I have been working 24/7 on my musicality and compositional skills. I have spent a lot of time with the performers to learn about their instrument and to write music for those instruments accordingly. I have also worked with the performers, and the tutor, to take my composition further and form a coherent, structural piece, while maintaining integrity in the ideas all the way throughout. I have also spent time discussing music with the other students, from musical ideas and composing skills, to other elements of music, such as harmony, improvisation, notation, form, and various famous composers, both present day famous composers and influential composers of the past. I also spoke privately with the tutor about moving forward with composition, and a lot of advice about becoming a professional composer.
I enjoyed basically everything in the course. Even just the little chats I had with the other students while eating dinner, even the food itself. Every little thing was fantastic, and I enjoyed every part of it. My favourite part was probably working with the performers and hearing my piece being performed, as well as hearing their input on my composition, or how many new connections and friends I’ve made with the students there.
The most challenging part for me was the time limit. I have never composed anything in under 4 days before, and I found it very stressful. I usually spent a lot of time on my compositions, at least a couple of weeks, and I even have some unfinished compositions that I’ve started over a year ago that I’m still working on. I spent as much time of the day as I possibly could on the composition that I wrote, including at night and during breaks, and it still felt like not enough, but it is a learning process, and I have learned how it is to work for something like a commission, where I have to finish something by a certain date, so I would have to push myself to work on the composition as much as I can to get it done by the set time and date.
I have learned a ton about the flute, clarinet, violin, and cello, how they work, how they sound, how to write for them, and generally just understanding everything about those instruments better. I have learned various compositional skills and harmonic devices, which have been taught to us by the tutor during the lessons in which we weren’t composing. I have learned how it is to work with musicians, and to write for the musicians. I have learnt about how to move forward with composition, such as where I should go study after my A Level course, advice which was given to me by the tutor. I have also learnt how it is to work under the pressure of time and having to write something in a certain amount of time, or until a certain date.
I’m very sure that a lot of the things that I’ve learnt here will help me for the rest of my life. Since I want to become a composer, nothing is better than learning about instruments, especially common instruments which are used in, for example, orchestras, in chamber music, and in other ways. All 4 instruments that I’ve listed are part of the orchestras, chamber groups, folk music, and many others, so learning about those instruments will help me compose for them for the rest of my life. Compositional skills and harmonic devices is what makes music music, so learning new things that I could use in my compositions means that it opens up a lot more ideas, and combining the things that I already knew with the things that I learned will create a fresh, new sound. Getting commissions from organisations, or people, or anything like that, is one of the things that come with becoming a professional composer, so learning to follow a specific schedule or to write something for a certain date will help me manage my time better and will help me get used to the pressure that comes with the time limits that I am given.