Essays

This category includes any kind of essay written on this site, including philosophy, psychology, musicology, music theory, and anything else related to being a musician. Some are more formal than others, but if I did any kind of research for the post, it probably ended up in this category!

Chopin’s Waltz in A♭ Major, Op. 69 No. 1: Interpretation and Analysis

Chopin Waltz in A-Flat Major, Op. 69 No. 1: Analysis and Interpretation

The Chopin Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 69 No. 1, is one of his most remembered works. The piece contains both a compelling backstory and haunting musical content. This post provides a brief history of how this waltz came to be a marker of a depressing moment in Chopin’s life and then interpretive performance suggestions …

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Anatomy of a Christmas Carol: We Wish You a Merry Christmas

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is a traditional English Christmas carol whose origins are unknown. Regardless of where it came from, it is a short and familiar tune that contains an interesting use of sequences and non-diatonic harmony. Exploring form, melody, and harmony in short, familiar tunes like this one provides an excellent entrance …

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Reality Check Your Goals: Mindset and New Experiences

Last time, I focused on why being specific and relevant in your piano journey is helpful and how to implement that practice in your own goal-setting. In this post, I’m focusing in on the “MART” of smart goals and what it means to “reality check expectations,” as this is where new pianists especially struggle with …

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Set Yourself Up for Success: Be Specific in Your Goals

This is part 3 in the series on charting your quest, strategizing your piano journey so that you don’t get lost in some figurative dark forest of no return. We’re making plans, so you can achieve your goals and feel really awesome about the work you’re doing! The first few posts aren’t about the act …

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How Curiosity Keeps Us Happy and Motivated While Practicing an Instrument

This post is part 2 in the Chart Your Quest series, for people wanting to start learning piano (or any instrument!) but don’t know where to start! You can read the first part here. Last week, we talked about finding our motivation: what is it we actually want to learn to do in piano and …

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Chart Your Quest: How to Plan Your Piano Journey

Taking up piano is very much like embarking on an epic quest. You have a general idea of where you need to go, but there’s a lot of terrain between here and there that you don’t know about yet.

If you’re not careful, you could end up trapped in a dark forest of no return!

But don’t worry, these posts will be your guide to finding the perfect guide for you. It will help you create the path for your journey, starting with where you’re going and why.

How to Memorize Music: The Many Pieces of the Memorization Process

How to memorize music is a question most classical musicians ask, and it’s not surprising given the incredible feats of mental acuity they are asked to perform. This article explains how expert memory works and how you can use this knowledge to memorize your music more efficiently and much stronger. “The demands placed on memory …

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