I’ve been absent for a few days, but that’s because I’ve been working on piano hymns for worship services this week. I usually write my blogs in the mornings, but the services are in the morning so it’s mixing my routine up a bit. Today there isn’t a service which is why I’m writing today.
I want to use this post to update myself and you while I can!
Yesterday I got a call while I was driving to SMU, and it was a job offer to be the pianist for a Methodist Church!! I accepted, of course. It’s a job where I play about 5 hymns per service. It’s an easy job for me, and it pays very well. I’m grateful to be making as much in a 1 hour service than I could make in a whole day of retail work. I’ll be playing at the church every Sunday morning so it’s a permanent position. I’m excited to get to know the congregation and also grow as a professional pianist. I guess I can call myself a pianist now! Yesterday I celebrated with bubble tea. 🙂
What else? Oh I’ll be playing for next week’s services as well for SMU’s Course of Study. My Mom let me have her week to play, because she also teaches in the afternoon so it’s a lot of travelling for her. That means one more week of learning hymns the day before I play them, and travelling to SMU every morning. I’m getting used to playing in front of an audience. I’m not as nervous, and the congregation is really nice and humble. I’ve gotten complements on my playing, and that’s reassuring!
Last night I was playing for fun, and it was reminding my of late nights in college when I sightread through my favorite songs. I was playing through Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore. I don’t know if they’re popular anymore, but Gilbert and Sullivan are one of my favorite 19th century composers/playwrights. I’ve read through their Mikado and Pirates of Penzance before. Their melodies are dramatic, fun, and quirky. Sightreading (or trying) my favorite songs was how I became good at reading music.
How I got good at sightreading: In college I googled a song I wanted to play, and added “sheet music” at the end, and I’d play the song. I played through disney songs, Beauty and the Beast, musicals, George Gershwin, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, my fave pop songs, and even tried out my favorite Piano Concertos. The more music I sightread, the better I got at it. It was frustrating in the beginning because I was slow, but then it gets more fun and you can play more pieces! When I was in the practice room I’d lose track of time, and before I knew it it was already 11:30 pm. It was just so fun to read through scores, and I am grateful that my non-productiveness in college served a purpose. Without goofing off sightreading I wouldn’t have gotten the pianist job.
All of my blogs end up being about piano… I’m sure there’s more to write about haha.
July was a fast month and it was so enjoyable. I went rock climbing, hiking in Arkansas, and will be going to Austin this weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was a good month. I think July deserves it’s own blog post!