Monthly Archives:March 2017

Time for Three – Anne’s Earworms Episode 13

29 Mar 17
Anne Russell
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The group Time for Three is a modern group featuring two violins and a bass. A friend sent me one of their songs a while ago, but I haven’t listened to them much since then. I recently went to a Time for Three concert, which got me thinking about their songs again. Here are three awesome songs by Time for Three:



This is the first song I heard by time for three. It does a great job of showing their ability to use string instruments in a creative way, with a lot of harmonics and pizzicato (plucking the string).

Also, the violins have a nice counter-melody thing happening.


The combination of the string instruments and the vocals in this song make it interesting. I love their harmonies.

Hungarian Dance Number 5

This song is classical, but it shows their ability to have fun playing, and to coordinate together really well.

Time for Three is a great example of the “New Classical” genre. Their music is well-done and interesting.

March Goals

25 Mar 17
Anne Russell
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Woah, we’re almost a fourth of the way through the year. I’m excited. Ok, here’s how my goals have been going.

Reading Challenge

This month I read:
Till We Have Faces, by C. S. Lewis. C. S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors, and this book was fascinating.
Living Forward, by Daniel Harkavy and Michael Hyatt. This was my “book with multiple authors.” It was also my Audible book, so I’ll talk more about it in a moment.
Captive in Iran, by Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirzadeh. This was one of the best books I’ve read this year. I learned a lot about Iran, and about what it means to trust God in all circumstances. If you want to read Captive in Iran, you can find it here.
I also started reading The Essential Tea Companion, from Hearst Books. This book has been fun to read, and inspired a mini tea party with my sister Rebecca (which grew to most of my family).

Writing Every Day

This has still been one of my harder challenges. I’m working to be more consistent. Even though I haven’t done perfectly in this challenge, I’m glad that I’ve written more consistently this year than I ever have before. Since I’ve been writing more consistently, I can write my thoughts more quickly and naturally.

Anne’s Earworms

I’m still enjoying writing the Earworms, even though it can be hard to write two posts a week. I decided to try to find one new artist or album each week (If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them in the comments section!).
This month I wrote about Sam Tsui, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, and two of my favorite songs. I’m happy that I’ve made it all the way to Episode 12.

The Bible in a Year

I did get behind for several days this month, but I’m back on track now. I’ve completed 273 chapters of the Bible so far. This month, I made a goal to choose a verse to meditate on throughout each day. Sometimes I choose a verse from my Bible reading, and sometimes I choose a new memory verse, or a review verse. This has helped me to apply the verses better, because I’m actually thinking about them.


Reading audible isn’t even a challenge now. This month, I listened to Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy’s book Living Forward. The book talks about the benefits of life planning, and how to do it. It was a great book, and the Audible book was read by the authors, which made it even better. Last Saturday I made a life plan (hence there was no blog post then), and it was helpful for me to think about where I wanted to go in the future.

My Favorite Sam Tsui Covers – Anne’s Earworms Episode 12

22 Mar 17
Anne Russell
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I’ve been listen to Sam Tsui’s covers for a while, and while I don’t listen to all of his music, I love several of his covers. Here are my top 4:

Million Reasons (Lady GAGA)

This song has a groovy feeling. In this cover, the parts are well-blended, yet distinct.

Stressed Out (Twenty-One Pilots)

Sam covered this song with Kurt Hugo Schneider. I like how they make the verses melodic and speech-like.

Stitches (Shawn Mendes)

The piano in this song is full and tasteful, and the vocals are wonderful.

Don’t Wanna Know/We Don’t Talk Anymore (Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez/Maroon 5)

Sam did this song as a duet with Alex G. Their voices are really nice together, and I think this a brilliant mashup.

Bonus Song

Here is Sam Tsui’s original song “Shadow:”

A City Called Heaven – Anne’s Earworms Episode 11

15 Mar 17
Anne Russell
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I first heard Jubilant Sykes sing this song in a Louisville Orchestra concert with my Mom. I don’t usually listen to this genre of music, and I was amazed by how beautiful the song was. His voice is phenomenal, and the harmonies on the piano are dark and interesting.



If you want another great Jubilant Sykes song, I recommend “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.”


How to Meet New People

11 Mar 17
Anne Russell
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Last semester I spent a lot of time working on being friendly to other people. I had a lot of anxiety, so meeting new people was an uncharted experience for me. I still have lots of lessons to learn, but here are a few things I learned to practice when meeting new people:


When your face says that it’s happy to see other people, the rest of you will begin to follow. In the same way, if your face is terrified, the rest of you will be too. Plus, if you’re scared, it can make the other person nervous. If both people are freaking out, the conversation is much more likely to fail.

Introduce yourself first.

You don’t have to be ridiculous about it, but don’t wait around to introduce yourself. The longer you wait, the more awkward it will get. I made a goal in the fall to introduce myself immediately to new people, and it made the terror much easier to manage.

Ask lots of questions.

I’ve heard this advice from a lot of people, and it’s super helpful. A good idea is to ask a question, then really listen to their answer. Then, try to ask a thoughtful follow-up question. For example:
You: How many siblings do you have?
Stranger: 2. I have a brother and a sister.
You: Oh, are you the oldest?
And so forth. When I first tried this, it felt fake and uncomfortable, but it has gotten easier with repetition. This has the added benefit of learning about the other person.

Learn their name.

This can be easier said than done, but here are a few tips:

  • Introduce yourself using your name. When they respond in kind, try to remember it.
  • Write it down. Don’t be awkward, but if you get the chance, jot their name down. You can also type it into your smart phone.
  • Ask again. If you lose their name partway through the conversation, just ask them to remind you at the end of the conversation. They’re more likely to be happy that you care than offended.

Some people recommend making word associations for people’s names. I don’t do this often, but I’ve seen it work well for others.

Embrace the awkward.

Meeting new people is really hard, but push through it. Remember: the other person may feel just as awkward as you do. Focus on helping them enjoy the conversation, and don’t worry about it being weird.

I hope these tips help you when you’re meeting new people. Maybe you’ll even start (gasp!) enjoying it. If you set up a relationship by being friendly and positive, it’s much easier to build it up.
What are your tips for meeting new people? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section.

Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas – Anne’s Earworm’s Episode 10

08 Mar 17
Anne Russell
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One of my good friends introduced me to Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, and I was an instant fan. I listened to their album Fire and Grace first. I started listening to In the Moment a couple of weeks ago, and I love it just as much.


The thing that I like most about their music is the intricacy. The cello and the fiddle are each complementary, but still somewhat independent. Their song “Between” is a good example. This song is minor and edgy. Each instrument plays the melody some of the time, and a unique accompanying part another time. The two parts form a beautiful union of rich tones. (Warning: the cello line will get stuck in your head.)


Another great example of their lovely combination is the song “Josefin’s Waltz.” This is my favorite song by Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas. The two instruments work together beautifully, and it feels like walking on air (or waltzing on air, rather).


Their music is both interesting and pleasant to hear. It has more cohesiveness than an “experiment in sound” song like some modern jazz, but isn’t cliche. After I listen to a song like their version of St. Kilda wedding, I feel as if it’s fogged around me for the rest of the day. It fills my mind with interesting musical ideas, and I love it.


Ways to Gain Energy

04 Mar 17
Anne Russell
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Sometimes I get pretty tired in the afternoon, or wake up feeling moody. Here are some ways that I’ve been helping myself gain energy and get in a better mood:

  • Use Essential Oils. I like using a combo of orange and geranium essential oils.
  • Get Exercise. This one is more prevention than cure. After I exercise, I generally feel more productive and happy.
  • Go Outside. Because I’m a college student, it’s easy for me to spend most of my time indoors. I have to be intentional about taking walks, or jumping on the trampoline with my younger siblings.
  • Listen to Upbeat Music. I learned this one from a Blimey Cow video called “7 Ways to Turn Your Day Around.” I like Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas’ version of “St. Kilda Wedding.

  • Do Something Productive.  I always feel better after I’ve gotten something done, whether it’s cleaning my room, or forcing myself to practice music for an hour.
  • Check My Nutrition. Drinking enough water, eating enough food, and eating the right kind of foods are all important to me. I have had problems with eating properly in the past, so I have to be extra careful about this.


Anther great article about getting more energy is Michael Hyatt’s post “10 Practical Ways to Boost Your Energy.

Radio Sweethearts – Anne’s Earworms Episode 9

01 Mar 17
Anne Russell
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I recently started listening to Kate Rusby, and this is my favorite song of hers that I’ve heard so far. I like this song for several reasons:

First, it tells a beautiful story. I like a good romance story. In song? Even better.

Second, the music is addicting. The guitar makes you feel like you’re soaring. It also varies from verse to verse, which makes it interesting. The other instruments add to the swinging feel of the music. I love the chords, and her accent is beautiful. All of this combined makes for one of my favorite songs I’ve found this year.

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I do!