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Your Unique Brand of Magic

Your Unique Brand of Magic
By Jeeyoon Kim  • Issue #34 • View online
Hello friends!
The last month was pretty hectic for me as I gave many concerts in a relatively short time. It was wonderful to be back on stage to share music with live audiences again, yet I was reminded how difficult it is to be a performing artist, being vulnerable onstage regardless of how much one practices or prepares. I heard a story that even the legendary pianist Horowitz needed to be kicked out to the stage every time he gave a concert as he would hesitate to go with jittery nerves. Really? Him? One of the best pianists in history? We certainly know that regardless of one’s proficiency this field of the performing arts never gets easier over time. 
Last month one of the concerts was a three-day series where a repertoire of each concert did not change. I certainly and hopefully wished that a performance would get easier each day after completing a victorious journey. 
The reality was far beyond what I had hoped - each concert felt completely new, raw, and vulnerable all over again. It was a new day, different audiences, different feeling, and even different me at the piano. If I were a tour guide on an Appalachian trail, after triumphantly completing a rigorous trail to Maine the very next day I’d feel like I was somehow pulled back to Georgia to start all over overnight. In the morning of each concert I was lying in the bed thinking ‘Would I have the courage to walk this trail again?’
But then once a concert began I was somehow back to a life where my senses were heightened, finding new beauty and treasure from each corner and being joyous to share music despite the fear and doubt in me. I was alive.
After a solo concert in Encinitas a member of the audience came to me in tears, holding my hand tightly and sharing that the very hour of the concert would be something she would never forget in her life and would give her fuel to relive it every time she would think of it, and thanking me for that gift. At that very moment I was actually beating myself up a bit about having made this and that mistake, thinking how I could make some sections of the music better next time and collecting data to practice more later. 
On that day I had a quiet moment with myself and reminded myself of this mantra. The mantra that I want to live with, the mantra that I need to keep reminding myself of. 
“Artists are not like athletes. We cannot win gold. We cannot ‘beat’ other creatives. We cannot come first. Sport is objective. Our craft is subjective. Creating to ‘be the best’ is a waste of energy. Instead create to connect to the people who need you, because they’re out there. Create in your way, because there is no right way. Take the pressure off, and focus on your unique brand of magic.” 
What is your unique brand of magic? Just remember, you can only do that. 
Have a wonderful week! 💕
p.s. Thank you for being on this musical journey with me. I am grateful for your support. 

Ocean on my left, you on my right and a piano in front of me
Ocean on my left, you on my right and a piano in front of me
My favorite things this week
  1. A book - I read the Mindful Musician by Vanessa Cornett this week. A timely reading during and after my performance period, reminding me that every musician deserves to experience joy and happiness onstage and we can all train our minds with deliberate practices. I am certain that Mr. Horowitz would have liked to read it too. 
  2. A photo album-I am so grateful that my chamber music concert at a beautiful mansion was captured so well by the amazing team Jeeyoon photographer, Gary Payne. Take a look at this photo documentary!
My favorite Music This Week
Scriabin: Le Poème de l'extase / Petrenko · Berliner Philharmoniker
Scriabin: Le Poème de l'extase / Petrenko · Berliner Philharmoniker
If you ever doubt the role of a conductor in an orchestra, please watch this video. I am going. I am surely going to Berlin or anywhere in the world to listen and soak up the energy of this amazingly brilliant conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic in the near future. 
Quote of the Week
Whatever is bothering you right now, take a breath, be grateful for what is going well and realize what you can and can’t control.
-Gary Vaynerchuck
Tweet of the Week
Jeeyoon Kim, pianist
The first in person author event since the publication of my book 3 months ago. The first time to have a piano at the same time! I felt home having these two important elements of my life at the same time. What a joy to share this event with you! An amazing time at @CPL92118
This Week's Video to Highlight
San Diego pianist Jeeyoon Kim shares life lessons through music and words
San Diego pianist Jeeyoon Kim shares life lessons through music and words
CBS News featured me last week about my life and music in one of their shows. This 2-minute video somehow captures the essence of who I am. Beautifully done! Loved it. 
Please forward this newsletter to your friends so that they can also be a part of this musical family! 😉
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jeeyoon Kim

Hi, I am Jeeyoon, classical pianist, educator, author, podcaster and YouTuber from US, originally from South Korea. I am passionate about creating a classical music more relevant and friendly to everyone, creating a bridge between me and audiences, and sharing behind the scenes of a life of classical pianist. I write bi-weekly newsletter with some thoughts, life lessons and interesting articles I discovered during those weeks.

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