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  • Writer's pictureisaacrsmith

Some Goals for the Upcoming Semester

It has been a strange feeling the last couple of months. For most of the recent past, all I can remember was preparing for grad school applications, and trying to put together the strongest portfolio that I could. Now that the deadline has passed, I am not quite sure how to feel or how to act. I did a lot of reflecting over winter break on what I wanted this semester to be. Now that I have no deadlines bearing down on me, I feel that I can address my large-scale weaknesses as a musician without having to put out little fires that require immediate attention.

To this end, I have decided that for the time being, I want to refrain from writing music for a little bit. I feel that I still need more time to recharge, as last semester it felt like I was writing so quickly all the time, and I felt that I started to fall into similar patterns between pieces. For the time being, I have decided I would like to listen to more music, and really develop a better background in 20th century music and the composers that paved the way for classical music as we know it today. I might not be as talented as some of my peers, but I feel that the only way to truly develop maturity as a composer is to deeply study the music of the past and learn from it. I intend to have some conversations with Dr. Swilley, and ask for some guidance as to how to proceed. At some point, I will need to start working on an orchestra piece. I organized a reading session in mid-April of this semester with Dr. Burkhardt, the orchestra director and one of my former teachers. I will try to gather my thoughts for that while studying scores and listening to a lot of music, and I hope that perhaps I can write something that sounds different that the last couple of pieces I have written. Only time will tell, but I am looking forward to some time devoted to doing something a little bit different for at least the next couple of weeks.

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