Artborne Magazine November 2016 - Page 52

First Contact Infamous & Twin by Charlie Griffin I’ve been teaching music composition at Full Sail University in Winter Park since the summer of 2010, when they launched their Bachelor of Science in Music Production (MPBS) online degree program. I was the third hire into the degree program, and had some voice in shaping the early curriculum. I saw MPBS’s rapid early expansion become the largest degree program offered, which was then followed by an eventual contraction to something more modest and efficient. Along with this diminution came countless refinements and adjustments to the curriculum—instigated, likely, in equal measure by both the upper administration and the faculty on-the-ground. It was a fascinating, pedagogical challenge to teach music courses online—one that I feel we rose to meet quite well. It took adjustments in how we think about communicating through video, the written word, and virtual classrooms, but we were innovative, and shared strategies and discoveries with each other. Having taught in traditional, brick-and-mortar educational environments for many years, one casualty of switching to teaching online— along with Full Sail’s structural model, where classes are always four weeks long—was a sense of staying with students long enough to form lasting impressions. It does happen oc casionally, either because a student is, undeniably, so talented that I have to take notice, or their personal story is shared in such a way as to forge a connection. Still, even when that happens, there’s always a new month and a new cohort just around the corner, and it becomes painfully easy to forget a name or a face, or both. image provided by Artist Capps came to Full Sail out of frustration, boredom, and restlessness, with the support and encouragement of his twin brother, Colton. Neither brother stuck with college. They worked numerous jobs: lifeguarding, fast food, jewelry sales, retail, life insurance, waiting tables, and more. With a population of less than 200,000, Little Rock, for the Capps brothers, had a cloying, small town feel, where, according to That began to change when Full Sail elected to launch a parallel, Infamous, “Everyone’s stuck. No one thinks big. No passion. They all on-campus program in early 2014. However, because the students serve. I was in a Little Rock rut. I used to drink a lot. [I thought] there progress through a specifically designed track of courses in a specific had to be more than what I was doing. I sold my car and left.” order, I didn’t start seeing students in the campus course until September 2015. It’s a lot easier in the face-to-face, concentrated atmosphere (up to six hours in a day) of Full Sail’s campus classes to get to know the stories and personalities of the composers in my classroom each month. Students come from everywhere and from every background: Brazil, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, Switzerland, and all over the U.S. The numerous ex-military students are almost always colorful characters and models of respect and discipline. Others are boisterous and practically uncontainable, funny and enthusiastic, or introverted and so quiet I have to strain to hear their replies. I’ve learned to never assume what a student is interested in based on their looks or heritage, and talent is the same way. It’s kind of hard to have this conversation Staring out the window, watch it catching condensation I tend to find, I lose my mind, in the compilations of the constellations Stay true and you’ll make it if you got the patience, When surrounded by the fakest like in the Matrix, please heaven don’t forsake us When some of us are just anxious for the pay cuts, please show me a way I pray, ‘cause the, world we know today can make or break us It can shape us, and change us, that’s why I been writing my pain In these pages for ages, releasing anger that rages Tired of not going places, ‘cause of minimum wages I’m so tired of waking up and realizing, I’m late on my payments Then my sweat hits the pavement One huge talent that grabbed my attention recently is Mike Capps, a 27 Wake up, the only way to believe, there’s an American Dream is to remain asleep year old rapper and producer from Little Rock, Arkansas who goes by Wake up, we need to wake up from the American Dream the professional name Infamous—inspired by an action-adventure vidWake up, we need to wake up from America’s Scheme eo game of the same name, whose protagonist, Cole MacGrath, starts as a bike messenger and soon gains comic book style, electricity-based But Infamous didn’t leave Little Rock alone. Colton came too. They have that special bond unique to twins—so special that it’s a blessing superpowers in an explosion. 51 www.ARTBORNEMAGAZINE.com