My experience with music

Some of you probably know that music is very important to me, so I thought it would be fun to discuss the role it has played as a hobby, passion, and creative release for basically my entire life.

The first musical memory I have is attending my sister’s (orchestra?) concert when she was in high school. I vividly remember (my mom can confirm this) waving my arms around as if I were the conductor while they were playing. I was probably about three at this time.

Then, I remember elementary school music class and chorus, where I had an amazing music teacher who always kept me feeling inspired. He is honestly one of the most musically talented people I have met (he wrote and directed multiple entire productions on his own). We sang simple songs, played the recorder, and did other typical elementary level musical activities. I remember a lot of my classmates did not take music class seriously, and I got very irritated at their lack of appreciation.

In third or fourth grade, I began taking both piano and voice lessons with my music teacher, which I would continue until middle school. During this time, I also had roles in my class play and the elementary school musicals, and attended summer theater camps.

In middle school, I was involved in the production Annie. After this, for some reason, I stopped participating in performing arts at my school (other than briefly to be a part of the production of Footloose). I think it was because I wanted to be more active in cheerleading, and I only had so many hours in the day, but I sometimes wonder how my experience might have been different if I’d continued.

Despite that I stopped participating in performing arts, I was still musically active. I would spend a ton of my time online, discovering new music, and particularly on YouTube, watching covers of popular songs. I also began to play guitar some time in high school, so that required a lot of my time, as I was teaching myself. I even began to collaborate with my friends and post videos of our covers of songs (yes, these are still online… it doesn’t even feel like me when I watch those videos, since I have changed so much since then. I’m no longer active on this channel, but I keep the old videos up so I can look back and see how much I progress in terms of guitar, etc).

During college, I had a bit of a musical hiatus. I always had my guitar on campus, but there wasn’t much privacy. While I have no problem performing in front of an audience when I know a song, I *hate* being around others when I am learning a song (or trying to be creative and write my own). It really interrupts my focus and bothers me a lot. So, I spent a lot of time wishing I could be playing guitar but feeling unable to.

Once I graduated college, I started to get back into it. I have hit a bit of a plateau with my guitar playing, and now I’m spending a lot more of my time trying to improve. Now, I actually have recording equipment and music software that allows me to document this journey, which is something I’m trying to invest some time into. I must admit that it feels a bit self-indulgent to spend time recording music when I have all of these other priorities in my life, but I also believe that you have to do what feeds your soul. And writing my own songs is something that I’m also working toward. My hope is that I could one day provide people with the same kind of joy that others’ music has given me, so I will continue to share some of my music on my YouTube channel 🙂

How has music helped, inspired, or taught you (or not) in life?

-AK

My favorite YouTubers

This is probably the easiest post I’ll ever write because today I’m sharing my favorite YouTube channels. Watching YouTube videos probably takes up 99% of my free time. I only recently realized that not everybody even watches YouTube leisurely, which is crazy to me because there are some people that I follow who almost feel like friends at this point (even if they have no clue who I am). These are some of my favorites, organized to some extent by the kind of content they tend to focus on.

Academic/ Organization:
Lipsticks and Lattes
 a law student sharing vlogs and updates about her life, as well as fashion and beauty content. But I primarily watch her videos because they always makes me feel motivated to get my life together and do my work

Holly Gabrielle – again, I watch her videos when I don’t feel very focused with my school work and I usually feel instantly inspired to be productive

Lifestyle: 

Kalel – I’m not sure if she belongs in the lifestyle or vegan category, although she is the YouTuber who originally made me decide to go vegan. But she makes a lot of other videos as well, and I enjoy her personality and find her LA lifestyle interesting to learn about

Whitney Simmons – I’ve mentioned her before as a source of fitness inspiration, but her channel also contains a lot of lifestyle content. She is super funny and inspiring!

Vegan community: 

Stella Rae – she also focuses on fitness, spirituality, and shares regular vlogs

Caitlin Shoemaker – favorite food blogger ever, I’ve mentioned her before but I actually discovered her through YouTube and I rely on her so much for food (and life, such as yoga!) inspiration

Cheap Lazy Vegan – more amazing recipes, and they really are cheap and easy!

Supreme Banana Cami is hilarious, “veganizes” a lot of very non-vegan recipes, and does some lifestyle content on the side

Avant Garde Vegan – AMAZING recipes, he teaches you how to make recipes at home that belong in a gourmet vegan restaurant, in my opinion

Beauty:

Reese Regan – she does a lot of makeup, fashion, etc. videos, but she also makes videos about college life, organization, fitness, and other topics that I find relatable. I also just find her very inspiring considering how hard she works for how young she is

Jeffree Star – this is a new addition, because I used to be intimidated by his personality. Now, I’ve embraced his boujee-ness and I enjoy watching his videos; I’m also very inspired by people who basically build their own empire which he has certainly done in the makeup industry

Self-improvement/ motivation: 

Kalyn Nicholson my all-time favorite YouTuber. I get so much inspiration and wisdom from her channel.

YesReneau – a Harvard graduate sharing her actual life as well as thoughts on various topics!

Amy Landino – focuses on achieving goals, business ambitions, social media tips, and more

Entertainment:

OJC Astrology astrology videos and tarot card readings; honestly I never used to be into this kind of thing but her videos are so accurately related to my life that I have become a big fan. It started out as entertainment but now I actually relate them to my life

Trisha Paytas – I mean, come on. Her recent saga with Jason reminded me how funny she is, and he’s hilarious too

Shane Dawson and basically everyone who is friends with him (Ryland, Garrett), just hilarious and a great person too

I could go on and on, but these are the people whose channels I pay the most attention to these days. Do you watch YouTube regularly, or prefer other types of entertainment? If so, who are your favorite content creators?

-AK