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San Diego pianist Jeeyoon Kim shares life lessons through music and words

Award winning pianist releases self-help book to share her joy for life, music and surfing

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego concert pianist who has performed at Carnegie Hall, is often called the gateway drug to classical music.  In this Zevely Zone, I went to Hillcrest to soak up the sounds of struggle and joy. Travelling somewhere, almost in a trance, award winning concert pianist Jeeyoon Kim is on a journey.  As Jeeyoon plays Chopin, she envisions herself strolling through a secret garden. "I am going into it and then I am amazed. Wow! Where am I? I might find a little pond there," said Jeeyoon.

Credit: KFMB TV

The musician grew up in South Korea where the keys on her instrument unlocked a talent that would take her all over the world. She is not sure at the age of four if she chose the piano or the piano chose her. Listening to her play is almost like riding a wave.  It may surprise San Diegans that she does one thing every day along with play the piano. "Surfing!! Ha, ha, ha, ha," laughed Jeeyoon. 

As a beginner, Jeeyoon says she falls all the time, but she finds joy in the challenge which is in part is why she wrote her new self-help book Whenever You're Ready: How to Compose the Life of Your Dreams.  "You know why not? What if I wrote a book? I ask two questions; will I have fun? Yes. Will there be one person who benefits or appreciate what I wrote? I think yes," said Jeeyoon.

Credit: KFMB TV

As an accomplished performing artist, she credits her success to key disciplines, practices, and mindsets that she lives out every day. "In this book, I share all of the tools that I employ behind

the scenes to deal with my career as a pianist," Jeeyoon explains. "Being a musician has helped me shape my life, and I've come to see that these tools are valuable to everyone. If I can do it, you can do it too."

Credit: KFMB TV

Structured like one of the concerts she performs, this self-help book starts with a prelude and contains five movements, each focused on a different theme, such as forming habits and boosting creativity. Each movement is followed by a quick intermission that takes readers through a mini master class to help them gain an appreciation of classical music.

Jeeyoon graduated with distinction with a Master's Degree and a Doctorate Degree in Piano Performance, all on full scholarship from Indiana University's renowned Jacob School of Music. She believes we all need a gentle nudge to balance ours doubts with courage, then compose the life of our dreams. "I do this to give this gift of music to others to connect with others," said Jeeyoon. "The piano chose me."

RELATED: San Diego Accordion Club is 'Polka Paradise'

Information about Whenever You're Ready, Jeeyoon's latest podcast episodes, concert schedule, and other endeavors can be found at www.jeeyoonkim.com.

RELATED: Carmel Valley teenager using music therapy to help with COVID-19 brain fog

Jeeyoon is hosting an in-person author event on Thursday, December 2, 2021 from 11 am - noon at the Coronado Library. Register at cplevents.org to reserve your seat for this event. Registration is encouraged but not required. To order Jeeyoon Kim's book, click here.