It started with a message on Facebook and proceeded to almost eight weeks and nearly 200 pages of messages back and forth before we met in person. We were serious about getting to know each other and knew that the more we knew at the beginning the fewer surprises we’d have later. We asked a lot of questions and were very open and honest in our communication.
Our messages always included a new question at the end. We would reply to the question and send that question back to be answered by the other one. Oftentimes a reply would be a full paragraph and begin a discussion that went back and forth, leading to more questions and more discussion.
We compiled a list of questions we asked one another in response to the interest of some of our friends. This is not a list that guarantees a relationship will work out but may help guide you as you get to know each other. Be as honest as you can be with your answers and most of all, as with any decision you make, seek God’s will.
Chris and Bethany Murphy
My Country 'Tis of Thee
I thought you all might enjoy a little patriotic music on the harp this week! Here's my arrangement of My Country 'Tis of Thee.
Did you know???
*This song was originally written as "God Save the Queen" and is or has been the national or royal anthem of over 30 countries!
Samuel Francis Smith wrote the words of "America" in 1831 and it was first performed on July 4th of that same year. The first publication of this song was in 1832.
Additional verses have been written totaling 13 verses!
*From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thou Art My God
This song was written by a friend of mine, Christine Schaubert. She gave me a copy of it shortly after she wrote it in 2004. I've kept it in my music binder all this time and have played and sung it more times than I can count, but only in my private time. I used it as a prayer to the Lord and a reminder to myself of how worthy He is of all my praise!
When the last music schedule came out for specials at church I was looking through my music for "just the right song" when this one came to mind. I had never tried it on the harp before and thought I'd give it a shot. I checked to make sure we could mic both voice and harp at church and gave it a go. Lots of practice (notice all the lever changes in the middle!) and much prayer went into this piece.
I hope it is a blessing to you!
Thou Art My God
by Christine Nicole Schaubert
Lord, Thy way are higher than my ways;
Thy thoughts are way out of my sight.
But Thy Word is true and Thy works are right.
Thou givest a song in the night.
For Thou art holy; Thou art worthy;
And my praise shall always be ever and only of Thee.
To know Thee is life;
To love Thee is joy;
To trust Thee is peace.
Thou art my God.
Lord, sometimes I'm tempted to doubt You -
When worries and cares cloud my mind.
Dispel all my fears and wipe away my tears.
My hope, Lord, in Thee let me find.
Lord, my heart could never imagine
All the plans that You have for my life.
But perfect and pure, Your promises endure.
My hope, Lord, in Thee is secure.
Getting married in 2020?
Make Music Day - June 21, 2019
I am very much looking forward to playing my harp
in downtown Prattville, AL as part of Make Music Day.
(You can read more about Make Music Day here. )
Come out and take a stroll down Main Street,
enjoy the shops, the beautiful scenery
and enjoy some harp music.
FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019 - 5:00-7:00 PM
Great Is Thy Faithfulness - Piano solo
Great is Thy Faithfulness, arranged by Bob Walters, is one of my favorite hymn arrangements. I purchased the book to learn his arrangement of Faith is the Victory and fell in love with several of his arrangements. You can purchase the book here.
I actually lost my first copy of the book in a move several years ago and had to buy another one. I just couldn't live without it, it's that good!
Ideal Harp - #Harpril - Day 16
When I purchased my harp I thought that maybe I'd trade it in for a pedal harp within five years. That was an option with Lyon & Healy harps, and one of the reasons I purchased my harp from them. (See "How I Met My Harp - Day 7") When the five year limit was up I was not ready to give up my harp! I love my harp and decided I wanted to keep it.
Over the past nine years I have had three or four lap harps and my next ideal harp is yet another one. I would like to get a harp that is not only easier to carry and transport (yes, please!) but one that I could use for hospital/hospice playing and children's activities, such as programs at the library and in schools.
For now, I'm happy with my Prelude harp and look forward to playing more in the Prattville and River Region in the near future!
Work in Progress - #Harpril - Day 15
Me! I am a work in progress!
My two biggest projects at the moment are:
1 - Having pictures taken for updated business cards, fliers, my website, social media and more. I worked hard last fall to update all of my accounts, switching from Chattanooga, TN to Prattville, AL and from Bennett to Murphy. It's time to get new printed materials and I need a new picture to go on my business cards. This is one of those details that being a business owner entails. We often show the glamourous side of playing harp, share videos, and updates on lessons and gigs, but there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes to ensure the business runs smoothly and efficiently. I have worked on following more entrepeneurs on social media that are encouraging and helpful, giving tips and advice about running a successful business.
2 - Recording some music for a special dinner coming up. This is a dinner I am attending but unable to take the harp to. I am trying this as a "let's see what happens" type of project! Other than Facebook lives while *busking on the streets in Chattanooga with Sidewalk Stages, I haven't done much recording. (Click HERE to watch a Facebook Live at the Chattanooga ChooChoo.) It took close to two hours to get one song recorded, watch videos on how to edit it, edit it successfully, and download it to the file it needed to be in. I asked my husband to listen to it to see if he thought the sound was okay and he noticed the clock ticking in the background! As with any project, it gets faster as you go. I'm enjoying the challenge and look forward to being able to edit the recordings in a more timely fashion as I learn the ins and outs of the app I'm using.
I've had several people ask about recordings and want me to put out a CD. I appreciate the interest, but there's a LOT that goes on when recording, including dealing with copyrights. I have not completely dismissed the idea of recording music but am working on this first project to see how things go.
What is your favorite song or a song you'd like to hear on the harp?
The activity of playing music in the street
or another public place for voluntary donations.
Harping Hands - #Harpril - Day 14
Photo Credit: Keith Heptinstall
Let's imagine something for just a moment.
Close your eyes and picture a beautiful harp sitting on stage, lights are dim in the auditorium and everyone claps as a young lady wearing a long black dress enters the stage from the right. She takes a bow and sits down behind a beautiful dark wood harp with gold designs down the sound board. The performer gently places her hands on either side of the harp and slowly leans it back onto her right shoulder. She takes a deep breath and begins to play the most beautiful song you have ever heard!
Before she arrived at this performance she spent many hours practicing. She had to plan her time carefully because she played too long one day and got a blister on her left ring finger. She practiced some with a bandaid but it's just not the same as using your finger. Once that blister healed she was able to play a bit more, until another blister formed on her right index finger and before she realized it, it popped and there were spots of blood on the strings and the down the sound board. After cleaning that up she took another break. She'd study the music without playing so she wouldn't lose what she had learned so far but gave her fingers time to heal.
As soon as they were good to go again she continued practicing, plucking the strings softly, slowly working her way up to playing the correct dynamics, especially where there were several fortissimo measures in a row! She practiced for several hours, with 10-15 minute breaks every hour, not only so she'd have the song down and performance ready, but so that her fingers would callus. She persevered through the callus making process and performed an amazing recital for family and friends.
That beautiful music you heard came with not only a lot of time, practice, and perseverance, but also some pain!
Here at BethanyStudios.com we seek to create lifetime memories both through music and photography.