My first instrument to learn was piano when I was 5-6 years old. My parents said I was always asking them to learn piano since I was young, so they waited until I could take piano lessons. I took piano lessons from different teachers throughout my life, including piano schools, private teachers, conservatory, and university.
I think my early passion for music was sparked from watching Disney movies with classical music background. And I enjoyed playing anime music by ear as I grew up. During high school there was a period where I stopped playing the piano completely to focus on studying. However, the movie August Rush made me pursue piano performance for my career.
Right after I got my degree in music therapy, the pandemic started and it was hard to get a full-time job. Through YouTube, I found some music streamers that inspired me to try streaming and open myself to perform to the public. So I decided to try streaming music as a hobby so that I would keep developing my musician skills. But what was supposed to be a hobby to just try out turned out to be something that I truly enjoy and be passionate about. So now streaming is where I have my heart and mind in. I feel rewarded in providing music and helping people feel relaxed, healed, and happy.
I had no experience or expertise with streaming before. So it took me more than a month to just have basic streaming setup before beginning.
As I gained regular and loyal viewers, my channel has grown from being a chill and intimate vibe stream to an active and versatile channel. I have started including just chatting and gaming into my streams as well.
Many of the new followers comment on how nice, supportive, and warm my community is. They always greet, and the general energy is very positive and warm, with some funny humorous viewers as well. My community is very welcoming to new followers, they check on each other, say kind words and send good wishes to each other during the stream and on discord. Memes and sharing channels on Discord are busy as well.
My typical stream content is music. I take song requests for piano covers, game music, improvisations, and live-learns of the new songs. I also play guitar and ukulele from time to time. Even though I take streaming out of the equation, I would still enjoy the music I play. There are many game music requests on my channel and they are beautiful. However, personally, if I am playing music for only myself, I would play more of the Christian songs, pop songs, and classical songs more than I do during streams.
I think I show my true self and that’s what draws people into my channel because they see me as a genuine streamer. However, if I were to create a brand persona I think a very fun and entertaining persona would be desirable since I enjoy watching humorous people who make me laugh. However, I think staying true to myself is easier than trying to be who I am not. There are always people who will like you, appreciate and enjoy you for who you are.
I think growing a solid base of regular viewers was the secret to growing since they always came to watch my channel and it helped others find my channel. I always tried to get to know each viewer and connect with them on a friendly level during the stream and in the Discord community in offline times as well. And during the stream, my mindset is to provide as good time as possible to my viewers, where they can feel happier, comforted, relaxed, and have fun together. I was growing steadily, but I was also lucky to be featured in Davie504’s youtube channel content and Twitch's frontpage, which helped with exposure and boosted follower and viewers numbers in a short amount of time.
It took me about 7 streams to meet all the requirements for affiliation and 5 months to become a Partner.
I am not streaming full time on twitch yet because my offline time demand is big. Besides streaming, I am also doing piano lessons and music therapy, and I started working on other social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram.
Currently, I am streaming 3 days a week, but I plan to increase it more days soon. I think it is important not to burn out while streaming and know one’s limits. The pandemic lifestyle helps with streaming since I am always at home and work from home. I have the flexibility to schedule my day as I wish and be a night owl, which helps me to stream late at night. During the streaming days I work as usual on my other jobs, and a couple of others before the stream I get ready for the stream and spend time on reviewing, preparing the setup, updates, new songs, making sure that everything is good to go, etc. I also make sure to have a good dinner so that I don’t become hungry during the stream and have enough energy.
After the stream, I usually stay on the raided channel for a bit while replying to Discord messages and emails, and watch some parts from the VOD and go to sleep.
My off days are not too different from my stream days, except that I am teaching more and I am more tired. So I usually relax and rest earlier at night, answer emails and messages, and during the weekends I try to engage in my hobbies, watch a movie, work on YouTube videos, music projects, research and learn more things, work on stream updates, practice, etc.
I don’t get anxious about not going outside and interacting with people in person. To be honest, I think a pandemic lifestyle suits me well. I enjoy working from home and still being able to meet new people, connect and interact with people.
When my friends and family found out that I started streaming they were happy and excited for me. They could easily tell how happy I was and that I genuinely enjoyed streaming.
Yes, I do see this as a maintainable lifestyle at least for a good number of years. It is hard to tell exactly for how long since everything these days changes so fast, but as long as there are viewers that are waiting to listen to me perform, I am sure I will want to be there for them. And this is the best job and most enjoyable job that I ever had in music. I feel like I was born to stream, always having the best time of my life when streaming.
The tools I use for my stream include OBS software, StreamElements, Twitch bots (Streamer Song List), and YouTube for song reference and live-learn by ear. Streamer Song List enables people to request songs, keep song requests in order, display the donation amount, and put live-learn requests.
Discord is a huge part of building the community and being connected to the fans even when not streaming.
For graphics and overlays, I like to draw, and many of my viewers like to draw also. I try to involve the artists in my community as well. Some were fan art, and some were commissioned.
I do look at analytics and try to determine what helped my stream to grow and try to analyze what helped to boost or hurt the viewer numbers, and click-through rates. I also watch my streams and try to look for moments and how my chat reacted.
Keyboard, audio interface, Stream Elements are my top 3 streaming tools. There are many other important tools that I could not stream without, however, these 3 are essential.
Think big! Try investing the financial support into upgrading the stream gear so that you can keep growing. You don’t have to start with everything ready, but as you grow, I believe the gears also should improve. People notice the updates and appreciate the good quality streams. For example, if you use a digital piano you will get better quality audio if you plug it into an audio interface, instead of just using a microphone. Having a camera helps for viewers to enjoy the channel more.
Always be nice to people and show gratitude for their support no matter how small or big they are. People will remember how you made them feel.
The ads on Twitch could be more targeted and more relevant to each user. Right now it seems like random advertisements are being played for 30 seconds long and they can’t be skipped. To avoid the ads, people need to pay $5 to subscribe for each channel. Advertisements for sure interfere with new viewers coming to check new channels.