Sunday, February 24, 2013

WISE - Mentor Meetings

It's been a good two weeks so far, especially jumping into the project with hands-on composing. To go along with that, I've had two great mentor meetings.

Mentor meetings, just like specific short-term planning, is something that I never would have planned had there been no requirements for this project. Now I'm realizing why it's such a great thing to have a mentor with which I can check in every week.

For one, it forces me to reach my goals every week. If I know that I'm going to have to show what I did to a mentor at the end of the week, that's extra motivation in itself. It stimulates discussion, which in turn generates new ideas or different viewpoints. This can be extremely helpful if/when I get stuck on a part of my project.

Mentor meetings can also be helpful in another way: as a resource. Because my mentor is my orchestra director, working out orchestra rehearsal planning or learning about string instruments can be done right with her. It's really convenient to be able to talk about the project for the first half of our meeting, then have her teach me about string instruments for the second half.

Speaking of which, I got an early start to my string instrument research: during our last mentor meeting, she taught me the first steps in playing a violin! The plan is to learn the very basics of the string instruments so that I have some sense of what the players I'm writing for have to do in order to play my music. But in all honesty, learning a new instrument is just downright pure fun.