General thoughts and feelings. How do you feel about your product? How about the process you went through to get there? Did you reach your goal?
After practicing and working for over 1 month on this piece of music, I am very glad of what we as a group has completed in the end. As a group of 3, there is only so many instruments we can play and so much we could do. This meant that we had to give up someone playing the bass and have no percussion instruments. Without these instruments this didn’t stop us from producing something to a high quality. With some bumps along the way, we managed to work as a group and didn’t have any arguments at all. We were very committed in our class practice periods, this helped us as we didn’t need to come in at lunch or after school to have extra practice time. With the help of my group I was able to achieve my goal for this unit, which is to improvise on the violin and I am very happy with how it turned out.
Your greatest achievement: What was it? Did you excel in the process, the product or both? How so?
The greatest achievement in this unit for me we how I managed to improve on the violin. Before learning jazz, I have never thought about improvising. All the music I have learnt on the violin has all been classical and structured. Even the smallest improvising part of classical music has been taken away from it as now all of the Cadanza’s are all written before hand. Learning how to improvise was very important. The first time improvising your brain suddenly comes to a stand still. You don’t really know what to do and would play the same riff or notes over and over again. After having a few lessons into jazz, I slowly started to get an idea of what to do when improvising. I would take chances in class to practice it and receive some feedback. The best way to improve improvising skills is to collect riffs. These different riffs would help to make the improvising sound much more creative. Everyone would eventually develop their own riff, when played it would be linked to the person. As I was the only person that was going to improvise in my group, I had a lot of practice time to do so with my group. All of this lead up to a great final performance in front of the Gallery.
Plan for change: What would you do differently next time regarding the process you used to create your music?
Changing the process of how the music was created would help develop the performance even more. I believe that as a group we were all very excited to try a new song and we didn’t really actually sit down and discuss what we wanted to communicate to the audience from this song. Instead as a band we just jammed through the whole song. Instead we should have sat down and talked about what message we were trying to communicate out of this song. Also before jamming altogether, we should have made sure that the piano and guitar were playing the same chords. This problem raised through the playing when different chords were played and cause a very odd sound at the practice performance. Instead we should have got the chords in unison before adding the melody in. Following this new process could have saved us time and would have let us taken the straighten path instead of a much more squiggly one.
How has your own culture and upbringing affected the way that your performed and prepared for this jazz presentation?
Being brought up in a Chinese household it has defiantly affect the way I have approached this unit. Since jazz is part of the Western culture I experimented and tried to combine some of my the Chines culture elements into it. Since we have moderated our song into the key of G, it made it much more compatible to Chinese music.Since Blue Moon is a love song, this made me think of the traditional Chinese violin concerto which is also about love, I borrowed the introduction from this piece and added it to our Blue Moon piece. Although it is from different cultures, but when it was combined the music turned into one.
Self- assessment on criterion B, C and D
According to my self created criteria for criteria B, I believe I have scored in the top brand. My solo is completely improvised and I used the melody of Blue Moon to help me generate that solo. I tried to create a warm and happy feeling during my solo and after doing a small survey among my peers, this was achieved. All of my intonation was correct how ever at the start of my introduction, some notes were off causing me discomfort when listening to it again. But overall I believe I have achieved my personal goals that I had set.
I believe I am at a level 7 for criteria C. After every lesson that we have had practice, I have reflected on what our group has done and what we need to do and what problems we are facing. These reflection shows my artistic development at different stages of my work. I have also reflected on how improvements should be made to my piece of song and this shows consideration of my artistic processes.
For Criteria D I believe that I am at a level 8. This is because I showed commitment in using my artistic processes and I was willing to take risks as shown in my improvisation progress. I am also motivated and curious about how combining two cultures would look like. Finally i am supportive and work well with my group members throughout the performance.