I know I said I would post this yesterday, but all of your questions were so deep and interesting that I didn't finish answering until today! I was surprised how many of them were music-related. But I guess after all, my name is Melody. ;)
So here they are! Hope you enjoy my answers.
How long have you been playing piano?
Well, I've been playing on the piano for 14 years, but taking lessons for 12. And the funny thing is that I've had a total of 6 teachers during that time! I'll be starting with my 7th when I go to Cedarville in August.
What is your favorite hobby and why?
If you mean by "hobby" something that I do for fun to pass the time, I would have to say writing stories. I don't consider it my main interest, but I do enjoy it a lot. I love the thrill of coming up with beautiful ways to say something, or writing something about a character that just really touches you deeply. Eventually I would like to be more into it, but at the moment, I still consider it a hobby.
What's your favorite genre of music to play? ...to listen to? and why?
I enjoy playing a lot of genres of music; really it depends on my mood. I play mostly classical, but I love playing movie themes or modern piano pieces when I'm feeling emotional or sad. And of course I love playing my own compositions because they are the way I express myself!
I also have a lot of favorite genres of music I listen to. I love movie soundtracks, modern piano pieces, classical, and also Contemporary Christian. For Contemporary Christian, I like artists such as Sara Groves, Michael Card, Steven Curtis Chapman... If the words are edifying and the music is beautiful & pleasant to listen to, then I'll probably like it!
What's your favorite blog?
My own! lol just kidding. How could I chose a favorite among all my awesome friends on the blogging world?
I have found though that what makes a blog one of my "favorites" is when the author is willing to be real, and at the same time displays a love of beauty in their writing.
What inspires you most?
There are so many things that inspire me. A phrase, beautiful sunset, hug from a friend... but I think it all boils down to love. Love inspires me. Whether it's the love of my friends and family, God's love, or the love I have for nature, piano, or any of my passions. Love inspires me to write, to sing, to be the person God made me to be. When I feel loved is when I compose my most beautiful melodies.
Your favorite Bible verse?
Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore brothers, in view of God's mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is; His good, pleasing and perfect will."(I typed it out from memory, but I think that's NIV.) I love this verse because this is exactly what I want to do with my life.
What's your favorite piece you've composed? Can you share it with us?
You all seem to like asking questions about my favorite things! (Which, as you can see, is hard for me to answer). :D Currently, I think my favorite piece I've composed is one called "The Friendship." I wrote it after a really sweet time I had with a friend. I think to me it symbolizes letting go of holding tight to my friendships, and putting them in God's hands. Remembering the memories, but not making them all I strive for. I know God has so much more planned for my friendships, if only I'll trust him.
And unfortunately, the video I tried to make of me playing this song wouldn't upload to my computer, so I'll have to try again later. :P
How do you compose music? Do the melodies just come to you, do you create, and how do you make it sound so good?
Oh wow... where to begin?
Typically, I compose music one of two ways. Either I sit down at the piano (with some kind of emotion in mind or in my heart), pick a key, and just start playing. Or, I'm sparked by some kind of melody I've heard or came up with, and then I elaborate on it. ("My Prayer" is an example of the first, "Frustration" is an example of the second.) Yes, melodies do tend to just come to me... I'm not sure how that is!
And typically how I make it sound good (or better) is I go over my rough idea and then pull out other things I wouldn't have just naturally played the first time. For example, I tend to do a lot of arpeggios and octaves in the left hand, so often that's just naturally what I play when I'm first making up a song. Then as I get the melody and the chords more solidified, I'll figure out something a little different for the left hand (for example, in the beginning of "Press On"). So I guess I never really have a whole song just come to me in my mind. It's always a collaboration between me and my piano. ;) I will play a piece over and over and over again until I know just exactly what parts are where and just how each section is played. And then it's a song! :)
From The Golden Eagle:
What is the most life-altering thing that has happened to you?
I'd have to say, when I became a Christian. Actually, though I was saved at age 6, I re-committed my life to God when I was 13. I realized that I hadn't really been growing as a Christian; I had been content to do all the right things without striving to be the right person. I re-committed my life to serving and glorifying Him - and it affects everything I do!
Are you planning to study music in college (or are you already graduated?). If so, do you know anything about scholarships and how you work towards them?
Yes, I am planning on studying music in college - specifically Piano Pedagogy (I'll be a freshman at Cedarville University this fall). For scholarships, typically the school you're going to will have some sort of scholarship for those going into music. For me, when I auditioned, they automatically counted that as an entry into a scholarship (which I won, by the way!). But I would look at the school you're considering and see what they have. :)
Why did you decide to start a blog?
I think I first started because I just thought it would be a cool thing to do. Funny thing is, no one I knew in real life had one, so I don't know how I first heard about it. I love writing, and I thought it would be cool to be able to share my writing with others. And just look how it's grown!
Are there any special or unusual places that you've composed songs?
This is an interesting question! I've never really thought about where I compose songs before. But I have composed in some pretty unusual places... driving home from Bible Study (in the dark, no less), in the shower, in the middle of a conversation with a friend, when I'm trying to get to sleep... Usually these type of songs are songs with words. I'll think of the words and the melody that goes along with them. Or I'll get an idea for a melody (without words) and finish it on the piano (because as I said before, usually I compose at the piano).
If you were to describe yourself in one word, what would it be and why?
Creative. And by creative, I don't mean "different". I mean that I love to create. Love to look at things through God's eyes and try to capture that in some way. I love beauty - love to see it, feel it, capture it, create it. This is me. Creative.
All this talk about music and my compositions reminded me of something very cool which I am currently working on. I think you all will be really excited, so I'm gonna tell you (though it's not finished yet).
I'm making a CD of my compositions! Once I get it all finished, I'll probably make a way for it to be on itunes (or amazon or something like that) so you all can buy it! Isn't that cool, or what? :D