The main character in my work-in-progress is a high school girl who hopes to attend college as a harp major. Yesterday, I went to Harp Day at Michigan State University. It's a recruiting event to attract prospective harp majors to the MSU College of Music and also a chance for local harpists to get together. Attendees can sign up to get a lesson with Dr. Chen Yu Huang, take a master class and participate in Harp Jam. I went as an observer.
I had a chance to hear two of MSU's freshman harp students perform. It was like my character came to life and played for me. I chatted with a high school student from Grand Rapids who hopes to attend MSU as a harp major. "You're writing a book about me?" (direct quote) I asked several young players why they chose harp as an instrument, and their answers were close to what I’d written for my main character.
The Master Class provided ample material for the harp lesson in my novel. The revised version will likely come to next month's critique group. I enjoyed the variety of music students brought to the master class. I was impressed by the students’ talent and skill.
I also got to hear the fabulous Modern Harp Quartet. If you click through the website, you can hear excerpts from several of their pieces.
I came home inspired, perhaps more as a writer than a harpist. But that’s what I am, a writer.