Fall semester is coming to an end, and for the most part I’m excited. I have taught a lot of concepts to all of my music theory students, and I’d say that a good 90% of them are going to pass to the next class. For the ones who aren’t going to pass, it’s mostly because they haven’t been coming to class, or were a little too young for that class’s subject material to begin with.
With a splendid collection of wonderfully titled and beautifully arranged pieces, Wesley Gillebaard‘s portfolio on soundcloud is indeed some delicious ear candy! I had an incredibly thought-provoking conversation with the composer/developer, where he shared his ideas about many fascinating topics, including hearing a melody in his dreams, excessively repetitive music, fashion subcultures and their corresponding soundtracks, and using art as a means to give back to the world.
Billye Sands‘s exquisite ear for music and exceptional eye for photography completely drew me in, with her delectable assortment of VGM tracks, and a pleasantly peculiar playlist of original songs. The kind-hearted composer and I had a great discussion, from Georgia to California, where she shared her thoughts about cartoons as inspiration, spontaneous and free-spirited composition, vertical orchestration, and the importance of taking your time for the little things.
Fascinated by a captivating array of electronic and acoustic tracks, I immediately fell in love with Julie Buchanan‘s music. The innovative, friendly, and eloquent composer took some time to have a conversation with me, where she shared her thoughts about last-minute audition music, inspiration from stories and narrative, the importance of implementation, and creating her own instruments.
First compelled by the name “Super Hero Composer”, then listening to music that lived up to the title, I had to ask Marschawn Howard for an interview. He graciously accepted, and we ended up having a great conversation, from North Carolina to California, including topics like writing catchy, memorable music, second-guessing yourself, and the story behind his bold title.
One of the very best parts about teaching young children is their youthful curiosity and wonder, with concepts and topics that are all but innate to me at this point.
With my Music Theory Level 1 class this weekend, I was reviewing whole tones, semitones, flats, sharps, naturals, and going around the room asking students to give us the answers for the workbook problems.
When it comes to flats and sharps, one of the most challenging things to remember is that B# is NOT the same as Cb, just as E# is NOT the same as Fb. Since E & F, and B & C are the only pairs of white keys without a black key between them, E# = F, Fb = E, B# = C, and Cb = B. I went over this concept again with my students, and we continued with our workbook pages.
Games currently playing: Brave Frontier, Tales of Link, Kingdom Hearts: Unchained, Chrono Trigger
As an adult, one of my favorite aspects of the Pokémon games is the diversity of characters, in terms of ages, interests, and personalities. Although the games are generally aimed towards children living in suburban and city areas, the in-game demographic certainly shows that all kinds of people can be and are Pokémon trainers. And while most characters are not portrayed much deeper than their one defining characteristic/trainer name, there’s enough variety along your journey to keep things interesting.
That said, one of the most peculiar and amusing character types for me was, as you could probably guess from the title of this article, the “creepy” trainer! Although this general type of character appears more so in the later games, the presence of the “creepy” or otherwise socially awkward/nonconforming people showed me as a kid that Pokémon wasn’t meant only for the “cool” kids—even if you were different, “weird”, or had interests that didn’t mesh together with those of other people, you could still be part of the amazing world of Pokémon!
In the Pokémon games, whenever a trainer notices you, he or she always has a special musical theme that plays while making their introductory pre-battle utterance. And as Holly mentioned in our interview, sometimes when minor characters don’t have all that much character development, the music is really what tells us what kind of people they are.
In the spirit of Halloween, let us begin our journey of the next Across the Generations installment, “Creeper Trainer Notices You!”