Finishing Touches

It’s been a great semester here at propel and I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity to pursue my passion in my grade twelve year. The semester is finally coming to a close and I’m beginning to add all the finishing touches to my 5 tracks for my EP. I’ve been meeting with an old friend of mine Ben Sellick who used to teach me piano to learn more about mixing and mastering tracks and in the future, learn music theory at an advanced level. Ben study’s music at the university of Manitoba and is an astonishing piano player. It’s nice to be able to work with him cause he’s young and lessons with him don’t feel so boring because it’s just two guys who are really passionate about music exchanging ideas and having fun. I’m really excited to be able to release my first ever finished project and I thank both my teachers and the propel program for getting me to this point. Over the break I plan on mixing all my tracks with the help of Ben and making sure all sounds are cohesive. I have an idea of adding short skits and talk breaks in between tracks to tie them together nicely. My new Soundcloud is ready and has been gaining a couple followers a week due to the promotion I have been doing on social media, which will help with the overall publicity and listens ill get once my EP is released. I would like to have my EP finished before we get back so that my plan to release it on the 16th will be achievable. As well, that will give me time to focus on my English exam which is also as soon as we get back.

 

 

It gets quite busy at my house around Christmas time but I’ll still make time to focus on school. I’m looking forward to this break but at the same time I still have a lot of work to do. I want to make sure this EP is perfect and I can look back on my finished product and be proud of the time and effort I put into it. January 16th will be a day to remember.

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Clutter

“Adam Stop making so much music! The computers slower than a sloth man”. “I can’t even see the desktop background”. Wise words once said by my father before I got my own laptop. I used to crowd up the family computer with hundreds of unorganized tracks called “yogurt 3” or “JFgdfgfdd”. My dad used to always tell me “keeping a clean workspace is the number one rule of being organized”. He says when u feel organized and you’re not looking at clutter or a mess you’ll be ten times more productive. Once I got a laptop I applied that rule to my desktop making sure I had folders organizing what sort of work I was doing, if it was for fun, maybe finished tracks or whether or not its school related. I was starting to receive the benefits of staying organized after it started to take me only my half a minute to find any file I was looking for. So, I started to search for more techniques to stay organized. “Don’t Multitask”. Another organizational tool I could definitely apply to my workflow. I tend to listen to music, text, facetime, etc. while I do work, like essays or writing blogs or speech scripts. I learned that your brain won’t reach full productivity when faced with more than one task. Even the smallest distraction can be a problem such as listening to music or even trying to tackle more than one job. The procrastinating factor has always been my biggest issue. Ill sometimes even sit down to do something and end up doing it a week later the night before its due. I have yet to find a solution to my issue, but it’s definitely improving. I’ve been doing tasks when I tell myself I’ll do them I just always plan on doing them later anyways. Being unorganized leads to stress and an unproductive workflow. I’ve really started to take advantage of these organizational tips and I feel more satisfied once tasks are finished. I know my dad appreciates that I’m doing it myself. He can finally see his desktop background now.

A good decision

Last year Adam Smallwood was trying to convince me to take this program and I was 99% sure I wasn’t going to take it for many reasons. At the time, my plan was to go to school to be a doctor and I was currently taking pre-calculus, physics, biology and chemistry to make that possible. I wasn’t planning on taking all four of those grade 12 classes in one semester at Glen lawn so I was sure this program wasn’t for me. After a year of using logic pro and producing music, my knowledge and skill had taken a leap in progression and I started to become way more passionate about music and when Adam continued to try and convince me I was beginning to consider it. Now at the end of grade 11. Chemistry had really put a toll on me and I was ready to apply for Propel. I talked to Ms. Taylor, had an interview with the principle at Nelson McIntyre and got a better idea of what the program looked like and was excited when I received my letter of acceptance.

 

 

Fast forward to now. I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine regarding the new album he plans on releasing after arriving in Toronto, now this won’t be a professionally done album but he has other producers working on it who have done some tracks for some very big names. The more I think about this the more I feel like this is the beginning, the beginning of making music a career and everyday it feels more possible.

 

After a discussion with Mr. Hansen and Mr. P, I’ve felt good about my progress in Propel. I have one finished track for my EP and 3 possible tracks that need touching up. Were about halfway through the program and as far as my project goes I’m on pace to finish in good time. My latest conference was quick and didn’t change much as far as my Gant chart I created goes and I was able to check of a couple more boxes on my Milestones worksheet. After being in this program for two months now I’ve learned so much about time management, project management, and public speaking. I always had an idea of what a good speech looked like but never knew how to go about writing one and actually going up there and keeping nerves under control staying still and looking at your audience. It’s not as easy as it looks but a little practice goes a long way. My time management skills have improved a lot this year as well and as far as my A tasks go, I’ve been good about staying on pace. I need to start changing the mix up a bit and adding B tasks in to my time here at propel if I’m going to get my full credits on time though. I’ve been a little too focused on my Project and haven’t been focusing on deliverables, gym hours and gym assignments. I’ve really enjoyed my time so far in the program and appreciate the opportunity.

 

 

 

Thanks

“Can you play me a song.” “Could I hear another one.” “Can you learn this for me.” Constant harassment I get from my mom regarding my piano playing. Although it may seem quite annoying, her nagging is much welcomed because thanks to her I can play the piano and I can write songs and I can use my skill to be able to write piano scores and produce tracks from scratch. Thank you, mom, for always believing in my talent as a musician and constantly forcing me to practice until it was my own decision to practice.

 

September 10, 2007.

 

It was my second year taking piano. Even with a short first year due to me starting 2 months away from summer, my parents were already fed up with my whining and complaining. Before my first lesson my mom offered me a chance to quit. At first, I thought to myself, “finally” but my “evil” parents had done some trickery and messed with my young brain. I was given the “you can give up now, or you can push through and take your reward later when you can play like a pro.” Which had me actually debating the offer and in the end worked in my parents favor because I was not a “quitter.” I know now my parents would never have let me quit they were just smart enough to know I can’t be a quitter. I continued to play for a second year of piano with a crappy teacher and learned a whole lot of nothing but every day I wanted to quit my mom was there to tell me to “wait until your good, that’s when playing becomes fun.”

 

December 2010.

 

It’s been 3 months now with my newest piano teacher Ms. T. She really had me enjoying practicing and enjoying playing the piano. I learned so much more than just how to play the piano from her such as life lessons regarding music and beginner’s theory books because she could tell what parts of piano playing I enjoyed. She would allow me to do what I wanted just enough so that when she had me doing the parts of practicing and learning I hated I was okay with them. Without her I would not have even realized my love for piano playing, theory books and writing music.

Thank you, Ms. T,

 

October 2017.

 

Its fall and I’m doing a program in my senior year that allows me to continue progressing my love for music in school. For many reasons, all the events that happened prior to this I have many people in my life to thank for it. If I had quit in 1st grade I wouldn’t be in this program if I hadn’t learned about theory from Ms. T, if it weren’t for my parents buying me 20$ beat making software which I was Grateful for but unsure why they bought me it until I tried it, if it weren’t for my newest teacher Ben introducing me to logic pro and mentoring me on how it works I wouldn’t be here. Music is my passion, I am here today at Propel writing and producing music because of my friends, family, colleagues and teachers and I would like to take a moment to say thank you. So,

thank you.

-Adam  Manning

Singing Baby

I’ve been asked to do a number of genres of music for other people and unless its hip hop, electronic or trap, It’s a hard no. So, when I was asked to do an ambient track for my father I was caught feeling the need to yes. Which indeed is what I did. I stayed up late one night working on this ambient spacey style track for my father who needed it for a time-lapse style video for work. I was about 3 hours into this new project and I had what sounded like a baby singing while rolling down a hill. Now I wasn’t too sure exactly what he wanted maybe this baby rolling is close to what he had in mind. But I was pretty sure he wanted something with a bit of a groove to it without being too complicated or loud. He tried explaining it to me once more after my success was far from great and I had to tell him this project wasn’t for me. Now I felt bad giving up like that but I realized it only helped me grow as an artist. I learned a bit about making ambient tracks in attempting to make one as well as the videos I watched prior to making one and I now know my comfort zone and I know I should step outside of it more often If I want to start thinking about my future in music. So, when I’m asked to do a track that’s not in my area of expertise I will take the project on anyways so I can expand my comfort zone.

 

 

 

One of the challenges I feel I’m going to face in the next week is coming up with a chorus for a track I’m creating with a classmate. I’m used to tracks having an intro and then melody, baseline and drumline that are looped throughout the track. The version of chorus that that style of music uses is just to either remove one of the parts of the loop or simply add another melody. In most genres of music other than trap, hip hop and rap the chorus is carefully constructed and generally a lot more complicated. I know I’m going to struggle with this task because of a previous attempt at making a chorus about 3 months ago when I made a jazz song for a project in school. I didn’t have any problem with an intro or a verse but the chorus and bridge areas were where I struggled due to having no past experience with creating them. I’m excited to see what I can come up with and excited to see where my successes and failures will be.

-Adam

The Deep end

It’s a Wednesday night. Its late in the evening, very late. My thoughts are swimming in the deep end of my brain. I’m trying to wrap my head around explaining how these first couple weeks of school have been going, exhausted after a long day at work and tired from an even longer day of school before that. My mind begins to drift off. Why is it dark in my room? Why does my stomach hurt, Am I hungry? Why is water wet? Can I keep my eyes open if I sneeze? Is the sun Hot? I try and shake it off but my brain doesn’t want to cooperate so I try another method instead of literally shaking my head. I walk upstairs to grab some snacks and some water and my brain seems to start warming up. I decide to watch a little TV to distract me for a bit and I begin brainstorming.

 

It’s been a little over two weeks now since I started here at Nelson McIntyre in the Propel program and I’m already extremely invested into it. I’ve got plans and projects exploding out of my brain which I should probably get control of because its clouding up all of my other responsibilities; here we call those B tasks. One of the things I think which makes this program so special is that they push you to be your best and guide you to get the most out of what you choose for your project. For example, I came here with plan to do Music. My thoughts on the program before I arrived were more of a solo school year where I have to learn and push myself, to take music to the point where I can begin to make it a career. Two weeks later I’ve learned that the teachers here both have great talent and experience in music in two very different ways. In addition, they have been pushing me outside my comfort zone in an effort to explore new genres and begin working with other artists in the class. As well as creating finished products with vocals, song construction pieces and expanding my brand as a producer. I’m very excited to see how these next few months will go and even more excited to see my final product at the end of the semester.

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