One of the things I have set as my own goal for the last 3 years has been music related. I set the goal of writing my own music, and in the process improving my musical and technical knowledge. I came to Japan having close to no knowledge of any instrument or music theory, and so when I got here and first started taking music, I got hooked and started the process of improving.
As much as I am passionate about this goal, it has been in the background, and more of a hobby for the last 3 years. It is a very ambitious goal, and I think I will still be in pursuit of achieving it for the next 3 years at least.
Put into more detail, the goal itself is having a level of musical knowledge large enough to be able to compose and release music while being aware of the musical theory and technicalities behind the production side of it. As of now, I have achieved understanding the technicalities of the things I have learned from the production aspect, in terms of music theory I do still tend to doodle around while composing without always knowing what is going on. Sometimes I’ll know something sounds good but still not quite understand why, and that is the part of my goal that I have yet to reach.
Throughout the last 3 years, I have molded this goal to what it is today. Initially, it was just knowing what I was doing and making it sound good, maybe recording it on my phone. It slowly became knowing the technicalities of music production, knowing the theory behind my music, and making sure it means something at the same time.
In this process I clearly had to come up with an action plan, what was my next move going to be and where was it going to get me? At the start, I relied solely on music classes and the practicing I did ad nauseam on the guitar after school. After that it became guitar lessons, in person and online, doing research on music theory, and then applying it to my music. This led to my understanding of multiple things, such as chord progressions, and how they can be transposed to any key, and still sound good. The use of major and minor keys, as well as modulation between keys. I learned what sounds good when it comes to melodies, and harmonies, and this has continued on. There is however a large learning curve, and it is common to reach plateaus where I stop building on my new knowledge. When this happens I usually lose my ability to compose music after a while since it all comes out sounding the same. To get over this I’ll usually make myself sit down, try to write something different to anything I have done before, and then learn the concepts and theory necessary to do it.
In recent months I struggled to do this until a personal problem led me to come up with new material and ideas. As much as this is my passion, I have had to put the brakes on it rather often due to academics, but I hope that within the next year I can truly focus on it and make it go somewhere. I think there are still lots of knowledge gaps that need to be covered, and there is room for improvement, in my producing, and composing. I need to improve my discipline to ensure that it keeps moving forward, and truly put the time into it.