Values Reflection
Project description: A breif reflection and exploration of a value of mine
    This weekend, I found myself on top of a 50-foot sandstone cliff face in the heart of the Red River Gorge. It was not the highest climb I have done, as I ascended a 100-foot shortly after, but it was the most important climb I did this weekend. This is because it was the first wall I have ever lead climbed. Prior to this ascent, I had only top-roped up the wall with a rope placed by another climber. This time, I was that climber. As I ascended the route, I placed my own safety gear until I reached the top and passed the rope through anchors for other climbers in my group to top-rope. Leading a climb is considered one of the most high-risk aspects of climbing and can certainly be one of the most nerve-wracking.
    Since I started climbing, I have been fascinated with the art of outdoor climbing. My curiosity has a tendency of taking me over. I began climbing in a gym where ropes magically descend from the top of the artificial wall to ensure constant protection from falls. The gym was always plastered with photos and posters of the employees climbing routes outside. It was these photos that sparked my interest in outdoor climbing. My brain would rush with questions about how they ascended the wall, how they put in safety gear, how they got down safely. My curiosity led me through an adventure, not only a physical adventure of climbing, but also a metaphysical exploration. I set down a path of learning; learning how to physically climb and belay but also how to deal mentally with a constant stress of falling and stressing yourself out. This mental aspect is equally, if not more, valuable than the physical aspect because this ability to keep a cool and level head is something that is applicable far beyond rock climbing.
    My curiosity served as a catalyst for adventure and learning far beyond what I was expecting to get in to. This exploration came to a head with that 50-foot ascent. My curiosity led me not only on an obvious path of learning new techniques in climbing, but also new techniques mentally. On the ascent, when I was 20-feet from an anchor and had the risk of taking a large fall, I was forced to take on a new path of thinking, one where I did not allow for a possibility of messing up or allowing my mind to wonder. I can apply this way of thinking to many facets of my every day life. This is why I hold my curiosity so dear. It is what allows me to learn and discover new things, to follow adventures and experience things that others may not.
Passion Reflection
Project description: A breif reflection and exploration of a passion of mine
     Sense fifth grade I have been relentlessly pursuing guitar playing as a strong passion of mine. I play anything from folk to blues to funk to rock. What I enjoy the most is improvisation, making music on the fly. Something about the spontaneity is really appealing to me. I enjoy always being in the moment of the music. To date I have been playing for eight years. Guitar has lead to the discovery of other facets of music from composing recording and preforming. I have explored orchestral composing, studied music theory and voice. Playing guitar has grown into a integral part of my personality that I will continue to explore.
    The story of my beginning to play guitar starts with getting my first iPod in fourth grade. This sparked a love for music, my fourth grade year the white Apple earbuds were practically glued in my ears. To this day that is still true though maybe to a lesser extent. Having a large library of music at my fingertips was life changing. I started with my parents music and slowly moved out. I found my self hooked on the raw guitar sounds of the blues and the now late B.B. King. I didn't know it at the time but after studying music theory I learned what I loved was the use of major minor seventh chords and the ‘blue note’ or diminished fifth used extensively in blues. The most natural step in my appreciation of music after getting my iPod was playing guitar and learning how to make the sounds that I was hearing through my earbuds in real life. I distinctively remember walking my dog with my mom and telling her (while listening to my iPod) that I wanted to learn guitar. Later that year I strung up and tuned an old toy acoustic guitar that my cousins gave me. I grabbed a chord book and started learning. Shortly after I got my first real guitar. From that day I never stopped exploring guitar. I found the learning curve steep at first but after awhile everything clicked. As I mentioned before I fell in love with the blues and the raw guitar solos. This improvisation immediately sparked my curiosity. The key to it, as I learned, is music theory. Theory gives a basis of what to play and not to play and from there by (tastefully) breaking rules you have endless melodic compositions. As I discovered music theory I got into composing and other musical facets like choir. I have also learned about recording and producing as I wanted to share my music with others. I have composed two orchestral peaces and countless other tunes on guitar. Once I got a grasp of music theory writing became more of an art informed by a sort of science or order given by theory.
    Going forward with my exploration of guitar playing I’d like to develop my rhythmic abilities as I struggle with keeping time over complex beats. This is particularly important as I also plan to get deeper into jazz (among other genres). Jazz almost always has complex rhythmic parts that pose a huge problem for me when I’m improvising. I would like to find other musicians on campus to play with. I would love jamming and learning from CCM students. I have looked jazz nights at the Catskeller that I am planing to attend. With luck I will be able to play there. I have also looked into getting a minor in E-media at CCM. This would let me explore audio recording as well as video production (another interests of mine). With this I can learn a little of professional music production
Self Designed Proposal
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