One 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?
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
What could make someone more happy than a piano solo that is literally titled ‘Happy’?
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 from a vastly different corner of the world. 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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Being alone for my birthday stresses me out. This realization is new, because once upon a time, I used to crave precious alone time. My family is away and my best friends are at work but I promise that your girl is not whining for a babysitter.
I look for activities that don’t involve being alone (and sad) at home watching movies.
Thinking about my dad, for example, is an activity that makes me sad in the end, but I don’t want to tell myself to not think about him. But I know if I’m alone then it will come up.
I don’t want to be dependent on anything for my own happiness, but right now, I need to be constantly focused on an activity. It’s like if you’re performing classical music onstage, and the audience is distracting. You do anything to ignore the audience because it’s irrelevant to delivering your music; you play Chopin the same way whether the audience is asleep or humming along.
“Don’t worry,” a buddy says. “We’ll do something on your birthday. So you won’t be alone.”
“If you forget,” I say, “I’ll be very sad.”
But I’m pretty sure he will forget, because that’s how he is.
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
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!
I tend to focus on the psychology of practicing piano efficiently on Artiden.
But it doesn’t matter how many psychology tactics you’re solidifying bad habits and hurting your body in the long run.
Readers often ask about how to play more efficiently, the correct posture, and how to be a better piano teacher.
When I taught piano at public schools, the beginner pianists all made similar mistakes— you can tell how much music experience a student has from these three factors alone.
If you want to play beautiful piano music, remember that professional pianists sound good because they’ve set a solid foundation. If you are a teacher, you’ll see how I might explain the concepts to a student– perhaps this will help your teaching.
Take a look at the video below to see the 3 biggest mistakes that beginner pianists make!
“Don’t let the simple music mistakes hold you back.” (Click here to tweet this.)
Watch out for:
1. Tension in the wrists. If your hand looks like a claw, you probably sound that way, too.
2. Nails. The piano sounds great on its own without the clicking nail rhythm.
3. Distance from piano and posture. My favourite way to measure the correct distance to sit from the piano is to have the pianist hold a fist out in front with a straight arm. In general, that is a natural distance to sit, and allows room for arm movement but not awkward leaning.
What is your biggest weakness in music? How are you working on it? Leave a comment to join the conversation below!
A buddy of mine is a Master at meditation.
I’ve never seen her do it, but I sensed dedication when she said, at the end of our design coaching session:
“I got more than I expected from you, but I wish we met somewhere suitable for meditation.”
When it comes to making important decisions, we all have ways to get in touch with our inner selves. Maybe it’s sprinting off at top speed. Playing Rachmaninoff on the piano. Popping a yoga video.
So let’s keep this simple: When in doubt, make music.
Maybe you can’t conjure a piano in a snap, but how creative can you get about making music? Tapping a beat on the table? Singing? Or maybe, making music means you’ll take 10 seconds to focus inside.
I designed a FREE matching background set for desktop and iPhone as daily motivation to stay happy, and stay free. Studies show that the more we see something, the more we believe it. So believe this– you are never truly stuck in one place.
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