Carin Maxey

Carin Maxey

Jacksonville, FL

About the author

Carin Maxey is an attorney based in Jacksonville, Florida. For over twenty years Carin has focused on a wide range of legal issues. Outside of work she enjoys watersports and playing piano.

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Tips for Pianists

For the original blog, please visit my website! - CarinMaxey.org

As many of my friends and family know, I love to play the piano. On Sunday’s, I’m often called in to local churches to play for their worship team if their regular pianist is unavailable. I don’t do this for money, I do it for the joy of giving back to my community. There are always ways for me to improve so I went on a hunt for tips on how to become a better pianist. For all you pianists out there, I hope you find this advice as useful as I did!

Know your place

This is a great tip for any traveling pianist. Be cognizant of how you play based on the team you’re playing alongside. If you’re the only instrument, play louder and with more complexity. If you’re part of a large worship team, simplify your playing so you don’t dominate over the other instruments.

Don’t teach yourself

Sure, teaching yourself to play piano can feel like a major accomplishment, but what they don’t tell you about teaching yourself is you’re also picking up bad habits. These bad habits can lead to injury in the most serious of cases. Take lessons so you can learn to avoid these mistakes.

Practice most days

For myself, I noticed a lot of the same songs are being played in churches in the same denomination. It’s good to practice these familiar songs so when Sunday comes, they’re easier to play. However, don’t just stick to what you know. Practice sight reading so you can accommodate your playing for all different kinds of songs.

Work on music you like

I don’t always have the option to choose what I’ll be playing on any given Sunday, but I like this idea of playing what I like. I think playing a large diversity of songs is helpful in making me a better pianist, but I don’t want to dwell on the songs I don’t like.

Focus on the fundamentals

A Canadian writer, Robin Sharma, once said “Success lies in a masterful consistency around the fundamentals” and I don’t think that could reign anymore true when it comes to playing the piano. If you ever get stuck on a chord or a particular sequence, go back to the fundamentals to help you over the hurdle.

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Feb 14, 2018 18:00

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An Adopted Child Comes from a Mother’s Heart

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This blog was originally posted on CarinMaxey.org


“A Mother’s true love for her children knows no boundaries.”


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This cartoon was on our fridge growing up for as long as I can remember. My parents tried for years and didn’t think they could have children together, so they adopted my big sister in 1968 and then my big brother shortly after in 1969. ⠀


As the story goes…


On August 15, 1971, my daddy bought my mom a brand new Pontiac Catalina for her 28th birthday. My parents went out for a date that night, alone, for the first time since adopting my sister and brother — My mother told us it was the first time she let my siblings out of her sight since she was blessed with them as HER babies.


Without going into any mortifying details, I was conceived that night, even though my mother didn’t know it.  My mom was pregnant for five months (and still had an abbreviated monthly visitor) before she went to the doctor thinking something was wrong. Both the doctor and my mom knew she could not possibly be pregnant and her doctor gave her a shot to make her “cycle” regulate itself.  Within hours, my mom was at the hospital learning that she was pregnant, bleeding heavily, and fighting to not have a miscarriage.  Somehow both she and I survived the ordeal.  She was ordered to have “bed rest” for the rest of her pregnancy. (You know that was impossible with two active toddlers, but she tried her very best.)⠀


Exactly the number of days later required to “cook up” a baby, I was born on Mother’s Day: May 14, 1972, at 8:13 am, 8 lbs. 2 oz. and 21 inches long.  I was the ugliest baby ever born. I swear.


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Look at this photo, and you will agree. I was a baby only her mother could think was beautiful. My dad admits he freaked out a little at the sight of me. Afterall, my sister and brother had been such gorgeous babies. My body looked kind of like Kermit the Frog’s, and my face, well you see it…


The point of this story is that we children knew every day of our lives how we came into this world. My mom told us often how:  I came from her tummy, and my sister and brother came from her heart.  They were wanted and fought over, and I was a surprise miracle.  I wanted so badly to be adopted like them. Nothing pleased me more than when folks would say: “You look just like sisters!” Or “I can sure tell you are sisters!” Or “You look just like your brother!” I so wanted to come from my mom’s heart and not her tummy. I would never correct anyone when they assumed or thought all three of us were adopted. To this day, folks are surprised to learn I wasn’t adopted like my siblings. Folks often ask, “Did your parents treat you different?” Or “How was their love divided between the three of you?” The answer is: Their love was never divided or different. It was multiplied!


I was blessed to learn by example as a young child a lesson I have carried throughout my life: Love is a choice. It is not just a feeling. It is a commitment that knows no true boundaries and isn’t based on any conditions. You choose to love others with all your heart. Choosing to love another person is the most beautiful thing you can do with your life.


Everyone has a special family story, thank you for reading mine.




Recipe for a “Carin Maxey”


How do you make a Carin?


Add 1-pint shenanigans, 1/2-cup of Daddy Cool, 1-tsp of wit & charm. Combine it with 4-Tbsp Blonde Ambition, 1-stick of determination and mix with gentle Grace. Sprinkle with Sugar. Bake until Golden. Love Unconditionally.  Hope for the Best. Not everyone will like it, but that’s okay. If you love this recipe, please thank Big Daddy and Sweet Sanja. I do, with all my heart, each and every day.


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This photo is of my loving parents who were all I could ever ask for and more. I have my Father’s mouth and my Mother’s eyes. On my face, they are still together.


“Make your parents proud, your enemies jealous, and yourself happy.” —The Weeknd

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Feb 12, 2018 14:37

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