My Piano Biography for the Los Angeles Moments of Music Piano Competition for Amateurs and Teachers
I had almost forgotten about the piano until one day, while settling into our home in Modesto, my plastic-surgeon-wife announced that she was going to buy herself a piano. She figured since I was a violin playing general surgeon, she needed her own instrument. Due to space constraints, we had to decide between dining table or piano. Well, I figured worse case scenario, a grand piano could double up as a very expensive dining table. Embarrassingly, as a small child, I had been fired from piano lessons (totally my fault) before I could even reach an octave with my fingers. Fortunately, leaving the piano gave me an opportunity with the violin which led to a highlight of my life: performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Brown University Orchestra. And that led to somehow impressing a girl who later became my wife. Funny how getting fired could lead to wonderful things; I even think that the violin helped me get accepted to all the great colleges I applied to which included Harvard, Stanford, and of course my Brown University.
Being clueless as to how to pick out a piano, we were introduced to a Modesto piano teacher, Dr. Yan Yan Chan, who helped us. However, being from New York and being an only child, I ended up hogging the piano we purchased; my poor wife barely gets time to play. On the piano, I found that one of the hardest things was bass clef and the way that the fingering markings for piano and violin are off by one digit (pinky = “4” for violin). I took a few lessons from Yan Yan to help me get started and also had pointers from a close family friend Dr. Kung-Chin Lin, an university piano professor in Taiwan. Then I was pretty much on my own due to my somewhat unpredictable schedule as a surgeon. Yan Yan and I got reunited recently when we heard about the Los Angeles Moments of Music Piano Concerto Competition through another genius piano teacher in our area, Janisse Foresti. I have since acquired a separate dining table but I still have trouble playing octaves.
Dexterity for Surgery, Piano, and Botox Injections
Surgery depends a lot of dexterity. So does playing the piano. And so should Botox injections.
I have some unique ideas of developing and maintaining my Botox dexterity with Piano Practice.
As with piano playing, I like to keep my wrist supple and flexible when injecting Botox.
When injecting fillers, there are times where I have to do finger stretches to be able to maintain tension on the skin with my non-dominant hand, and then I also sometimes have to reach for the plunger which may be in slightly awkward positions for my dominant hand – it depends on the style of the plunger. Radiesse Volume Advantage is one of the larger syringes due to it’s 1.5 cc volume which is more than some of the other syringes of dermal filler.
Timing is also key in Botox injections. Timing is a big deal in music and performing piano.
Then there’s the grace in lifting off from the actual Botox injection. It would be a shame to waste Botox with a heavy handed lift-off – in that case, the Botox isn’t injected into the muscle – it might even be injected into the air. Thus a light lift-off is key. It’s akin to musical phrasing with the tapering that occurs and the lifting off of each note too.
Here’s a piano piece which is dedicated to finger dexterity building. It is also one of the most beautiful melodies I have ever encountered in an finger dexterity etude. This piece is also known as the Aeolian Harp Etude.
Yes, that’s me. Recorded at my home in Modesto, California. Yes, this is one of the great things you can do in Modesto – practice piano! And record piano for YouTube! And write this blog… ok, the list goes on and on regarding great things in Modesto, CA.
“Technically, the piece requires both dexterity and velocity, good balance and weighting of the arms coupled with flexible finger stretches”.
For me my dexterity and musical challenges are: evenness, flexibility in the wrist, and flexibility with finger stretches, light touch, and musical line phrasing. I hope to continue to work on this to make it even better.