WISE – Initial Outline

Let’s jump right in.

I have approximately 16 weeks in which to complete this project. In those 16 weeks I have to fit three parts of my project: research, composing, and conducting.

The conducting will be the very last part of my project. I will rehearse my composition with the high school string orchestra, but the specifics of that is yet to be sorted out with my orchestra director. The tentative plan is to culminate in a final recording of the piece. Depending on how much rehearsal time I get per week, this part of the project may take up anywhere from one to four weeks.

Assuming the four week scenario, that leaves me with twelve weeks for research and composition. Since I’ll be doing research as I compose, the line between the two parts will most likely become blurred, but for the sake of setting a date, I would devote the first four weeks to research and the next eight for composing the piece.

That sounds easy enough. Four weeks of research, here I come!

Not so fast, I can already hear my WISE teacher in my head. “Where’s your weekly plan, kiddo?” This is the reason why I’m glad this project has some guidelines to help me through the project. I’m required to outline my first few weeks before even beginning my research, which is something that I never would have done if it wasn’t required of me.

On Mondays we have class, and on Friday I have a mentor meeting. That leaves me Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to work on my project in-school. Although it’s my expectation that I’ll be mostly working outside of school hours such as after school or weekends, the research part of my project should lend itself quite well to working in school.

My immediate plan for the next week is to acquire the textbooks Tonal Harmony and Study of Orchestration, and read/take notes. Each day for the next few weeks will most likely be quite a bit of reading and memorization, until the weekend, during which I can sit down at my piano and do some exercises to apply what I have learned.

Because my teacher encourages concrete and specific goals, here are a few for the next two weeks:

  • Know 10 new chords and be able to create a progression with them
  • Know the ranges of the four instruments in the string orchestra
  • Know 5 new compositional techniques to modify a melody and apply them to a sample melody

More planning coming soon. Until then, there’s much music to be learned!

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