Browsing Category

Get inspired

One True Arabesque Piano Duet from Undertale

One True Arabesque Piano Duet from Undertale

It’s the season of love! My friend Sydney and I wrote a piece about a robot falling in love, with a mix of Debussy. And I’m real excited about it!

We wrote this to combine the fun of video games with the timelessness of Classical music. It’s an intermediate piano duet, so it’s perfect for pianists who like both video games and Classical!

Arabesque was one of Debussy’s earlier works and you can already hear experimentation with wild, unrelated keys.

Undertale is a game where a child falls into the underworld and runs into monsters. Sydney plays the part of the robot in our duet and you will hear it above the Debussy arpeggios.

Sydney talks about piano, mental health, and video games on SmartGamePiano and her Youtube channel. She’s really talented. Go check out her channels!

This is what we think about teaching piano online. And here’s the last piece of music we mashed up!

One True Arabesque Piano Duet from Undertale

Get the free sheet music here!

Want to hear more love songs? Here are 16 timeless piano love songs.

2 Comments

How perfect pitch can hurt pianists

Only a small proportion of people have perfect pitch, and the majority of people who have perfect pitch are autistic. Still, most musicians who don’t have it, want to get perfect pitch. After all, Mozart had it.

This study led by Anna Lambrechts at the Autism Research Group in City University London recruited 18 adults who had Asperger’s and 18 adults who were neurotypical.

In the experiments, the participant would hear two tones played, then indicate if they thought the second tone had changed in pitch or duration.

While the neurotypical group had a different brain response depending on the tone they heard, the autistic group had the same brain response no matter what. This suggests that neurotypical people can adjust the resources they use for different tasks, and autistic people cannot.

The autistic brain was naturally better at processing pitch, but when they tried to guess the duration, they were way off.

Continue Reading

8 Comments

Biggest lessons this year in music and more

It’s been ten years of Artiden!

This year, I realized how uniquely I perceive the world because of Asperger’s. Now I see why I’ve struggled with certain daily life activities. Thank goodness I have the discipline to keep writing. In fact, someone figured out that I had Asperger’s from my writing. Here are some personal articles about Asperger’s and more.

These piano tips were popular and I will focus on more piano-specific content next year.

I started recording and arranging music. This is Interstellar, the piano solo.

This is Beauty and the Beast, the piano solo.

I played a mashup of Overcooked and Rachmaninoff, with Sydney. Here’s some behind the scenes on how we wrote it. We both teach piano online, but different styles.

You can probably notice the difference in video quality as I’ve improved my recording setup.

Thank you for coming along and I’m quite certain I’ll continue to learn about myself, and music. Feel free to ask me piano questions. Ask me any question. I need to figure out what to write about next.

12 Comments

A list of useless things my therapist told me when I said I have Asperger’s

1. “It looks like you can make eye contact and smile at the correct times.”

I look at eyebrows and I memorize social cues,” I say quickly, shrugging one shoulder. Ok. now she is going to think I memorized when to smile.

We look at each other. Well, I look at her eyebrows and she looks at my eyeballs. I am wearing makeup and I blew dry my hair and I’m wearing my new suede heels. I’m trying to look like a professional tech whatever.

2. “You have learned many ways to overcome your disability. You are doing great.”

But I can’t function. I have no executive function.” I am almost in tears. “My closet is a mess. I can’t do dishes for some reason. I can’t go to sleep.”

“Is your house a mess?”

I think for a second. “Not really,” I say.

“Alright.” She says. She steers the conversation to another topic that I’m not interested in.

“I have no executive function,” I say again.

3. “You can create a schedule. Do dishes every two days and laundry a once a week. If you have a routine then you won’t need to rely on executive function.”

People with Asperger’s struggle with executive function, meaning self regulation and organization. Following a schedule requires paying attention to the tasks and organizing them in the order to be done. Which is what I am bad at in the first place. Creating a schedule like this is just a reminder of things I suck at doing.

4. “Set alarms 10 minutes in advance so your transitions are easier.”

Here’s another thing I learned about Asperger’s: switching tasks, meaning transitions, are hard, because you need executive function to stop doing one task and pick the next task.

But I already set alarms 10 minutes in advance. I figured this out myself in elementary school.

Then I don’t bother bringing up the fact that I can never remember to eat because I already know the advice is to set an alarm. But this doesn’t work. Do I set the lunch alarm every morning? My schedule is different everyday. Do I need to set a daily morning alarm reminding myself to set a lunch alarm?

5. “When you are older, and have made more money, you can pay someone to pick clothes for you. You can pay someone to clean your house, to style your wardrobe, to do all this other stuff. You can outsource it.” This makes sense. But I need help right now, not help in ten years. And I hate when strangers touch my stuff.

Continue Reading

Leave a Comment

Finding an ally to help with Asperger’s

There’s a social rule that says you should copy the way the other person likes to communicate. Well, it’s more of a social phenomenon, where humans like to be around others who behave similarly to themselves, such as when someone sitting across from you crosses their legs when you do. Maybe I’ve broken a social rule.

If I can’t figure out a way to learn to navigate politics at work then I’m going to get fired. I won’t get good projects and that’s the equivalent of being told to get out.

It’s like if a piano teacher can’t figure out how to communicate with parents or students, they won’t get students. It doesn’t matter how good you are at your craft if you are not good enough for people to put up with your annoyingness.

Continue Reading

Leave a Comment

Navigating the music world when you have Asperger’s

Grace Halloween

There’s a group I’m part of called Frustrated piano teachers and it’s a place where piano teachers can talk about their problems. I glance at it once in a while and most posts are written by women. There’s probably someone who will tell me that women like to talk about their problems more often, but it looks like these women also have to juggle kids and husbands with their piano teaching jobs at home.

I write a post: I am curious… does anyone here have Asperger’s? How does it affect your teaching?

A bunch of people answer the question but not in the way I want. They tell stories about how their husband or kids take a long time to learn or annoy everyone. One teacher describes getting a family or relative involved during the lesson and planning rigorously. I can’t tell if that is for the case if the teacher or student has Asperger’s.

Continue Reading

6 Comments