challenge

Back into Music

Ever since the beginning of this new year, I’ve been wanting to find a hobby to really hone down on. I wasn’t too excited about learning something completely new so I decided to get back into music. Music was something I was forced to learn but an art that grew to be a desire. There were many moments of love and hate between me and music. There was hatred because it was first forced upon and that it took up my free time to play as a kid. Yet there was love for it because there was beauty to its sound and it took me to a different world of emotions and imagination.

When it comes down to it, I do not regret learning the piano or violin. I regret not practicing enough or valuing it enough until it was out of my possession. I had to lose it through time to really understand the value of music. After a long separation from music, I took initiative to join a community college orchestra and take a piano class! Yay, me!

Have you ever heard of that saying where you clean up your house before the cleaning lady comes? You do that only because you don’t want the cleaning lady to think you’re that messy. Familiar with that? Well that’s how I felt but instead with music. I felt that I had to practice before school even started so that I wouldn’t look too foolish in class.

I practiced and practiced and it was fun. Fingers were hurting a little due to lack of callous but my muscle memory was still there. I was playing through my old music and oh man, it was hard! I just don’t remember how I was able to play such challenging music before. Trying to play my old music was like looking at a math problem that you have no idea how to solve. You sit there. Stare at the paper for awhile. Complain to yourself for a little bit because of the difficulty. Continue to stare at it.Then you look at your notes and take baby steps. With patience, somehow you work your way through. Then wah-lah, problem solved.

After much practice, I was quite excited to go back to school and play some good music. On the first day of my orchestra class, I saw an open seat in the back where majority of the violins were and sat there.As I settled down, one of the two music conductors came up to me and asked why I was sitting at the seat I chose. I simply told him how I found an open seat and just sat there. He was encouraging me to sit elsewhere in other words sit where the 1st Violin Section is. Once I realized what he was talking about, I was so surprised at how I forgot the seating arrangement was like in an orchestra.

For those of you who don’t know about the seating arrangement in an orchestra, there are 5 sections. There’s the first violins section which is the group that plays the melody for the most part in music. Then there’s second violins that supports the melody. There’s the violas, cellos, and finally the basses. Though the conductor was encouraging me to sit in first violin, I wasn’t ready to challenge myself to sight read fresh music. So I ended up just sitting in the second violins section.

The conductor asked how long it had been since I last played the violin. I told him five years. In actuality, it’s been seven years! Seven! For the longest time, I was doing the math wrong in my head. That just shows you how time flies by and how you just easily lose track of time.

First rehearsal was hard but definitely fun. No doubt was I glad to be there and challenge myself with something new! Kind of new. I was inspired to see such talented musicians in that room that night.

I hope this post encourages you to try something new or get back to an old hobby of yours!

Photography Ain’t My Thing

Recently, my sister got a new digital camera. I wanted to use it and see how creative I could get from using it. But the thing is, I’m not an artsy type of a person at all. For me to be creative, it takes a lot of time and effort. When it comes to photography, the most creative I can get is with the help from Instagram. Yesterday, for once I was not going to depend my creativity on Instagram. I had my friend Andrea be my model for the day! I gave her a make-over yesterday, just hair and make-up.

After the make-over, we went to an open grass area by my house to take pictures. I had this vision to take pictures of her doing dance poses since we used to dance together. We took a bunch of dance poses, but the pictures were not what I expected. I was challenged by the sunlight and the lack of a pretty scenery. Here are a few photos that I thought looked dancey:

Once our dance pose session was completed, I wanted to try some head shots on her. Taking head shots was actually really fun. I basically improvised from the top of my head on how to take these head shots. I told her to sit this way and that way. Look here and there. This is how the photo shoot turned out.

If you think Andrea’s legs look unusual, don’t mind that. She’s just wearing tights! That was my first photo shoot ever. It was definitely fun working with Andrea since she was so cooperative. I definitely want to do more photo shoots for fun and try to improve on everything.

One last thing. I would like you to get to know my friend, Andrea! Here’s a little Q&A from her:

1. What’s your name? Andrea Ashcraft
2. How do you know Tina? Tina and I used to dance together at Irvine Dance Academy when we were younger and then became much closer when we both attended Irvine High School.
3. What do you spend most of your time doing? I spend about half of my time working (I have 2 jobs). The other half I would say is mainly spent at home doing everything from eating to Facebook to video/board games with my dad. I try my best to balance work and play — but it is a daily struggle.
4. What are 3 random facts about yourself? I love baking, no need for a special occasion. I am very OCD about my fingernails among other things. There is a 17 year gap between me and my next sibling.

 Alrighty, thanks for stopping by!