My Intro

Music, like all art forms, will never die, it only transform into a new idea floating around in the culture that we live in. My name is Jesus Rodriguez, musician, educator, programmer and trombonist. I think with this new technology that is made available everyday can make music into something new. Music does not have to give way to pop, but rather it can coexist and create new intricate sounds. I want to teach children how to play while allowing them to use their own creativity to create something new. I think that we can let children experience new art forms. Yet how do I begin this? I must first be a good example for them by performing to the best of my ability.

Motivation

My motivation is pretty simple at this point in my life. To be better than I was the previous week. I have a daily goal to be better than the day before and I am in constant competition with myself. It drives me everyday and at times I become to critical of myself. At times I focus too much on one thing or I get frustrated mat my progress but the I realize that I in time, I will achieve my goal. So that is my motivation right now. To be better than myself.

Value.

These are not really new values but instead they are now of higher priority. Throughout my senior year of high school I have always loved performing and teaching yet I loved my academic career to such a high degree of importance that at times it would hinder my practice or rehearsals. I was so invested in doing great in high school so I would not have to take classes during college. Lately it has been been benefiting me extremely well. I am only taking two “academic” classes but I am involved in so many different music classes. It has been fun as I don’t really have to worry much about math or writing English essay after English essay. My priority is fully dedicated to my music education and the development of my tromobne playing. I am no longer as interested in pursuing a second degree. Lately over the past few weeks I have been wondering whether to drop my pursuit for Computer Science. I want to keep a happy family in the future and I want to be able to provide for them.

Many of my friends told me to pursue trombone and computer science so I could do computer science as my main job while doing trombone on the side. I thought about this for  a while but as I began to teach some lesson throughout the summer I began to finalize my true commitment. Even though a family was important later, I decided that I want to accomplish my dreams first. In high school I stretched myself out to my limits. I spent so much time being a friend who listened. A friend who helped. A mentor to some of my section members. It was amazing and I enjoyed every moment of it. But I realized that I needed to focus my my mind into only a few things. Yet even now, I am thinking about dropping computer science. I am already learning and doing programming at my work. I enjoy programming at work. The research is amazing. And here I wonder. Why should stress myself out more for another degree if it is not what I want to do in the future?

So right now. I am focused on becoming a better musician, teacher and player. Those are my highest priorities. After that, I value my programming, my job, my lovely girlfriend.

Change in Habits

Throughout the course of my high school career I actively attempted to do the least amount of work at school while still getting good grades. This began with doing homework the hour before class began and soon turned into me studying for exams the hour before class after sleeping everyday. Sadly it worked. The more I was successful while doing nothing encouraged me to continue this behavior yet everyday I kept thinking to myself, “What if I tired?” Yet the habit never stopped as I got into prestigious schools and excelled in other academic events. But for some reason, I tried at everything else imaginable. I worked to the bone at volunteer events. I always put in effort to help others. I prepared weeks ahead for every tutoring session I did. I actively strive to be great at activities outside of school.

Yet it all began to change this summer. I began working for a national Point of Sale software company for my first job. I had been preparing for a job throughout my high school career as I was focused on other events. During my first day I met my boss who was extremely dedicated to his software, his family, his religion. It inspired me how this man could work himself from the ground and come to work with a smile everyday. What astonished me even more was the fact that he was meticulous in every manner. Naturally he was a programmer, a very good one, but his mannerisms translated into other facets of his life. So then I looked at myself.

I too was a programmer, yet I was also a musician and a lazy student. n my programming mindset and musical mindset I was dedicated. I always tried to think about every possible detail to get things perfect but on other tasks, like school, I was lazy and always tried to slide by. Why? I did not know. So I decided that I would try and become and translate my programming work habits into other facets of my life. So far it has been working well. It is my second week at SMU and I am no longer studying the night before test and quizzes. Even with the immense homework, marching band, practice and ensemble rehearsals I still find time to have fun and enjoy myself while still accomplishing everything that is set out for me during the week. Why? The sudden change in work habits. Well, not sudden. It has been a two month work in progress and I still slip up constantly. But it is no longer as bad compared to the pitiful display of lazy habits I had. I finish my homework the day of now. Small step but also vastly different from before. It is hard to change one’s lazy habits, but I do not regret this decision to better myself and I hope to only get better as the year goes on.

First Day

It has been an interesting two days here at SMU. Tuesday was the first day with the Meadows Jazz Orchestra and I am excited to start with this group. Everyone is great and I cannot wait to perform with them every week. Theory is starting up and hopefully I can train my ears a bit more so I can work on my improvisation and transcription.  Mustang Band is one of the great highlights of my day also. The people there are extremely nice and they develop close friendships in such a short amount of time.