Stringing my Life Together: Purishpa takini, takishpa purini.

Mariachi Rehearsal…learning on the spot!
2008/10/04, 08:19
Filed under: Uncategorized

Currently Listening to: Caminos de Guanajuato, and Khaled ‘Oran Marseille’  (if you haven’t heard Raï music, you must check it out sometime… )

Currently Craving:  Moroccan cuisine (I think it has become one of my favorites of all-time!)

The last week has been insanely busy.  Sierra came to visit and we did all sorts of exciting things (which I’ll try to write about later this weekend)!  Assignments consisted of hundreds of pages of reading and several pages of writing to do, along with listening (I still have a ton to do, but that’s what I’m here for!)

Today I spent most of the day in the library skimming three books and taking notes.  Then there was mariachi rehearsal.  My second one with the group.  It’s intense…I’m trying to memorize (let alone learn!) about 20+ songs in a week for our first gig!!  It’s really interesting to go from almost a strictly classical background, in terms of ensemble experience and reading music, to this type of atmosphere and rehearsal.  Peer learning is a necessity, and it’s a real challenge to LISTEN and commit the music to memory right away, how it works with the other players’ parts, technical issues with the violin, style, rhythm…I find myself trying to form deeper understandings of the music and make sense of it all, grasping for whatever my brain can retain while in overdrive (or in various gelatin-like states). It’s not that I’ve never learned this way before…before I had summer lessons I would spend hours learning things on the radio by ear…but a 3 hour rehearsal with 90% of music I don’t know is an entirely different level of intensity for me!

I think the most fascinating thing I have experienced while learning in this manner is that…it’s easier to memorize the music when I’m just using my ears and not using the notation as a crutch.  Listening and watching really makes me internalize it much more than if I just sight read something (like how you could read a sentence in autopilot and not put any thought into what it means).  I’m a very visual person and visual learner, however, music is a different ball game for me, and I think I have relied too much on notation when it’s there in front of me.

I would really suggest to any and all musicians that they should try learning this way sometime.  Pick up your instrument and dive head first into what you’re learning.

Abandon any inhibitions and just be immersed in the music.

I’m hoping by Thursday I’ll have the tunes down enough (and whatever I don’t, I’ll be able to fake convincingly enough…like I did when I was in youth orchestra as a youngin’) where I will be able to perform at the gig in the Fowler Musuem.  If you’re in the LA area and are interested in Mexican Art, come check it out!



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