Going “Home”

19 01 2010

Haha! It’s sad that I consider Florida home. In all reality I do consider it home. I may not have lived there long but in the end over the next four years I’ll be living there more.

I love learning. My piano playing improved SO much. I was amazed that I learned six pieces in one semester. It used to take me about two semesters to learn one piece. I also made it into the college orchestra. I can’t believe it! That for me was miraculous. I think that they let me in out of sympathy but I’ve grown SO much as a violinist. Music I never thought I could play I could. It may not sound amazing but it’s still great! 😀

I love my friends. I can’t believe that I made SO many amazing friends. Not all my friends are amazing but they’re all great! I am just blessed, plainly blessed that God could give me friends like this.

I just can’t wait to get back. I’ll be leaving on the 22nd very early in the morning.



26 12 2009

I can’t wait! In about a week I’ll hopefully start learning trombone. Or if not learning one at least getting one. I have a friend at college who has offered to teach me when I get back! I’m so excited! I haven’t learned a new instrument in over a year I think. It’s pretty sad. This is the next step in me growing as a musician. Brass instruments! I just can’t believe this is happening. I hope it works out. 🙂

Hymn Playing Advice

27 05 2009

I have decided to get back to the original theme of my blog and give some advice about how to play piano for church. This blog post I want to cover congregational playing.

Here’s what I do:

Right hand: Octaves

Left hand: Pattern:: Octave chord

Let me break this down a little. My piano teacher taught me that to have a generally fuller sound in your playing play the lead note in octaves. Just doing this changed the sound of my playing for the better. Eventually I was able to add in fill in notes. It really changes the sound for the better and it does really sound good.

Left hand. To play the general patter octave chord you must have a knowledge of chords. If you say I kind of know them well then practice finding them. I took my hymnal and wrote in the chords so I could practice identifying them. I don’t want to brag but I can identify them more proficiently…not to the point where I can do it while I’m playing but if I had a couple more seconds I could. Let me add this, I can identify some, like the I, IV, V some of the minor ones are harder but I’m getting better. It’s really just practice. 

After a while I found that the octave chord got boring so sometimes you can play octave chord but instead of making the chord just a block chord you could make it a dotted eighth note followed by a sixteenth note. I’m sorry I forgot to say that the octave chord is the octave = a quarter note, chord = a quarter note. This doesn’t work for 3/4 time, then you have to play octave, chord, chord. If it’s 6/8 time or anything like that you then can’t play quarter notes…obviously, well you can but it doesn’t work out well. Use a little bit of common sense or this blog post will be forever long.

I hope this helps. This will hopefully change your playing for the better and please remember to take it slow. I don’t want to give the idea that I got this over night. It took me a couple weeks to really get it and more weeks to incorporate it into my playing.

College Audition Choices

22 05 2009

I think have chosen my pieces. Going to Pensacola Christian College has given me great concern about what to play. I am so nervous about it.

Debussy’s Reverie – No matter how simplistic this piece is I think that I can bring a new life to it and my own unique interpretation. 

How Great Thou Art/Beethoven’s 5th Symphony – This amazing piece is arranged by Rob Deas is what I’m going to use for the hymn arrangement. 

Hopefully these piece will get me an appropriate teacher. I want to portray an attitude that I’m willing to learn but also that I can play piano and I’m not just some kid that can barely play. 🙂

College Thoughts

27 04 2009

I really must question if I’m ready for college. I’m going to a “big” college. I guess it’s not really big, but at 5,000 students it seems big. When the population of the city you’re coming from is 12,000 the college seems huge. I think it’ll be huge culture shock. I must admit that my family isn’t the biggest travelers, for me to fly across the country to a state I’ve never been to, to a college I’ve never actually been to,  and a level of music study I’m not sure I’m ready for; this is very scarey. I honestly believe that this is God’s way of testing me, pushing me out of my comfort zone and testing my faith.

Flordia: the complete opposite of Washington. When I was considering colleges, the four I considered would test me. Two in California, one in Oklahoma, and one in Florida. All not what I’m used to. I think it was God’s way of putting me out of my comfort zone. Honestly if it were my choice I would have stayed at home, gone somewhere local, probably never left. As I think about it I must admit that I need this badly.

Now you may say: “You’ve never been to this college?! What?!” This is where I differ from many people. I prayed intesely about the college God wanted me to go to. This college I had the most peace about.  I honestly believe this is where He wants me. Could I be wrong, possiblely. This could be God putting me there for a time before having me move on. I don’t really know and I don’t think that I will know until it happens.

The music program scares me a little. I have a friend in the music program right now who tells me not to worry. She tells me I’ll do fine. I of course must worry about everything. It is unfortunately my personality. Something someday I hope I grow out of. The music program to me seems intesnse, of course I have nothing to compare it to. From what I’ve heard the music students are required to practice 15 – 20 hours a week, depending on the teacher. For me, balancing that with work, study, and a social life will be hard. Thankfully I’m not the most out going person in the world, I’m actually not that out going. 

Now you all have insight into my life. With college only 131 days away there’s so much to prepare for. I need some clothes, thankfully not to many but some still. I need to prepare two audition pieces. Yikes! I want them memorized even though it’s not required. I didn’t want to admit this but I need to learn how to wash and iron clothes. Something I just never learned. Unfortunately for me I don’t have a lot of time to do it. You’ll hear a lot more as college gets closer. Probably at about 100 days. If you’re a praying person please pray, I usually don’t get spiritual in my blog posts but this is the exception.

Piano Lessons

10 01 2009

Sorry that I haven’t written in a couple days. The lessons went well. My piano teacher said she could tell I was practicing, which to me is a great thing. We are starting to finish up the small details of Mozart’s Turkish March. Hallelujah! With Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata Movement 1, we’re just fixing my slight tempos and dynamics problem. We just started the second movement and I’m learning that it’s WAY harder than it looks. Also I have permission to start looking at the third movement and trying it if I like. I feel very intimidated by the third movement. I don’t know if I can ever learn it. I’m sure eventually but right now it feels like I can’t or ever will be able to. Hopefully I’ll be ready for college. It’s only eight months away.