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How To Be The Best Musician You Can Be

How To Be The Best Musician You Can be

I used to think that if I went travelling for a few months, I’d get the travel bug out of my system, but I hate staying in one place. It’s like saying you can get music out of your system if only you played it 24/7 for a week straight.

So I started to feel stuck, like I wasn’t getting anywhere.

 

“Stop running from your problems,” my mom says.

“I’m not running,” I say.

We have had this conversation a million times, where my friends are too fake to tell me the truth about how much I suck.

“Stop complaining about things that people can’t change,” I say. “No one is perfect.”

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Why Music Theory Can Be A Waste of Time

Why Music Theory Can be a Waste of TimeBack when kids still asked what Google was, a lot of us had to take music theory classes. Now, I can still point out which fingers Schumann cut off. Maybe some people will point out that they were paralysed, but to a pianist, the fingers might as well have been cut off if you can’t move them.

I can’t remember how many years he spent torturing his fingers, but Google can. And it was a waste of months of my time, memorizing mundane details about composers’ lives, about which years they wrote which letters to their secret lovers, that happened to influence their music a little.

I wouldn’t have done it if the music curriculum didn’t require it to get a piano diploma.

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The Magic of Working in the Music Industry

The Magic of Working in the Music Industry

This article is written by Molly Rahal. She has a sweet story about working at a music production company and her writing makes me smile. I hope it makes you smile, too. 

When I was seventeen years old, I started working part time for a music and arts company called Renegade Productions Inc.

Siobhan, a close childhood friend of mine, had been working there for about half of a year.

“You need to work here,” she told me.

Getting paid to work with my best friend alongside good music and famous bands we had listened to on our iPods years before didn’t seem like a bad idea. So I went for the job.

Renegade has both an office location and studio spaces complete with a theatre, a recording studio, and a dance studio; we would start our day at the office catching up on public relations and doing administrative work, and by one o’clock we would be at the studios for our daily appointments or recording.

But it was so much more than that. I didn’t just love it because of the way there was always guitar, bass, or drums echoing in any given section of the building. It wasn’t just the community of local artists and the creativity that dripped from their paintbrushes every day. It was even more than the pattering of choreographed feet, more than the sounds of actors and actresses passionately rehearsing their lines to the pokerfaced red velvet theatre chairs.

No, the best part of it was the way it felt to be surrounded by creative people. Not only were they creative, but they cared about the art that they make.

People who play music, people who draw, people who take photographs, people who write stories; no matter what kind of art it is, no matter what skill level you are, you always gain a deeper understanding for the world when you immerse yourself in the beauty of it.

 

Last year, my boss Jim suggested that our company put on its very first musical.

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What Most Musicians Struggle With

What Most Musicians Struggle With

Five hours into the drive to Oregon and I am cruising without a speed limit and my eyelids are fluttering closed. Okay, there is a speed limit, but I don’t know what it is in kilometres, so I just copy the other cars.

In between losing focus, I think about work. I worked at a big name company over the summer and I finally felt the weight of other people’s actions on my work, and how perhaps some people may not be as interested in seeing you succeed as you might hope. I have never experienced this before.

The only way I can write this is if I tell myself it won’t be published.

I have been hit before by an open palm, and now when someone raises their voice at me in an enclosed space, I feel as if I may be hit. Two angry people have raised their voices at me in an enclosed space at work.

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20 Piano Solos to Get Those Festive Fall Feels

20 Piano Solos to Get Those Festive Fall Feels

This article is written by Molly!

Now that summer is quickly coming to a close, fall is right around the corner.

It’s hard to choose a favourite season, but where I’m from, this means that it’s almost time for big sweaters, crunchy leaves, and the smell of pumpkin spice wafting around every corner. And the best of all is that it’s the season of Halloween!

Here are 20 piano solos to help you get some of those festive fall feelings.

 

1. Monster Mash – Bobby Pickett

It’s a graveyard smash!

Sheet Music

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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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