Monday, August 5, 2013

Independent Study August (ISA)

" what we'll be doing there is no one right answer, not even a right way or wrong way to do it. ...By now the good students may be feeling lost. ...without rules to follow they're not sure how to proceed." - Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk

Independent study. Because I know how to teach school and I know how to be a full-time music student, that's how I'm thinking of the entire month of August. A self-granted, self-funded songwriting residency in my own home. Curriculum and objectives determined by me. How will I know if I'm doing it right? Because I'm doing it.

August Coursework
  • VOICE: Strengthen tone across registers. Continue to develop personal style and sound.
  • SONGWRITING: Finish key songs. Add 9 finished songs to the existing 6 for a total of 15 completed songs.
  • UKULELE: Acquire basic strumming and picking facility in keys of C, D, G, and A major. Acquire ability to read basic tablature and chord boxes.
  • HORN: Trade in old horn for new horn. Maintain and expand range, recover double-tonguing accuracy.
  • PIANO: Learn a collection of stride, ragtime, and salsa tunes for inclusion of figures in song arrangements.
  • ARRANGING: Create lead sheets for each of 15 songs, find collaborating arranger to flesh out orchestration ideas. Study recordings/scores of hymns, bluegrass, songwriters, salsa, marching band, in order to steal all of the best ideas.
  • RECORDING: Create a scratch mp3 of each of the 9 finished songs and post to Soundcloud.
  • JAMMING: Participate in bluegrass jams, attend bluegrass/folk/Latin brass shows. Find a string section. Jam with drummer. Play in brass quintet.
  • DANCE: Five hours of movement a week minimum across a host of selected activities including hip-hop and salsa.
Accomplishment is measured in colorful drawings. Specifically, this construction paper incentive chart which will collect tally marks throughout the process.

Illustrator credit goes to Alaska.

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