School’s out – time for learning!

Phew! The school year is over – at least til summer school starts – and although I love teaching, I’m sooooo excited about that.

Because I want to kick back and relax? No! Because I want to devour the last several months’ issues of Electronic Musician, work through hours and hours of tutorials on a bunch of pro music software packages, and get back to my schedule of producing a piece of music per day. I’m also teaching a new online course over the summer, which will be a great experience.

Sitting on the patio, catching up on industry magazines

Learning time – on the patio, on a beautiful summer morning. Rough!

A piece per day. When school’s not in session, I’m all over it; I manage it. But once school ramps up, it’s pretty tough to pull off. So another goal I have for this summer is to better organize my teaching materials for the coming school year so that I minimize my weekly prep time once school is in session.

It’s the old “chip away at it each day instead of cramming” thing, and since I preach it to my students, I oughta practice it too.

Here’s the thing: I’ve pretty much got my act together. But I pressure myself to improve my classes each time I teach them. So I don’t just pull out the same thing from last semester; I typically review and rewrite/redesign each module to fix what didn’t work, add new findings, and so on. And that’s the right thing to do. But I could do more of it in advance, which would allow me to spread out the work hours over months instead of days. It’s the old “chip away at it a little each day instead of cramming” thing, and since I preach it to my students, I oughta practice it.

So here’s a sampling of what’s on my plate for the summer:

  • a wad of tutorials at lynda.com – no matter your discipline, you can probably find valuable training there
  • the full set of MSP tutorials (I’ve used the Max side of the legendary Max/MSP suite for more than a decade but have only a little experience on the MSP side)
  • a big dive into Numerology, an amazing step-sequencer made right here in ABQ, for which I’m beta-testing a top-secret new module (eee!)
  • a similar dive into Xewton Music Studio for iPhone, for which I’m also a beta tester; I use it as a sketch pad currently and want to explore a little more with it
Xewton Music Studio Screenshot

Xewton Music Studio for iPhone does Apple’s own GarageBand several better.

  • teaching an eight-week, online music technology class during June and July, and prepping for teaching my regular classes next year
  • initial work toward a Working Classroom theater production that will go up in mid-September
  • prepping for the opening concert of the ISEA2012 Conference, which should be very, very fun…

It’s amazing how much energy you find when you love everything you’re doing.

What do you have on tap for this summer?

Advertisements

About CK Barlow

I'm a composer and music-technology instructor. In the summer of 2011, I decided it was time to give full-time music-making a shot, so I left my corporate job (I've always had one). That's part of what inspired Composing Kitchen, the blog I publish with my incredible spouse, Karen Milling. View all posts by CK Barlow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: