When I was a little girl I found it hard to go to piano lessons every week (there was even a year I had two piano lessons per week as my little brother gave up on learning the piano and that my parents had already paid for his lessons... someone had to go instead... well that was me) and to practise 1 hour daily especially because my professor wanted all his students to become professionnal pianists.
My sister and I used to cry (yes cry, can you figure this out?) quite a lot because our professor at the conservatory of music was very demanding and wanted us to be brilliant. For us it was supposed to be a hobby, something we would take pleasure in doing. Of course we enjoyed learning the piano a lot but well there were days it was not so easy.
And now looking back at the past I must say I'm quite happy to have learned to play music. My parents didn't have the chance to play any musical instrument when they were children and they wanted the best for us of course. I'm very grateful they did that for us.
Same for the Vietnamese language. We were taught to speak Vietnamese at home and then learned French with the other kids from the moment we started to go to school. But when back home we weren't allowed to speak French which was quite confusing for us. Now as a grown-up I'm very happy I speak both French & Vietnamese because for example my great-grand-mother didn't really speak French (she knew a few words, that's all) and it was nice to be able to talk to her about my life as I grew up. By the way I miss her a lot, she died almost a year ago, end of Spring at 96. When I was still living in Paris I used to visit her every Saturday evening at my grand-parents. My ex boyfriend used to tease me telling that on Saturday nights young people usually go out with friends not to visit family. But we all are different and since I had quite a strict education and was always a bit shy I never was used to partying and going out a lot. And even today I don't feel that I need that. I can do anything as long as I share something with people I love: what has always mattered the most for me wasn't the "what", the "where" or the "how" but the "with whom".
Back to music now.
At the conservatory of music you usually learn to play Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Debussy, Schumann, etc. which I did for 6 years. Then I stopped because I wasn't in the mood to go to my piano lessons anymore, to be honest I found it annoying to meet my professor every week as he was let's say quite "special". I tried another teacher but he was to gentle and soft and I wasn't motivated at all. So I quit.
I was still playing sometimes at home, especially as Dad liked it very much when he was working next to me (or to my sister) in the living-room.
Here's the vid of a piece I learned to play at the age of 11. I still play it by heart very often, my cats can tell!
It's called "Lieder ohne Worte" (Songs without words), it's the Op. 19 No. 1
I had to play this (+ another piece) for an exam and I still remember that day because I was so stressed that my foot was trembling on the pedal and I had to calm down before I could start again and play... Now I'm fine and mostly I'm playing for myself... My cats are my first - and only - fans:-) Usually when I meet boys they pretend to like my playing the piano at first but I guess this is a way to try and seduce me... Nowadays people tend to prefer noisy music, I don't. Did I mention how old-fashioned I am?
Then when I moved from my parents house I didn't have a piano to play anymore.
It's only been a little more than two years since I got again a piano (Clavinova CLP320- Yamaha). It was my Christmas present in 2009.
I know still play my "Classics" but also lots of film musics that usually are very easy and quick to learn (Titanic, Pearl Harbor, Gladiator, etc.). I love musics composed by Hans Zimmer.
But my favorite songs at the moment are those in Korean movies. I watched a couple of months ago a movie called Windstruck (just loved the movie - I also liked Infernal Affairs a lot and much for than the American version The Departed. I tend to prefer Korean movies - but not only of course - because I find them more authentic and realistic in my opinion... and they move me) and its soundtracks.
Why Korean movies? I usually like drama movies. And Korean people know how to make good movies. Btw I'm often told I look like a Korean girl (or a Japanese or a Chinese girl, quite rarely a Vietnamese, which I actually am... or am supposed to be...), maybe I was adopted I don't know I should ask my parents...
Here's "Reunion Theme" (Yiruma, a pianist & composer from South Korea). It's one of the music I play at the moment. It's very relaxing... for me and also the cats: I think they like it when I play as they usually come and sit next to me... (like on this picture >> click here) and Galak even sits on my lap :-)
I really like this melody. During week-end and in the evenings I can play for hours... and since I do insomnia I am also quite used to playing at night (of course I have got headphones since my piano is a digital one - N.B.: Clavinovas are pianos, they are NOT numeric keypads)
Another music that I play these days is called "River Flows in You" (still the same pianist & composer Yiruma).
Some told me it's in one of the Twilight movies - I can't tell I haven't watched the Twilight movies.
And back to the Romantic era with Chopin. Here's a vid of one of my favorite pianist at the moment (Russian pianist
Valentina Igoshina playing Fantaisie Impromptu in C Sharp Minor).
And this one was my favorite piece by Chopin when I was younger especially the part right after the introduction :-) (Polonaise in A Flat Major Op. 53)
Someone once said that learning to play music is like riding a bicycle: it's far more rewarding to have ridden yourself than simply to watch others. I do agree:-)
Of course I don't always listen to Classical or piano music, I love other sorts of songs.
But I first and foremost like the kind of songs with nice instrumental music.
One of my favorite artist is Jon Bon Jovi he rocked me during years.
And I like Jewel also, a guy who kinda liked me when I was at the university once came to my place with some music on his laptop to share with me because he knew I was fond on piano. He made me discovered her and I like her songs :-)
Here's Foolish Games, I only found the instrumental track here but you can look for the sung version on YouTube or