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Practice efficiently


How to Enjoy Training Your Fingers & Other Boring Tasks

How to Enjoy Training Your Fingers & Other Boring TasksOne evening after work, I wander into the new Tom Lee store that I see from my office everyday and slip into the fancy glass room that’s filled with acoustic pianos. No one pays attention to me in my t-shirt and jeans.

I play cadences on pianos that I pass by, until I stop at one to play for a short while.

“Can I help you find something?”

“No, I’m just looking,” I say, gesturing with my chin. “Baby grands.”

“You are obviously pretty good,” he says. “That was, you know, Liszt.”

I nod. I didn’t know that was Liszt. I thought I got lucky pressing the keys.

He gestures to another piano nearby — which happens to be a cheaper Steinway brand. I play it for a little bit and realize the keys are too light.

“Want to play a Steinway?”

He walks over towards one and pulls out the bench, like at a restaurant. How do I get rid of him?

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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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What am I listening to?

I love classical, but I don’t listen to it often these days because it never fits. For example, I wouldn’t do crunches to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

So I’ll open up my Spotify and show you what’s on my top 7. All of these have great melodies (as pop and house music tend to), so I’ve also included the piano sheet music if available. I hope this playlist makes your day brighter!

 

Paris – Chain Smokers

Sheet Music

It’s just plain catchy! This guy playing piano is a piano student who’s gone on tour with the Chain Smokers because they noticed his videos!

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What My Broken Fridge Taught Me About Music Practice

What My Broken Fridge Taught Me About PianoI’m getting a new fridge because my old one started leaking.

What do my broken fridge and piano practice have in common? Let me explain.

We push the fridge out of the cabinet and I’m trying to disconnect the water line with a wrench. Am I supposed to twist the top or bottom part? I don’t know but I try both and neither work.

“Get me pliers!” I shout.

My sister hands me the needlenose pliers and for goodness’ sake even I know that’s not what needlenose pliers are for.

So I’m using a wrench to twist the nut–it fits around the nut but it won’t move at all, solid like if you tried to collapse a wall with your body.

Shit, I’m not strong enough.

I’ve seen my dad twist things and it looked so simple.

So I’m just standing around feeling bad about myself because the nut didn’t even wiggle a little.

Later, the handyman comes, and uses these large pliers that I’ve seen my dad use, to twist the nut. It comes loose in seconds.

Oh, I think to myself, I just needed the right pliers, not superhuman strength.

How many times have we been using a wrench to twist at problems when all we needed was the right pliers?

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16 Timeless Love Songs for Piano

16 Timeless Love Songs for PianoIt’s the season of love!

This would be a good time for someone to declare love for me or push me out a window. Maybe I’ll watch Netflix and chill with ice cream on Valentine’s Day and invite Megz over for Lord of the Rings.

My friend Matthew approves of this and sends me a bunch of love songs for the piano.

“They’re from the past 5 decades,” he says.

“Do you mean the past 5 years?” I say.

“Uh, no? Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love is from 1961.”

Perfect. That’s exactly how long I’ve been thinking about my loveless life.

If anyone proposes this month, or does anything super exciting and lovely with a love song, I want to hear about it! Leave a comment below! Better yet, send me pictures!

Ladies and gentlemen, these are timeless romatic love songs on the piano, from the past five decades. I hope you like them as much as I do.

 

1. Nat King Cole – L.O.V.E.

Sheet Music

Note: YouTube link is not the full version of song

 

2. Elvis Presley – Can’t Help Falling In Love

Sheet Music

This is a nice, simple arrangement of the classic song by Elvis Presley.

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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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Can We Practice Smarter, Not Harder?

How to Practice Smarter, Not HarderI squatted the bar today.

A guy came up and presented a stool to me, and told me to pretend to sit on it when I squat.

Last week when I started feeling my muscles again, I was so grateful.

I can’t tell if my form is right and sometimes it feels like I might as well be casting spells with a rainstick. I watch lifting videos.

My friends will read this and tell me I could have asked them. But they would have to be there, and I guess I could say, “Am I doing this right? It feels wrong.”

Thinking back to the last time I had dedicated mentors, my music theory teachers said I could call anytime with questions. I never did call, but I liked having mentors who were so invested in my success.

Most of us don’t need to work harder; we are working hard already. Instead, we need to work smarter.

Practicing music is like going to the gym: the key is consistency and growing to love the process, and somewhere along the way, you will learn about yourself.

 

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