It’s just over halfway through this project, and the relationship with my mentor, Liam, has grown stronger than ever. Right now, my mentoring relationship going very well, particularly, meeting every week helps a lot to help reinforce new learning. Every meeting, we sit in his basement and we start off by talking about how our week went. Most of the time, it is about school, but he relates to it very well because he was once in my shoes. But once we start getting into making so beats, we mainly talk about music, how it was like in his times, opposed to how it is like now, how weird the contemporary pop music is, and tips on different things including, beatboxing, singing, or piano.
One thing that my mentor does well, is providing me opportunities to do thing outside of our weekly meetings. Regularly, Liam gives me homework for the week to help accelerate. This homework is usually to check out different things on the internet such as scatting or Bobby McFerrin. Sometimes, Liam offered me to go see performances or events and exposing me to different thing like going to the Greater Vancouver Gentlemen of Fortune, and last week he invited me to watch a barbershop chorus competition. Also, Liam knows that “by doing more, you learn more”, so he tends to remind me to go out and try beatboxing alone, or try to make music with my friends outside. Doing so, will also help accelerate learning.
Throughout the project, Liam and I have gotten to know a lot about each other. Throughout our talks about school, I have learned that Liam was a shy student in school. I also learned that Liam is bi-polar and although his life can get a bit rough at times, he is very strong and fights through the situations as much as he can. I have also noticed that he can be very unorganized, but when it comes to things he is passionate about, like music, he is very focused. Liam has also learned a lot about me including how I like the colour blue (and how I attend almost every meeting with blue from head to toe), that I have a really good work ethic, and I am “intimidatingly mature” for my age. But we have both learned to think outside of the (beat) box and to try new things. We have also learned together that no matter hard something is at the moment, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.
This week, was a very good practice week, and getting to know myself and seeing what my beatboxing mouth can do. After a yawn by Liam, we started making patterns out of “Ha” or “Hu” sounds then gradually adding sounds like “K”, “Ke”, and “Ka” (snare); and then adding “Pu”, “Pf”, or “Du” (bass 1 & 2); and “T”, “Ti”, and “Ts” (hi-hat). We eventually added on “Ksh”, “Bshz”, “Shiuu” and a new sound, mimicking a pop-style snare, “Shuk” or “Shukt” with emphasis and length to the “Sh”.
I then asked Liam if I could learn how to make electronic drum sounds because I had felt I’ve mastered the classical drum set. So he took out his laptop, and brought out a program which let him make beats and patterns of his own using a virtual electrical drum set. He first set up a pattern with just a bass. Then he added a hi-hat onto it, then a snare, and then a second bass. By the end, it got a bit complicated, but I mastered it well and am happy with what I’ve accomplished. As the end of the meeting came close, we decided to end off by freestyling beats, and for some reason, I felt very fulfilled after that meeting.