As part of this CAS project, two of my classmates and I are recording different songs and uploading them online. The focus of this project is to experiment with different musical elements and to create our own unique sound which will hopefully help us gain subscribers and popularity online. Specifically, my role in the group is the lead vocalist. This means that I must practice our chosen songs prior to recording sessions to understand the lyrics and flow as well as knowing the musical elements present so that the recording session goes smoothly. Before we even start recording anything, we also have to investigate suitable songs to cover. Some criteria we consider are that it matches my vocal range and capabilities, the song’s popularity, its interest to different groups online and our own personal interest. This allows us to decide which instruments would best match the song in addition to changing the tempo and other musical elements of the song as fit. This entire process requires us to use the skills of working collaboratively to produce a result that we are all satisfied with. We also recognize the benefits of working collaboratively, including: the ability to constantly improve, an increase in possibilities to learn from each other, and continued engagement in the project (we don’t get bored or lazy to the point where progress stops completely). We also recognize our different strengths and find ways to develop different areas for growth. For example, since I have a background in singing, I understand the different types of voices and how they can be used (falsetto, head voice and chest voice). What this means is that I know which one needs to be applied to a specific song and in what parts while my other group members may not be aware of this. As such, I am able to tell them what voice I can use (specific to my vocal range and capabilities) and they can adapt the song as necessary (changing the key or octave, perhaps).
One seminal aspect of a CAS project is that it is student-led and student-initiated. This means that we must demonstrate how to initiate and plan. As I mentioned previously, we have established our own process of going from the “investigation” phase of the CAS project to the “demonstration” phase. After finding a suitable song, we move on to the “action” phase, which is when we actually record the cover. Sometimes, we may come across challenges that force us to make changes to our predetermined plan. An example of this is when we were recording the song Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men: it is originally a duet but since our guest singer was not present at the time of recording, we had to improvise and I ended up singing both parts. While this was certainly unexpected, the final product turned up sounding good and the audio quality is quite possibly the best out of all the songs we have recorded so far.
Looking ahead, we are currently in the middle of a rebranding process as the launch of our YouTube channel last year was poorly planned and executed. The rebranding will include an entirely new look and style for the channel and our group as a whole to something that is easily discernible instead of a mix of ideas that turn out to be an unorganized mess. We have completed the planning process of this through extensive discussions and with the help of a mind map (see attached) so we should be more ready this time when we put the plan into motion. Since we are finished with the planning process, we have since moved on to the “action” phase, which requires us to actually design our group’s new visuals and re-upload the videos we posted last year (because they don’t currently match with our group’s new image). As of now, I’m looking forward to re-recording and improving what we uploaded last year and recording new songs with the group again this year.