Saturday, September 24, 2005

Performing in Performance Class

I'm excited about what we're learning in class! I think it is very practical and useful that we are learning to write a resume. I've never written one before, so I hope mine will be correct! I also like that we are learning what it takes to be a performer, not just how to perform. For example, a good performer over prepares for something in order to be ready for anything during a performance. I am really liking this class because I am learning tips and techniques I can use in my practicing and my performing. Plus, Prof. Foy is just a fun, funny guy!

Professor Foy's Segment

Well, this week is very different from last week to say the least. Last week we were singing Indian ragas while this week we are discussing a very serious part of any person's life, their resume. I have to say that the word resume has always made me want to vomit. I am not really sure why though. It's not that big a deal, since it determines the rest of your life and everything. Anyway, this coming week I am hoping, more like will have to overcome my resume-phobia and I am not overly excited about it. As far as class this past week, I have enjoyed myself. I really appreciate the very relaxed environment, and it has made the resume 101 slightly less painful. I had a great time with our improv rainstorm and human machine exercise. Foy's point, supported by the author of "The Mastery of Music," was extremely important. A performer must have fun and be excited for a performance. Some tension is ok, but too much nervous energy will only be bad for a performance. More importantly, the better you know your material, the less nervous one should get. I enjoyed the last week and I'm looking forward to hearing everyone play this week.

Professor Foy's section of FYS, "Creativity and the Performer" is an essential part of the FYS curriculum. So often do people become locked in their own world of music and forget what music is in its most base form, a form of entertainment. Thus creativity and the ability to perform in front of others becomes two of a performer's most important qualities. Professor Foy has created a very good way of stressing this through our peer performances. I am wholesomely excited to see everyone perform in front of the class for this reason, to see my fellow student's creativity when they perform. The performances also give me an outlet to see how others of my age approach their music and possibly pick-up some helpful approaches towards my own music.

Really Relevant

Professor Foy's seminar rotation is so pertinent to us as musicians. Everything that he has us do, reflect on, or say is significantly relevant to the development of our careers and artistry. First of all, it is invaluable as a young adult, student, and developing musician to always have a resume ready. One never knows what last-minute opportunities may arise in which we will need to have a professional-looking resume ready and in hand. Professor Foy understands this, and is therefore,and wisely, having us to create our own resumes. I am really appreciative of the fact that he showed us bad resumes so that we will have a better idea of what is expected of us when we type our own resumes. I also think that it is smart to require us to put together portfolios, because the included warm-up exercises have us to analyze how we work our craft; this gives us background and a starting point for pedagogy and careers as teaching performers. It is also beneficial to require us to have a few artists whom we emulate, because it is crucial to the artist's growth to be able to learn from his peers and mentors. I'm excited about the upcoming performances this week, though I'm a little anxious about having to get up early to warm up for mine!

Friday, September 23, 2005

It's fantastic that we have to play for each other in class for FYS--I've been here for over a month and have heard only a small handful of my classmates play. And we all know each other by now well enough that it is a pleasure, not a worry, to play for each other. I know that DePauw has some wonderfully talented performers and musicians and I am excited to start to discover them. I hope that we can create a good atmosphere for each other to grow and learn it. I hope that we can be very encouraging and to "infect" each other with an excitement for music that makes us want to become the best we can. I hope that by end of the year, we can all say that we worked our rear ends off and achieved to our fullest potential. Our class, so far, seems to be very close--if only it stays that way!!! We need to encourage each other to practice when one of us is feeling lazy, we need to encourage each other when one of us is feeling defeated, and we need to remind each other that no matter how good you are now, you can always work towards being better. We are the next generation of musicians--it's quite a lot to live up to.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The long awaited post from Matt Patt...

This week has been going well. Professor Foy is da bomb!

We've made machines with sound, which I learned is music (actually organized sound). Also, we've talked about the importance of the resume; i.e. horrible resumes, even for amazingly talented individuals, don't do much good. Tomorrow, we're going to actually start composing our resumes in class.

The rest of my life? You've got to be kidding...

Alright...I think I'll just admit it now. Even though I am loving the experiences and values in the school of music currently, I still haven't decided if that is where I want to be for the rest of my four years here. This thinking about my resume has got me to thinking...I can't name 5 players that i would like to emulate, I probably can't name 5 classical sax or tuba pieces, and I still have trouble with scales. However, I do know that I love to perform on my sax (jazz) and the tuba (classical/marching) and I would love to just stay in it for fun (something like a drum corps or personal jazz combo). I really did not understand that all the people I would be seeing everyday would have such a better grasp on what goes on in the music world than I do. It's frightening now to try to see what I want to do in the music business. Oh well...the week's not over and there is still time to fall in love with this school all over again. We shall see how this goes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Thunderstorms and Noisy Machines

I must admit, I had a blast yesterday with the creative projects. It was so much fun to experiment with different noises and rhythms! Who knew that a music stand could sound so much like a typewriter or plastic chairs so much like rain? It was kind of the same experience as the Indian music provided us with. We're so used to being boxed into our traditional western music and western instruments that we forget there's so much more out there! It was fun to take time to explore some of those possibilities.

As far as the resumes....yeah. I really don't have any idea what I want to do when I get out of school. We'll just have to see what opportunities the future brings! That's part of why this time is so exciting for me (and I assume for all of you). I get to explore new ideas and gain new experiences. Who knows, maybe I'll end up one of those people who runs around finding new ways to produce sounds for special effects! Hollywood, here I come!

"Job Objective"

"Job Objective." It has to be one of the most difficult questions any young adult has to answer. Today, we split up into 3 groups and attempted to answer that question. I know I found it very difficult to try and answer the question because I'm not sure what I want to do, I just like to perform. I think I answered the question as best as I could, but it is still very vague. But I must say- it's the most specific, vague answer I've ever heard! Just kidding. Anyways- I agree with what Prof. Foy said about being guided for you entire life, not always having a choice or having a great influence on the decision made for you, and now we're expected to lay out flat what WE want to do. It's hard... I hope I'm not alone on this boat, because I'm still very lost on this whole "future" deal... I'm just going with the flow!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Noises!!

It has been only two days, and I'm already enjoying Professor Foy's seminar. Yesterday was just a overview with what we're going to do for two weeks (making a reseme). Today we worked outside of "our boxes" and figured out that music can be made without official instruments. I think everyone already knew that, but it's good to repeat things sometimes. One of the activities that we did was to make a rainstorm with any objects that was in the room. The group that I was a part of used sounds coming from the mouth, the blackboard, and chairs. I don't know if anyone else agrees with me, but I had a lot of fun in that class! Since everyone found out today that we have to perform next week, our instrument/voice, that will be interesting.

iTunes

I never in my life would have thought that I would be singing Indian ragas in college as part of my curriculum--and I wish that over the next few years, I can do a lot more of it. I love singing; but I'm no good...when it comes to Western music. I did, however, get a very good grade on my singing for Dr. Johnson because voice quality doesn't matter :) .
I liked listening to the music he played for us so much that I went to bother him several times to borrow his cds and put them on my iTunes (a bit illegal, I hear, but I have the best intention in mind...all for education, right?). I felt like my horizons were broadened by this section of the class because I got to do something that stretched my mind to think in a different way and to aprreciate the beauty of a culture other than the one(s) I am used to.