Appropriate, to the level of cliché, that the first blog of the year features a prelude.
In TV-series tradition, a brief recap of 2021: I went back to taking piano lessons. End of recap. That's the only special thing that happened to me last year.
I forgot how demanding piano lessons could be. Enjoyable, yes, but having a teacher gives you this strong sense of accountability. Plus I'm paying for it, so to not practice is to waste hard-earned money.
Well it's not like I have to drag myself to study. The only challenge I'm facing is not having someone talk to about piano. Sure all my friends love music, from OPM to pop to classical (have yet to meet someone with a taste for budots, though); but I wish I have a fellow pianist to share experiences with — wins and frustrations.
There are online communities. Which I am a part of. Ah, I remember the days when I was so active at the universtity forum, I even attended "eyeballs". These are great, though it's hard to make a meaningful connection, especially if you can't regularly meet. But at least I have them.
Through piano-loving people from all over the world, I get to discover new music, learn things outside of my lessons, and have enough external motivation to keep me going.
One of the things we do is the weekly sight-reading challenge. The pieces are way above my level, but trying is what makes it fun. Connected to this, I've also gotten into the habit of recording myself, because I have no audience to speak of.
So let me slip this into your consciousness. My YouTube channel is currently seeing some action, since I'm dumping my practice videos there. Free cloud storage as they say.
No clue who'd be interested in viewing content that neither entertains nor educates. To be fair to me, I'll upload something decent, too. Like what I'm sharing here: Prelude Op 2 No 2 by Alexandar Scriabin, whose birthday is in January. It's a piece from the sight-reading challenge. I loved how it sounded, and it was rather easy in terms of the basics, so I gave it a bit more practice.
Here's to a year of continuous, however incremental, improvement, of beautiful music, and of having the pleasures of a thoughtful audience.