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In this article, we talk about our talented colleagues. Who are they — our #leverxpeople?

Nastassia Isayeva — She Sings in a Сhoir and Plays Four Musical Instruments

We're sure most of you like music. Pop or metal, classic and modern — it doesn’t matter. What place does music occupy in your life? How do you enjoy listening to music? Do you play it in the background when you're doing something? Or do you like listening to music more deeply by slowing down and soaking up every note? Maybe you play or sing music yourself? 

For our colleague Nastassia Isayeva, music is more than just a hobby. Read about what instruments she plays now and wants to master in the future, and find out more about singing in a choir. 

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Nastassia, you play four musical instruments. What are they?

— I play accordion, piano, bayan, and guitar. 

How long have you been playing music?

— It all started when I entered music school when I was eight years old. There, I learned to play all these instruments. Overall, it took me six years to study piano and accordion and one year to study bayan and guitar. 

Wow! Learning to play four instruments is not an easy thing. What helped you the most when studying?

— Since childhood, I have liked music and dreamed of dedicating my life to it and being a singer and musician. The understanding that the music you're playing now is the result of your work is amazing. It helped me learn, motivated me not to give up and overcome all challenges.

Why did you choose these particular instruments? 

— I wanted to enter the music school and learn to play string instruments. But when my parents and I came to apply, there were already no free places in this class; only cello and double bass were left. But I was a small child and could hardly handle these instruments. 

The only available instrument was the accordion, and the piano was a compulsory additional instrument to master. After studying at music school for six years, I realized that two instruments were not enough for me. That’s why I asked my parents to apply me for the bayan and guitar class. 

Tell us more about each instrument. What do you like about them?

— Each instrument is interesting in its own way. I like the accordion most because of its romantic, sophisticated sound associated with France. Moreover, I like to control the mechs’ fanning, speed, and playing sharpness.

I like the piano's versatility: you can play any music with it. It's also the easiest way to compose your own melodies. And, of course, I like the piano sound. 

I like the bayan for its folk spirit. Many people associate it with something close and dear. And it's also similar to an accordion. 

A guitar is a guitar. It's the most soulful instrument that you can always take with you and that any company will enjoy. 

Which instrument is easier to master, and which is more difficult? 

— The guitar is the most common instrument for beginners. The only challenge for girls is long nails. It's very uncomfortable to play the guitar with them. And your motor skills are also important. If you want to play something more complex, you have to develop your finger motor skills. 

Accordion and bayan are heavy instruments. When I was a child, it was challenging to fan the mechs: these instruments weigh 4-5 kg each. Also, when playing the accordion, bayan, or piano, your hands must work independently: one hand plays the main melody, and the other accompanies it. It's difficult as well; you have to train your hands and brain.

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You have mastered four musical instruments. How difficult was it? 

It wasn't difficult for me. The accordion was pretty easy. When I learned the piano, my teacher told me I had perfect fingers for this instrument. My guitar teacher said the same thing.

What kind of music do you play?

At music school, I studied classical music. Now I prefer the modern one: I find notes on the Internet and learn them. Sometimes, I play music by ear. As for the instruments, I usually play guitar or piano. 

I like all kinds of music, ranging from pop to rock, so you can hear sounds of various music genres coming from my room. I like to play Beethoven on the piano, know a lot of Queen songs, and also enjoy playing soundtracks from movies and anime. 

Why don't you try to play something modern on the accordion and bayan? Doesn't it sound?

It does. But I associate each instrument with a specific genre, and the accordion and bayan are not the best choices for playing modern music, in my opinion. 

Besides playing musical instruments, you're also a singer, are you?

Yes, I like singing, and I've been singing in the Exemplary Choir since the fifth grade.

Do you perform with the choir at any festivals?

We perform at various events. We have given concerts with many singers and groups in different European countries. In 2013, we took part in a major international festival for choirs. We even performed on a ship that sailed from Latvia to Sweden. 

How does music help you in your life? Does it bring any emotions?

As I already said, what I like most about playing an instrument is the understanding that you can make the music and you're good at it. It's an indescribable thrill. Playing instruments and singing is what I love the most, and nothing else can compare to it.

Do you plan to learn any other instruments? 

I've tried to play the drums and been pretty good at it. But it was limited to two or three classes. Who knows, maybe I'll get back to drums someday. It’s a pity, but I still can’t play any string-bowed instrument, and I'd like to learn to play the violin. I also want to try playing the cymbals.

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Is talent crucial for learning to play a musical instrument, or are persistence and desire enough? 

I think talent is not the most important thing. Of course, some talented people have no problem learning one instrument after another. But if you want to learn to play music and are ready to spend much of your time and patience on it, you will succeed. 

What advice can you give to those who want to learn to sing or play any instrument?

Not to give up if you fail. All you need in such situations is to keep practicing. Even experienced musicians have moments when they look at their music sheets and think they'll never play these notes. But that's not true. Everything can be played if you don't give up and will practice. This principle also goes to singing.

 

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