Smart music advice for creative people.

How to Overcome Stage Fright and Shine Onstage

How to Overcome Stage Fright for Pianists

While most people can play piano in their room, the magic of the stage can be too much to handle.

Performance is both an art and science.

Ten minutes prior to my design event, my hands were shaking at the thought of people having woken up on a Saturday morning because of me. I’d even printed cue cards (which I have never done, and will likely never do again).

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6 Light & Expressive Piano Pieces for The “Easy Days”

6 Light & Expressive Piano Pieces

If you’re like me, a state of busy-ness doesn’t keep you away from music. In fact, it might turn you towards music for slight refuge.

Today, I’d like to share some light and expressive piano pieces I’m itching to play this summer, plus my first composition in a long time (really, it’s more of a music sketch). Some of this might be considered “pop music.”

Happy listening! Feel free to share this collection with a friend.

P.S. Do you think I should compose more? If so, leave me a comment below – I might need some motivation. ;)

 

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If you’re having a bad day, read this.

Grace Miles

My piano teacher would pretend to barf when I botched a piece of music.

She’d say that Beethoven would rise from his grave to strangle me, her favourite question being all variations of, Why?

Why would you play the rhythm this way?

Why are you crying?

She was in her fifties and was to undergo surgery for those large, glaring eyes.

We’d clap sonata rhythm for half an hour and she’d say, “I don’t know anyone who needs to count this out loud.”

Gradually, I learned to take her marks on the score like the words of my mother– precisely, without deviation– and near the end of our relationship, she smiled, then asked my opinion on the conservatory’s new grand piano shipped from Texas.

We all have this piano teacher in our lives, but we each deal with her differently.

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12 Pretty Chinese Piano Solos

12 Pretty Chinese Piano Solos

Asian music was based on the pentatonic scale.

This was true for Chinese music, at least.

I spent hours copying characters in Chinese school, and although the same pen strokes require more effort now, I can look back to that time of utter dedication for filling the square boxes with unending characters. It was like drilling music.

On Chinese New Years’ Eve, I’d booked a string of meetings by mistake and my family waited waited for me, to start dinner at 10pm. Which was kind of sweet, because the family doesn’t believe in “wasting time.”

Here are 12 pretty Chinese piano solos– composed by Chinese musicians, or best interpreted by Chinese performers.

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30 Second Social Hack: How to Be More Interesting

We can all be the life of the party–

But what if it’s no party?

Perhaps you’re in a one-on-one meeting and dressed impeccably, as far as your style allows (camo-style pleated pants are my favourites at the moment).

Whether you’re pitching your skills or company, here’s a quick social hack that makes you more interesting. Even if you’re a music teacher meeting a parent for the first time.

At my last meeting, I had a feeling that I was supposed to be doing something but couldn’t figure out what it was.

In the video below, I discuss the perfect response when someone asks, “Do you have any questions for me?”

Hint: The right answer will never be ‘no.’

As mentioned in the video, my favourite question is, “What’s your passion project?”

Simple Rhythm Hacks for Musicians

Simple Rhythm Hacks for MusiciansRhythm can be frustrating.

Sometimes it will come naturally, or not at all (you’ll know when it doesn’t).

Over the years, I’ve built a sense of rhythm from the ground up.

Here are the biggest activities that helped me master rhythm in music.

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To Practice More Efficiently, Try to Stop Practicing

How to Practice Piano Efficiently

Sometimes, the most simple solutions are the most ingenious.

When I first started a music blog, most people were looking for “practice strategies.” Now, everyone wants a “hack” to fix their life. Case in point: an increasing number of Twitter bios of young-ish entrepreneurs who have track records describe themselves as growth hackers, whom you can hire as a consultant for your own startup.

As a pianist, I believed, for the longest time, that the only way to grow my skills was to sit in the practice room.

That’s not true– upon reading research and experimenting, I found other activities will help us grow, outside the practice room. Here are five ways to practice efficiently, by not practicing.

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