How has the content covered in class so far (theory and performance) helped your development as a musician?
The content in class has definitely helped me develop as a musician. Firstly, I think that in order to become a better player you need to understand theory. Through learning theory, I am now able to read notes faster as well as recognise more beats (Like 3/4 or 2/4) and symbols (Bar line, repeat sign, full rest, half rest…) . I also can now recognise the key signatures easier, making it easier for me to play using less time to find out what the sharps or flats are before-hand. The acronym Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle was very helpful for me.
I think the songs learned in class were suitable for my level. There were certain parts that were challenging but after practicing I was able to play consistently. The songs covered had some new notes I didn’t know, such as the low E and F notes, but now I can play quite easily. Every class I am getting better or learning something new, which is really helping my development.
Although we haven’t written music this year yet, I think that my knew acquired knowledge of notes and theory will be helpful if/when we write music.
Discuss the ways in which you are furthering your development as a musician.
Outside of class, I try make an effort to practice all songs we played, but especially the songs that I had trouble playing in class. If there was a note I had trouble playing or I didn’t know, I would go home a practice that song until I improve. Practicing has definitely helped me with my rhythm and notes. For example, at the start of the year I was having difficulty playing high c and high b, but after practicing I am now able to play them fluently and consistently.
Practice has also helped improve my posture and tonguing. I think my tonguing still may not be perfect but it has improved – I’m still working on it :D. Also, through many times of practice I understand the importance of good posture and how it can affect the sound of your clarinet.
Sometimes, I find popular songs adapted to the clarinet and play them for fun because it’s more enjoyable than playing the songs learned in class. This makes me want to learn more as well as helping me learn while having fun.
Another thing I try to do is ask peers or classmates for help when I need it. If I can’t play something or I don’t know something I will ask people in my class and outside of my class for help or advice. In addition to that, with theory, I practiced with my friends and asked them questions if I wasn’t sure about something.
Discuss how other musicians have inspired you to be more successful (consider musician in your class and/or in the school and/or outside of school).
There are many people in my grade who are better than me at my instrument (Clarinet), however, instead of being upset, I look up to them and ask them for help. Often times seeing someone play quite well makes me want to play like them, making me practice more.
My classmate Kenne and I are the only two clarinets in my class as we often help each other with notes we don’t know or with tips to improve. When we play together during warm up I tend to play better and not mess up.
In general, I look up to any musician who is dedicated to what they do, whether they are famous or not. Music is a big part of my life (as it is for several people), and I think people who play or make music are good people too look up to, whether they are playing the clarinet or not. They make me want to play better and try harder.