2019 Goals- How did I do?

Big Goal: Continue to increase income

Mini Goal: Set up the rest of my online store:

Did I succeed: Ha Ha. Nope. This is still a work in progress. But, I did manage to find a friend who is helping me set this part up-FINALLY!

Mini Goal: Sell more music

Did I accomplish it: Yes- I sold one score and even got my first concert music commission (Thanks Bill!). That’s one more than last year. Woo hoo!!

2020 is going to be the year where I aim to sell at least 5 scores- but hopefully more. Actually setting up my online store will probably help this goal come to fruition 😛

Mini Goal: Increase my teaching studio size

Did I succeed: Yes! I am now teaching at Maestoso Music studio and have a total of 2 trombone students and 3 piano students. I am also, teaching a couple of ukulele students as well. That’s up from just 2 last year!

Big Goal: Get out there even  more than in 2018

Mini Goal: Jam More

Did I succeed: Yes!…sort of. I managed to get together and play 4 times this year with friends.

Mini Goal: Go to more music gatherings and concerts- that are not my own.

Did I succeed: Yes, but barely. This summer kicked my butt when the swing band went a little uh, gig happy, a relative passed away, and life once again happened. Summer was when I had hoped to go to something every weekend as summer tends to be more relaxed schedule wise yet filled with a plethora of free concerts to listen to. This did not happen as planned, but I averaged about 1.5 every other month, which is way better than it could have been.

Mini Goal: Get better at this Marketing thing.

Did I succeed: I’m going to have to say no. Other life things took priority this year. Next year though, this is going to move more toward the top of the priority list. I do like to eat food ya know! (also, getting paid to perform and write is nice too.)

BIG Goal: Get healthier

Did I succeed: Yes- but mostly during the spring and summer. I sort of fell off the wagon once it started getting colder as far as exercise is concerned. Excuses- excuses, I know. But, I do eat a lot more veggies than I did last year. Now to see if I can drop the sweets a little. My miserly tradition toward buying new jeans before they have irreparable holes in them depends on it! (also, cavities are expensive and painful as I’ve come to find out.)

Big Goal: Write More:

Did I succeed: Yes- please see my final thoughts.

Also, as the urge to write seems to happen most often at night when I *should* be sleeping, I am no longer going to fight this- even if I do have to get up an hour earlier now with this self-imposed schedule. Bring on the Insomnia!

Final Thoughts:

I did manage to accomplish a few things this year that were not goals. For starters, this has been the most productive year composing since graduating from YSU in December 2014. This was not only in terms of volume but in variety as well. New pieces were written for a church brass gig, trombone choir, the VGM challenge and a brand new film score. I was able to put on a successful concert of newly composed and arranged works with my friends from Coffoa Brass in October. Also, thanks to my wonderful mentor, I am now beginning to explore the world of electronic composition. All it took was someone patient enough to show this technology illiterate, broke, and frustrated person how to steer the ship.Overall, 2019 was a step in the right direction.

~Tomorrows post will consist of 2020’s goals, but please feel free to comment with your accomplishments this past year. I would love to hear about them!~

Thanks for reading!!!!

Inner Musings-Thoughts on why we composers do what we do

Nov. 20 2016

Why do we write the way we write?

The answer may not be explainable with one definite answer. Some believe that everything that we encounter in music has a subconscious effect on our own compositions, whether we realize it or not. Similarly, our own out of music experiences can impact our choice as to what we decide to write on the page or what ways we organize sound. Ego is thought to play a role in that there is an innately selfish desire to express oneself for payment or conversely, a desire to share the love of music through our own creations. It is no different from the intent of  a poet or a director who wishes to show the world (whichever one this may be, inner or outer) what they have to offer.

I believe that  music is the poetry of the soul through the medium of sound. It can also be an aural  document of our inner psychoses : a physical reflection and manifestation of our innermost desires. If one wishes for structure and control or to freely emote, it will surface in one way or another in the music. Composing is a result of the desire to express oneself through the medium of music and is a consequence  of an amalgamation of experiences, tragic or joyful, acquired information,and the desire for monetary or personal gain. In short, we write because we need to and can.

What shapes our musical voice?

Again, I credit experiences and exposure to different sounds. I believe that your musical voice as a composer will constantly evolve the more that you work at it. From personal experience, when I began writing, I would imitate the music that I was exposed to on a daily basis, most notably Nintendo soundtracks and Band music.I began to improvise new melodies around the songs, though I did not know that this was what I was doing at the time. When I got older, and a bit better at piano (though not much better at reading it), and learned what it felt like to experience the  emotions evoked by varieties of pain, making up  melodies became my escape and the flavor changed (albeit that these songs were elementary in nature as compared to the present). In high school,  I was exposed Classic and Progressive Rock and Jazz through jamming with my brother and the Rock Band I was a part of, which brought out a brief songwriter phase.

As I’ve grown as a person and musician, my style has become more sophisticated, though I have had several occasions where others have heard the video game music influence to this day. Also, my reasons for writing certain pieces have varied as well as I continue to try new approaches and styles in order find my  niche in the world of composition. Sometimes it is for a grade or specific commission and sometimes it’s because of an innate desire to spontaneously create and experiment with an idea.

First and foremost , I strive to write for the musicians that will play my pieces. I would like to share the same enjoyment that I have writing the music as I hope that they will playing it. Perhaps It is my own selfish desire to share the human condition and help the world become a better place through imposing my notes, and my hope to give the opportunity to the musician to be creative through their own interpretation of my melodies.

If you have any comments to add to this discussion, please reply below as I am curious as to what others’ thoughts are on this subject and am open to any viewpoint or related stories.