The DIY Attitude

Monday, April 25, 2016

 

We’ve all heard it before: “If you want something done right, do it yourself”. It seems to be a human instinct to try and accomplish things ourselves; perhaps it is an innovative spirit that lives inside all of us. I was certainly this way growing up. Usually whenever there was a group project, I would take it upon myself to do all of the organizing and final preparation in order to ensure that our grade would be fantastic, and I would usually sacrifice the most time towards the project compared to anyone else. 

I’m notoriously independent, and equally as stubborn. Partner project? No thanks, I’d rather work alone. Group work? I’m busy actually working and ignoring my assigned group. My YouTube channels are completely curated, edited, directed, envisioned, and performed by myself. This is probably why I chose to be a composer: it’s historically a lonely and self reliant profession that I happen to enjoy immensely. 

Ive given a lot of thought to my “do it myself” attitude recently. For example, I had no money to get my hair cut so… why not just do it myself? Most I feel would be terrified to attempt cutting their own hair without any training, but that’s what YouTube is for! I’ll admit, I almost made a disaster out of the experience but everything turned out alright in the end. I promise!

This has been my way of doing things for a while. I taught myself how to design websites, posters, programs, edit videos, use LogicPro and FinalCut Pro and Sibelius; all of which are crucial to my career. I even taught myself how to formally fold napkins, clean my house with natural products, and play instruments using tools online.

The greatest part is, I know I’m not alone. We have been teaching ourselves new skills for millions of years, and now with the internet, people have easy access to the tools they need to educate themselves. I believe that right now is the greatest time to capitalize on this behavior and attitude of the world, and bring more free education to people. In June, I’ll be launching two channels dedicated to education. The first is my perspective on living a cruelty-free, vegan lifestyle on a serious budget (I’m talking pennies). The second is Music Education that is engaging and informative. One of the areas that is seriously lacking in all forms of music education is access to the history of female composers. 

There have been thousands of female composers throughout history, but so often they are overshadowed by their more famous male counterparts simply because women were not often published as composers. There are exceptions of course, such as Clara Schumann and Barbara Strozzi and Amy Beach, but tell me, have you ever been formally educated on all three of these composers? If so, you are lucky and you most likely went to conservatory or a serious music school. I want to give young people (esp. young female composers) the chance to view these women as role models much earlier than in a formal college setting. Establishing strong role models at a young age is so incredibly important, and I want to be a resource that I wasn’t fortunate to have when I was growing up.

I mostly wanted to share these thoughts after being thrilled with my self-executed hair cut a couple weeks ago, but also to give you guys some hints about what’s coming up next. As I prepare for graduation in the next couple of weeks, my sights are shifting toward my YouTube career and providing education and entertainment online. I hope you guys are as excited as I am, and keep up with this blog for more updates on what’s coming this summer!

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