Nanoblock Grand Piano


The latest in my Nanoblock collection is this adorable grand piano. I was able to find it at my local Toys R Us.


This one had more pieces than the Eevee I built earlier.


However, I found the instructions more straightforward and easier to build.


Look how tiny it is!

Being An Imperfect Musician

I played piano today, and I enjoyed it. This was a statement I had not been able to say for a long time.

Over a year ago I had posted about rekindling my love for the instrument, but it never really happened. Life got in the way- or so I thought.

I blamed a lot of not playing on being busy, which I was with various internships. I also pushed the piano aside because Teddy (my precious little puppy) hated the sound and would howl whenever any instrument was played.

Though the above were contributing factors, none of them really explained why I was avoiding the piano. The truth was that in fourth year after a rather disastrous jury, I was tired and frustrated at the piano.

I am a big cognitive science junkie. In Levtin’s book This is Your Brain On Music he talks about how 10,000 hours of practice makes a great musician. I calculated that if I started piano when I was five and averaged about 2 hours a day since then (with the long hours in my advanced years evening out the early years and holidays) that it amounted to something like 12,410 hours. This was approximate number of hours I had spent at a piano from when I was 5 up to the day of my piano jury when I was 22 (I am currently 24).

It was disheartening having put in more than the required 10,000 hours and be far from “perfect”. This anxiety had caused me to be afraid of performing in front of other people. “What if I mess up?” was a constant worry during the hours spent in university practice rooms. The consequence of this unease was more intense practicing and the development of carpel tunnel (which I am happy to say I don’t have any more).

Today I sat at the piano without too much thought about it. I picked up a book of Chopin waltzes and simply started playing. I realized some of my strengths:
1. I am a great sight reader.
2. If I played a song once, my fingers will remember it forever no matter how long it’s been since I last played it.

Though imperfectly, it was nice to be playing again, especially the music of my favourite composer. Now that I am out of school (and finished RCM exams), I don’t have to be playing under the pretense of needing to be perfect or performing for somebody else. I can also explore pieces that excite me and not have to drill them to perfection. I want to continuously enjoy performing for myself. And for me, imperfect is okay.

30 Day Practise Challenge: Half-Way Point

Only half the month has passed and I have already failed. My excuse, I didn’t feel very well. Whether that is true or not I used to be able to go to class with a fever, so not practicing because of a stomach cramp seemed so trivial. There has also been days where I did in fact challenge, but they didn’t last my original guidelines of an hour. The puppy would be too distracting, my iPad ran out of battery etc.

I should have some sort of failing the challenge, but having to blog about it is punishment itself. I failed.

However, I will keep going at it. I was not neccessarily out to just do this for 30 days, but to hopefully build better lifetime habits. I don’t want to forget how to play piano. As I get older and busier, I want to know how to be able to schedule time for the keys. I’ve decided in my lifetime I’m going to learn Chopin’s entire repertoire and Bach’s WTC amongst other pieces.

This has not only been a return to a skill but a return to having an outlet to relax and speak some emotion non-verbally. Not only will this happen this month, but it will be a part of future months to come.

Sometimes You Need Time Apart From Something to Miss It

If you were some how misled here and think this is some relationship article look away now. I’m far over my breakup that happened 3 months ago.

Since I was around 5 or 6, I played the piano. I know I’m Asian but it was never something I felt like I was forced to do. I had thoroughly enjoyed it from the beginning. Me and my sister both played but she wasn’t nearly as patient enough to continue and after grade 8 we were allowed to quit if we felt like it. I continued. Hell, I had to fight my parents to let me pursue it as a degree in grade 12 when everyone else was applying to be on their way to be a businessman, doctor or scientist. I just wanted to make music. I practiced 3-4 hours a day to make the auditions. I got into Laurier and skipped my Western audition when I was accepted into my first first pick of schools, University of Toronto.