Lee Seung Gi (이승기) – Forest (슾)

A beautiful mini-album by Lee Seung Gi. Although I’m not quite understand the meaning of the lyrics, I still get a lot of feelings, a lot of thoughts.

Somewhere, all those times that we were together

I look back to those times, as if I could touch it, as if it was yesterday.

(되돌리다 – Return)

It is not just the words that bring up the image of a man coming back to a place that he used to be, the melody give us that feeling too. I suddenly awoke when I recognized a part of 되돌리다 (Return) in 슾 (Forest). It reminds me of times when I kept going around and around and around the road that I was walking on, as my mind just wanted to go back to where that I was familiar to.

I am going to you
In between the beautiful seasons
So I won’t be sorry about our happy days passing through sometimes.

(슾 – Forest)

Well, it’s not a habit of mine to listen to an album in its right order, but I highly recommend everyone to stay relax and let the songs lead you through this short journey in the memory of love. And surely, you may find a little bit of yourselves there – as someone, at somewhere along this road.


윤하 – Home

매일 치열하게 살아
올라서려 했던 곳
그곳엔 내가 없었지
돌아가기엔 참 멀고
다시 걷긴 아득해
한참을 멈춰있던 날
불안함 가득한 뒤척임
쉴 곳이 없던 나의 집
버티고 버텨낸 시간들
누구나 다 그런 순간을 안고 살아
나를 안아주고 감싸주며 말을 했어
차갑던 숨이 녹아 아이처럼 울었지 난
너로 인해 I`m Home I`m Home
모든 게 참 쉽질 않아
그냥 되는 게 없지
그런데 네가 있어서
돌아갈 곳이 있는 난
강해지기로 했어
그래 난 네가 있어서
한 번 더 해볼 용기를 내
나를 믿어 보기로 해
너에게 보여 주려 해
너는 언제나처럼 잘 하고 있어
내게 눈 맞추고 빛이 나게 웃어주네
세상이 언제라도 나를 버린다고 해도
상관없지 I`m Home I`m Home
매일 치열하게 살아
올라서려 했던 곳
그곳엔 내가 없었지
모든 게 참 쉽질 않아
그냥 되는 게 없지
그런데 네가 있어서
네가 있는 곳 나의 집


I lived so fiercely
In the place I tried to go up
But I wasn’t there in that place

It’s so far to go back
But it’s too faint to walk again
I stopped in place for a while

Tossing and turning in anxiety
There was no place to rest even at home
I endured and endured through the times

Everyone has a moment like that in their lives
You said as you held and embraced me
The cold breath melted and I cried like a child
Through you, I’m home, I’m home

Nothing’s easy
Nothing just comes to you
But because you are here

I have a place to go back to
I decided to become stronger
Because I have you

I will take courage once more
I will decide to believe in myself
I will show you

Just like always, you are doing well
You look into my eyes and brightly smile
Even if the world throws me away at any time
I don’t care, I’m home, I’m home

I lived so fiercely
In the place I tried to go up
But I wasn’t there in that place

Nothing’s easy
Nothing just comes to you
But because you are here
Where you are is my home

Tank27 band

Tank27 is a quite new band whose style is a combination of traditional and modern music. They have 6 core-members, in which I’ve known some of them for years. Having the chance of attending their performance, I took a few photographs to keep as a memory, and also to give them as a gift from me.

Visit them at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tank27band






























Sing for resolution

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 20.20.41

(This is the outline for my speech in Public Speaking class on March 2014. Since I spent a lot of time on it, I really want to share it and see everyone’s opinion.)


General Purpose: To influence the audience on the way they study foreign language.

Specific Purpose: To propose the benefits of learning languages by singing, and to share personal experience in using that method.

Central Idea/Thesis Statement: Singing is not only an interesting way to learn a language; it is also an effective method.

Estimated Time: 7 minutes.



<Monologue Song – Taylor Swift> (If the embedded video doesn’t play, click link: http://vimeo.com/74631461)

 I want to tell you that I love singing. I really want to talk about singing in shower as an extension for my previous speech about morning shower, but – I’m not gonna say about that.

Today, I’ll talk about singing and how it helps us study languages. Did you notice that there were 2 different subtitles in the clip? One was English, and one was Vietnamese. As listening to music and singing are always my favorite things to do, this method helped me improve my English a lot. Beside of English, I also studied Japanese, Italian, and Korean in this way. 

Transition: I am not the only person who finds songs are useful. Dr. Karen Ludke at University of Edinburgh has done many researches on integrating music and language learning. She even wrote a workbook, “Teaching foreign languages through songs,” in which she describes how to use songs to help learners improve their memory, their speaking, and their culture knowledge.



  1. Memory

–     Dr. Katie Overy: “[…] listen and sing learning method can facilitate verbatim memory for spoken language phrases.”

–     Songs have short sentences, or long sentences that are cut into short parts with rhythm, so it is easier to remember a sentence in a song than a normal sentence.

–     Many Japanese and Korean songs are mixed between their own languages with English. In some songs, English even takes more than 50% of its lyrics.

“Endless Rain… Fall on my heart, kokoro no kizu ni,

Let me forget all of the hate, all of the silence.”

(Endless Rain – X-Japan)

In this example, there are only 4 Japanese words, and the rests are English. It’s a good amount of new words to start with learning Japanese.

Kokoro = Heart

No = Of

Kizu = Wound

Ni = To / On

–     With technology these days, it is not difficult for us to find the lyrics, and to roughly translate it so we can get the idea of the song.

–     When you like a song and sing it, you will surely sing that song plenty of times. I don’t think it’s normal if I learn by heart and read out loud Harry Potter more than once; but for a song, it is completely fine.

Transition: By repeating the lyrics over and over again with your voice, your brain can recall it easier when you see them again. Also, you can remember very well how those words are pronounced.

  1. Listening & Pronunciation

–     Carmen Fonseca Mora, professor at University of Huelva, Spain, stated, “Singing can facilitate development of auditory capacity and improve word articulation.”

–     From my experience, it is not easy to find someone who can help you practicing listening and speaking correctly. Before using this method, there were many times when I pronounced a word, and the listener could not get what I said. Then I realized: I can understand what the singers sing, so it’s reasonable to imitating the way they speak. I listened more, I sang more, and what I learned was not only how to mimic their pronunciation, but I also saw the differences in accent. While letter “R” is read very gently by Koreans, “sa-rang han-da neun ma-eum eu-ro do…” (Can’t Have You – Hi I Ni), the Italians try to make it sounds clear and strong “Con te partiro…” (Con Te Partiro – Andrea Bocelli).

Transition: By exploring the way singers sing and try to mimic them, you can improve both your pronunciation and listening skill.

  1. Culture

–     “Music does not exist in a vacuum; it exists in and reflects a society and a culture, and thus can refer to a whole world of ideas.” – Music and Language (1992), Christopher Dobrian, professor at University of California, Irvine.

–     When I first listened to the song “When you say nothing at all”, I did not understand the sentence: “Old Mr. Webster could never define…” as I could not understand who “Mr. Webster” is.When I realized Webster is the author of a famous dictionary, they all made sense to me. Their love is so beautiful that no word can describe.



Finally, I have an interesting information for you.

This is my name written in English: Tran Thanh Hai

And this is my name written in Vietnamese: Trần Thanh Hải

Do you see the difference? Yes, they look difference. And they sound different too. <Read the words>

Each vowel in Vietnamese has its own rhythm. Therefore, if you want to study Vietnamese, singing method is absolutely the best way to learn quickly. If you are interested in my language, you can come and ask me after this speech.

Because, today, I’m not gonna say about that, in my persuasive speech.


Work Cited

“Saturday Night Live Taylor Swift.” NBC. New York. 07 Nov. 2009. Television.

Gray, Richard. “Singing Can Help When Learning A Foreign Language.” The Telegraph.

18 Jul. 2013. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

Fonseca-Mora, Carmen, et al. “Melodies that help: The Relation between Language

Aptitude and Musical Intelligence.” Anglistik International Journal of English

Studies (2011). Academia. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

Dobrian, Christopher. “Music and Language.” Department of Music, Claire Trevor

School of Arts, University of California, Irvine (1992). Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

Seattle Ladies Choir


Yesterday I allowed myself to relax and attended a live performance. Well, it has been a while since I went to a theatre. I chose an annual event by Seattle Ladies Choir, which I guessed would be an easy-listening show.

I arrived The Cornish Playhouse at 7pm and headed inside. It was not crowded there; and it was not fancy also. However, that’s not important.

The show began after half an hour. The performers started to appear on the stage. 1, 2, 3, 4,… Oh my god, there were almost 50 ladies!

For a brief introduction, Seattle Ladies Choir is not just a “musical band”; it is a community for women who wants to meet and find people with the same hobbies with them. After 7 years, they now have members from different ages, different races and different professions. Together, they do talking, knitting, and of course, singing.

The ladies quickly formed 2 rows on the stage and waited for the pianist to get ready. And there the first song came. Their “Skinny Love” (Birdy’s version) really impressed me. But then there was more. I couldn’t stop being amazed when they showed their singing skills, not only in group songs but also in solo songs. They sang extremely well! I love the mood they created in “Hollow Drum” (Laura Welsh), as they varied the tempo, the pitch, and also their dances. More surprising, when it came to “Counting Stars” (One Republic), one lady stepped forward, took out a flute and presented the intro. Wonderful!

I didn’t notice how fast time flew until they finished their mashup “Titanium/Bulletproof” (Sia Furler, David Guetta, Giorgio Tuifort & Nick Van Wall). Everyone stood up, clapped hands and asked for more. The audiences did not want to leave the theatre, and it was obvious that the choir did not want to leave neither. “Ok, one more.” – said the female maestro. It looked like she was hiding a special gift. The crowd quickly turned quiet and held their breathe.

“Is this the real life… Or is this just fantasy…”

OH MY GOD!!! “Bohemian Rhapsody” came out unexpectedly, and the audience exploded with excitement. The vocals were excited too, I could tell how much they enjoy singing this song. The ending could not be any better.

It is such a pity that I couldn’t record any of their songs, so I looked for their Youtube channel instead. As I’m listening to their other songs, I am so eager to go to their show again. I can’t wait!

The Magic Flute

Fantasie from The Magic Flute – Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Violin: Gil Shaham


Thực tình thì Mozart không nằm trong số những tác gia mà tôi yêu thích, có lẽ vì nhạc của ông phần nhiều vui tươi, trong sáng – những cảm giác mà tôi không mấy khi hứng thú mỗi khi nghe nhạc một mình. Tuy nhiên, phải công nhận rằng nhạc của ông tinh tế đến kì lạ, dễ dàng được nhiều người yêu thích. Có thể ví dụ như Rondo Alla Turca (Turkish March), Symphony no.25, Symphony no.40, Eine Klein… và vở nhạc kịch tôi đặc biệt yêu thích “The Magic Flute”.
Link này chỉ là một bản biến tấu từ giai điệu trong vở nhạc kịch, nhưng tôi lại vô cùng yêu thích. Nếu có bạn nào thắc mắc, hãy đơn giản tua đến đoạn 8:50 của bản nhạc…

Chopin – Piano concerto no.1 mvt.1

Frédéric Chopin – Piano Concerto no.1 opus.11 mvt.1 “Allegro Maestoso” – trích từ CD “The Great Composers CD04 Frederic Chopin”. Một đêm tình yêu lãng mạn và huyền ảo và cảm xúc của nhạc sỹ thiên tài: đê mê, tin tưởng , cũng có lúc tuyệt vọng cay đắng, nhưng cũng có lúc êm đềm của sự khởi đầu mới… (nguồn: Zing)


“The Tempest”

Sonata no.17 “Tempest”, movement.3 (Ludwig van Beethoven) Một trong những bản sonata hay nhất của Beeth. Bản nhạc miêu tả cơn bão tố, với tiếng sấm, những tiếng mưa không ngừng rơi tí tách, với những cơn gió mạnh liên tục đổi chiều cuốn ta theo dòng cảm xúc của nhạc sĩ.
Piano: Wilhelm Kempff – Nghệ sĩ piano mà mình yêu thích nhất, bởi tốc độ và cảm xúc trong tiếng đàn của ông.

Hi, how do you guys think about Classical? Let’s watch Wilhelm Kempff performs the 3rd movement of “The Tempest” – sonata no.17 by Ludwig van Beethoven. My favorite pianist playing my favorite song!!!