James Mercer from The Shins singing at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert a few days ago!
About 13 years ago when I was in middle school I became a fan of The Shins after listening to their tracks Caring is Creepy and New Slang on the Garden State movie OST. Their third album, Wincing the Night Away, was actually one of the first, if not the first, album I ever bought by myself when I was in high school. I remember I was obsessed with the seventh track, Turn on Me for days.
Subsequently, it’s no surprise that I was looking forward to watching and listening to the video of The Shins at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. I love James Mercer’s voice, lyrics, and raw, emotional performance. Unlike other artists, I can keep listening to The Shins on repeat and not get tired of their songs.
Caring is Creepy – The Shins
New Slang – The Shins
Turn on Me – The Shins
Let’s be honest. Practicing the piano can feel like you’re doing a chore. Instead, these 4 tips will help you turn your frustration into that creative flow.
- Make goals – This might be common sense, but believe me this is important. Sometimes we’re so excited to play a new song on the piano that we don’t plan our goals for our practice session. Do we want to master a whole line, a few measures, or just one measure? Are we working on notes, rhythm, dynamics, and/or artistry? Are we working on practicing to perform from beginning to end or just in a specific section? Knowing our goals gives us direction and purpose to practice. Not making goals makes our practice session aimless, leading us to waste time and becoming unproductive.
- Be specific – This connects with the previous tip. It is essential to be specific about what to practice when you practice. Write down which measures are your weakest and hone in on them during your practice session. Don’t just robotically play from beginning to end, beginning to end, beginning to end, haphazardly thinking you’ll improve if you just play the song from start to finish every time. Not only are you going to waste time, but also you might be practicing mistakes. Practicing mistakes become detrimental in the long run because you’ll be so used to playing that wrong note or playing that wrong rhythm that it’ll be harder to correct yourself in the future.
- Take breaks – This might actually be the tip that a lot of people forget to implement. Taking breaks is important to refresh the mind, body, and soul. Depending on the person, take breaks every 15-20 minutes. For me, I like to stand up, stretch, use the restroom, eat a snack, check on social media, play games and call or text one of my friends or family members during my break. Usually I’ve found that when I come back from a break, the magic happens! The hard passage in the music becomes easier and you feel like you’re actually making progress! It’s really an exciting, joyful, and magical feeling! So remember, don’t slave away on the piano. Give yourself time to breathe with a break!
- Get feedback – Lastly, but not least, it’s important to get feedback from family and friends. From asking your relatives to listen to you to asking a complete stranger nearby to even calling/Skyping/Facetiming your best friend in a different state to listen and/or watch while you play, getting feedback will give you more ideas on how to improve your playing right away. Challenge yourself to play the song you’ve been working on to at least 3 people. Listening to their constructive criticism will give you insight into different opinions other than your own. You have nothing to lose and all to gain from others’ feedback!
Taking action to implement these 4 tips will make a difference when you practice the piano. I know practicing the piano can feel like torture sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be. All of that time practicing will be worth it in the end! Before you know it, you’ll want to practice!
My first memory of really enjoying classical music and letting my imagination run wild was in third grade while I was listening to Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. I was getting ready for a music memory contest in school and had to listen to about ten classical music pieces. I remember putting the tape in my sister’s stereo and just laying on her bed mesmerized with my eyes closed.
Before that I had limited encounters with classical music just in piano recitals (Fur Elise and The Entertainer) and cartoons (Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny). I think competing in music memory contests and learning how to play the piano were pivotal in developing my love for classical music. As I grew up, my love for the classics influenced my taste in literature, fashion, film, and even who I dated.
Consequently, here are three piano pieces I loved when I was growing up (12-13 yrs old) exploring and playing classical piano music. I also listened to other genres of music at that time, but classical piano music has a special place in my heart.
Fantaisie Impromptu, Op.66 – Chopin
Liebestraum – Love Dream – Liszt
Träumerei – Dreaming – Schumann
Yup, I’m a dreamer. What classical music did you grow up with? Leave a comment!
Here are 3 piano pieces I love to listen to! Enjoy!
On Wings of Song – Mendelssohn
Ballade No. 4, Op. 52 – Chopin
Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 2 in A Major – Brahms
On another note, I decided to create another blog about my journey through nursing school. Here is the link: http://www.hellofuturenursetrisha.wordpress.com
I think God’s divine word is important in our everyday lives because we cannot do everything on our own. We need to be equipped with God’s word to live out our faith and so we can continue to strive for holiness.
Here is a list of 10 of my favorite bible verses right now in no particular order. Truth be told, it was not until recently did I start to write down my favorite bible verses (better late than never!). I have more than just 10 favorites, but I decided to narrow it down to just 10 for now. I hope you get inspired and comforted by these words in your everyday life.
- 1 John 4:19 – “We love because he first loved us.”
- Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
- Philippians 4:6 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
- Proverbs 19:21 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
- Jeremiah 29:11 – “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
- Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, please and perfect will.”
- Galatians 1:10 – “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
- Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
- Psalm 139:13-14 – “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; you works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
- Proverbs 9:10 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
There might be a part 2 to this in the future. Until then, meditating on these words have helped me lessen anxiety and fill my mind with truth.
With all my love,
Discovered this short piano piece on Spotify the other day and I was surprised to find someone on YouTube who made a cover of it last week! If you want the piano sheet music just click the link! I just found the sheets from another user by searching Google. I’m planning on learning this song for fun.
Besides this song, my summer jam has been Rollin’ by Calvin Harris. I can’t help myself but dance along! You gotta love the strong beats and swag of this song.
Happy Piano Playing and Dancing!
Yes, another blog! Since I was 11 years old I started blogging. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just liked to shared my interests in music with the world. At that time I was into punk rock so I was posting pictures of Good Charlotte and Bowling for Soup for my friends to see. I don’t think the website I used even exists anymore (Fastwebs). Later in middle school I moved on to Xanga and that lasted for about a year. I remember trying to spice up my online journal by adding a music player that showed off my musical taste (yikes, what was I listening to!?) and I learned what an IP tracker was so I can stalk, I mean, learn who was stalking me in return. Then there was Tumblr. I spent hours on that site, perfecting my username and curating my posts which went all in vain since I stopped using it 5 years ago. Also, in between Xanga and Tumblr I made a Blogger in my senior year of high school when I was at home with the flu. My Blogger lasted only for a few months. I remember posting Youtube videos of songs I really liked.
Now it’s WordPress. How long will this blog last? Who knows. I just know that it’s been on my mind to start a blog again for several months and I love to write. My priority for this blog is to write to my hearts content. I have journals upon journals so I might as well have an online one I can share with the world. Since I’m just starting out, I’m going to have a hodgepodge of different topics I’ll be writing about until I focus on a main topic (if I choose to).
Until then, hope anyone who is reading this has an awesome week!