An Unfinished Melody (Piano Cover of “Sleepless Beauty” by Ryuichi Sakuma)

When you say the word “unfinished,” I immediately think music. This thought leads to another –namely, my keyboard (or piano)– and I immediately reflect on my unfinished recitation of Sleepless Beauty, one of my favourite instrumentals of all time. Although I’ve never seriously studied music, I picked up a couple of my favourite songs off YouTube.

Yes, I play too fast. Yes, I made a couple of mistakes in that recording because I was nervous (!) even though I was recording it without a tangible audience. Yes, I haven’t entirely learnt the song. Oh, and yes, I am a complete hobbyist when it comes to the piano. I play with enthusiasm rather than striving for perfection.

But it’s just so fun. Quite frankly, I love it.

That’s how much of this song I can play. At this moment in time, it remains unfinished (or leftover). I fully intend on learning the rest of it, but lately, I’ve been distracted by pictures of cute little rabbits endless piles of school work. But one day, I will learn the rest of it with a mountain of vigour.

In all honesty, I sometimes wish I studied music at a higher level. Reading sheet music would be an amazing skill to have, and would make me less memory-dependent. As I’m using an unconventional method of learning, I rely heavily on my visual senses, and therefore have trouble adapting to different pianos/keyboards other than mine (because they don’t have the same texture, have different key-pressures, etc.)

But just thinking about pianos makes me nostalgic. I have a whole history, a bucketful of memories and a lifetime of love dedicated to the instrument. Why not share them?

When I was 5, Mum bought a $2 plastic piano from a local gift shop. It was extremely cheap, but worked exactly like a piano did. I don’t entirely remember much of what happened, but I picked up Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by ear. My parents, who are the most UN-artistic people you’ll ever meet (see also: For the Love of Literature), thought I had a musical talent sent from the heavens above (I don’t), and when I was ten, my birthday present was a keyboard.

Of course, I had no idea how to play. Most of what I learnt was from translating sheet music to simple notes, before I realised I had a better outlet of learning: YouTube videos. I fell in love (and was inspired) by Horsegirl15’s amazing piano covers, and somehow managed to learn a couple of mainstream songs from her wonderful blog.

The hardest part ever, I think, was when I learnt Paparazzi by Lady Gaga (a song I don’t care for now, but adored previously), and had to use chords to harmonise my right-hand-playing. It took me an entire week to find the balance. But after that initial step, every other song with solid, routine chords came naturally. Here’s the thing: once you learn a song of a kind, every other song of the same kind takes significantly less time. 

Somehow, I managed to muster enough confidence to play in my 6th grade talent show (playing “Love Story” by Taylor Swift, another song I don’t care for now), and Back in 7th grade, I played the piano at the school talent show, and made more mistakes than anyone can endure. There were two performances I participated in –solo and group– and for the group, I played “Love Story” while two friends sang. The number of mistakes I made were embarrassing, especially when my group shot me looks after yet another misplaced key, but we somehow managed to score second place. Their singing was terrific, so it wasn’t much of a surprise.

My solo, on the other hand, was free from mistakes. I played the oh-so-famous My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion, and was an altogether better reflection of my piano abilities, but other competitors were better. For this reason, I finished the first round only.  To be honest, I didn’t mind: I didn’t know any other songs (!) so learning a new one would be kind of drastic. I was known as “piano girl” by all the adorable little preps (who watched me play). It was just… really fun.

Since this is mainly a musical post, I’ll just include that I recently purchased a guitar… before returning it a week later, realising how difficult it actually was. Tuning the guitar, learning to use frets, the chords, the strumming patterns; there’s only so much coordination I can endure. No, thank you. Piano’s more for me (or rather, keyboard, where everything’s electronically run).

I don’t think I’ll ever learn to play the piano properly. My timing will always be off, I will stare at sheet music like it’s a foreign language, but it won’t stop me from loving it (and the large impact it has on my life). In fact, my love for the piano inspires me to discover new piano music frequently. It has also altered my music tastes, but in a good way.

Although I’ve mentioned this through the post, I’ll say it again: it’s just really, really fun. I highly encourage anyone who’s looking for an instrument to play to consider the piano. It’s absolutely wonderful.



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21 thoughts on “An Unfinished Melody (Piano Cover of “Sleepless Beauty” by Ryuichi Sakuma)

  1. Hey i think you accidentally linked to my post with the title leftover. I feel so honoured to be linked with such beautiful melody. If you don’t mind, i would love for this wonderful mistake to be kept that way. You can also check out my post too! 😉 ❤

    • Hello there! 😀 What I usually try to do is link to other posts (pingback) on the Daily Post. I’ve noticed through my stats that tons of other bloggers get discovered through this, and it feels like I’m helping the community. ^_^ (So it wasn’t an accident)
      But your blog is amazing! I’m following; can’t wait for your daily blogging to begin. I love the themes you have chosen. 😀

      • Omg thank you so much I am so happy that I got linked. 😉 Now I got to know your blog too! I will listen to your music later in the night. Cheers to new friendship? ❤

      • That sounds amazing! 😀
        I would love to see that on your blog (a cover of a song on your ukulele?)
        Of course! If you look to the side of my blog, you’ll see a pink envelope icon (under “Find me!”). Just click it and it should link you to my email address with “mailto” at the front. 😀

  2. Pingback: Flower Power | litadoolan

  3. I love how you played it and how you are persistent at playing piano even though you’re not schooled. I have a guitar, since 5th grade, went on a couple of lessons but I haven’t touched it since then and I lost the notebook I had everything written in. This actually encouraged me to get back to my guitar. I say that every year but I just can’t find the time and patience to do so. Anyways, keep it up and enjoy playing it:)

  4. I feel so identified with this! Seriously, because the very same thing happen to me too. Well, it’s even sadder considering I used to know how to read music (I played the flute when I was in fifth/sixth grade) but, when we stopped having music classes, I never continued studying or anything. Whenever I think about it, it kind of frustrates me.
    (As I was saying before I started rambling,) I feel identified because I also use my extremely limited memory to play the piano (plus, I am terrible with my left hand, so it gets quite difficult to learn new songs. I never get the timing right :p). At first I only got to play it when I went to visit my relatives (who, by the way, live four hours away from me -so, as you can tell, I didn’t get to play much…) but, as I’ve always loved playing the piano, my parents decided to get one for me (and my mother) last year and now I’ve been practicing whenever I’ve got the time! I’m so happy!
    I’ve even tried (re-)learning to read music sheets and all, but it just didn’t work out. But, as I really love this instrument (I’m also in love with the violin), I just couldn’t give up and so I constantly practice and try learning new songs. My dream is to play River Flows In You by Yiruma. And Kiss The Rain. I love both of them, but find them really difficult…
    By the way, I don’t know if you know but there’s a computer program which gets pretty handy if you don’t know how to read music (it’s useful even if you do, because it can also show the music sheet, oh well). Maybe you already know it but it’s called Synthesia 🙂 If you have the correct wire, you can even plug your computer/laptop into your keyboard and it’s even easier. Here is an example of how it works ( –> I’m currently learning that one :D)
    This is getting as long as an essay (lol), so that’s it. I just wanted to share how much I understand that feeling.

    • Thank you so much for the long comment! I’m so happy that you’ve identified; it’s one of the most rewarding experiences of writing blog posts. I loved reading about your musical background and experiences with the piano and the flute.
      Funny thing: The River Flows in You is one of the very few songs I can play. And, I agree, it was so difficult! It took me a whole two weeks of consistent practice to understand the “broken chord” aspect of my left hand; my syncing sucks. 😛 At this moment, I’m looking into learning Moonlight by Yiruma (another of my favourite songs). Kiss the Rain is beautiful! ❤
      Synthesia! A piano friend of mine introduced me to it, and it was the most helpful thing ever. Although sometimes it's hard to see WHICH finger goes on which key, so I tend to lean towards YouTube videos. But thank you for the link –I never heard Memory before, and it's beautiful. 😀

      • I personally believe that sometimes I tend to write too much though -but if you don’t mind, then me neither! Oh, thanks. I’ve never really shared them before.
        No way, really?! That’s splendid! I’m so envious right now! Yes, I can’t figure it out -yet; I definitely will someday! I’m not going to lose 😛 My syncing sucks too haha! Moonlight is beautiful too. It calms your mind and soul. It’s really peaceful.
        Haha, that’s really true. I try figuring that by myself but, when I can’t, I ask my mother for help as she studied piano since she was 3 years old (awesome, right?). I confess sometimes I learn songs by ear too.
        Ah! Actually, that might be because it is the theme song for a horror RPG game. Most of its OST/BGMs are like that one and I really enjoy listening to them 🙂

        PS. And sorry again for taking almost a year to reply to your other comment!

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