When I came into this program, eighty percent of my artistic knowledge was focused through the very narrow lens that applied mainly to classical music. I had never heard terms like art world or remix discussed in the ways that we explored them in this class. Not only that, but I admittedly had no real interest in exploring other avenues of art , aside from a fairly surface level appreciation of those art forms I was not expressly familiar with. This class took all of those ill conceived ideas and shattered them. That narrow lens I observed art through widened, and I began appreciating things and questioning their purposes and aesthetics. I wondered at the social and political issues that went into creating art. I began questioning who had power; the consumer or the artist? What are the ways that we actively or inactively find ourselves engaging and participating with art? I even began to question the seemingly basic, fundamental thing that I thought I should be able to answer; what IS art? This class took everything I thought I knew about art (which apparently was not much) and completely reinvented it. Not only did this class redefine what participation in the arts can actually encapsulate, it totally broadened my horizons. I found myself actively engaging in art worlds that I was unfamiliar with. I was no longer afraid to experience something I did not know, but found myself seeking those opportunities out. This class inspired me to start asking the right questions, but more importantly it taught me that there is not just one right answer.
When I found out that I would be designing a logo and rebranding an organization for this class, I was filled with self doubt. I didn’t have any experience in any of the Adobe programs, let alone any design experience, but I learned so much from this whole process. It was such a fulfilling experience to play around creatively in a new medium. Music has really been the only art form that I’ve felt any connection too, but graphic design presented a new and exciting challenge that I felt like I responded well to. I never expected to enjoy it as much as I did and whereas I know I won’t go into a graphic design field, I know that I’ve amassed some skills that will aide me if whatever organization I end up working for needs someone with the skill set I’m obtaining in this course series. My knowledge of marketing has expanded as well. I can’t go around without noticing logos and typeface, wondering what kind of creative strategy went into it all. I feel about a hundred times more confident in the Adobe programs than I imagined and have been able to apply those skills to projects outside of this class as well. This class was incredibly useful and I gained some serious knowledge in both marketing as well as design and technology. I eagerly await MMC II.
I thought a lot about what I would consider to be my personal learning environment, and honestly, I had kind of a hard time figuring out how I wanted to organize it and structure it. So I started thinking a lot about how I learn, and where I learn and I was struck with an idea. I’ve spent half of my life playing in orchestras, and so I felt like that would be a good visual representation to start mapping out my learning environments. After playing around with grouping and structure, I decided to format into three areas that include the tools I use in each one; Education/Learning , Music, and Technology.
In my Education/Learning section, I included three news sources and both of the universities I’ve attended. I decided to include the BBC, NPR and New York Times under the Education/Learning section because that’s how I keep up to date with current events and learn about what’s going on in the world. Every morning before I leave for class, I spend a little time with each publication to get a larger sense of the world. It’s very easy to get consumed in the intense, educational grad school environment and it’s important to me to stay involved in the outside world. In including both my undergraduate and graduate universities, I felt like I was representing all of the things I’ve learned so far and am continuing to learn during the time I’ve spent on my degrees.
The music section was the easiest for me to map out. I’ve been studying music for seventeen years and although the tools I’ve used to aid me in that have varied slightly, there have been several foundational ones that I have always used. One of the best things I can do as a musician is listen to music, which is why I included cover art from a Deutsche Grammophon recording. I specifically chose Deutsche Grammophon because it’s one of the most reputable labels for classical music and a good portion of my collection are Deutsche Grammophon recordings. I use the 60 Kopprasch etudes almost every day to refine my technical abilities and flexibility throughout my range. I also included the logo for BOSS metronomes and a screenshot of a strobe tuner because I use both of these to help fix issues and improve my playing. The three horns interlocked is the logo for the International Horn Society, a professional group that I belong to and use resources from such as scholarly articles, audition postings, and educational advice all akin to horn playing.
The last, and broadest section is the technology section. All of my tech devices are Apple products. I have an iPhone, an iPod touch, and a MacBook Pro that I use every day as the platforms for all of these tech applications that I use in my personal and educational/professional life. I predominantly use Skype, Facebook, and Instagram to stay connected socially with people, although Facebook sometimes intersects with Learning/Education since I follow news sources, musicians, and arts/culture organizations. The Adobe Creative Suite and the Office Suite are the two programs that I use the most for professional/educational requirements.