Dominique Percy – San Jose, California

I completed the 9-month Abelton program. I appreciated that I got to work with two awesome human beings. Sam (my facilitator) and Lucas (my mentor). They both have different styles of production and so much insight. Experiencing the different styles gave me a wider range of musical experiences to learn from. I did not make adequate use of Sam until the last half of the program, and working with Lucas has been amazing but I needed to learn and change in a few ways to get the most from the program. Using my strengths early on instead of pushing them aside would have helped me make better use of our time but I did not realize that when it could have helped me progress more. I tend to be passive, go with the flow, and can be obnoxiously positive. I attribute this to my Buddhist upbringing. These can be great traits but they hindered me. What I learned was that I needed to speak up if something was not working or there was something I needed. I needed to be more assertive with the direction of my learning because it was about finding what would bring out the best in me as an artist and producer. And above all, I needed to stop being so damn positive and admit to myself when something wasn't positive because that is what would inspire me to make changes.

I started out overly excited and ambitious, went through the rollercoaster of feelings including defeat, elation, accomplishment, gratitude, fear, worry, anxiety, shame, self-doubt, and at one point succumbed to the feelings that I'm not good at this. That last feeling only lasted about a week but was speckled throughout the program. It was during my week of defeat, which unfortunately happened at the very end of the program, that my path became clearer. I wish that I had let this explosion of feelings and defeat happen earlier on because I could have come to my current realization sooner. In the end, I realized that I am not cut out to do music production like many other producers but that doesn't mean I can't do production well. I process information in an unusual way and build music in a way that I can understand and resonate with but is strange to others. I judged this in the beginning and felt that I could not do production because I was not doing it the way it's necessarily done and in some cases, the way that usually yields the best results but I find that when I make music using my strengths (which I almost started to believe were weaknesses), the result is awesome. I found my strength and during that weak of utter defeat, Lucas met me where I was at and helped me then focus on building the studio that would maximize the exploration of my talents while honing those skills.

I'm on my last few mentor sessions and finally utilizing my strengths. For those of you entering the program. Find your strengths before starting the program and use them to scaffold the areas you need or want to grow in. I am beyond excited to see what I can do now and I feel confident in my ability to continue to grow. The ability to connect with other people working in music production, learning the technical aspects of music production, developing life skills I had struggled with, and finding my creative niche have been the most significant and helpful parts of the program for me. They are the factors that will help me continue to grow as a producer.

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