Treblesteph's Blog

{January 31, 2011}   Expressivo Piano is ONLINE!

Expressivo Piano, my series of piano lesson videos, is now up and running on my new YouTube channel. I would like some comments, feedback, and criticism so I can help you all make this a great experience.

YouTube Channel: MezzoForteProduction

Expressivo Piano Lesson # 1:

{January 30, 2011}   Web Piano Lessons

I was on YouTube a couple of weeks ago and I was uploading a video of my sisters playing Just Dance 2 on the Wii. The first time I tried to upload it, the video processing had stopped. So I canceled the video and tried again. At the very top of the page I see it say “Congratulations, you are now able to upload videos that are 15 minutes long.”

At first I was really excited and then I questioned what type of video can I put up that’s about 15 minutes long? I don’t even have a video that’s ten minutes long. For a couple of days after this event I made a joke with my friends saying that I should have a web show just like the other million users of YouTube have. That idea went down the drain because I didn’t know what would be a good topic for the show and I would have school work on top of it.

I was browsing through videos on YouTube yesterday in the evening when I spotted a couple of videos for web piano lessons/instructional videos. The topics ranged from learning about the piano as a whole to learning how to play a certain song and have them broken down by part for each hand. I would like to become a piano teacher later and when I have told people this they would ask for piano lessons from me. To become a piano teacher I have certain requirements to fulfill before I graduate and one of them is to teach a kid for a semester. I figured if I can get used to teaching a friend I can teach a kid. But of course, I was also thinking of all the people who can’t get lessons for a plethora of reasons so they would most likely end up teaching themselves or look towards something as a guide.

So, I came up with the idea of starting a series of videos for piano lessons and all things about the piano. I didn’t fully get the idea until after I saw one of my friends, Jess Hoover, make a YouTube video of them singing a capella of Viva La Vida by Coldplay. I thought this “web series” would be great to practice my own playing, learn how to teach others, and get my own music out there.

So far I’m working on a guideline for the first few videos on what I’d like to touch on. But the one thing I’m working on is a title for the ‘web series’ in general. I’d like for it to be catchy and unique. The first video will be up soon. If any of you all have content suggestions, or even an idea for the title let me know.

Here’s a link to Jess Hoover’s a capella version of Viva la Vida by Coldplay:

{January 27, 2011}   Volunteering Part Deux

Today, I traveled back to the Roanoke Rescue Mission one last time to sing for the people staying there at dinner. Overall I think we did very well. As for me, I’ve been sick since Sunday so I didn’t sound as good as I normally do. Regardless, we performed twice. One time for the families, and the other for the single men. Their reactions were vastly different.

For the families after we performed the songs only about one person would clap and that person was someone who was sitting near us to begin with. I think this was because the family group was busy eating; well trying to eat as they made sure their children sat still and ate as well. I noticed thought, as we were performing one of the songs, a little girl got up from her seat and walked closer to see Dr. Wahl playing the piano and to hear us sing.

The second group was single men. And we got the best reaction from them. I’m assuming it’s because we’re girls but I’m not complaining. 🙂 They would clap after every song and two of the men stood up and walked closer so they could hear. When we performed the Jewish chant Haida, a few started to dance. At the end one of the men came up to us and said “I love you, if no one else here has said it before then I will. I love you.”  Tonight was a great night. I’m so glad I could entertain all of the people there but I’m really grateful that I could make them enjoy our music.

{January 22, 2011}   Volunteering

On Wednesday I traveled to the Roanoke Rescue Mission to perform at the Volunteer Luncheon with my J-Term class. I was honestly surprised when I saw all of the elderly people there. I thought there would be more teenagers in attendance. Later, I remember that we went in the middle of the day so they were probably in school. All of the volunteers were talking about the different churches they were representing. I was initially confused but during the tour I realized that the Roanoke Rescue Mission is a Christian based Mission.

The Roanoke Rescue Mission is a place where people can stay if they are having financial problems, they lost their house, they need rehab, or even if they need a place to sleep because their car broke down in the city. It is a Christian based mission but anyone of any faith can attend. The children must go to school and the adults must go out and find jobs. Everyone must attend a service. It’s perfectly acceptable if they aren’t Christian, they are just asked to sit during the service respectably. There are three different places where people live. Theirs a single mens shelter, a single women’s shelter, and a family shelter. There is also a store, kind of like a Goodwill, right across the street where people can buy items cheaper than in stores.

The tour of the Mission was pretty quick but eye-opening. It reminded me somewhat of a jail but not exactly. I think it’s because of the area where they get their laundry washed. Everyone has their own bed and each and every bed has a homemade quilt on it. I found that the quilts gave the Mission a homey feel. The family shelter was a bit bigger because of the many play rooms that the children had. We were also able to see the apartment that people in the rehab program would stay in. It was beautiful and everything inside was donated.

On Friday I had traveled back to the Roanoke Rescue Mission to make craft instruments with the children living there. I can honestly say I was surprised at how much patience I had with the child I was helping. The child I was helping just saw me the minute she walked in and was attached to my hip the rest of the night.

We were making craft tambourines with paper plates, twine, and bells. The child would ask for a color of twine and as I was cutting the color she wanted she would say she wanted another color. Then she would give me handfuls upon handfuls of bells. She would also start playing with the scissors which I had to stop her from doing numerous times because she was always close to cutting her fingers. Overall the tambourine was what she wanted to make and at the end I ended up doing everything for her.

At the end of the night I was very tired but I had a great time. I found it interesting that the children knew they were at a shelter but they didn’t act like it. They acted like normal children; fascinated with the world and the ‘big kids’.

After this experience I encourage everyone to go out and volunteer. Not necessarily at a shelter but maybe at a school, a hospital, a SPCA, or a food bank. It’s about time people, especially people my age, give to other who are in need of help.

{January 1, 2011}   *~HAPPY NEW YEAR~*

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! This is my first blog post in the new year. I couldn’t wait for 2011. Mainly because of 11/11/11 11:11:11. 2010 wasn’t a great year for me (aside from graduation). This is why I’m going to set out to make 2011 a great year full of memories and good times. This is the main reason for me to try and complete my list of resolutions. Do you have any resolutions? Were you ever able to complete them? If so, do you have any tips because I’ve never been able to complete one. Here is my list:

2011 New Year’s Resolutions

This Year I will…

  • Be carefree and not let other’s take my happiness
  • Focus on the positive versus the negative
  • Try to find love (or really a boyfriend)
  • Smile more
  • Learn something new
  • Make a new friend
  • Become more self-confident
  • Take a trip
  • Get a day planner (and use it)
  • Get a small journal for my writing
  • Learn a new dance (I’m leaning towards ballet, ballroom, or jumpstyle)
  • Get rid of the negative people in my life
  • Learn how to ride a horse
  • Have a summer filled with plans (and I’m hoping that’ll include a job)
  • Find a new creative outlet (I’ve already done painting, writing, drawing, and scrapbooking)
  • Buy more poetry books

et cetera