Sound of Music

Archives: October 2011

Lynn Concert Competition 2011

by Misaki | October 25, 2011

Hello, everyone!
I had a hectic week this time, practicing and studying for the midterm…
Sorry to update so late and it’s going to be a short post!

There was an annual Lynn Concerto Competition last weekend.
The winners of this year are;

Cello: Doniyor Zuparov who performed Shostakovich Cello Concerto, Op. 107
Piano: Anastasiya Timofeeva who performedTschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1
Percussion: Chun-Yu Tsai who performed Sejourne Concerto for Marimba and Strings
Piano: Heqing Huang  who performed Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1

Alternate Winner;
Violin: Marina Lenau who performed Sibelius Violin Concerto

Congratulations to all the winners!

Looking forward to Lynn Philharmoa concerts on Dec.3rd (7:30PM) and Dec.4th (4:00PM)! The winners will perform with Lynn Philharmonia, and the guest conductor, Bruce Polay. Come to the Wold Performing Arts Center for the fabulous performances.

And also, congratulations to all of the students who took a part in the competition. After the competition, my piano professor, Dr. Rust sent me a quote from Gandhi which I really liked and made me feel much better!

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength.  When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender,  that’s strength.” -Mahatma Gandhi

So, the results is not the most important thing. All the process you had in order to achieve your goals, that’s the most important thing and that would always help us to improve for being a musician.

Happy reading!

What is the most important thing for a musician?

by Misaki | October 16, 2011

To be a professional musician, or an artist… what is the most important thing?

The answer is Practice, Practice, and Practice!

In order to give a performance, winning in a competition, being a musician, the most important thing you need to is simply practicing. You cannot be on a stage without practicing. It’s the most basic, and important thing to be prepared.

Well, personally when I was young, I was a bad kid and didn’t like to practice. Often my friends told me that when they were young, they practiced like more than 6~12 hours PER DAY. I started playing the piano at the age of 8, and that time I practiced only 1 hour PER WEEK the most. Sometimes I practiced only 10 minutes before my lesson every week. I was not born in a typical super strict Asian family, that’s why I could live in this way.

Especially, when I see tons of notes which they look like a group of tadpole always scares me. Thus, I often tend to stop or give up practicing when I see those difficult passages.

Well, that’s not a good thing at all. So what things can make me want to practice?

Then I invented an idea of… giving a reward for myself after achieving a goal.

For example, I decide that I will get to eat one chocolate stick after finish playing this hard passage, and put the sweet next to the piano.

This really kept me practicing and helped me to not giving up. I have a sugar tooth, if you are not a fan of sweets, it can be anything that you like. You just make a decision for yourself what you would do when you finish practicing.

Well, I don’t eat sweets these days because you shouldn’t bring food in a practice room at the school. So, what I do while I’m studying at Lynn is after finishing from practicing, I would go get my favorite drink from Knight’s Court where you can get fast food, drinks, and etc.. It opens until mid-night in our school, so this would keep me want to practice at night!

The second thing that makes me happy when I practice is this my favorite penguin metronome! Metronome is usually a simple-looking piece of equipment that makes a regular repeats sound like a clock, which helps keeping you in tempo. This penguin-shaped metronome is very unique and I found this in a random music store while I was in Chicago. The penguin’s smile, his pose, always make me happy whenever I feel tired from practicing. :)

And the last thing is to have your own goals when you practice. If you keep playing for many hours without even thinking what you are looking for, it doesn’t mean anything. The length of practice time is not equal to how much you progress.

Well, we have an annual Lynn Concerto Competition coming up next week. And I’m sure every one is getting crazy practicing in order to be prepared for the competition at this moment. And me too! :)



Sometimes, practicing can be exhausting and you don’t want to play the piano anymore…






Sometimes, practicing can be fun when your friend comes in to the practice room and having fun with the strings of the piano.





At the end of your practice session, you break a string…? Wait, did I just torture the piano..?



Happy Practicing!

Thank you so much for reading. :)


Halloween Night @ Universal Studio

by Misaki | October 11, 2011

Hello, every one!
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
I’m sorry that I haven’t updated this blog so long.

I’m being extremely busy with practicing (well, as it always should be) because of our Lynn Concerto Competition is coming up. All the musicians who are participating in this competition get very busy and nervous at this time. I’m trying it too, so I’ll see how it goes…:)

This weekend, I went to the Universal Studio in Orlando, Florida with my boyfriend. It takes about 3 hours to get there from our school, and around 50 students were on the trip. It’s great that our school is located in such a great place, there are lots of entertainments around you if you come here!

Since the Universal Studio had special event called, “Halloween Horror Nights 21″, most of the attractions were closed. I have been to the Universal Studio of Japan when I was young, but due to the event they had , it was a lot different as I was expected.

Instead of major attractions, there were 8 haunted houses in the park. I went to 6 of them. At the end, I got too tired of feeling scared, so even though my boyfriend wanted to complete all the haunted houses, I really couldn’t.:(

Also there were scare zones in the park, like shown in the picture, very foggy street. Supposed to be zombies appear and scare you, but unfortunately it was raining heavily thus I didn’t have to see any zombies at all! Phew, I was actually feeling very happy about the weather, otherwise I would faint by zombies.

It was a fantastic night, and I had so much fun! We were there from 6PM and stayed there until the park closed (2AM!).

Lynn University’s Office of Student Involvement provides those fun opportunities to the students.  The school gives as discount too, so it costed only $50 including ticket and transportation.

Thank you, Lynn! Thank you for reading this post, I enjoy very much reading all of your comments. Thank you all, and see you later!

Time to think…

by Misaki | October 1, 2011

Hello, everyone!

It’s already October…    

Time to think…

For me, when I think of October… it is a month of eating good food, taking a nap under the tree in the afternoon, reading lots of books, going to classical music concerts, and eating sweets… actually I’m eating Pocky chocolate sticks as of writing this. :D

Well, I’m trying to remember what I was thinking and doing when I was a senior in my high school. At that time, I still didn’t know which college I would go to. I had lots of meetings with my academic counselor to get advice, and taking SAT and TOEFL. SAT was tough for me, since English is my second language. However, since I have lived in the United States more than 2 years at that time, I had to take SAT and would be treated as same as the other American students.

And, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) was always…always the toughest thing for me! It is a required test for international students when you go to college. It takes 4~5 hours to take the test, reading, listening, speaking and writing. But the good thing is you can take it as many times as you wish, and you can send the best score to your schools.

So! If you are a prospective student (which I hope.) October is probably the time to think about college you are going to. Of course, you still have plenty of time until deadline for applications… but you might want to start earlier! I was a student who started to fill out applications, writing essays few nights before the deadline.. it wasn’t that a good memory, just letting you know. :P And I will suggest you to apply to Lynn if you are ever interested!

As a conservatory student, it is a great place to study music here.

One reason is that the school is small compare to other schools, and around 100 students are studying in the Conservatory.

Since the school is small, you can easily talk to your teachers and get help. Everyone is friendly and we have a nice community here. :)

Plus, the faculty at the conservatory is all amazing. Students have lots of opportunities to perform during the year.Every Wednesday,  we have “Performance Forum” which is a small concert by students. Every one of us get private lessons once a week.

And every one of the students get huge, huge financial help for your tuition and plus dorm! This helps me a lot since I have a big family, it costs so much for us to just live, eat food and sleep.

Yes… so think about your dream college. Where there is a will, there is a way!

By the way, there is a Lynn Philharmonia Concert this weekend @ Wold Performing Arts Center. Saturday from 7:30PM, Sunday from 4:00PM. They are playing Mahler 1st Symphony, and Mozart No.41. I’m sure it will be a fantastic concert. Get your student I.D. and go to the Ticket Office @ Wold if you are interested.

Thank you for reading again. I really appreciate all your comments. :)