MUSIC 1: Piano Class



Piano Class - Artist Statements


Driscoll: Piano doesn’t come easily to me, I practice every moment I can, but I still revel in the beauty of the piano, regardless of my struggle. This piece reflects that for me, there are parts in the song where I hesitate or make a mistake, yet I continue. Furthermore, my decision to keep my mistakes in the final project, reflects my challenge. My feelings have not changed much after recording the two pieces I completed, only that I am proud of my accomplishments. Three months ago, I would certainly not be able to play these two pieces, “IDK you yet,” and “If the World Was Ending.” My progress wasn’t very noticeable at first, but slowly I found myself playing pieces much more easily than I had a week before. Though the performance of these pieces is not magnificent, they portray my love for playing and listening to music, which is what I hope for listeners to sense. I played “If the World Was Ending,” while thinking of my dearest friend, who is away now, and all the seemingly meaningless moments we’ve shared together. My wish is for those listening to it, to realize how precious friendship is.  

Fenix: When starting this piece, I began by watching a video on YouTube to learn the melody and the placements for my fingers. After getting a good understanding of the piece I began to work on each hand separately. I began to get a feel for the melody with each hand and started trying to put them together. Once I got both of my hands to play their parts separately, I started playing slowly with both hands to try and catch the rhythm. When I felt comfortable playing the song slowly, I started to up the tempo of the song. I repeated this process until I felt that playing the song was comfortable and that I could play the song without looking at my hands and just read the music. Then finally, I recorded myself playing the song and submitted it.

Michelle: Throughout this class I have learned that I still have the ability to continue to learn new instruments if I put my mind to it. Sometimes it was frustrating not being at the level I am at with my other instruments, but it only further taught me to stick with things. Throughout this course I often wanted to speed up and progress faster, but after time I realized I can’t rush the process of learning an instrument. When I was recording the songs, I just wanted to continue restarting over and over until every note lined up and was perfect. However, it taught me to live with my mistakes, because like in a concert you can’t go back and fix it. After finishing recording the pieces, I felt accomplished because I had never recorded anything to be released to the public. I was hesitant, because I think it is much different than a concert where usually I am in an ensemble, so my mistakes can be masked if they do happen. I hope people will realize that it did take a few months to get to that piece. I know it seems like a little, but it shouldn’t discourage people because learning takes time, and you need to have patience with yourself. I hope this encourages others to try and pick up the instrument they have always wanted to or to even just become more involved with music beyond just listening to it.



Franco: I was rather frustrated when I started working on this latest soundtrap piece. I recorded myself playing Fix You with the microphone option and wanted to add another beat in the background that soundtrap offered. This was the part that I struggled with as I couldn’t find the right instrument and the right sound that bonded with the recording of myself playing Fix You. Eventually, I decided to choose pianet, one of the piano options soundtrack offers, and I was pleasantly surprised with how well the sound bonded with the original recording of Fix You. It had a relaxing and mellow tune, and I added my own recording playing pianet as background music to compliment the original recording. I had a lot of speed bumps and my song is still far from perfect, but I managed to create a song that I believe to be satisfactory. In conclusion, I don't expect anyone to gain anything meaningful while listening to this amateur piece I created. Truthfully, I know little about creating and playing music and nobody is going to experience anything moving from this song. I am satisfied with the piece I was able to cobble together because I had extremely low expectations for myself entering this soundtrap project. I knew this project was going to be troublesome for me and I’m quite relieved that it didn’t turn into a complete failure.  


Paloma: During the fall term this year I have been work on my piano almost daily. Before this year, sometimes I would feel the inspiration to learn a song or two, but I never really stuck to practicing. Now I practice daily and am learning so many new songs. The songs that I have recorded are some of my favorites. Tate McRae’s One Day is a song that I like to listen to and sing along to. The song Say Something by A Great Big World is a song that I have been listing to for years, and sometimes when I would be in musicals the cast, before the show, would all gather and we would sing it together. Both of these songs mean a lot to me and I am very glad I got to learn them. This year so far I feel like I have accomplished so much. I am constantly getting better at reading sheet music, and being able to have the patience to learn new things. I am happy I took this class and I am excited to keep working on my piano journey. 


Justin: I chose “I Wish You A Merry Christmas” because this is the first thing I think of when I think of Christmas music. The most challenging thing was being able to play it smoothly throughout the whole song. When I was finally able to play the song without messing it up it gave me a feeling of accomplishment. I really enjoyed playing this because I really like the happy feeling It gives off when you play It. I hope this piece brings people together so everyone can enjoy the holiday together. Also, I hope that this piece gives the same feeling of happiness to others as it did for me. I want people to listen to this when they are with their families because that is what Christmas is about. Another challenging thing was trying to motivate myself to go outside my comfort zone and try something that was hard for me. I would recommend this to anyone who is new to piano and wants a challenge. This was a very fun piece to play, I recommend giving it a try. 

Emma: When I started to make my piece, I was under a lot of stress with other hw to do. I didn’t exactly want to do this. I went on the website and then played with the interments and found this activity fun. I then got excited to do this. I was experimenting with all sorts of instruments. I wanted to create a catchy beat. I added a bunch of things together and made a song. I feel accomplished now that I finished my piece. I hope that my art makes people want to experiment the way I did. My goal is to inspire others to try something new. I want others to go out of their comfort zone. 

Artistic Expression - Performing ARts


Artistic Expression - Artist Statements

Luke: My thought process for this was to find things that were relatable and people could paint a picture with. I tried to make a project that people could think of when they did the same things in my poems in real life. I also tried creating a nice beat that was catchy and went with the rest of the flow. Overall I wanted to create something that wasn't boring and could be related to which would make it better.

Sunnie: I thought that this project was very interesting and it reaches out to many things I’ve never experienced before. I was excited to make this piece because I enjoy writing poems and playing around with words. Afterward when we began working on recording our poems and adding beats to it, I was a bit nervous because I’ve never created any form of music before. When I was recording, I had a sore throat and it was early on in the morning so my voice kept cracking. I didn’t think it sounded amazing but I just went with it and decided to add a voice filter instead. The last part was incorporating different beats into the recording and this particular part was really fun in my opinion. I have no idea how any of these instruments work or how to even play them. Fortunately, the Soundtrap app didn’t make the beats sound so bad and although it sounded random, it came out fine. The beats remind me of life, just going with the flow and not worrying too much about perfection. Now that I’ve completed the project, I feel pretty happy with it but a part of me keeps saying that I could’ve done so much better if I had only known how to actually play those instruments. It’s fine though, at least I don’t hate it. I hope that from listening to my piece, people can see how all over the place my personality is but I don’t really expect much from them.

Otto: The process of creating this piece was gathering information from my past that seemed significant to me and then writing it in poetic form. While beginning to write this poem. The nostalgia kicked in. The questions that were asked to write this poem made me dig deep into my past. Making me think of memories I forgot about. Memories that I could not comprehend. Now that I have finished this piece. I believe I have a better understanding of who I am and who I want to be. Hopefully my poem can relate to my classmates. Maybe they gain a better understanding of who they are when they've finished their poem. This project brang up good and bad memories in my life but all in all, I enjoyed doing this project.

Mikey: I first get an idea of what I will be creating. I felt a little awkward when creating these pieces. It was out of my comfort zone. I would dig down deep inside of me for ideas that I thought would work. I am not the most creative person but when give effort I feel like I have potential to be creative. I write down my ideas then I get to work. I get to work, and I work quick. Now that I have created these, I feel like these types of creations ae in my comfort zone. Like presenting in in class or editing I feel much more comfortable doing so. I feel like I have learned getting out of my comfort zone is good thing. And to explore new things. 

Richard: When I started making my poem I was pretty reserved. I didn't really feel out the different things I could do with soundtrap. What helped me to get started was seeing how my partner used bongos to lock down the poem, which was a concept that I liked. As I went along I started experimenting more. The beatmaker really got my attention. I had experience with MIDI, so this was familiar to me. I am glad that I tried to go outside the box a little more than I had previously expected. I hope that through this project I can give people a little view into my life and the traditions and moments that have impacted me. I was glad that I enjoyed this project. It was cool to see how I could stretch the boundaries a little more than usual.

Cela: Starting this piece came with the question: “Where do I start”. I know where I’m from, but what made me who I am today? Should I pick specific moments? Or should I do overall feelings and emotions that have been a constant in my life? I came to the conclusion that I wanted to put memories that I could remember almost every detail of that moment. Memories that still come to mind today. I really enjoyed how this piece made me think while letting me take a little trip down memory lane.

Shea: I liked this class more than I thought it would. I didn’t know it was going to have assignments involved, with theater. I thought this class had projects that were tricky to master but eventually were easy to understand the meanings of them. I believed that doing the exercise at the beginning was a joke. I soon realized they eventually helped me in the future of being energized during and after class. I also think one project that was enjoyable to me was the Be Here one. I thought this project allowed for me to express creativity in animating, that is something that I enjoyed doing. I learned that its not about grades its about the creativity that matters, which I expressed with this certain project. I had a voice to speak up when I was confused on something. I remember in the remote period I had done well with my writing of the poem that I did. I remember embracing these skills in future projects with other classes that might end up being like these. I know that any art made is something unimaginable not in this class, but everywhere.  

Audrey: In the beginning of the class, I came in feeling very shy and not wanting to participate. However, throughout the trimester I felt that I started opening up to the class about my thoughts and opinions. I felt welcome as well in the community because no one judged what I had so say or do. I also feel like my work had become better throughout the trimester, I think I really opened up more in the videos and projects we did.

ShawnStarting this project I wasn’t so sure on where to start .I started to think about where I was from not specifically but where my character was from as I thought of that I found who I was in myself and wrote down the poem. Then I started to think more and more about it and added more stuff down. As it started to make more sense to me I began to get creative with it. At first I felt a little awkward about doing this but as I thought about stuff it wasn’t awkward at all it was super fun.This was really fun to me and it mad me more interested in art. If you ever feel awkward about anything don’t second guess it go for it. This project was super fun and even better to make.

Nicki: As I was writing this poem, the first thing that came to mind was the difference between how POC are raised than to white people. So I wanted to make sure to include that stanza where I wrote things that people have said to me that white people don’t really hear as often. I wanted those lines to be a kind of  funny and relatable moment for people of color. 


I also wanted to make sure I had some lines in there about the different places I’d consider myself to be from. Moving around was a huge part of my childhood and I just wanted to incorporate that into my poem. I'm sure not a lot of people can relate to moving around so much at such a young age, but the few that can I feel like it would be a good way to talk about it. Another thing that was big in my poem was the idea of rising up. I wanted to incorporate that just because my family worked so hard and it's in my blood because of them. I just feel like a lot of people can relate to that, immigrants, people of color, people who didn't grow up with as much money as others can definitely read that piece of my poem and say "yeah I know how that goes I know how it feels."


So I want people to read this and just released and know that other people are going through it too. And if you're having trouble with your situations you can definitely talk to other people about it. 

Ryan: When starting this project, I was confused on how I was going to write a poem that showed exactly what I felt and what the highlights of my life were. I started out by making a list of items I was thankful for, dramatic experiences, and my parent’s backstory. After I read through my list, I decided to go with mostly happy items and memories. I tried to make each stanza an idea or memory with 5 lines in it. The soundtrap project was difficult to figure out, but I really made something I loved.

Dang: My goal for this project was to help people to know me listening a audio. I started this project with trying to make a beat, it takes a long time but I did it. The hardest part was done. The second thing that I did was recording myself reading my poem. The third thing wast adding some sounds to make it more interesting. I have a good experience of doing this project. It was something new. It was hard but it was also interesting. I spent on this project 1,5 hours. I hope people will listen to my poem and rate it.

MUSIC 1: Introduction to Music


Introduction to Music - Artist Statements

CJ: When recording my cover of the song, “Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett, I took into consideration the instruments I had learned over the course of the term. After taking this class, I feel much more comfortable with playing the ukulele and guitar than I had prior to this class. I am also more confident with my ability to play the piano. In the recording, I felt that the guitar provided a good base for the chords since that was what was used in the original recording. Once recorded and layered correctly, I decided that the piano would provide a good melody for the song. I learned, then played the melody along with the background guitar chords in order to get the timing of the notes right. After that, I decided to add a drum beat to the song to add more structure and make the song flow better. I feel like this piece demonstrates how far I have come since the beginning of the term, and shows skills that I learned on instruments, especially the guitar. I also hope that listeners will want to sing along and enjoy the song.

Jake: Before taking this class i was interested in music but never really had the opportunity to learn instruments in a well-structured way. I Believe I am a much stronger musician than I was before this class. It is crazy to think that I now feel comfortable with three instruments which is crazy because before this class i did not feel comfortable with any. I liked the ukulele the most because I just felt the most joy while playing it and it also just gives off such a good vibe sound. One skill I am very proud of is My ability to be able to smoothly read a piece of music while playing the piece at the same time. I honestly think that the coolest part of what I've been able to learn during this class is the ability to compose and perform my own song. Overall, my experience in this class has opened my eyes to many different instruments and made myself more comfortable with trying new things. I have had a great time working in this music class.

James: This term in music I learned a lot. I learned to play guitar ukele and even piano. On my final project I decided to mash everything together. I consider myself to be a very creative person, so I think that really transferred nicely to my music skills. I learned some great things that I will carry through my music journey. This final piece for me was more a statement saying that I can play and created music that people would like to listen to. I have really grown as an artist this term. I believe that I have become a real musician. I feel like I could really play anything if I put the time in. This was a very good term for me to really learn and find myself as a musician. I hope to harness the skills I learned this term in music and use them for everything I learn in my future. 

Sarina: My piece was primarily to show my development over this term. I first learned Stay With Me by Sam Smith on the ukulele, it really stuck with me and was the song that I enjoyed playing. So, I took it to the next step and learned to sing along with it while playing it on the ukulele. Later we were introduced to the application Sound Trap which offered the unique opportunity to layer myself playing the song on the ukulele and the piano as well as singing the vocals with the song. The song is certainly out of my voice range and I am out of practice, however it was an interesting challenge that I enjoyed taking on. Listening to this piece I would say it is best to understand I am a beginner, and I was really focusing on just playing the right notes at the right time. I really had fun creating this piece and it is intended to be light and enjoyable. I hope in future to advance my skills and produce more in-depth pieces.  

Student Recital Performances