it is out of the pages of a novel or a favorite movie. It is about deliberately choosing to live a more beautiful and aware life in a world of your own choosing And incorporating activities into your life that reflect this dream lifestyle. It is a way of coping with a constantly shifting and uncertain world.

I am going to introduce you to two internet aesthetic movements, that are not new news by any means, but have great harp potential. My own world consists of a blend of these two, Cottagecore and Dark Academia.

First of Cottagecore. Cottagecore is an aesthetic movement that celebrates a simple life, slow living as well as enjoying home and nature. If you garden, do hand crafts, love to bake, and make your own clothes, chances are you are participating in this aesthetic. I know I was before it was even a thing that had a name.

Is the harp cottagecore? Of course it is! Especially the folk harp. Learning and playing instruments is actually part of the aesthetic, particularly ones that have more of a folksy vibe. So, how do you make your harp life Cottagecore?

A List of Harp Based Cottagecore Activities

  • Create a sunny studio space with your harp and art supplies and lots of plants.

  • Study folk music. The harp has been a part of so many cultures that there is a deep wealth of music to tap into. I believe many of us already know this, but if cottagecore is your thing this is a place to go.

  • Play more recent music that fits into a folksy style. I am thinking of my own Flat Rabbit Songs here, or any by Kathryn Cater, Lisa Lynn Franco, Kim Robertson… I could go on and on with this list.

  • Join a harp circle

  • Make yourself floofy harp dresses, skirts and blouses, or vests and bow ties out of colorful fabrics. Wear sturdy shoes or go barefoot. Wear flowers in your hair or beard while playing the harp

  • Take your harp outside into nature and play. Take pictures and videos and share them social media.

  • Have a music based tea party in your garden.

  • Read books that feature the harp in their stories.

Now on to the other aesthetic, Dark Academia. Dark Academia romanticizes deep study, reading, writing, and embraces the culture of the university and higher learning. Some point out that Dark Academia can be a little problematic due to its embracing of obsession and overwork. True, these can been seen as unhealthy, but I also can say that it is a good reflection of the life style of the university student and graduate student. It also can embrace the flip side of the University dynamic if you find yourself in a professorial position. Universities are supposed to push you out of your comfort zone and higher education is best used as an end to itself, a way of feeding the need to know more. So, if you love learning, old textbooks, university campuses, libraries, pouring over music collections, classical music, history, writing, hanging in coffee shops on a rainy day and reading, you may be a Dark Academic.

Here is my list of harp based Dark Academia based activities to enjoy with the harp.

  • Sneaking into the professor’s studio and practicing all night.

  • Copying your scores before you go to bed and falling asleep to awake covered in ink.

  • Sharing pictures and stories of your finger blisters with friends and the world with a certain smug pride

  • long practice sessions.

  • Skipping another academic class to practice

  • Participating in competitions.

  • Writing harp based articles.

  • Spending time pouring over harp music collections.

  • Having heated arguments about the virtues of one technical style over the other.

  • Owning a lot of black clothing because you are performing all of the time and it is just plain easier.

  • Bringing so much repertoire into your lesson that there is no way you are going to get it to it all.

  • Always performing in studio classes.

  • Planning and performing lengthy recitals.

This has been a lighter topic than some of my others but I think it is important to see how the harp can relate to these worlds both as artists and as teachers. Have a great week and until next time, Happy Plucking!

Kimberly Houser Taylor


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