My Plan

As for right now, I have two different path I can take for my career, and I’m pretty certain it will be one or another, or maybe somehow combine both. I love music, and I love building and designing things. I’m currently double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Music. I want to work as a engineer in some company and also be a pianist performing for poeple who love music.

After the first semester of college, I began to realize that I really want to be a piano performance major, but I don’t want to give up the engineering. So I think right now this double major is working fine with me. Many people told me that these two majors are very time consuming, and I’ll have to work really hard. But I don’t mind working hard as long as it’s for the things I love. I think my plan for the next three and half years in college would be taking all the engineering courses, music courses, find some internships for engineering, and also try to give some recitals to gain my performing experience. And hopefully in three years I will know which path I’m taking, or how I’m going to combine these two very different careers.

My Skill

I have some skills that already give me a good start for being a musician. I have a fairly good sight reading skill, I have fairly fast fingers, I’m motivated when it comes to practicing, and I’m good at math, so I can probably count the rythm right. But most of all, I have a great passion for music.

Those skills can certainly help a lot in my career of pursuing music. But I still need more skills in order to success in the music world. For example, I need to have more connection with people. I’m not a talkative guy. I don’t contribute a lot in a conversation and I think it’s probably because I’m afraid people would reject my ideas. So I need to practice more with talking and sharing my thoughts. Since I’m also majoring in Mecahnical Engineering, I have to take engineering classes, and we have to give presentations for our ideas or designs, which would be a very good practice for me to improve my talking skills.

Elevator Pitch

Hi, my name is Meng-Wei Lee. I’ve played classical piano for about 13 years, and saxophone for about 4 years. I have a very strong passion in playing music. I want my audience to enjoy my music and forget all the stress. And I want to inspire people to play instruments, and have passion in music just like those world class musicians inspired me. My goal is to become a classical and jazz pianist, and jazz saxophonist in a band. I want to make impact on people. I can play classical, jazz, pop, or blues. So if you want some classical piano or jazz saxophone after a long week of work or you need someone to play at a charity concert, here’s my card. Thank you so much.

Motivation

Everytime I saw a performance of any famous musician such as Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, or Louis Armstrong, I would say to myself, “Wow, that is damn good! I want to be like that, I want to play like that.” I think that’s my motivation. I want to be as good as those world-class musicians. I want to be able to play instruments like them, be able to imrpov like them, and be able to amaze audience like they did. That is my goal, and it keeps me motivated. I always think that if they can do it, then why can’t I; I have a lot of resources and as long as I keep practicing a lot, I will become like them oneday. And they always seemed to have a really good time when they were performing. Being able to make people enjoy in the music and while having a good time…I think that’s the best job in the world. Making others amazed and enjoying my music is what keeps me moving and practicing to become a good musician.

My Value

To me, as a musician, passion is very important. I value passions. Our lifes wouldn’t be meaningful if we don’t have passion in something. I’m here because of my passion in music. I just love listening to music and playing instruments. I cannot live without music. If I don’t play for one day, my fingers would feel uncomfortable; they feel like they can’t stretch or move. My passion in music really fulfills my life; it gives me a goal to become a really good musician. Passion is a very important factor to success. If you want to be successful in an area, you have to have a passion for it. When you lose the passion, it’s just like the bridge to the success island has collapsed, and you would never get to it. So that’s why I value passion. It determines whether or not I will seccess.

I also value emotions. We show our emotions to let others know what we are feeling or thinking. A man without emotions is a dead soul. Showing emotions is a wordless way to show the feelings. For me, I like to express my emotions through playing insturments. I’m not good at showing emotions by words so I depend on music. Sometimes emotions cannot be put into words. So playing music is the best way to show emotions, at least for me it is.

Altogether, it seems that I value music the most..

My Work Habits

I always like to study with music playing in the background. I don’t like to read in a quiet place because I wouldn’t be able to focus; I would start to think other things. A lot of times after I read for about 5 to 10 minutes, I would start thinking about what I did today, what’s on my to-do list, how should I practice the repertoire to make it sound great, or even some weird math problems. And by the time I realized that my mind got off topic, I would already read through one to two pages which I had no idea what was about. So I usually keep the music on when I’m reading. It actually helps me to stay focus because I will read along with the rhythm of whatever music that’s playing in the background. When I’m doing math or science homewoke. Music helps me relax, so it’s easier for me to think and solve the problems. Usually, the background music would be jazz or classical, sometimes pop.

Of course I can’t listen to other music when I’m practice piano or saxophone. But I like to find videos or recordings of the pieces that I’m working on and listen to it first before I play them. It helps me to get a sense of how the music goes and makes it easier for me to practice. I sometimes listen to them again and again when I’m practicing so that I would know how I should interpret the music. Just like my high school jazz band director once said, “Jazz is like a language, if you listen to it all the time, you would sound jazzy when you play.” I think it’s the same for all types of music.

I don’t like to be restrained, so I don’t have a schedule of my to-do list. It will only be a list of things that I need to complete by the end of the day. But I usually would have a sense of how long it takes for me to do each thing. A lot of times when I get tired of doing homework, I will go practice my instruments for an hour or two, and then I come back to finish the homework. The “practice break” helps me to clear my mind, so when I get back to work, I can eaily finish it. So I do my work when I feel like doing it. But I will still finish them in time.

Music, freedom, and flexible pretty much describle my work habits.

Why I Am Here

I wasn’t planning on majoring in music until the second semester of my senior year. I always thought music was just one of my hobbies and never thought of being a music major.

I started to learn piano when I was around 6 or 7. But just like other 7-year-old boys, I couldn’t sit still on the piano chair and play the piano for an hour, not even for 5 minutes. I would find excuses to get off the chair every few minutes, so my mom forced me to stay on the chair and watched me play the piano for an hour. It was not a fun experience. I didn’t like to play the piano at that time. But after a few years, when I was in 4th grade, I joined our school band. It started to change my life. I was in the percussion section. I got to play all those different kinds of percussion instruments, and plus I had some music foundation from playing the piano, so it was not too hard to play them. That was the first time I felt like music is not just about those boring exercising etudes; It could be fun. So I started to enjoy playing the piano and percussion.  I love playing the piano every since.

In high school, I decided to change an instrument, so I picked saxophone just because it sounds soothing in those jazz songs. I still kept the piano lessons going. I also joined the band in high school. One day I was walking in the band hall, and there was a jazz band rehearsal. The jazz band director asked me if I wanted to join the jazz band, and I said, “Well, maybe, I’ll think about it.” The second time I walked by the jazz band rehearsal, he asked me again to join the jazz band. I thought to myself, “Why not, it could be fun.” So I took my saxophone out and sat down in the rehearsal. Turned out, I love playing jazz. Although the jazz tunes were harder than the concert music, it was way more fun. I started thinking maybe I should consider major in music because I wanted to play more and learn more about music. I wanted to be able to improvise like famous jazz saxophonists, or play the piano like a professional pianist.

This is why I’m a music major. That’s why I’m a musician.