June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
There’s something about multi-tasking that disturbs me. I am really not for it. My brother a while ago was on the computer chatting, facebooking and watching a movie all at the same time! That can’t be good.
Anyway, that’s that. I would like to write on what has been keeping me busy recently. But I haven’t had the time. And I’m too tired. So just a quick update on what will be filling my schedule for this semester at least:
1. Last 9 units in college. I’ll be spending wednesdays and fridays in the university. I got good professors!
2. Started teaching at Febias. (I have 7 piano students that will take up my thursdays.)
3. Took in more students (private lessons). Most of them scheduled on saturdays.
4. Coro Cantabile. Rehearsals twice a week.
I haven’t quite adjusted yet but I’m trusting God for this. I know this semester will be a good experience. More of His strength, more of His grace. Less of me.
June 10, 2011 § 2 Comments
Because life’s like that.
I came home from my church’s college fellowship last night and decided to check my facebook before retiring. I saw that my friend Mel posted links of videos of her past performances and I thought it would be nice to do the same. So I went looking for my videos on YouTube which my brother posted and linked a couple. I was browsing over the videos that showed up when I typed my name and was surprised to see a new one. Bad surprise. It was a recording of my performance of Chopin’s Etude in C major which I played in a recital our org gave last august. Reading the title gave me goosebumps. I’d never forget how terrible I played that night. It was really bad and probably even the most terrible performance I have ever given in my years of playing. Just to give you a clearer picture of how bad it was, it was so bad that:
- as soon as I got out through the backstage door the first thing I thought of doing was put my rubber shoes on and run home like crazy. (eventually I decided to stay, the last piece was a favorite. I didn’t want to miss it)
- when I did stay I sat in the last row of the auditorium where no one could see me.
- my friend Val (she performed right before I did) whose normal disposition was bubbly and happy, seeing my utter disappointment, became serious all of a sudden and started giving me encouraging words she sounded like Buddha.
- after the last note of the last performer I hit the exit and disappeared.
- I was down the whole week and told my Prof. how frustrated I was.
It was that bad.
When I saw the video I wanted to contact Sara (piano major who posted the video) and ask her to remove it. And fast. (I have yet to contact her.) Anyway, looking back I remember how God used the experience to teach me. That week after the recital forced me to reflect and evaluate myself both as a Christian and a musician.
Here are some of the things God allowed me to learn.
Failure is a great opportunity to learn. When I texted my Prof. (whose wisdom and instruction I thank God for) her reply was “You just have to take what you can learn from all your experiences. It wasn’t as bad as you think.” And she was right. That considered, maybe I just needed to change the way I practice, maybe I was using the wrong technique, or maybe I was exerting too much effort, or maybe I wasn’t calm enough before I hit my first note etc.
Failure is an opportunity to do better next time. “all effort – even failed effort – produces muscle.” Also “a thing that is worth doing is a thing worth doing poorly – at first.” (from Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris) So if you fall the first time, just get up, shake the dust off and try again. Failure (or fear of failure) shoudn’t stop us from going on. We have to make it work for us.
God is my first Audience. It is Him I play for. It is Him I wish to glorify.The esteem of the people is not worth the effort. So the question is, did I give Him my best? And if I did and it didn’t go as I had had hoped it would, is He glorified only when I bring glory to myself? Surely not. Plus, His love is perfect. There is nothing I can do or not do that will make Him love me more, or less.
God’s help is available. Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” So what’s to ask God for extra strength? Did I ask for it? Or did I rely on my own strength? After all, is He not the one who enables us to do the things he called us to do? We can press on confident that what He requires, He also provides. (Rom. 8:28)
You are my Lord, apart from You I have no good thing
June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment
This weekend left me tired. Really tired. Replaying in my mind all the activities and events that transpired since last friday up until last night is already enough to make me feel exhausted. And I can’t help but thank God because I know that it is by His grace and the Holy Spirit’s enabling that we are able to do what he calls us to do. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being. I know this to be true as He graciously allows me to experience it.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of depending on ourselves and our own strength as we live each day. It’s just as easy to grow proud as we look back on our accomplishments and the many things we were able to do. If one thing, I have learned that it is in surrendering ourselves daily to God that we can truly live. And that is the hard part.
How often do we get caught up with the million things we do, thinking we can hold ourselves up? Can we? How often do we mindlessly go about this life as we do our bidding, and try to be the best in whatever it is we do for all the wrong reasons? How often do we forget about the things that really matter, those things that are of more value? How often do we let pride get the best of us, making us look to ourselves instead of Christ?
I have failed a lot of times in these. And I still fail. God is working on me continuously. It is a life-long battle. But thankfully, by His grace, it is a winning battle.
Today, I enlisted the remaining 3 subjects I need for my bachelor. (It’s my last semester in UP!)
Watched X-Men with good friends from school after! That was my breather. Tomorrow, I’m applying for a part-time job at Febias. Let’s see how that goes!
June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment
8am-10am gave piano lessons
1pm-6pm Manila Hotel call time for Coro: rehearsal plus sound check
7pm-10pm Merchandise Table while Concert is on-going
tired and dehydrated
Picked up rents from Eastwood
slept at 2am
Woke up 6:30am
8am-11:30 gave piano lessons
2pm-5:30 pm Praise Team Rehearsal (for Sunday services)
6pm-9pm met up with friends, dinner
slept at 12
Woke up 5am
6:45am – 7am Review pieces/ spot check
arrived at CCBC 7:15
7:30am-9am pianist, First Service
9:40am tried to sit-in Sunday School
10:30am – 12nn pianist, Second Service
1pm-3pm Shepherds Fellowship
3pm-5pm Hang-out with friends, coffee
5pm Call time for vesper
6pm-8pm pianist , Vesper Service