My skills

Well, in terms of academics, I’ve always been a math person, never an english person. I despised open ended questions that didn’t have wrong answers or really right answers. At one point, a piano teacher I had found it odd that I was a math person but I did music because I guess she assumed that most musicians were more on english side. Anywho, I like listening to people talk and try to give some advice while trying to keep a realistic view, not the typical “I’m completely on your side” because that wont help.

Skills I can definitely work on is managing my time well and efficiently. This would help me to practice without spending hours on something I could have accomplished in a matter of minutes. I tend to also go on the safer side of things, and so I need to learn to achieve to go out and take challenges. Throughout college, the block scheduling and not having the straight 8 hour school days forces me to plan out my day carefully and I think will help me in the long run to manage my time. With the help of my peers and professors, I am sure I will acquire musical as well as other skills that will help me to become the music educator I want to be.

Elevator Pitch

here’s a rough rough draft of my elevator pitch! Feel free to comment

Hi, my name is Esther Lim, a pianist and an all around back up musician you can count on. I have been immersed in music since I was four and grew up with wonderful opportunities to expand my musical experiences. I have a background in both solo and chamber ensemble performances like symphony orchestras all the way to rock band gigs. I’m on a journey to learn new instruments, create new chamber groups, expand my musical knowledge and share that knowledge to all ages. Although piano is my main instrument, I can also play keyboard, violin, clarinet, guitar and even some mandolin on the side. Here’s my card if you’re ever interested in a backup musician or want to learn a new instrument, because it’s never too late to learn something new.

Motivation

For the most part, my motivation came mostly from my parents who pushed me to do well in school and earn good grades which isn’t a bad thing, but for a while, it was more to get good grades and be ahead of the pack than to actually learn and enjoy the process of it. Right around middle school is when I learned that there are much smarter and intelligent people than me (not saying that I was super intelligent…) and so that motivation turned into competition, to earn good grades, to maintain a high GPA, and to eventually go to a good college (which I did). But now that I’m in college, everyone learns at their own pace and it’s not about who’s smarter or better, but rather how much YOU put the effort in because the consequences are directly affected from that.

I guess now my motivation is myself and my professors because they are my role models and I want to strive to become like them and learn from them as much as I can. To see musicians successfully living the life is the best motivation and I hope to achieve that someday.

My Values

My values in life are my family, friends, the opportunities given to me and my surroundings. My family and I have been pretty close knit together even though my sisters and I fought a lot. We moved around the country multiple times but that already brought us closer together, to be there for each other and be honest towards one another. My parents have always pushed me to try my hardest ( just like any other asian parent) and sometimes a little too hard, but it’s shaped me into who I am to take challenges instead of avoiding them. Having two exceptionally intelligent and successful sisters pushes me to be like them and my dad always told me to never worry about financial problems for college and to just try my best. (which I did and and came to a wonderful university with scholarships)

One of my other biggest values in life are my friends. Moving around a lot gave me a wide variety of friends from Arizona, California, Wisconsin and Texas. They all have their interesting and quirky personality traits but they all care and listen to me and support me in everything that I do. Especially coming to Texas my junior year was extremely hard because it was unexpected and I had planned on staying in Wisconsin and graduating. But once I entered the new high school, my future friends took me in and became friends that I could laugh, cry, rant to. Especially towards the end of my senior year, I expected to finish and graduate and get out of college station. But I met my best friend/boyfriend and to have someone like him is literally like finding your other half (I know, cliche). He understands me, cares for me, is honest to me whether I like it or not because honestly, sugarcoating everything is never the best way to go which some friends may do.

I also value the opportunities given to me and my surroundings. WIthout any of the opportunities that I came across, I would not be here today, studying music at SMU. All the music teachers and directors that I studied/took class from have given me the opportunity to love music and understand it even more to eventually want to follow in their footsteps and teach.

Work Habits

My work habits, or I guess my study habits are still developing. In high school, classes weren’t too difficult and if they were, it was for everyone else and usually there were always extra credit opportunities to make up for lost points. Especially senior year, school was pretty well off; I basically had two off periods and the rest of my classes were not too bothersome. But when I did have to study, understanding concepts took more time for me to wrap around my head, especially like my logic class this semester. During the first week of class, I had absolutely no idea how the professor reached the conclusion, whether if it was valid or invalid and if it was sound or not; but gradually, with the help of a friend, I slowly understood logic and now I actually find it interesting. The first article listed many work habits that improve your grades and I’ve heard of a lot of them before. Some I actually do; obviously practicing requires countless repetition and memorization and during studying, I probably never study in the same place the next day.

Probably one of the worst habits I have is I tend to stress about everything, especially during the beginning of a new school year, but usually tapers down towards the end. Especially this year, this is the first time I’m taking music classes more than general education courses and I’m still soaking it in but its definitely a change to see professors so happily engrossed in what they teach and that they absolutely love teaching it and it drives me more to want to learn about music instead of doing the minimum effort. It’s a drastic change from self teaching piano/violin and then suddenly immersing yourself in music EVERYWHERE with musicians, very talented musicians, all around you.

I have yet to find my balance and other positive reinforcers and negative ones (probably watching too much TV, but oh well) but I’m planning on finding that out throughout college.

I actually never mentioned my goals, but here it is: I’m hoping one day I can become a music director of a band or orchestra and inspire and motivate students to love and want to learn how to play music not just because they have to fulfill a fine arts credit. I also want to teach classical music in a different perspective since most perceive classical music as boring or not relatable. Back at my old high school, they did something called a garage band where students were able to pick up rock band instruments and start their own group and I think that would appeal to students and helping them jumpstart their own band would be pretty neat.

My History

Well, I was born in College Station, TX, a small town that houses Texas A&M University. I started playing the piano at 4 because both of my older sisters started around then also and made me learn the piano. As a child, I moved around a lot: in California multiple times, back to Texas, then to Arizona, Wisconsin and back to Texas. Moving so many times made it a bit hard to find a teacher who understood me so for basically my whole life, it was always restarting and getting to know the teacher which was hard because I tend to be shy and keep to myself a lot. I had done a few competitions here and there in middle school and a little bit through high school but I never felt that music was my path until mid Junior year when Professor Murray began talking to me about how the musician’s life was like. My parents, to begin with, weren’t satisfied that I might do music but after talking to other professors at SMU, they were more relieved.

Besides piano, I play the violin which has had a long and tough journey with me. I started at the age of 7, but disliked it and so I quit until I picked it back up again when I was eleven. Ever since then, I joined the orchestra, whether it was a small group of inexperienced middle schoolers trying to make music or with a huge group of talented high schoolers playing Dvorak or Beethoven. After moving to Texas my junior year, it was difficult to find a teacher as College Station has a lack of musicians and I never found one until the summer before freshman year at SMU, so my skills at violin are pretty mediocre but hopefully I can find a good violin professor while at my time in SMU. Other than violin, I picked up clarinet and played in band from fifth grade to 10th and also started playing the guitar for fun to have little pow wow with friends, oh and also made a band called “Classic Coconut” (long story short, its from a chinese candy wrapper) and did cover songs at my school’s fundraiser and a bar.

That’s most of my music history, which isn’t much but if you’d like to comment, please feel free too :)