Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An Assignment

When i was in highschool, i took a class called "musicianship" for a couple of years~ There were only about 5 of us in the class & we were in grades 10, 11 or 12 & it totally prepared me for my first year at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton where i went after i graduated & pursued music.
Anyway, the other day, a conversation brought to mind an assignment we once had in that class. Our teacher, Brian Todd, (an incredible musician) ~ gave us a chord progression.
Nothing else.
He wrote the series of chords up on the board & said, 'write me a song using these chords as your framework'.
That was it.
i wrote a ballad in 4/4 time. i remember that because it's pretty much what i still write... haha. But, other students took that *same* chord progression & put it in a different time signature... There were totally different styles, tempos and melody lines represented ~ that *all* worked in the framework of that chord progression.
i remember after we had finished our project, & each of us had performed it for the class on whatever instrument we wished, he told us it was a song he had written for a *trumpet*... (in my world, it was a piano song... who knew...) & he took out his trumpet & played the most amazing jazz tune... Totally unique & unlike anything anyone else in the class had played.
Anyway, the thought just struck me the other day ~ how *like* life this little assignment is. We're all working in the same chord progression (hey, we're all humans, aren't we?) & yet, the music we make is so completely unique.
May the music i make bring you Glory, Father.


jessica jespersen said...

There was no other music teacher like Brian Todd. He made you want to please him and also want to learn and understand music. I still remember my first "swing pattern" lesson he gave me on the drums in grade 8. He wouldn't let anyone quit and if he singled you out in the class to perfect something, everyone waited while you got your slide on the trombone just right, the bass line walking the shots on the trumpet snapping or the rim shots crackin'. Remember the t-shirts we wore in protest, crossing the picket lines when the union tried to get him fired for not joining them? I gave him mine that read "Todd's a Keeper". He erased the yellow chalkboard with it as if he didn't care, and then i saw him tuck it away in his cupboard. I cried the day they forced our class to switch music teachers. Wish i had've protested that day too. --j

Luke said...

Ah yes, the infinite variations of life [smile]. May the "music" of my life be something people are blessed in "hearing."



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