Iso-Reflections (Release 6th Sept. 2020)
Many of you who have followed me for a while know I started my piano studies late, in year 9, at the age of 14. I was told by many, I wouldn't make it into University to study music as I was under-developed and didn't have the required technique or musical fundamentals. I practiced my little heart out. In high school I was practicing at least 2 hours every day - 1 hour before school and 1 hour after school MINIMUM. I got into University to study a Bachelor of Music just 4 years from beginning my piano studies. The 4 years that I studied a Bachelor of Music with Honours Degree were the best years of my life for my development as musician and person. I began teaching in 2014 (first year bachelor degree) to discover a passion for teaching, helping others achieve what I have achieved, despite the odds and uncertainties. End of the Honours year in 2017, I received amongst the top results of my year and was so lucky and grateful to have received an offer to study a Master of Music (Performance). I took it knowing that most people who apply for the degree don't get an offer of acceptance. Though I learnt a lot about teaching styles I did not want in my teaching, I also learnt I did not want to be a Classical Pianist. 2019 was a horrible year.
2019 will forever be my weakest year. I gave up. I quit the Masters of Music program and applied for Masters of Music (Performance Teaching). I had never given up, in my life. But I had to. I only realise that now, however. I was worked to the bone in 2018 and 2019, practicing at least 6 hours EVERY DAY and sometimes even 8 or 9 hours. This was not a life for me, for how can one enjoy the subtle beauties in life when you are mentally and physically drained at sitting at a piano for that long, day in and day out? I felt like a quitter though. Every obstacle or knock back in my life, I have persevered and stood up stronger and better than before, except for this one time. My passion for piano was depleted to zero and I nearly quit music altogether due to my consistent thoughts of being not good enough. My teacher was of no positive use to me, but I will keep this short: his expectations were unrealistic perfectionism to the point where if I played just one wrong note, he would make me feel worthless and as though I really was not good enough to be a pianist, at all. This teaching method of course will always stick with me as this is definitely something I do not want to employ in my own teaching methods, as this breaks more pianists than it makes (not to mention the emotional drain and personal mental abuse this can do to someone).
2020, a fresh start, or so it seemed. Of course, Covid-19 hit- if you haven't heard of it by now, I would love to live and be where you are right now. Anyway, 2020 saw canceled gigs for not only me but also all musicians worldwide. It is tough. That was half of my financial stability gone. I began trying new things, I built my own studio desk which I absolutely adore and look forward to sitting at every day to compose or just improvise. I began live streaming on Twitch- a platform people can entertain live viewers and interact with each other in real time. August 2020 saw me performing in front of thousands of people worldwide- an unbelievable achievement.
So, the album (I nearly forgot). It began as improvisations at the end of long days (of University classes online or my own teaching online) and at the start of days (feeling refreshed and inspired by having a few days off every week due to Covid). It has been a weird year, but I have finally put together an album to hopefully inspire others thinking of becoming a musician. You can do it. If I can, you can. This album is a pure flow of sub-conscious states I have been in with outpouring emotional backing. It is me. My being. An actual musical, somewhat physical existence of my deep connection to my emotional states. I hope you can relate to the album. It is full of drama (probably inspired by the news and situations going on), sadness (because we have all had it tough), a bit of light or hopefulness (because we have all felt sincere love from someone or a community in this time) and most of all, reflection. Reflect and spend time for yourself and only yourself with my album. I do hope you enjoy it and let me know your thoughts.
As always, much love and I appreciate you.