ConversationAbout a piano concert: Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student and her music composition professor. Professor: Oh, hello, Maria. How was your performance on Saturday? I'm sorry I had to miss it. Student: Really good. Thanks. I was nervous the whole time I was playing though. Professor: That's to be expected. I heard it was a large audience. Maria: Yeah. Performances have been drawing big crowds lately. Lots of students and professors are coming to listen. But I'm pretty comfortable even with a big audience. Professor: Lucky you. But you were nervous this time? Was there some problem with the piano or something? Maria: Actually the day before the concert, the facilities managers announced that we were going to be in the new concert hall instead. Professor: Wow. Well, so you didn't like the new venue? Maria: No. I mean, it's a really nice building. But I only got one practice session in the new hall. And even though it was the same piano, the sound in the room is very different form the old hall. You know, it's a bigger room, so the effect is quite different. When I was playing, I was afraid I would lose my concentration because of the way the music sounded in there. I'm not used to it yet. Professor: I'm sure your performance sounded good regardless. Maria: Thanks. I really came to ask. You know the assignment, we've been talking about in class. We were supposed to create a piano composition ourselves? Professor: That's right. Maria: But there are three parts to the assignment, right? Compose a piano piece, write an essay and present it all in class. Professor: Yes. Maria: What is it that you are looking for in the essay? Professor: Well, when you compose a piece of music yourself, it helps you gain a better understanding of musical notation. Notes, the rests, the rhythm and timing. It also gives a new appreciation for the great composers. So I want you to record the process of how you make it all come together. Maria: Write about the experience? Professor: Yes. Things like how the music came to you, what kind of changes you made over time. I mean, very few of us just sit down at the piano and can immediately create a complete composition. We all have our own process. And I want you to understand yours and to be able to communicate it. Maria: Okay. And then we have to play our composition to the class? Professor: Of course. We're all gonna hear the results of each other's efforts. Have you got started on yet? Maria: Just barely. I wanted to get Saturday's performance out of the way, so I could concentrate on it. Professor: Well, the first draft is due in two weeks. I know students have demanding schedules, but I need to keep fairly rigid due dates. Maria: Oh, I'm not concerned about that. Saturday's performance inspired me. Professor: That's why performing is one of the course requirements. It often has that effect on people.