I really enjoyed hearing everyone perform this past week. Up to this point, we haven’t heard each other play beyond the practice rooms, so it was fun to see what people are working on towards their major. I think that performing is one of those lifelong skills that is necessary despite if you enjoy it or not. Some people actually live for and thrive on performing in front of others and these people usually make the best performers in the music field, however, this quality is unique. A few years ago, I read about a poll conducted that asked Americans what their greatest fear. You would think that death would be our greatest fear, but it isn’t. It came in a quite distant second. What, you ask, do Americans fear more than death? Speaking in front of others. The more you think about it, the more absurd it sounds that we get nervous about speaking or performing for people that are genuinely interested in what we are doing and yet most of us experience it at some point. Perhaps the reason that we fear it more than death is that it is a more present issue that we are forced to face than death is and it really is something that everybody needs to cope with regardless of their field. Throughout high school, I found that the best speakers were either debaters or musicians. The debaters were good for obvious reasons, but as musicians we have experience focusing all of our attention during intense performance situations. Although I am not a great speaker nor am I very comfortable performing, I found my ability to coherently convey my ideas for English speeches to be far greater than most students’ skills due in part to my performance experiences.
Throughout the week, we compiled our past musical experiences into resumes before our performance. Although I already had one pretty much completed from high school, it was good to update it with new information. Although it was the hardest part of writing the resume, the “objectives” section of the resume was quite important for me to complete. For me, who is not completely sure what I want to do with my double major, it was a good exercise to get me to think about what I really want out of my education. Like Prof. Foy said, although it may change by tomorrow, it is important to track your goals and to write them down. Although performance skills and improvisation are both broad subjects and rather difficult to get through in two weeks, we really got through a lot of useful information for the amount of time that we were given.