In Music Business class, we were given the assignment to create a Business Plan. Immediately, I started to roll my eyes. I mean, I don't have a business model. Even if someday I wanted to start a business, I have no clue what I would do. I then sat and contemplated. I said to myself, "What do you love?" And I immediately said music and children. I love music, and the children of this world are so precious, special, and God calls us to look out for them especially. The logical conclusion, would be to teach. Teaching includes music, and children. But…. I don't want to teach. I have the utmost respect for teachers, and feel like it is such a rewarding profession for both ends, but I don't want to teach, nor do I see myself doing it. Through reading scripture, praying, and seeing how orphans are living around this world, God really opened my eyes to a brand new idea.
What if music what brought to orphanages?
The problem is that there are so many orphans who are lost in this world today. These are children that may not have families, or any guaranteed form of love. Today, people do travel to orphanages and evangelize, do community work, build schools, and many other beneficial activities. Though those are great, even more can be done . . .
Photo Credit: David Webb
Great News! There is great news, folks! I have officially entered into my first songwriting competition! I entered two of my original songs, "The Warm Embrace", and "To the Unwelcomed Heart", which are both going to be featured on my next album. I am ecstatic! This is a great chance for exposure! The next step, is to get all of my finished originals copyrighted so that I can post them on my Facebook. Google, Website, and Electronic Press Kit.
Photo Credit: David Webb
I've pondered the following question for a while now:
Is the act of 'being amazed', selfish?
Often, we as people, see extraordinary things every day. We might see a woman juggling 8 sticks of fire on the street. We might hear a man sing five octaves. We might even hear about a woman who has discovered a safe and possible way to clone a human being. The other day, while sitting though a music department recital, a performer went up to the stage and completely blew me away. Immediately, I thought, "Wow, that's simply incredible." I then paused, backed-up that thought, and wondered why I was so amazed. The conclusion was easy: Well, I certainly couldn't do it.
This made me think. Are we ever amazed at something because it is simply amazing, or are we amazed at things that we know we could not do? Does the switch from 'good' to 'impressive' turn on when it passes the point of what WE can do?
Why is Michael Jackson's trademarked Moonwalk so impressive?
Is it because most of us can honestly say that we cannot do it? And those that can do it had taken to while to even begin to grasp the concept?
Food for thought.
I kind of threw in the towel as I was attempting to concoct an attention grabbing title for this one. So yeah, "Friday" does just fine.
Yesterday was such an amazing day! Our Jazz choir, 68 West, was able to leave school for the day, and go sing up in Del Norte. At the beginning of our day, we sang with the Del Norte high school choir. Their choir is fairly new, and only a few of their eight voices had been in choir before. Needless to say, this was a very new thing to them. We were able to come in, hear some of their songs, and compliment and critique them. With each point made by one of us in the audience, they did what we said, and their tone eventually started to sound fuller. It's a great feeling being able to help not only a growing community, but growing voices. An impressive thing about their choir was that they sang OUT. Sometimes with high school choirs, nevertheless new choirs in general, the voices tend to hold back and are a little bit more hesitant. These eight voices surprised us as they flipped the switch, and sang out. A highlight of my time there was getting the chance to meet a freshman named Ryan. As we were about to head out, Ryan introduced himself to us, and we got to know him. After his teacher, Mr. LeBlanc, suggested him to show us something, Ryan sat at the piano and proceeded to play "Imagine" by John Lennon. It was one of those moments where you have to sit back, and literally enjoy the music. With the business of our choir's day, the only thing that was on our minds was where we were going next, how our voices were feeling, what time it was, etc. Ryan created a short pause in time, and sat our minds down for just a moment. Towards the end of the song, our choir started to come in and harmonize with his singing of "Imagine." What a simply beautiful experience. He then went on to tell us that his dad taught him how to sing, and thanks to God and Mr. Leblanc, he was able to pick up that quick tune on piano. An amazing experience to say the least. That night, we went to the Windsor Hotel in Del Norte, ate some DELICIOUS high end food, and then sang for a group of about 70 people. They even asked for an encore :)
This morning, my voice is gone. My asthma has gotten a hold of my cough and my voice has been slowing falling away. Along with that, we sang our hearts out last night. Was it worth it? Why yes, yes it was. Voices have the ability to come back. Moments like yesterday's are a once in a lifetime thing.
I hope you're thinking of the Geico commercial now. If you are, then score! Alright I'm done.
As of this week, I can proudly say that my classical repertoire is now in a pretty good place. It can always be better, and is by no means even close to perfect, but I have made some notable progress. Last Wednesday, I sang a French piece entitled, "Avant de Quitter Ces Lieux" by Charles Gounod, along with a German piece entitled "De Post" by Franz Schubert, for my mid-semester recital. Though slight, I can proudly say that I can hear and feel a wider and looser timbre in my voice. At points, I even started to hear a vibrato. In other words, my vocal chords were able to be so free, that they simply flowed with the sound waves. The next big thing coming up, is my Upper Divisional. Upper Divisionals are done by sophomores in their second semester. It is the "big test." At my Upper Divisional, I will be singing "Die Wetterfahne" and "Hebe" which are also by Schubert, "At the River" by Aaron Copland, and "Give Me Jesus" by Moses Hogan. An Upper Divisional is essentially like a Jury (a mid, or end of semester recital) on steroids. It is where you not only sing roughly four songs, but the panel of professors also ask you questions about your music, its meaning, your composers, what degree in music you want to be considered for, why you would be well suited for that, and etc. After your Upper Divisional, they then send you outside, and amongst themselves they are left to decide whether you continue as a music major, and if so, in what area.
I mean, it would be a lie to say that stress and anxiety haven't been and won't be tugging at my neck, but I wouldn't say that it's scary. If you're well prepared and know your stuff, then you should be fine. My goal is to be well prepared, be the best that I can be. Most importantly, my goal is to be myself. Again, a big portion of the Q&A session is about my goals in life, what I would do with music, and why. I could easily B.S. an answer to sound like I have everything together. I could easily run around the question and maybe even avoid answering it. I could just as easily fake a panic attack and get out of there pronto. None of those options would be sincere though. None of those options would be truthful. If I am going to pass, then I want to pass while keepin' it 100. In other words, honesty and sincerity should and will prevail over any preconceived "better answer."
“You've got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
Currently, I am in the process of finishing up all of my original pieces. After I have them completed, my plan is to get into the on campus recording studio, and get them recorded. One I have a tangible audio of my completed music, I will be able to send it in to be copyrighted.
The idea of having a collection of my original works excites me. The idea of soon being able to share my original works with loved ones and friends, excites me. The idea of being able to share my original music with strangers, excites me the most.