Sunday, April 6, 2014

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

So the song I did this week is Oceans (Where Feet May Fily) By Hillsong UNITED. It is religious but I just really liked the song, and this project is about doing something you love right? I also sang in this video because it didn't sound right without the vocals with it so that's a new aspect to my recordings.

This week was the deadline to know what my TED talk is going to be about and I have officially decided on relaxation through music. The main reason I chose to speak about it is because I don't think anyone on a previous TED talk has talked about relaxing and music together so I'm at least original in my idea, but I also couldn't think of anything else to talk about so there's that. If all goes well I'm hoping to speak without slides or with only a few. My talk doesn't need visual aids because music is about listening so I don't want to bombard people with visuals and sounds and other distractions. I want my talk to be about me, but also be interesting, and somewhat educational. Hopefully people will walk away from my talk relaxed, and maybe even enlightened on a good way to unwind after a long day.

Last weekend I gave a speech in front of my church that was five minutes long, and about church related things. It wasn't memorized but it was just me in front of my entire church giving my thoughts, which was pretty scary. Although I didn't win the speech competition it was my fourth year doing it and I have won twice in previous years. I think that definitely will help with giving my TED talk at least in front of the class, and hopefully in front of the large crowd when we have TEDx Grosse Pointe South. I at least know how to deliver something and write out a script so I know everything I want to say and the message I want to convey which is half the battle of giving a speech.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

When You Wish Upon a Star

So over the past 2 weeks I have been practicing how to play "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Disney's Pinocchio and it was not easy...There are so many sharps and flats and chords that were not easy to play, that even with two weeks it still sounds rough. I may replay that one in a few weeks when I practice it more.

I decided the next piece I'm going to play is Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong UNITED, because I really like the song, but instead of buying the sheet music for the song (keep in mind it's about 9 minutes long) I'm just going to learn the chords for it and use my Evernote notebook to write down the order the chords go with the lyrics. I'm also considering singing too but I haven't decided on that or not. It's really difficult to play and sing at the same time as I have discovered from just humming along while practicing. So I have to learn to play a B minor, C with A sharp, D major, G major, and E minor chords, and then figure out the order so I can play the song. Luckily it's slow so it hopefully won't be that hard but I'm still nervous. I'm hoping if I can figure out how to turn chords into the actual song, I'll be able to do it for other pop songs so I won't be restricted to my limited resources with sheet music.

B minor: E, D, F#
C/A#: C, E, A#
D: D, F#, A
A: A, C#, E
G: G, B, D
E minor: E, G, B

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Feed the Birds

This week I played Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins. I've never really liked the movie very much but I love Julie Andrews so I would always watch it with my older sister Sophia (it's one of her favorites). Its a pretty easy song but I will admit I didn't practice it that much because I was super busy...My time management skills are really lacking and I know that I should put this project before going on my phone, but sometimes it's hard to treat this like it actually is worth a grade. It doesn't seem like school in the traditional sense to me.

I'm thinking about playing Someone's Waiting For You in my presentation. I really like playing it and also I feel like its right at the level of difficulty I want to be at. It isn't final but it definitely is one of my front runners to play. I am kind of hoping to dedicate more time to my project now that we don't have to blog every week, but at the same time, soccer is starting. I know I can come up with all the excuses in the world to put this off, but one of the things I am learning from this project is relaxing and easing up on the stress about school because it seriously isn't worth it 99% of the time.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Someone's Waiting for You

Here is the video as promised even though it is a little late! This week I chose "Someone's Waiting for You" from Disney's "The Rescuers". This is my absolute favorite childhood movie and I used to watch it every day after preschool with my mom. This song embodies hope for the future, and to never give up because there is always someone who loves you whether you know it or not.

This week we were asked to review the overall 20 time project and what we liked and disliked. I like the idea of the project. But on the other hand I hate the need to succeed, I know failure is an option but seriously, who likes failing? I think this project could be a vehicle for great things but this whole format doesn't really work that well for me. Each week I have to do something in order to be able to blog about something interesting,and I know the blogs are the English aspect of the project, but sometimes it is stressful to have to learn a new song every week that is ready to be heard on the internet. I do enjoy watching the Ted Talks and learning what other people are doing but I feel like my project isn't really up to snuff with these other people Ted has featured, and I wish there was some way to fix that. The solution would be to devote more time to it, but with all the school activities and homework and everything it's hard for students to devote the full amount of time necessary to accomplish something truly great. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014


This week I chose to play Hello by Lionel Richie. I didn't really know this song before I played it but I actually really like it now! It wasn't the hardest song I've played so far, but I'm still working up to a higher level of playing slowly. The song I'm playing next week is more challenging so the upcoming week will require lots of practice time!

I spent the entire week from last Friday to last night in London and Paris, and I think I'm in love with those cities and just Europe in general. I honestly have never experienced anything like Europe in my life. The landscape went from brand new sparkling skyscrapers to buildings that were centuries old and rich with history. We sang in two churches and two theaters, and the experience was surreal. We even saw "Book of Mormon" which is easily the funniest musical I have ever seen. We got the chance to have a talk back with Gavin Creel, who plays Elder Price in the musical, and he was one of the nicest most down to earth famous people I have ever met. He told us about how he got into musical theater and it was extremely inspirational, because even though I won't be pursuing music as a career, I still was able to learn hard work can get you far in life. Throughout the whole trip we were surrounded by music and exposed to the culture of Great Britain and France. Unfortunately since I was in Europe the whole week, I was unable to practice my piece as much and I wasn't able to work on my presentation at all, but in the coming week I am hoping to progress more in that area and maybe in the next month or so, be able to choose which song will be featured in my presentation.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Baby of Mine

This week I chose Baby of Mine from Dumbo. My mom and I used to watch this movie together practically every day after I would come home from Preschool. It brings back a lot of child hood memories, and playing it wasn't too difficult. There are quite a few sharps and flats, but that's just how music is, and I have discovered that through the songs I've been playing so far. All of them seem to be in different keys, and I'm learning how to learn and stretch my hands far enough to reach all the keys. I actually switched songs midway through the week because the other song I was planning on playing was not even close to being ready. I figured that I could crank this one out and continue to practice the other one and save it for another week so that it would sound good.

So for my presentation, I've been brainstorming a bit. I know for sure as I've said my topic is "Relaxation Through Music". I have a rough idea for the overall format of my presentation. It will be similar to this order...
-Open with talking about my first project and how stressed I was about it
-talk about my new project
-play something on the piano (song to be determined and I would have to figure out where to put the piano and how to transition smoothly)
-talk about the different things that are stressful in my life and the average teen's life
-demonstrate how I've been using piano as a way to relax
-wrap it up somehow (I haven't quite gotten that far yet)
Maybe this makes absolutely no sense, but it doesn't have to be perfect. My main concern with this presentation is to really just getting my point across, and of course relax. Grades are important too, but those are my main priorities. It is nerve wracking to speak in front of people, but being a choir kid I know I can overcome that, and I know the acting class I'm taking will also help with my stage presence. Even if I don't qualify to speak at the Tedx event I can still possibly play piano during the transitions and even that would be a great experience.

Next week over break I will be in London and Paris with the choir, and while I know this has absolutely nothing to do with my project, I am going to try and find piano playing somewhere, or maybe even a piano I can play. I plan to take pictures of all the things I see relating to music and maybe they can be included in my presentation. Who knows! A bientôt! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014


This week the song I chose is Beautiful by Christina Aguilera. This is a great song, but my playing could have been a little better. I am still working on finding the right amount of time for me to practice each day and figure out what the level of difficulty I am able to do well with. The song I want to play next week is a little more challenging because it has lots of flats and sharps but I'm hoping it'll sound better.

So over the weekend I was in Findlay, Ohio at the Findlay Fest show choir competition, and was unable to progress as far as getting my presentation idea more concrete, however when I was looking through the sheet music we have at my house I did find a book full of Disney music that I used to play out of sometimes
when I took piano lessons. It is an easy piano book, filled with many songs from Disney movies, TV shows, and theme parks. My plan is to try to play some of these before moving to pop songs because this is a lot easier than all the chords in regular sheet music, I haven't gotten to that point in my playing just yet. Songs in this book include...
1) Baby Mine from Dumbo
2) The Ballad of Davy Crockett from Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier
3)The Bare Necessities from Jungle Book
4) Bella Notte from Lady and the Tramp
5) Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo from Cinderella
6)Best of Friends from The Fox and Hound
7) Candle on the Water from Pete's Dragon
8) Casey Junior from Dumbo
9) Cruella De Vil from One Hundred and One Dalmatians
10) Chim Chim Cher-ee from Mary Poppins
11)Ev'rybody Wants to be a Cat from The Aristocats
12) A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes from Cinderella
13) Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins
14) Following the Leader from Peter Pan
15) Give a Little Whistle from Pinocchio
16) He's a Tramp from Lady and the Tramp
17) Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor's Life for Me) from Pinocchio
18) I Wan'na Be Like You From Jungle Book
19) I Wonder from Sleeping Beauty
20) I've Got No Strings from Pinocchio
21) It's A Small World from the Disneyland World Attraction "Its A Small World"
22) Jolly Holiday from Mary Poppins
23) Kiss the Girl from The Little Mermaid
24) Lavender Blue (Dilly, Dilly) from So Dear to My Heart
25) Little April Shower from Bambi
26) Let's Go Fly a Kite from Mary Poppins
27) Love Is A Song from Bambi
28) Mickey Mouse Alma Mater from The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Show
29) Mickey Mouse March from The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Show
30) Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty
31) One Song from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
32) Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid
33) Saludos Amigos from The Three Caballeros
34) The Second Star to the Right from Peter Pan
35) The Siamese Cat Song from Lady and the Tramp
36) So This is Love from Cinderella
37) Some Day My Prince Will Come from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
38) A Spoonful of Sugar from Mary Poppins
39) Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins
40) Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid
41) When I See and Elephant Fly from Dumbo
42) When You Wish Upon A Star from Pinocchio
43) Wistle While You Work from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
44) Winnie the Pooh from Winnie the Pooh