Favourites of The Year

This was one of my hardest years by far. And though I try to be strong and resilient, all I’ve been doing is chugging on, really.

So, I thought I’d recap some of the ways I’ve pushed myself this year, along with some of the community’s favourite articles, and my top articles about piano.


I started lifting weights.

Many girls ask why I lift.

When you lift, it takes a lot of concentration to not injure yourself, so it’s a great distraction, plus it comes with a sense of accomplishment when you lift heavier weights each week.

Girls can’t look like a bodybuilder “by accident,” because it takes a lot of work to build muscle mass. It’s like saying you don’t want to learn piano because you don’t want long fingers like Rachmaninoff.

I like feeling stronger, and I’ve been spending up to four days at the gym each week. Here’s how I motivated myself to start going to the gym.

How to Practice Smarter, Not Harder

I trusted my own strength again.

“Can you demonstrate some acro-yoga?” I ask Matthew.

Acro-yoga has cirque-du-soleil style poses. He positions me on the ground like a cat on all fours with my back against the ground, then climbs on me so I hold his entire body.

I feel like it doesn’t matter how many pounds I lift at the gym, because there are tiny muscles that deadlifts and squats don’t work; but these are the muscles you need to lift someone on your legs.

This is a great reminder that even the best musicians and athletes can find room for improvement.

Here are a few ways to get stronger fingers, quickly.
Beat Mapping: a technique to improve your rhythm and timing.
How to cram for a music performance.

How Skiing Helped Me Become a Better Learner
I lost my ID.

I was skiing. I’ve been talking about skiing so often because that’s, like, the extent of my excitement these days (I don’t suppose you’d want to read about apps I’ve been writing or projects I’m working on.)

My zippers on my ski jacket are broken so I shove everything in one chest pocket. I take out my phone because I’m separated from the group. I should’ve given my cards to a friend to keep, but let’s be real, my new ID photo looks way better.

Here’s how skiing helps you become a better learner.

When I organized an event for 350 people. 

It’s magical to watch people rush in, excited, for something you dreamt up: to improve a cancer patient’s life.

There’s a guy on his laptop at a cafe, and I spot the lumohacks sticker on it. This was amazing because it means my work is making an impact on the community.

And it makes me think that even the largest, craziest ideas start small. After all, Lady Gaga wrote her first hit, Just Dance, in 10 minutes.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes version of the 350-person event.

The Pursuit of (Experimental) Happiness
When I shoved my phone away and slowed my life down. 

Read about my social detox.
Or how I started looking for experimental happiness instead.

I’d like to say thank you for the kind words and support, because it really makes my day when I get something from you guys.

This year, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, because y’all know after what happened in my family, my comfort zone shrunk to Netflix and my couch.

This year, I learned to let go of people.

There are people you’re meant to see everyday because of how close your lives are. There are people you’re meant to see every few months. Or every few years. Or everyday for years, and then not at all for another century, perhaps. If it’s meant to be, then you’ll meet again. Friends, family, music students.

In 2015, I was good at having a voice. In 2016, I was good at pushing myself. In 2017, I’d like to be good at creating a community.

To good times next year!


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6 years ago

Happy holidays and a Happy New Year, Grace!