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Perform fearlessly


Why Pianists Need to Ask for Help (When it Feels Impossible)

Hiking at Elfin Lakes.If you blindfold someone who can see, and give them a cane to walk to a new room, they always overreact when the cane brushes something.

It turns out, giving a sighted person a cane is asking them to use a muscle they haven’t developed yet. It takes practice and patience.

My dad had always given me guidance on how to deal with obstacles. He was a quiet kind of person who made people feel assured when they were next to him. Slow down, he always said. Do what you enjoy. Mind your own business and stop comparing to others.

He would peek his head into my piano practice room every once in a while to ask if the music was coming from me, so I felt like he was always listening to my playing.

In the past while, I’ve had to figure out how to navigate the world without my dad.

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Travelling Doesn’t Fix A Musician’s Problems

Surfboard shot.

Two months ago I was in Tulum. This was my first time travelling with a close friend, and I’ve learned a few things about myself and leadership. Here are a few tips that might help you.

 

On the way to Tulum, I am silent.

“Do you like this place? Are you glad we didn’t go to Cuba? Do you like the hotel?” Megz asks.

“Yes,” I say.

“What’s wrong?” She says.

“I’m just tired,” I say. It’s 3am and I could’ve been playing beach volleyball back home. Somewhere in my body there is excitement about Mexico, but overall I’m craving a shower and bed.

The next day, she says: “I thought you were angry.”

“Why?”

“Because you were quiet.”

For better or worse, each of us is setting performance benchmarks for people around us and we can create a lot of stress for someone.

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6 Piano Solos to Brighten Your Day

6 piano solos to brighten your day.

There’s so much fun music out there and I love when people send me good music. So, for a change, I asked my friend Molly to share 6 piano solos that brighten her day, and here’s what she says about them.

The sun may be shining and the summer months are quickly approaching, but sometimes we all need a little bit of extra day-brightening. Stress doesn’t take a summer vacation, and where I’m from, May means it’s still raining often.

Music can be a cure for a lot of things. More specifically, upbeat music. Empowering music.

Even if you’re already feeling good, these solo piano covers are worth checking out because they exude good vibes to put a smile on my face every single time!

 

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Sheet Music

What could make someone more happy than a piano solo that is literally titled ‘Happy’? 

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How Travel Changes a Musician’s Life

How Travel Changes Your Life
Right before my flight to Mexico, I played beach volleyball because I couldn’t resist: Vancouver’s first non-rainy day in ages.

I come home unable to bend my foot, like it’s a giant lego foot. I am becoming sort of an eccentric travel figure suffocating under the weight of everyone’s opinion. Everyone thinks I should’ve gone to a resort in Cancun.

But there is something magical about experiencing a way of life that is so different from mine. If I incorporate some good into my life from each of my travels, then I’d get a bit wiser by the end of it all. 

That’s how I found myself at my first dinner in Tulum, sitting on a stump of wood, eating the best veggie burger I’ve had in my life while barefoot reggae musicians in hip-length dreads set up their drums and guitar and mic and start singing lilting Spanish tunes.

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How Skiing Helped Me Become a Better (Music) Learner

How Skiing Helped Me Become a Better LearnerLast month my friend and I said we’d go skiing this winter. We live beside beautiful mountains and we don’t even ski once a year–it’s ridiculous.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I follow through on decisions, regardless of how questionable.

That’s how I found myself getting up at 4:30am on a Saturday for the opening day of a huge mountain that I planned to tumble down. Alright, I was a little cocky. Everyone told me that, being “athletic,” downhill skiing would be fairly simple to pick up.

Here is how a risky sport like skiing helps you pick up skills quickly, in music and other areas.

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Dear musicians, please don’t cram an important performance

Ways to recover from a memory slipMusic students raved about my personal techniques on cramming for a music performance, which I shared a while ago, and decorated it with the most fitting gifs.

I’m a great crammer but I’m here to tell you it’s not worth it. Cramming is for emergencies only.

When under pressure and stress (i.e. performance conditions) you will rely on muscle memory and it will take 100% of your focus to not mess up. If you’ve crammed, you will have little muscle memory to draw from, which unfortunately makes your mind more likely to blank.

My cramming techniques worked for my performance, but it wasn’t failproof.

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