I shall compose.

Lately, I have felt as though my creativity has been pushed down for so long because I have all these little things to do for school… So recently I have decided to allow myself to be creative when I feel the need. This has brought my attention to something.

Part of my creative desires lean heavily toward composing music. I want to…so badly. But I feel unequipped… I sit down at the piano and I don’t even know where to start! I have all these ideas in my head…but it is so frustrating not being able to execute them the way that I envision. Sometimes I think it’s a lack of skill on my part. That the piano composition ideas in my head are too complex for my intermediate level, so I cannot play them. Or my knowledge of different genres is not cultured, so I am very limited from a stylistic standpoint. These things often discourage me and stop me from trying to pursue composition as a major hobby.

But here are some things I also realized: I am a perfectionist. I like learning fast and reaching new levels by leaps and bounds. I don’t like being a “beginner” at anything. But in music, there is ALWAYS the beginner stage. No matter what you do, you always, always have more to learn. It takes patience because many times musical growth can be out of your control. I can’t let my fear of being mediocre at something keep me from expressing myself through the art of composition. The more I do it, the better I will most likely get. Sometimes we have to tread through the learning stages before something becomes second nature.

Another thing: I care too much about what people think. Music is so incredibly prone to opinion… and everybody thinks they know best and that they have the most refined taste, yadda yadda. Because of being around these kinds of opinions all day from professors and peers, I find it really terrifying to put my own creativity out there to be either praised or ridiculed. Art can be so personal… It’s like transforming a piece of yourself into another form, and when it is being criticized, artists often feel disapproved as well. But I feel like being a true artist requires that step of consciously deciding to not care what people think and to put yourself out there confidently, knowing that what you created is beautiful no matter what people say.

I guess the purpose of this blog post is mainly for myself, or anyone who is having this same internal struggle.

I have to be a beginner before I become better.

I will be well equipped when the time permits.

The art that God allows me to create will be beautiful art, and I should have confidence in the fact that He gifted me this way. So much so that I want to share it with others.

So, I shall, indeed, compose.

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2 thoughts on “I shall compose.

  1. I throughly enjoyed this blog post, I know what you mean when Ronnie and I have jam sessions I used to get scared about playing wrong notes and not knowing what to do but eventually I just said forget it and just began playing and I have seen myself improve drastically. Also I feel you when I write music and people criticize me I don’t even listen to most of it anymore because its’ my music and I wrote the way I wrote it for a reason.

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  2. You’re totally right, Amanda. The first things you write are going to be pretty bad. But, your leaps and bounds of growth will come just compose. You will amaze yourself how the act of putting pen to paper will transform your compositional technique. Do this: Write your first complete piece from first note to double bar line. Just finish it, deciding ahead of time that it will be bad and that you’ll just throw it away (hint: you don’t actually have to if it’s not bad). Then, do it again. Every single time you write a piece, it will be significantly better than the last one (at least for a while). In a week of daily compositions, you’re going to get better than most undergrads ever do.

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