I have been transformed, though not completely.
The assignments in my songwriting class have so-far been very involving, especially to me — a non-music major. For example: write a melody for a completely instrumental piece and turn in an accompanying paper discussing your use melodic contours and devices. Less perplexing (though still very involving): write three different titles for each of three different subjects, then expand each title into a brief synopsis of plot, and finally re-write each original title using idiom/axiom or assonance based on what you outlined in your synopsis.
I thought i would be alone in my venture into this musical territory, and went to the length of getting the program head and my own dean (a music major himself) to sign off on adding me to the class. Much to my surprise, there were a few non-music major in my section of the class by the end of the first week. However, their introductions went something like “Hi, i’m Bob, i’m in this band…”
They all dropped the class after the melodic contour project.
To the best of my knowledge i am the only student in my section who turned the assignment in complete and on time, despite harrowing and somewhat vague instructions including having to notate the entire melody and perform it in class.
This week we had a myriad of assignments due, capped by one particular task: write a song. By no means did it have to be a good song, or a very well-written song, but it was meant to make use of all the exercises in title devices and word-painting that we had been employing earlier in the assorted assignments. As directed, I wrote a song, but i was less than pleased with what i came out with. Having already made a somewhat big point out of all the writing i’ve already done, i was definitely hesitant to turn something so equivocal and boring in masquerading as a masterpiece. So i wrote another… not my best song ever, but something i really enjoy playing. Because of my extra work i wound up scrambling before class to photocopy the scribbled lyrics out of my poetry book and to pencil in the chords, but i still had it turned in on time..
To the best of my knowledge i am the only student in my section who turned the assignment in complete and on time.
Complete and on time… there’s something about that. In the past i’ve been one of those students who turns things in incomplete and begs for extensions to wind up with their A. So far this year i haven’t done that — not once, even when i had the opportunity to do it to save myself from a logistical mistake.
I don’t know what’s come over me… could it be that i was destined to suddenly become responsible at the age of 21? I’m still trying to figure it out, but in the meantime all that i can be sure of is that i’ve entered every day of class so far with the intent to prove that i am a capable student, if not the most capable student, when it comes to completing the work in an acceptable fashion. Not only that, but when people show up with excuses like “i was sick” or “i didn’t quite understand the assignment” or “i missed the roll sheet last week” i just roll my eyes and go back to taking notes. I’ve done all three, and i’ve still made it out with an A in each situation, but being smarter than everyone else is so much more satisfying when i am really being more intelligent.
I really am.