Fall is my absolute favorite time of year, and Utah is so beautiful when Autumn comes. We have amazing mountains here, the Wasatch Mountains, with elevations up to 12,000 feet in the Salt Lake City area. We have a lot of Quaking Aspen trees, Scrub Oak, Maple, Cottonwood, etc. The colors aren’t as impressive as what you’d see in New England, especially since we don’t have nearly as many trees, but the yellows, reds, and oranges this time of year are stunning.Read More
Okay, here is a goofy one.
I am not Halloween's biggest fan, but my sister sure is! So, in honor of her favorite holiday, I thought I might whip up a fun post- Halloween Costumes for Pianists. Hope you enjoy what I came up with! Let me know if you have a great idea that I missed.Read More
Strangely enough, I didn’t actually set out to become a professional pianist.
I used to work in project management, and health insurance before that, and music was a hobby that I enjoyed in my spare time. Before I knew how fast this music career of mine was actually growing, I was selling music online, growing my fan base, making friends in the music community, doing concerts, and eventually started making enough money to be able to quit my 8-5 day job to work on music full time. It happened fast, and for the last decade, I have been running my own business as a full time solo pianist.Read More
Improvisation is a skill that will make you better at piano.
It is a fantastic way to spark your creativity, strengthen your scale knowledge and chord structures, and compose music in an “on-demand” and “on-the-fly” manner that forces you to step outside of your comfort zone. This is precisely the reason why I started my “Monday Morning Improvisations” series on YouTube. I wanted to grow, and this series was a great way to make that happen.Read More
Do you want to know a little secret?
I’ll be honest… I absolutely hate practicing the piano. I know… that’s a weird thing to say considering I play piano for a living. It’s true though, I really don’t like to practice and just the word “practice” makes me cringe. So how do I do it if I dislike it so much? Well, I practice by just playing my songs, and writing, and improvising, and just spending time with my piano being creative. I play the songs that I need to stay on top of for upcoming shows. I play the songs I’m working on for upcoming projects. I play music that inspires me to be creative and try new ideas. I relearn older songs I haven’t played in a long time. I improvise and stretch outside of my comfort zone with different chord structures and key signatures I’m not confident in. And while this just feels like I’m playing piano, I’m actually practicing and keeping my dexterity strong, and staying fresh with my older pieces.
And when I’m struggling with a piece, I try playing it really slow, and then really fast, and then again at normal speed. This helps me get ahold of the piece and have more control with it. When you change your playing tempo, it gives you a different perspective of the song, and the way your hands react while playing it. It makes it easier to play it correctly when you come back to the normal tempo.
For me, ALL playing is practicing, and the key to making it fun, is to not think of it as practicing. The more you just enjoy playing, the better! Here’s a bundle of my easier songs for you to practice with. Enjoy!
My very favorite time of year is Fall.
I love when the temperature starts to cool down after a long hot summer and I can start wearing boots and sweaters again. I love when the temperature gets a little brisk in the evenings, and in the mornings… that little bit of crisp cool air that makes me excited for the upcoming holidays. I love the smell of the earth, and the soil on cool crisp evenings and mornings during my walks, and while enjoying time in my yard. And I absolutely love and adore the changing of the leaves, when all the colors become vibrant with oranges, and yellows, and reds. I love to go up into the mountains to see the colors and smell the earth. It’s truly a magical thing for me and fills my soul with joy and excitement.
This is also one of my favorite times of the year to write music, and improvise. The cooler weather, the rain, the shorter days and getting darker earlier, all inspires music from me. I often listen to a lot of Fall inspired music during this time of year as well.
I am extremely excited for this time of year, and here in Utah, it’s just around the corner! In preparation for it all, I have put together a Spotify playlist of some of my favorite music for Fall!
Have you ever noticed that sad, emotional, or dark music tends to grab ahold of you...
...affect you on a soul-touching level, or just seem to make time stand still? And have you ever noticed that this kind of music, even though it’s sad and emotionally powerful, seems to somehow make you feel better, or happy, or inspired?
Sad music is some of my favorite music to listen to, because it does exactly that for me… it inspires, it touches, it moves, it drives, it makes me stop and stand still in the moment and just “be” with it. Whenever I’m down, I turn to sad music (either by listening, or composing) and it always makes me feel better.
There is so much power in how music can affect us, on a deep emotional level. Emotional music is some of my favorite music to create, especially for solo piano. It also happens to be my favorite music to listen to- I find it to be incredibly healing.
“Dismissed” is one of my favorite healing pieces. Want to give it a try? Click below to purchase the sheet music, and use the code "MP3free" to get a free MP3 download of the song.
FEELING UNAPPRECIATED, IGNORED, FORGOTTEN, OR DISMISSED CAN...
...be a difficult experience to handle. It can really weigh heavily on us, making us focus more on the negative, than the positive. It can be lonely, and isolating, and diminishing.
It’s important to remember, during these times when we’re feeling unappreciated, that joy and happiness and self approval all come from within. We often feel like we need to have external approval and positive feedback in order to feel happy, and loved, but that almost always isn’t the case. True love, and true happiness, are created in your way of thinking, and your approach to life.
For example, if you’re feeling like you’re not getting the recognition you would like, instead of focusing on all of the negative chatter in your mind, like “I’m not good enough, nobody likes me, I don’t matter, etc.”, turn it around and tell yourself “I did a good job, the things I do matter to me, I am good enough, etc.”. Simply redirecting your thoughts toward the positive can make a lasting impact on your overall happiness, and your perception of what’s happening around you.
As a performer, and a composer, I often put my soul out there for the world enjoy, through my music. I am often worried about possible criticism, or judgment I’ll receive on my music and my performances. When I worry about what others will think, then I open myself up to my own worst enemy… my own self criticism and judgement. And when that negative chatter starts to formulate and take over in my mind, my entire foundation of happiness and joy starts to crumble.
Instead, I try to stay present, and mindful, and remind myself that I am good enough, and worthy of happiness. I remind myself that I create music for me, and I share it with the world because people enjoy it, which is really just a big bonus. And I remind myself that even though someone may not show appreciation and attention the way I want them to, it doesn’t mean they’re not feeling appreciative. And then I do small things to bring positive direction to myself.
- I might post an inspirational quote or meme on social media. It often starts a positive conversation that almost always helps me feel better.
- I might post a video of myself playing a favorite song, or an improvisation. That almost always leads to positive conversation about the piece I’ve posted.
- I might open myself up vulnerably on social media and reveal some of my insecurities. I’m often surprised with the amount of positive feedback and “lifting up” my friends and fans respond with.
Redirecting any negative chatter, worries, anxiety, or thought toward the positive is usually the key to dissolving all of those things away. And it all comes from within. <3
Need a quicker pick-me-up? I've made a Spotify playlist of powerful and empowering music. Follow it and let me know what you think!