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.
Calm music is a great way to transition from the hustle of the day to bedtime.
I’ve been known to roll around in bed into the depths of the night, so over the years, I’ve experimented with many ways to fall asleep. Playing an instrument is a great one, next to reading. You tend to concentrate just enough to get the notes right and you’re literally playing your troubles away!
To avoid printing 5 papers for something I’m only ever playing once, I’m learning more by ear these days. (Yes I have a tablet, no I don’t like reading music off it.) But my friend Molly and I put together some great dreamy piano melodies to play before bedtime, with sheet music!
Love Me – Yiruma
When I first started playing Yiruma’s music, it would take a few hours to decipher one of his pieces. Now, I play his music for a different type of satisfaction.
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. 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!