Welcome back!! Today I’m going to tell you about my crazy weekend!
I guess it all started on Friday night, which was youth group. It was a tobogganing night, and it was lovely! I didn’t get a chance to sled unfortunately, due to asthma issues, but I had fun for the time I was there!
Saturday was insanity. I had a composing workshop to attend too, which I was really excited about! But before that I had to work at my job at the museum, and ended up leaving early so I could get into the workshop in time. It was strange. I felt strange and wrong walking out with closing the entire museum down, and before the clock hit 4:00. It was 3:15, when I left and 45 minutes later I was at the workshop with my friend Ben.
Class began, and it went from 4:00-6:30, and we were assigned our homework and sent on our way. Ben and I walked out looking at each other and admitting we would get next to no sleep that night. The homework assignment was to take a piano piece of music and transcribe it so that it could be played by an ensemble. (A Flute, Clarinet, Cello, Violin, and a Piano.) He had only given us 30 bars, and asked us to try to do all of it, but to only do part of it if we could.
Now, this assignment is exciting, but I play by ear. I know how things sound together and I go by feeling, and ear mostly. I am not great at notation. I know how to read music, but writing it down to sound like I want it to sound is a hard point for me. I talked to the teacher and he told me I could just assign parts to certain instruments and didn’t have to write things down. (I did try anyways.)
After the workshop it was a Starbucks run then home. Ben and I both had duet practices that we were running late too also. (Ben is playing a piano duet with my friend Nicole for a local music festival. I am in a dance duet with my friend Ellen, Ben’s sister.) Duet practice it was, then afterwards it was practicing my dance solo. (With a little preview for my friends, the Young sisters!)
LATE (as in about 8:45 late) supper at the Anker’s (Ben and Ellen’s family), and then home to work on my assignment. (Until much to late…3:00 in the morning!)
The next morning it was working a little bit more work on my project, followed by a church service. My Dad and I left church early to go pick up Ben for Day #2 of the Composing Workshop. We eventually ended up back at the Music Acadmey, where Ben and I were in class from 1:30-4:30. It was so cool because all of the transcribed work by the students were played by the visiting Ensemble, so people could hear what there pieces sounded like played. My piece because it wasn’t fully written down, and just scrawled circles on the music page.
The workshop is going incredibly well! The idea is that by the end of the workshop everyone in the class will have written an original composition to be able to be played for an entire Ensemble. I know a lot of people are wondering: “now, Jenessa, how are you going to do this with your lack of theory and notation knowledge?” Very good question! Let me answer it for you!
Well, I know the basics of reading music, playing music, theory, and notation. Notation doesn’t really come naturally to me, and it is something I love and am working on learning more about. My piano teacher told me to sign up for this workshop because she could tell I had a geniune passion for music and composing. “Yes, you’ll be behind,” she’ll told me, “but you’ll still be learning! Which is the most important thing.” So I signed up for the class.
I don’t think I am behind as many people think, or as I thought. I guess I underestimated my ability to read music, and know theory. I was pretty surprised when I knew the answers to a lot of questions. (Including some of Ben’s, who is in advanced theory.) Basically my conclusion was this: “yes, I’m behind, but not as behind as I, or other people like to think I am. I am also learning the same things as everyone else but I am just coming at this class from a different direction.”
It’s true, and many people have agreed with me when I say I am learning but coming at things from a different direction. Cuz I am.
Having a good ear for music, and the ability to compose easily is not one that a lot of people have. It is a skill that needs to be honed, taught, re-taught, trained, and retrained. I skipped that part.
I have to learn theory and notation. I have to re-learn it, honed, re-honed, re-teach, and re-train myself…but it isn’t something I struggle with as many skilled musicians I know do.
I am not saying I can hear a song once and know exactly how it should be played on piano or guitar, I couldn’t name a key on the piano in a skip of a beat, but I have my moments where it has become quite clear to me and everyone else that I play by ear.
And it’s okay.
Also, since when do I ever approach a class like everyone else?
I’m just following my pattern by doing things differently then everyone else in the class.
Now that we got that out of the way: the rest of my weekend! Ben, Dad, and I, had another Starbucks run. (It’s a tradition that Dad takes me out for coffee after I am finished a class. It’s not one we’re about to break anytime soon either!) Then I had dance practice for my dance solo, ate with the Anker’s, more dance practice, hanging out with Ellen a little…eventually arriving home at 9:00 at night.
Yeah. It was kinda crazy.
In a good, amazing, eye-opening way.
(I can’t wait for my next composing workshop class in March!!!)
I hope you enjoyed reading about it!
Prayers, and Music!!
PS – THIS IS MY 100TH POST! HERE’S TO A 100 MORE!!! Thanks for sticking by me, loving me, and reading my blog!
“IT’S OKAY TO BE A LITTLE, OR A LOT, DIFFERENT. IT’S OKAY TO NOT DO THINGS THE AVERAGE WAY.”