In-depth Post #6

In-depth Post #6

Hello Everyone! This is my final progress report.

For the last two weeks, I have been learning about the basics of music production. Although I stated that I would be also learning musical theory with piano to help better my understanding of the musical components of a piano, after hearing my motives for wanting to learn music theory, my mentor was more than happy to offer me an alternate plan, teaching music production. Tiffany, my mentor, is very experienced and skilled in music production as it is something that she would love to pursue in the future as a possible career. This alternate idea was only possible for my mentor to generate. If it was another mentor this would not have been an alternate option. After assessing the alternative “to see if the alternative will really work and is acceptable,” we both decided that learning the “concept” of music production would also help enhance my understanding of the melodic/rhythmic aspects of piano and how the piano can contribute to creating songs with other instruments (126).

The concepts that I have learned are quite challenging to describe in the text so I shorted this meeting to show you the very first things I have learned about music production:

I am sure that you have found some of the music production basics fascinating because I was very surprised at all the different instruments and what technology is able to do! We used a program called, “Garageband” which is offered on all ios devices. There are a plethora of instruments and different effects you can give to each individual note. If you have an ios device and you want to create your own unique music, I strongly recommend that you give it a try. 

We used Google Meets for the first time last week because it allowed you to set reminders and have a reminder emailed to you before the meeting. The problem with Google Meets was that you were not able to share multiple screens at once and that the audio was not very compatible with the screen sharing. We took the “risk factor” of the “alternative turn[ing] out to be worse in practice” (126). I still believe that trying out an alternative after assessing it is beneficial as you can learn from the experience while trying new programs. Another challenge that my mentor and I faced during the meeting is to have a set-up where we can both see what we were doing. Tiffany was screen sharing her screen, but it was hard to ask questions on something that was happening on my screen especially when I do not know any of the functions on the program. When I joined with my laptop and my desktop, there was a lot of feedback coming from the echos and it took a lot of time to get set up in the beginning of the meeting. I feel like these are one of the most common challenges of communicating online when learning something new. In the end, Tiffany joined me on her iPad and her laptop and I joined with my phone and my laptop to see each other’s screen while both of us are screen sharing. 

I think my mentor has helped me jump out of my comfort zone to learn something new that I have never learned about before. “Concepts are like parents that breed children (ideas) and like road junctions that open up several other roads” (121). The concept of music production will open up so many more possibilities. I expected music production to be something so complicated and something only musically gifted people were able to do, but after learning about the basics that my mentor explained step by step in a way that was very easy to understand, I am more interested in learning about music production and I hope to continue learning more! Although “concepts are rarely complete” and “concepts capture the main essence but may not cover all aspects,” I aspire to learn about most of the aspects the concept “music production” covers (118). There were a lot of practical ideas that overlapped with the concept “piano” and “music production” such as learning about harmonics and rhythms. This brought up a question in my head: comparing piano and music production, which one would be the concept and which one would be the practical idea? I think I will continue wondering about this question; let me know in the comments if you think you have an answer! 

I was slightly disappointed that I was not able to connect my keyboard to my laptop. My mentor reminded me to have my keyboard and my laptop connected and prepared before the meeting. However, after searching for all the different cables around the house, I learned that you needed a special type of cable to connect the keyboard to my laptop called, “MIDI cables”. I am committed to investing in these cables because I feel like it would motivate me to learn more about music production. They were around $30 at Best Buy but I can order them online for cheaper. By connecting my keyboard to my laptop, I will be able to record the songs and make the notes fade while overlapping to create a pedal effect without buying the actual pedals for my keyboard (if you remember my last blog post, my mentor recommended that I could buy pedals if I wanted to in order to make my notes flow smoother). I may have a preference towards buying the midi cables because I have the perception or values on wanting to learn more music production. I think buying the MIDI cables is an excellent alternative rather than buying the connectable pedals.

Moreover, for my learning centers, I will have a video collage of different songs I learned in chronological order to show my progress and also have a small video at the end of a song that I produced myself. I can’t wait until in-depth night!

Finally, as this is my final blog post, I wanted to talk about the mentor/mentee relationship my mentor and I built over the last twelve weeks. I am so glad that my mentor was able to stay committed to my in-depth project despite her busy schedule and provide me with useful advice every meeting, teaching me something new every week. I enjoy having a mentor who not only teaches you in your area of interest but can also give you advice on general things. For example, before the meeting ended, my mentor talked about her experience in TALONS and told me to enjoy every last bit of it, because time flies by incredibly fast. It was very heartwarming, but also shocking to realize that this in-depth project had already ended. It feels like I wrote the first in-depth post yesterday, yet I learned so much more since then. 

Thank you so much for being a part of my in-depth journey. See you at in-depth night!