Skills?

What skills do I have? Well, in a basic sense, I have the skill of typing, and communicating thought via text on a website. I also have the ability to play a musical instrument with a certain level of mastery. What that means, I don’t know, because for some people, my playing of my instrument is the greatest thing in the world, but for some people, I am considered terrible, or a player with bad technique. Everything has to be put into perspective, so if you look at it one way, I have no skills, in another way, I have tons of skills. I guess for the purpose of this blog, I have the ability to play music relatively quickly upon acquisition of that said music. I would say that I need to work on being able to do “quick and dirty” art, because I feel like there are going to be times that I will instantly have to step out of my comfort zone, and I don’t feel comfortable (wow shocker right?) with that yet. I feel like I have a good message to start with and that I can talk about what I want to accomplish in music and life really easily because it is something I truly believe in, and not something superficial like becoming the best bass player in the world, or the highest payed musician ever. I really just want to communicate my thoughts to the world and be heard in some way while supporting myself and my family.

 

Elevation

Music is an entity that is constantly changing. As a musician, it can be easy to cling to one genre of music whether it be classical, rock, or even pop. As music develops however, we as a people must be the flexible medium by which music is presented. As a young classical musician growing up in a pop era, I feel I have experienced a large spectrum of music, and can relate to, and teach many types of music to young children. Whatever genre interests them, I hope to develop a sense of musical responsibility in the youth of the ever-changing music industry. My name is Troy Tippawang, and I believe by swimming with the waves of change, we can shape the future of music itself.

Motivations!

Motivation is an interesting thing. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes it doesn’t. There are times that I really want to get something done, because I feel that it is time for it do be done, or the activity to be had. Then, there are other times that I could care less about that activity, and would want to do another activity. I think the difference is the internal motivation vs the external motivation. There are things like grades that are external for everyone, but internal for a few people. I feel like grades are useful to do something that everyone else has done. Getting good grades has always been something that people “should” do. There are however, many famous people or successful people that didn’t get good grades. There are people that had a special talent or passion, and they followed it to make themselves what they are now.

I react to things differently depending on the mood I am in. There are somethings in this world that change what you think regardless of the mood you are in though. Whether the thing is still, or moving, or complex, or simple, I feel that there are some images or sounds that just require recognition and appreciation of art. I feel like the distractions that get to me are fairly common, and normal. I feel like if there is something that I have wanted that I have withheld myself from for a long time, and I finally give into temptation, I get “distracted” from my “goal.”

Currently, I don’t think motivation regulates my purpose enough. I feel like sometimes I just do what I do because I have done it for so long. I don’t evaluate the situation like I should sometimes. I feel like a lot of people today are prisoners of their own expectations. I am no exception to this feeling.

What do you value most?

This question has been on my mind for a long time. I really haven’t had to pick one singular thing that I value more than I value other great things. I have many things to be thankful for, and there are many people and events that made me what I am today, so to just pick one is very difficult. I guess another way to ask this question would be “what are you working towards?” in a more big picture version of the question. My answer to that would be: Whatever I am doing, I want to be happy and make my parents proud at the same time. Whether I end up as a musician in a symphony orchestra, or as a translator, or even a garbage collector, I would be content in my life if I had earned the recognition of my parents and myself.

Success is often a personal thing. Success is measured on your own terms. If somebody tells you that you did well, you are allowed to disagree. You can say thank you, but you know in your head that you could have done better. This has happened to me a lot in my life, coming from a district that had a generally mediocre string program, and being one of the players that “stood-out.” I feel like if I can support my family (if I choose to have one), stay happy, and see that my parents are proud of me, in the future, I would feel like I had succeeded on my terms.

What makes you tick?

Creative processes are something that have always intrigued me, and I really hope I can create some kind of semi consistent situation that my creativity is in the right place/mindset. Currently, I practice and study better when I feel like doing what I have to do. Sometimes I will be sitting in class and really thinking about wanting to play whatever solo I am working on, or maybe a part from a symphony, but I can’t get up and leave the class to go practice because there are two things that are going on at this university, it is not a conservatory. There are other times that I have plenty of time to practice, but I have no desire to play music or even listen to it. I could practice at this time, and I often do, but to no avail, because the best practicing comes from the best focus, and when a person has no intent on doing well in a certain practice session, it is not nearly as productive. I have found that if I try to maximize the times that I feel like I want to practice, then I will get the best results in the long run. I often want to practice when I have enough energy to think about scheduling things for the rest of the week (what I like to call shuffling papers), as well as energy to think about the music I am practicing. The best way that I have found (so far) to do this is to drink coffee. Coffee makes me more energetic and more adept at things, so practice becomes easier, and sometimes even fun (wow what a concept right?)!

Another thing that I feel that I do well in my work routine is the fact that I try to limit and get rid of as much negativity as possible. That is not to say that when people give me constructive feedback that I don’t listen, because I do. What I am saying is when I am playing in a practice room by myself, and I keep having thoughts about how bad I am playing on a particular day, I know it is time to stop. The point of going to PRACTICE is to go and practice, not criticize yourself for a couple of hours. If you are more focused on trying to tell yourself everything that you are doing incorrectly and insulting yourself, then you are being nearly counter productive in terms of practice.

These are my practice methods as of now, and hopefully they will only improve in the coming lifetime.

What are your goals, and why do you do what you do?

Ever since the first concert that I performed at in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, I had this idea in my head that I wanted to be a musician for the rest of my life. There are definitely times of skewed perception when you are living in the moment, and you have forgotten about all of the work that got you there. Even thinking about it now, I remember that that concert was a defining moment in my life. We played Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite,” Saint Saens’s Organ Symphony, and the Lalo Cello Concerto. I really loved all of the pieces we played, and I hadn’t played anything of that difficulty ever in my life. The first rehearsal for this concert made me really scared, and made me think that I was in over my head. I was there trying to play this music that I hadn’t practiced or heard, and it felt strange not being the best at something that I always used to be. But at the time I loved it.

I in fact loved it so much, that I made it my goal to become principal of the section for one of the concerts that year in GDYO. And I did it. The first concert that we played gave me this incredible feeling of accomplishment, and belonging that I hadn’t quite felt before. Soccer games used to have a different sense of camaraderie, but not quite in the same way. Long story short, I felt like I could be a musician for the rest of my life.

I didn’t feel as passionate after the next concert as I did after that first amazing concert. And progressively, every concert got less and less exciting, because it all became a routine, and there was no deviation between the performances. We would play our music, the audience would clap, and we would leave. Parents would say congratulations and “great job Troy,” but the feeling that I had would never be as great as the first concert.

Certain performances and pieces of music can rekindle my love of music, but the majority of it is certainly routine, and feels like the same thing presented in a different way to me. I enjoy the community of being in the orchestra, but I feel like I favor some parts of music very heavily, and endure playing through or listening through the other parts. I feel like the passion for music that used to call to me is now just a friendly reminder instead of a beckoning. I really hope that I can experience the feeling I did after the first GDYO concert on a consistent basis, because after all this is what I “jumped ship” for. There are many things that I need to figure out in the humongous entity of music, and one of them is my self. Hopefully over the course of the rest of my life, this web site will help me figure my self out, whether it be through me writing posts, or people commenting and giving me advice or critique. Whatever it may be, I am ready to continue this journey of self enrichment.