Jivko Jivkov – Student of the Month for November in Music Lessons

Teacher: Kristian Banatzianou

- What made you choose the piano among all the other instruments?

About a year and a half ago I used to live in a dwelling and there was a big Russian grand piano there. I was curious and I decided to try to play something. It turned out I could “catch” the melodies quickly. It was interesting for me, so I decided to turn it into a hobby of mine. Why the piano? It was a completely random choice, but that time the piano suited me with its sound and melody. I even started to identify myself with it.

- Do you want to try another music instrument?

I don’t think that another instrument would fit me. I often catch myself singing some melody and it is interesting for me how it would be performed on the piano. That’s my passion right now – the clear sound of the piano. I am not attracted to the other music instruments.

- You like the sound of the piano. Is it due to its harmonic potential?

I have no explanation. Maybe yes. I like the guitar, too, but it cannot be a substitute for the piano. I often have melodies in my head, which I wish to learn to play, even if they are not meant for a piano performing.

- You are a computer specialist – this is a very different occupation from the piano studies. Do you find any resemblance or any big difference between your profession and your hobby?

I think there is a big resemblance between them. In my job I work with exact science; I search for the logic – the reasons and results of everything I do. And the interesting thing about the piano is that the learning of new melodies is a very creative process. You start from nowhere and you can create something really impressive. In my profession I create a software, which is used by other people. In music I play the melodies for myself. You can use analytical process in both things. The logical method is very much embedded in the exact science, where you make hypotheses and prove them. They have a small interval, for example: you make a try-out and an error, try-out – error, and finally the result of a try-out is a success. I think the same thing works with the piano when you are trying to learn a new melody. You make mistakes; looking for the right way until you succeed. Sometimes it takes time and requires a strong will. But yes, I think there is a resemblance.

- What do you receive from the relationship with the piano? What do you feel while playing?

The interesting thing about me is that while playing I “turn off“ myself. I stop thinking about anything else and then the piano and I become one. Somehow it becomes like a part of me. There is a real deep relationship between me and my piano. Maybe I wouldn’t play another pianos. You get used to playing your own instrument and its sound sticks in your mind. When you play another piano it’s a bit different.

- What is the type of your piano? What are the differences between it and the instruments of “Music Lessons”?

At home, I play a digital piano Yamaha model YDP-161. During the lessons in “Music Lessons” I play a real grand piano and there are many differences between them both. But I think there isn’t a huge difference in the music which I perform with them. But playing at home is definitely much easier. Maybe because I practice often there and the habit has an influence on the process. I perceived that the sound of a real piano is much louder, intensive and impressive.

- Don’t you think that a grand piano gives the opportunity for a better performance?

I am planning to buy a real grand piano in the future. This is my dream because the sound of the acoustic instrument is more full-toned and melodic.

- What did you get from the piano in general? Did you learn anything new, besides the actual playing? Maybe new people that you have met or new feelings that you have got?

Playing the piano helps me to relax and it is a nice hobby. When I playing I forget about the problems and the stress. I totally “submerge” into the music and take a rest. I am still trying to find the balance between the usefulness and the pleasure from playing. The other important advantage from my piano pursuits is that I enriched my musical culture and met a lot of new interesting people.

- There is a Student Concert on December 11th in “Music Lessons”. Would you like to share with us what is your feeling while playing in front of a public?

Playing in front of a public is a great experience. I have done it several times in the “Music Lessons” concerts. Most of the people are nervous when they know they aren’t professional pianists. There is always a moment of tension, even panic. I think these concerts are very useful, because they teach me to be confident when I play in front of other people. This is the next logical step in the development of an “amateur” pianist. I have no desire to turn the piano into more than just a hobby, but I definitely enjoy playing in front of people.

- So, you rather enjoy that special emotion while you are on stage?

I can understand people who say it was embarrassing for them to play in front of others. They usually give up doing it. I rather think that I have nothing to lose, I can only learn something new. I am not afraid of a bad performance, because anyway it would not be shown on TV, besides I do not do it for living. It is just something new I want to learn.

- Has your personality changed since you play? Did you experience anything new, or did you learn anything about yourself that you didn’t know before?

I have never though about this. Maybe playing the piano, and playing music in general, unblocks some artistic part of me. I still analyze myself and what the music means for me. Really, this is the only hobby I have and I want to do it as long as I can.
I don’t know if it’s realistic but I am interested in composing, too. This is something I want to learn if possible.

- Have you ever tried to invent and write a melody of your own?

I have done some very small experiments, but I think I am still at the very beginning of my musical development. I will surely try it sometime with the help of my teachers. I am definitely interested in composing and I would like to be not just a performer, but to create music of my own as well.

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