Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

Hey all!!

A few days ago, I performed a concert here in my hometown of Valentine, NE at my parish. This concert was completely my idea & completely voluntary. I say that because that might be the thing I’m most proud of!! Not the $410 we raised for St. Nicholas Church, not that 60 people attended, not that I did well, not that I got great feedback, & not that lots people liked it enough to get my CD after the event. Although I’m extremely proud of those things, I think I’m most proud of the fact that I had this idea to put myself out there, I scheduled it, & I followed through with a genuine smile on my face & a love for my music.

You see, I used to have to be forced into these things. Maybe “forced” is too strong of a word, but I really did not enjoy playing for other people, even if it were just a few of my extended family members who wanted me to play for them. When I did perform for anything, it certainly was not my idea, & I struggled through the whole process. That’s why I know this time around is different. No one asked me to do this, no one expected me to do this. I did it because I wanted to, & I truly enjoyed the process.

Getting more & more comfortable performing has been a goal of mine since the release of “Reflections of Joy.” I know that the only way I can do that, is to just DO IT & know that it won’t be perfect, there will be mistakes, I might feel nervous & have some moments of fear, but I will survive. I will live through it, be stronger afterward, & I’ll do better the next time. And that’s exactly what happened. My performance wasn’t perfect, & I don’t know if I’ll ever have a perfect one, but I accomplished what I sought out to do. I put myself out there, I “practiced” performing, & most importantly, I had a love in my heart for sharing my music & my story…

… and next time will be even better.

Here’s a clip from the concert:

 

Love,  Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
YouTube: Janeen Arens
Instagram: janeen.arens

 

The Promise – Original Piano Composition

Hey guys!

Well, this is the last song for the ALBUM!!! Exactly 1 week until the recording date!! 🙂

This is the final song that I wrote before my hiatus from composing (if you do not know that story & are interested, check out my Bio on my website.

I actually left this one unfinished for quite awhile. In fact, I really didn’t settle on a final structure/format for the song until I was forced to do so when I set my recording date for this album. This song also went 12 years without being named (poor thing)! So, before recording this album in 2015, I decided it was finally time to do this beautiful thing a favor & name it.

When I really let this song speak to me, I think about weddings & the beautiful union that takes place between husband, wife, & God during a wedding ceremony. Maybe it’s just because I have played this song for many weddings in the past, or because it makes me think of my own wedding & my wonderful husband, Brandon, but either way, that’s what it reminds me of! Although The Promise was named with the big wedding vow in mind, I also think that this song can relate to any commitment that we make, whether that is a promise to others, to God, or to ourselves.

I hope you all enjoy this song! Please leave me some feedback & if you like what you hear, visit my new website for more & join my email list (it would be the best gift you could give me)! Anyone who joins my email list gets put into a drawing for a FREE album!! I’ll be giving one album away every month so join to get in on the goods!

Thanks for listening!!

Also, sheet music  for this song is found here.

-Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
YouTube: Janeen Arens
Instagram: janeen.arens

Waves of Change – Original Piano Composition

Hey hey!!

This is the 2nd last song on the docket for the songs that I’ll be recording on “Reflections of Joy” in a week & a half …. eeeee!! Almost there!!

This is a song that I REALLY like but strangely do not share that much! Even my closest family members might be unfamiliar with this one (poor thing!)

This song went unnamed for quite awhile (ok now I’m feeling really bad for this song…haha!) In the meantime, I always referred to it as “The Black Key Song,” because it is in a key with 4 flats, so most of the song is played on the black keys. I remember wanting to come up with something really different when I wrote this song, which is why I focused on mostly black keys. I also played around with different tempos & rhythms & time signatures. The result was a song that’s very interesting & ever changing. When reflecting on all of these factors, we (Mom & I, of course, my song-naming buddy) finally landed on a name … “Waves of Change” … although, I still like to refer to it as The Black Key Song from time to time. 😉

Hope you enjoy this one! I’d be happy if you could give this neglected song some love & let me know what you think of it 😉

Thanks for listening!

-Janeen

 

I’m Recording an Album! “Reflections of Joy” to be released in 2016

Hey there!

So, you might have heard the news already but I’m just SO excited about it, I decided that it deserved its own blog post 🙂 I’ve got a recording date set for December 23, 2015 & will be releasing my first official album, “Reflections of Joy” sometime in early 2016 (make sure you follow the blog or my Facebook page for updates!)

In my very first blog post back in March of this year, I got a little personal & described “My Melodic Journey,” which basically explains my piano journey, my motivation for the blog, & why I am where I’m at today (check out that post here). In that post, I had explained my hesitancy about going to a professional recording studio again. I was worried it would put too much pressure on me & make me lose my composition “spark” again. However, since that time, I have been researching like a crazy person & trying to figure out the best route to go. After months & months of research, self reflection, & advice from loved ones, I have decided that the best route to go is to record professionally. Let’s face it, I don’t want to do all that work myself & would rather outsource to the professionals who know what the heck they’re doing (and do it 100 billion times better than me). Plus, I decided that, hello …. I’m a different person than I was when I was 14. I’m a grown-ass woman with a passion & a mission. No one is pressuring me to do this, except me 🙂

So, there began my hunt for a recording studio semi-close to me (which is a huge feat, considering my location in Valentine, NE where the nearest bigger town is over 2 hours away). Long story short, the stars aligned & God sent me an answer. A lady from Seward visited The Prairie Club who records her piano music professionally & she gave me the name of the place she records, which is Power Base Studio in Wisner, NE. Wisner is only about 3 hours from us in Valentine & only about an hour away from my hometown in Hartington! I looked up some of her recordings, loved them, researched the website, read all his fabulous testimonials, called Dan, loved him, got great info, & scheduled the recording session for December 23 when we’ll be traveling home for the holidays. PERFECT!!

Now, after some thought, I have decided that I want to keep my original 12 songs separate from my new ones. I just think of them as representing 2 completely different stages of my life & I want to keep them separate. Therefore, I will be releasing just my original 12 songs on the album which I will name “Reflections of Joy” (who knew that would be so fitting now when I named that first song!) My newer songs (3 and counting) will be released on a 2nd album when I have more to add to the collection.

Now that I’ll have professional music recordings to share & sell, I’ve been putting my nose to the grind, researching & figuring out the best way to get it out there! There’s lots to learn & all this technical stuff is kind of hurting my brain, but it will be well worth it 😉 I’m currently working on setting up a website (which will be janeenarens.com), so that I’ll have a one stop shop for all my stuff! Just for fun, here’s a little sneak peak of what it will look like.

website preview updated

I’d be thrilled if you could support me by following this blog (just click the “Follow” button on the right side of my blog page) or liking my Facebook page. Right now, those are the best ways to stay up to date with my music stuff & also the best way to learn about when my website is live, which will then be the best place to stay connected with me 🙂

THANK YOU for following & supporting my journey!

Much love,

– Janeen

*Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
*IG: janeen.arens
*YouTube: Janeen Arens

Springtime Melody – Original Piano Composition

Hey guys!!

So, I’ve officially scheduled a recording session to record my songs!!! The recording session is next month, & I will be releasing the “original 12” in my first album, “Reflections of Joy,” sometime in early 2016 (stay tuned for exact date!) This album is A LONG time coming, so I’m beyond excited to have a plan in place to get this done & start sharing some professional recordings of my songs with you! I’ve also been working on scoring my music, so will have sheet music available for anyone who plays piano as well 🙂 Exciting things happening in my piano world!

Since my recording session is a little over a month away, I need to buckle down & re-learn / master some of my older songs that I haven’t played in awhile. Some of them I have let fall by the wayside so I need to spend some time with them so they’re ready to record on December 23! I’ll be practicing & releasing a video of one of my originals each week leading up to the big recording day 🙂

First song on the chopping block is “Springtime Melody.” I know, it’s a strange one to share right when we’re heading into winter & the coldest days of the year, but maybe this will give you some happy thoughts of Springtime & nicer days to come 🙂 This song is a tribute to the wonderful season of Spring, the re-awakening of life after the dead of winter, the re-emergence of all things green, the energizing feel of warm sunny days, & the overall joy & happiness that comes with the arrival of this season.

I hope this one brings some happiness to you all! It was fun spending some time with this song this week & rediscovering my love for it. Enjoy!

P.S. If you liked this, it would be awesome if you could support me by following this blog, subscribing to my YouTube channel, or liking my Facebook Page 🙂 You guys are great!

Thanks for listening!

– Janeen

Reflections of Joy – My First Original Piano Composition

Hello everyone!

Now that I’ve shared a few of my newest compositions & pieces I’ve been working on, I figured I’d throw it ALLLLL the way back to where it all began – “Reflections of Joy.”

This was my very first piano composition. I wrote this song when I was 14 years old. I remember coming up with the melody in the shower (singing in the shower … typical) & then playing around with it on the piano & embellishing it until……VOILA …. my very first original song was born. This created a domino effect & I fell in love with composing & wrote many other songs that year (which I will be sharing on here…follow the blog if you want to be notified when I publish the rest!)

Some people from around my hometown might recognize this as the “Wintz & Ray Funeral Home Theme Song”…haha! For those of you who may not know, my family is in the funeral business, so they use my music for a lot of their commercials & stuff 😉

My mom helped me come up with the name (she helped me name all of my songs back then) … we decided on “Reflections of Joy” because it made us think back on happy times & wonderful memories. I hope this has the same effect on all of you as you listen to this song & reflect on your own happy times in your past 🙂

Thanks for listening!!

Ohh and if you happened to miss the other songs I’ve posted, check out the “Music” page on the blog here where all of the videos are 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the song! I’d love to hear what you think of it. Thank you so much for following my melody!

Until next time,

– Janeen