Sound of Music

Thank You & Good Bye

by Misaki | February 27, 2013

To my dearest readers:

Good morning, Good afternoon, or Good evening.

It’s been almost 2 years since I started writing this blog.
I have enjoyed sharing my stories, conservatory events, and many fun things around me.
I’m thankful for all the visitors who came to my blog and giving me some nice comments!

This is time for me now to stop writing this blog for good.
The website still remains for a while, but I wouldn’t be able to update this anymore starting from the March 1st. But it doesn’t mean that I will stay away from this internet world, I will always be around! And also it doesn’t mean that I will stop making music, I’m still growing as a musician…!

So since I cannot write in here anymore, please come check my about.me page.
You can click the link about.me and there you can find all my other social platforms in there. I’m active on twitter,facebook, tumblr, pinterest, Blogger, deviant art, and many others! Feel free to contact me anytime. I’ll be appreciated if you could still follow me in somewhere…  Or come to my concert someday? :)

Thank you for everything, and I hope to see you again! :)
Love you all.

Warmest wishes,
Misaki Saito

 

 

Junior Recital

by Misaki | February 6, 2013

Hello, everyone!
I hope you all had a wonderful January! For me, I had my Junior Recital during the J-term. For undergrads(Junior & Senior) , the conservatory students have to have one recital once per year. So this was actually the first time for me to give a solo recital since I got here at Lynn.

I’m really happy that it’s over, and I’m getting all new pieces for grad auditions coming next year!

The program was…

Black Earth by Fazil Say
Bach English Suite No.3 in G minor
Bachianas Brasireilas No.4 by Villa-lobos
Paganini Jazz by Fazil Say

I wanted to make an interesting program, putting contemporary pieces at the beginning and end, between them I put the traditional Bach music, and Bach-Inspired Brazilian style Bach! Overall, I think it was a successful recital, it was better than I expected. :)


Thank you so much for those of you who came to the recital to support me!
It meant a lot to me… and also special thanks to my boyfriend.

From the beginning of the Winter Break, my boyfriend was trying to help me to progress. So everyday, he came to listen to me at the end of my practice session. And he gave me tons of advice to improve my playing. Especially the Bach English Suite No.3 was my biggest concern, which I used to have very little confidence with this piece. And when it comes to the stage, usually I would mess up if I’m not prepared well enough.

But after playing for him under the nervous feeling everyday, I could tell that I’ve improved over the past few weeks. In the recital, the Bach piece was the most successful one besides others. I didn’t expect this to happen, and I was amazed how audiences told me that they were very pleased with my Bach…

“Sing, Sing! Music is all about telling a story!”

He reminded of me this every time I played for him.

Performer is not the one who plays every single notes correctly written on the music score, performer is the one piece of art work in front of the audience and tells interesting stories to people. Without emotions, feelings, the music cannot be moving. So, for the Bach English Suite, in my mind, I was imagining a cute bear going to another planet and having a crazy adventure. I know it sounds silly, but actually it really helped!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope everyone had a good start of February. :)
Stay warm and happy!

J-term started!

by Misaki | January 8, 2013

Hello, every one!
Happy New Year 2013!
I hope you all had a wonderful winter break and now ready to back to the school…

I had a great winter break, spending whole time in the Lynn campus.
Most of the time I was practicing, and also recording… the highlight of the break was the West Palm Beach Zoo! I will blog about this trip later… :)

So for the J-term, all the conservatory students are required to come back on the campus and take special courses for 3 weeks.

For the pianists, this year we have a class called “Bach Chorales”.
Everyone of us has assigned Bach chorale, and have to translate German words, analyzing the piece, singing it, and conducting it. I have had a lot of choir experiences, but this is my first time for me to conduct! Excited!

Also, we have a lot of Alexander Technique classes, the professional instructors come from outside of the campus.
Alexander technique is very popular method for musicians, actors, and dancers. This help you to understand how to control your bodies, prevent getting pains and injuries from playing instruments, get a better projection in the stage, over all it will help you to become a better musician.

I had the first class today, it was about finding the right position of yourself when you stand up. Everyone has different habit, different way to stand up. But the important thing is you need to find the centered balance, strongly on your feet. This will eventually help calming your body in the performance. Interesting. I will definitely blog about this more and see what kind of things have changed in my body at the end of the J-term session!

Also all the undergrads have a course called, Music Entrepreneurship. This course will discuss about how to decide your career goals, how you can approach the dream, how to live as a freelance musician and etc. Having a career as a classical musician is actually very tough in this world, and hopefully the teacher will give me some different ideas what I can do for the future…

So those are the courses that I’m taking during the J-term. Besides this, there are extra masterclasses, and piano lecture by Professor Yang Shen as well.

And tomorrow…. is my Junior Recital!!!!!
It starts from 7:30 PM at AG hall, the admission is free.
I would appreciate it very much if you could come and listen to me for even a little bit!

Thank you so much!
Happy J-term!

Trip to Gumbo Limbo

by Misaki | December 22, 2012

Hello!
I hope everyone is having a great winter break where ever they are.

For me, I’m staying on the campus during the whole winter break. Because the airplane ticket to Japan is too expensive especially during the holiday season, so I stayed on the campus last winter as well. It is very nice of them to let us stay on the campus and providing food at the cafeteria… I remember back in high school, every students had to leave during the holiday and I was struggling with finding a host family.

I want to be completely lazy during the break, but I still have some things to do including recording for a coming competition, practicing for my solo recital in J-term, writing Christmas and New Year cards to my friends and families in Japan, and etc… But of course, I still have some free time and I’ve been enjoying the break very much.

So, few days ago, I took a bike from the school and went on an adventure around Boca Raton!
We went to the place called, “Gumbo Limbo Nature Center”.

It is located on the same street of the Spanish River.
It took as around 1 hour to get there by bike, Not bad at all.

The place has little museum of Animals, turtle rehabilitation center, butterfly garden, and big nature trail.
Also the FAU science laboratory was in there.

This turtle was in the rehabilitation center.
As you can see in the picture, the turtle doesn’t have the right arm because of the pollution and got some disease… :(


 Baby Turtles feeding place…

Cute fish marks on the ground..!

Long nature trail…
It was very pretty and relaxing to walk there. Also there were tons of mangroves tree on the water. Interesting.

 

Cool house… ? :D


Gumbo Limbo was a fun place to go, and also a very educational place to learn about protecting turtles, animals and etc…
Also the admission fee was free! Nice. :)

Although it was little far, it was a great exercise for me.
I hope to have an another adventure later during the break!

Happy Holidays!

The Competition Winners Concert

by Misaki | December 3, 2012

 
Hello, everyone!
It is already Finals week for students, I’m sure every one is getting busy for preparing for the exams…

Last weekend, we had an exciting orchestra concert in the Wold Performing Arts Center.
Due to the Presidential Debate took part in this concert hall, the Wold was completely shut down and the Lynn Philharmonia couldn’t have performed in here until now…!  Usually by this time, we have already 2 or 3 orchestra concerts.

This time was the Concerto Competition Winners Concert.
I went to both of the concerts on Sat. and Sun., and everyone played really well!! Congratulations to all the soloist and also to the Lynn Philharmonia!!

Also, I loved the Ravel’s Bolero! Every time I hear ballet music, it makes be feel that I want to dance again…even though my major is piano now, before coming to the U.S., I danced ballet for almost 10 years and wanted to be a ballet dancer. :D


The lobby in the Wold is all decorated, Christmas-version. :)
Very pretty Swarovski crystal too.


After this final week is done, we will have winter break!
This winter break, again, I’ll be staying on campus for whole time.
I hope to go to Disney world, but not sure yet… :)

Wish everyone a luck for the exams!!
Thank you for reading.

 

Thanksgiving Dinner @ Lynn

by Misaki | November 25, 2012

Hello, all!

From today, I started to hear lots of people talking in the outside of my dorm room. Lots of students are coming back to be ready for the Monday classes…  I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving break wherever they were! Did anyone try to shop on the Black Friday?

I was staying at the school the whole time, nothing special. I did not try to go to shopping on Black Friday either, I really would like to experience that someday though…!

Right now, I’m busy doing my homework for the coming week…It’s going to be a very busy week for sure. Ah, it’s not a good idea to finish the homework in the last minutes…! :/

So, I just wanted to show some pictures from the Thanksgiving Dinner we had at the Cafeteria.

It’s so nice of them to have a dinner like this for the students, thanks to the Cafeteria people! All the workers were dressed nicely, and looking handsome. The table was very clean and pretty, feeling like I’m not in the cafeteria. Are we eating in a nice restaurant? :D

 


Fresh salad, and also a bread with honey butter.
I really loved the honey butter, I didn’t know such thing exists until now!  Maybe honey butter is an American thing? I love it..!


Turkey and ham…. yummy. :)


My favorite part of the dinner was desert.
Pumpkin pies, blueberry pies, apple pies… yumyum. :)


Thanks to all the treats….!


Thank you so much for reading! Every time when I receive comments on this blog, it means a lot to me!!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Japanese food and Japanese Garden

by Misaki | November 23, 2012

Hello, all!
I had another great day with my friends!

My friends and I went to a Japanese, Thai food restaurant called “Sushimasa”.
This is my favorite favorite place to eat, which is very close from Lynn University and the food is soooo delicious! It’s not that expensive either. As you can see in the picture above, I got my favorite Chicken Pad Thai and three sushi. Yum!

After the lunch, we wanted to be spontaneous and suddenly decided to go to the Japanese garden, “Morikami Museum” to have a desert and go for a little walk after eating. :D

There is one small cafe inside of the garden, and I had my favorite green tea Mochi! (rice cake) Ah so happy.
Anything with green tea taste makes me the happiest.

This is the view that first you see when you enter the garden.
Very pretty, isn’t it? The weather was not perfect this day, but I’m glad it didn’t rain!

Unfortunately, the beautiful bridge was under the construction! :(


Beautiful entrance. This reminds me of my grandparents’ house gate.

A small pond with koi fish and some turtles also.

Tatami Room.
I felt like we came back home!!!  It’s a great feeling that I’m able to sit on the floor and smelling the odor of bamboo.


And also time slip to elementary school time…


Are we still in Souther Florida? Totally feeling like in Japan!


Also some beautiful flowers on the ground..


Here are the all Japanese girls from Lynn! Only three of us. SO happy! :D
It was my favorite favorite day ever!
I definitely recommend anyone to go to this beautiful place, Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, Florida.
If you come here by car from the school, it’s going to take only 10~15 minutes. Not bad at all.
Thank you for reading!
Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Concerts in Miami

by Misaki | November 20, 2012

Hello, everyone!
Thanksgiving break has started, and the school is very very quiet now!!
Well, still a lot of International students are here especially from the Conservatory. :)
I wish I could go home~!

So… I’ve been doing great recently, and yesterday I had a fun day in Miami!


Well, this picture is from few weeks ago in Miami, when I saw the performance of Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir.
They were Amazing!!

And yesterday, I saw an another concert, different choir group’s concert in a church (Unfortunately I didn’t get any picture of it! ) There were only 13 singers, but each singer has own unique character and it was absolutely inspiring.


And the place where the concert was held was located in the Lincoln Street in the Miami Beach area.
It was actually the first time for me to be here, I didn’t know about this Lincoln mall even though I’ve been here for 3 years…
There were so many clothing shops, fancy restaurants, and bars… I wish I could come here again soon, hopefully during the winter break.

I really don’t know much about Florida yet, and every time when I find something new around my school, it’s very exciting to me! Can anyone recommend me some places around here, good for sight-seeing, shopping, any kind of fun places…? :)



This picture was taken few weeks ago at my school.
When I was practicing around 7PM, through the window,  I found this huge, beautiful rainbow over the sky!
It definitely made my practice session happier and motivated me to practice more!! :D

 

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving break wherever they are!

I’m having relaxing, and great time here in the school. I’m looking forward to having the Thanksgiving dinner at the Cafeteria on Wednesday  night. I will keep updated!

 

Have a wonderful day!
Thank you for reading!

Lynn Concerto Competition 2012

by Misaki | October 29, 2012

This weekend was very busy for the Conservatory students here at Lynn!

On Friday, due to the hurricane ‘Sandy’, the classes were canceled, and the competition’s preliminary was moved to the next day. On Sunday, we had the final.

Every year, the school invites prestigious judges to our school. This year, we had Cynthia Phelps who is a Viola principle in New York Philharmonic, Leonard Hindell, Basoon, former member of Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & New York Philharmonic, and Robert Ward, Piano, Director, ConcertoFest” in Austria.

32 students participated, and this year’s winners are…

Photo Cred: Darren Matias

From the Left,

Jesse Yukimura          Martinu Rhapsody-Concerto, H.337 (Viola)
John Hong                      Mozart Concerto in A major (Clarinet)
Yaroslava Poletaeva  Saint-Saens Havanaise (Violin)
Hsin-Hui Liu                Ravel Concerto in G major (Piano)
Aneliya Novikova        Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3 (piano) *Alternate

 

Congratulations to everyone!!!!!!!!!

 

Those talented winners are going to play with the Lynn Philharmonia on Dec.1 at 7:30PM, and Dec.2 at 4PM in the WOLD Performing Arts Center, conducting by Jon Robertson. Come listen to those beautiful performances!

I was one of the participants this year and I had to wake up around 7am on Sat. to be ready and warm-up my fingers, because my time was from 9am. It was definitely Not a typical weekend’s morning for me. I played Mendelsshon Piano Concerto No.2 in D minor this year. Although I could not pass the preliminary round, I’m happy that I learned this piece for this competition. When I decide to participate in competitions, it motivates me to practice more! :) I’m glad this is over, and it’s time for me to practice other pieces now!

And also I’d like to mention that I truly appreciated the support I got from my boyfriend for this competition. On Saturday, even though it was very early morning, he woke up with me and made hot water to keep my fingers warm until I go up to the stage. He was always there for me to support mentally and musically. So, thank you, Zhen-Yang! :)

 

**Announcements**

One of the judges from the Competition, Mr.Leonard Hindell’s Masterclass is going to be held at the AG tomorrow on Monday, Oct. 29 at 7PM. Sadly, I will be working in the music library that time, but I’m sure the master class is going to be great. So, those of you who will be able to come, take advantages! :)

 

Thanks for reading!
Great job to every one who took part in the competition, and congratulations to the winners!

Lynn is having a big time.

by Misaki | October 21, 2012

Presidential debate is happening tomorrow here in Boca, at Lynn University!

The school has completely different look, and tomorrow there will be tons of people (3,000? More than our students!). From few days ago, I have seen a lot of media station’s cars, public bathrooms, even an ATM car around the campus. Also whenever I check on my twitter account. I see a lot of #Lynn… tweets.

Somehow it reminds me of making a TV commercial or filming, because of those cameras, people, and the atmosphere. Last summer in Japan, I was in a TV commercial, even it takes only 30 seconds to show it up on TV, it took 24 hours to film it. Even the debate takes only for few hours, the school needs to put so much effort for the preparation!

In the last couple of days, I’m very surprised that most of the students here are very involved in politics. This Tue., there was a 2nd Presidential Debate showing on TV at the Knights Court, and it was filled with a lot of students and seemed like each of the students has strong beliefs who they want to vote for. Some people were even holding the flag of the United States. This would never happen in Japan, so I’m very amazed by those passionate young students here at Lynn.

Oh! I know the University side is extremely busy days due to the Presidential Debate, but the Lynn Conservatory is having a big time as well. Next week, there will be an annual Concerto Competition. The winners will get to play with the Lynn Philharmonia at the end of the semester. So these days, whenever I pass by practice rooms over 10 or 11pm, I still hear lots of people practicing. Best wishes to everyone!

Today, at noon we will know the lucky winners who gets to see the Debate in the Wold! I have entered my lottery as well, so I’m excited what will happen!

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Categories: Conservatory, Lynn