The Happy Pianist sits down with the winners of The Happy Pianist Festival 2020 to find out more about their music journey and experience throughout the festival.

In this interview, we have Trina, who is the winner of the Best Classical Pianist, Senior category.

Hi, my name is Trina, and I have learned the piano for 13 years.

1. Why did you join the festival?

I joined because I wanted something to work towards. It’s easy to lose motivation especially with the covid situation where many events have been cancelled. I didn’t want to lose momentum, and also wanted to try something new by taking part in a competition, which wasn’t something I did a lot of before.

2. How much you practice a day to prepare for the festival?

It’s hard to give an exact answer because I had a lot of other matters to handle during the competition period so my practice hours weren’t very regular. Some days I spent shorter hours, other days longer hours.

Beethoven Sonata No.26 in E flat Major Op 81a 3rd mvt by Trina, for Semi- Finals:


3. How did your teacher support you?

My teacher helped me to refine my pieces by guiding me on elements like tone, expression, composer’s intent and using the appropriate technique.

4. How did your parents support you?

My parents helped me by lending me their phones to do recordings haha 🙂 The recording for the semi-finals had instances where it kept increasing and decreasing in brightness because my phone camera was unable adjust to the lighting properly. Using their phones helped me to improve the quality of the recording for the finals so the visuals weren’t as disruptive.

5. How many video recordings did you do before submitting the final one?

I only kept the better takes so I’m not entirely sure, but around 15.

Brahms Rhapsody in B Minor Op.79 No.1 by Trina for Grand Final


6. What do you love most about this festival?

What I liked about the festival was that a wide range of music was accepted and showcased. While I do enjoy classical music, I also enjoy other types of music. Game music, music from shows, jazz – they’re all really great to listen to.

That being said, I loved the inclusion of the pop category and found the performances really refreshing. In general, it was nice that participants were given much freedom in deciding what they wanted to play, and how they wanted to play, like with the additional screens showing the show that the music was from and doll on the piano.

It isn’t something that you usually get in a typical piano “competition” where its much more restrictive

This lack of restriction left more room for personalised creative expression, which made many performances more enjoyable.

In summary, I think I liked how it was felt like less of a competition and more of a showcase and appreciation for an individual’s skills – creativity, style, flair etc.

7. Any words to thank the people who support you?

I want to thank my parents, and my teacher(s), both past and present, for all that they’ve done. Without their time, sacrifice and guidance it really, really would have been impossible for me to have come this far. So, thank you 🙂

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