“Whenever You’re Ready”: Local Concert Pianist Changes Keys to Publish First Book

To help others compose the performance of a lifetime, local concert pianist Jeeyoon Kim went from piano keys to computer keys to write her first book, “When You’re Ready: How to Compose the Life of Your Dreams.” “.

The book, released August 24, contains a series of lessons Kim has cultivated through decades of professional gaming. She says she shares them now to help others be successful, no matter what their field.

“I find preparing for concerts so much the same as preparing for life,” Kim said. “Everyone has a stage called life.

Kim has performed several times for the La Jolla Music Society and the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York and with the Chamber Music Society in San Francisco and the Stradivari Society in Chicago.

Kim, who grew up in South Korea and now lives in Hillcrest, said she was a “messenger of music” and performing was a way for her to communicate “the soul” with her audience.

She said writing a book is a similar interaction for her. “I consider myself to be an introvert; the intimate relationship between readers and authors is so special.

The title of the book, she said, comes from “30 seconds before you get on every stage.” There’s a stage guy holding that stage door [who] says, “Whenever you’re ready. “

“At that point, I have to build so much courage and say to myself, ‘Yes, you are ready, you are enough, just the way you are,’” Kim said.

“People think, ‘Oh, you’re so talented,’ she said. “They don’t understand that life is so much more complex than someone [having] a magic potion of talent. It’s a lot of discipline and persistence.

Kim, who also has a podcast and a YouTube channel and teaches music, said her success also comes from learning to shield yourself from negativity and connect with others.

She structured the book like a concert, with a prelude, movement, and encore, interspersed with “intermissions” – Kim’s explanations of her favorite piano compositions.

Pianist and author Jeeyoon Kim says that “the dream is a muscle” that needs exercise.

(Courtesy of Jeeyoon Kim)

The book is written as “a conversation about life,” she said, and includes activities Kim has used throughout her life.

In one movement – or chapter – of the book, Kim discusses definitions of success. “A lot of successes right now are defined by numbers,” she said – tickets sold, dollars earned, Instagram followers.

“My wish for success is [that] my inner being is not shaken by a crisis in life or [an] external thing, ”Kim said. “If I’m happy, then I’m successful. “

She said she wanted readers to know that “you can be successful right now if you want to. The answer is not on the outside but on the inside.

Another movement explores Kim’s idea that “the dream is a muscle” that must be exercised in order for dreams to come true.

She said she was once given a postcard from Carnegie Hall and thought, “It would be nice to play there. The next day she called Carnegie Hall and said, “I’m really embarrassed about this, but how do I play there?

Kim said she was given a list of steps to be taken to be allowed on stage. She worked on the list until, two years later, she took the stage at Carnegie Hall and said into the microphone, “Welcome to my dream.”

“If you have crazy dreams [that you] take it in small steps, you might get there, ”she said.

Kim will return to La Jolla for a concert at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in March. She called it “homecoming” to play La Jolla.

“It’s a different feeling every time I play here,” she said. “The crowds are different. It’s more energy because people already know me.

She said she was the first pianist to perform in the Conrad during her acoustic tests before the center opened to the public. “I was wearing a construction hat. … The first note came from me. I felt like I was giving birth.

Kim will appear online courtesy of Warwick Bookstore at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14. For more information visit warwicks.com/event/jeeyoon-kim-2021.

“When you’re ready: how to compose the life of your dreams” is available for purchase at bit.ly/JeeyoonKim. ??

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