Today has been a really great day, even though I have only plucked a few notes on a harp all day and that was at my wonderful student Elizabeth (Liz to me) Bass's house, on her magnificent Salvi Diana called 'Bella'! Seeing Liz always perks me up as her enthusiasm and love for the harp rival my own, we always have a giggle as well as a good harp lesson and she supplied the most delicious cheesecake AND lunch today!

I am constantly being reminded at the moment how great it is to share life's experiences with others who mean a lot to you and today has been full of decent, meaningful chit chat with great people. Liz and I were mulling over the slightly 'tortured' existence of being a musician and reminded each other to balance any criticism of ourselves with equal amounts of praise and satisfaction for the good things achieved through a practice session. Liz had a lovely tip from Charlotte Seale (an outstanding harpist and teacher) who taught Liz on the IBACUS harp course this summer, to 'enjoy being even more creative with your practice' - a brilliant piece of advice. It goes without saying that at a high level there are going to be technical points to study and hard work to achieve fluency and virtuosity, but it's important that a practice session is never without huge creative input. Exhausting stuff, but very fulfilling. Like a private 'jam' with the harp!

Today I am feeling so thankful that my mum hired a harp for me when I was just 5 years old. If I didn't have my harp to relax me and feel my soul, I hope I would have found some other means of doing just that. However, I believe that many people go through life without finding an escape and a release like this - or at least not such a healthy one! I love playing my harp and it is therapy for me as well as my job - I can express myself at the harp in a way I could never put into words or share with my closest friends. I think it actually keeps me sane. The fact that I have students like Liz who feel the same way about their music as I do makes me feel even more blessed.