study break

Currently Practicing: August 2020

In the middle of an extended quarantine, I have increasingly turned to piano to wind down & manage stress.

With social dancing completely out of the picture and hiking one of the few things left to do with friends (but requiring considerably more planning than usual), I’ve been increasingly turning to my keyboard.

There are some amazing pianists to be found on the internet, and you can only imagine my delight at finding that some of them sell sheet music for their arrangements.

Cruella de Vil by Kristen Mosca

Mosca is this amazing pianist who makes ragtime arrangements of Disney songs. The first of hers I’m trying to learn is a ragtime version of Cruella de Vil. I’m also looking at Cantina, and hope to get started on Jungle Book Rag soon.

Joplin’s pieces were my absolute favorite in high school, so these arrangements just make me so happy. Ragtime is joy expressed on a keyboard. It’s upbeat, lighthearted, and fun.

Once Upon a Dream by Kyle Landry

These are also Disney arrangements, with a different style; Landry has more classical, very dramatic, well-flourished interpretations. His version of Once Upon a Dream is absolutely enchanting. I definitely want to get more from him in the future but right now, this one is a bit challenging and consuming my focus. Although I couldn’t resist also getting started on A Whole New World.

En Bauteau by Claude Debussy

Ah Debussy, my old friend. I have by no means mastered Clair de Lune but En Bateau – “On a Boat” – is just lovely. It feels like gliding along in a boat on the Seine, as much as Clair de Lune feels like an evening spent washed in moonlight (by sobbing water fountains, of course). So it’s another big challenge at the keyboard. But certainly worth it.

Bella Notte by Jon Sarta

A lovely arrangement of a song from a Disney movie that was definitely a childhood favorite.

Fantasia in D Minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The piano is a great place to pour out my emotions so that I don’t have to deal with them in real life. This Fantasia is incredibly dramatic and perfect for doing so. Compared to the other pieces I’ve played from him, it sounds almost like an “edgy Mozart” to me. And yes, I love trying to show off with those presto scales tucked in between threads of moody adagio.

  • Do you play an instrument? Has it become more neglected or less so since quarantine?

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