Hello, there! It’s been 5 months since I posted something. I decided to do a favorites post because I love to share what I love with others, and hopefully this short post will get my feet wet again in blogging. These are some songs I’ve been obsessed with recently. Some are old favorites from growing up that I racked my brain to remember the title of to “new” favorites I enjoy listening to.
From Country to a piano piece by Norwegian composer Christian Sinding, my favorites are everywhere! If you’ve heard any of these songs before or like any of these artists, feel free to comment your favorite. What are you listening to right now? 🙂
Hey Everyone! Since growing up I didn’t know ANY famous Filipino classical pianists, I thought it would be beneficial to do a roundup of 7 Filipino classical pianists who are still alive today! This will be an ongoing list since I know there are more Filipino classical pianists out there sweating it out on the keys that the world has not heard of.
As a side note, to be honest, even though I was a classically trained pianist, I still don’t identify myself as a classical pianist because I’ve never had the desire to be a touring concert pianist. I’m just crazy about classical music and love teaching others from my own experiences in the classical repertoire (including other genres!). So until further ado, let’s get started!
Being a classically trained pianist requires extreme discipline, dedication, and artistry. When I was starting out in music school, it was encouraging and inspiring to know there were famous Filipino classical pianists who dedicated their lives to sharing their love for music with others. Thank God for Google!
Even if you’ve never played the piano before, don’t be fooled by the notion that it’s too late to learn. I truly believe playing the piano is for everyone, regardless of age, social background, or talent. It’s all up to you.
If you made it this far to my blog post, thank you for your time. Please share this post to anyone you know who might need encouragement that it’s okay to be a classical pianist or have a career in the fine arts. You are not alone.
I’ll always be a 90s kid. I’ve been listening to a lot of 90s music lately, from working out to getting ready to go out, and these were a few that I really enjoyed listening to again. I haven’t heard of these songs in years so it was so much fun singing and dancing along to them!
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.
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!