So Here’s the Plan

I plan to work as a composer/ musician for the gaming industry as a career. In order to prepare myself for that field I have a list of business goal for myself during my time at here at college.

1. Compose in the composition program here at SMU

The first is pretty obvious. If I want to work as a composer, I need to compose. I have composed on my own, but the direction provided by the faculty and program here would be exponentially helpful.

2. Start working with others interested in the gaming industry

In the interest of working with a certain industry, I will need to build contacts within that industry. I will find others interested in the same field and collaborate with them as much as possible.

3. Learn at least the basics of computer programming and become more familiar with recording software

As video game production is largely technology based,  the more familiar I am with the relative technology the better. The more I know, the more easily I will be able to communicate with those who I will be working with.

4. By the end of undergraduate have a been a part of a product of the ides gaming industry

My final and most ambitious goal is to achieve something significant in the industry while still in school. By becoming an actual part of the field, I hope to gain valuable experience and open up wider opportunities for the future.

Strengths and Struggles

When considering my sets of skills and abilities, there are many things that stand out–both skills that are very strong and those that could bear to be stronger. One of the most important: I am an autodidact. I enjoy studying things and finding out about them on my own. I can work very effectively with little or no direction. I am very good at the analytical aspects of subjects. Music theory is one of the things that comes more easily to me. On the other hand, the aural skills side of music requires more work for me. While I am not bad at it, it is only because time and effort spend improving. And with more time I will continue to improve. Another skill that I need to cultivate is that of performing. While oftentimes when I go to perform everything goes very well, there are other times when the case is not as such. I need to grow my level of performance to be more consistent with my level of ability.

Other skills that I’m planning on developing are music composition and computer science. I’m planning on minor in creative computing and double major or minor in music composition.

Motivations

The thing that usually causes me to start working on or studying something is curiosity. From somewhere an interest takes hold of my imagination and the only natural thing for me to do is to run with it. Because of this, things that would otherwise be hard come entirely naturally. There can be times when it would be harder not to find out about something, than to just follow it to its conclusion. But when things are not so easy there are definitely other thing to motivate me. I like to always do things well. In part, this comes from what is stated previously, but it also comes from my belief that anything worth doing ought to be done well. If something isn’t going to be good, how can it be useful? And then what’s the point? Things like wealth and fame do little to motivate me. Beyond what it takes to make a living, I just don’t care that much. After all, if I were after those things, I’m in the wrong profession.

I Value . . .

There are so many things that I value that it’s hard to know where to start.

I value people (even though I’m by no means what one would call a “people person”)
I value life
I value inquisitiveness
I value that intrinsic excitement from learning about something new
I value sincerity (that way when you’re wrong, you might at least be able to find that out)
I value truth
I value my morals
I value purpose
I value simplicity and complexity

Though by no means an exhaustive list, there’s a start. I’m still at a point in my life where things are changing and reforming, but these things I believe will stay the same.

Practice and Space

One thing that I’ve always loved and that especially motivates me to practice is the opportunity to practice in large, open, quiet (otherwise quiet, at least) spaces. The space could be an empty concert hall or auditorium, sometimes even an empty classroom. There’s something about the responsiveness created by open spaces that brings a new sense of immediacy and new-found freedom to me. Those things in turn instill a renewed enjoyment and meaning to the act of practicing.

At the root of my work habits is simply consistent time spent practicing. Every day, I try to maintain a similar routine of time spent in practice. But after that there is considerable room for variance; I won’t always practice in the same place, I won’t practice a piece for the same amount of amount of time every day, I won’t practice in the same manner every time. If I get to the point where I feel that I’m accomplishing nothing, I’ll take a break and go do something else for a while to refresh my mind and then come back later. To me, everything that I do just seems simple but effective.

And there (avoiding going into all the pianistic details) you have it.

Whispers

When I was little, I took piano lessons for a short time. And, quite frankly, I hated it. I didn’t see any point in music at that point, but in a way I’m glad it happened that way. Because then when I did discover music, it was as something novel, exciting, and even fantastic. It was as a discovery which I had never even dreamed of. I was around 12 years old when it happened. I don’t remember what specific circumstance first caused me to really notice music. But it had suddenly become a part of my life, filling a place where before there had been nothing. As days, weeks, and months went on, I would spend hours just listening to whatever music I could find –– feeding my newfound fascination.

After that it was only natural that I would want to create music myself. I wanted to make it my own. That was why I started taking piano lessons.

I had been playing piano for about a year when I switched teachers, about the same time as I was going into high school. At that time I had developed this bad habit of playing everything very softly, as if it were my own little secret and I didn’t want anyone else to hear. And that really was how I viewed it. I didn’t want anyone else to hear. I remember my teacher telling me to “stop whispering” all the time when I played the piano. And I have. At first it was strange and even difficult overcoming the desire to not be heard. But here I am today studying piano performance, with music no longer confined to being “my little secret”. Instead it has become one of the first things people come to know about me.

I create music.