This blog has now reached it's end. The American Adventure has finished. Will there be a sequel in the near future? One will never know, but for now let's let the credits roll...

Thursday, September 16, 2010


And so volume 1 of KJ's American Adventure comes to a close. It has been an amazing 18 months and it has come to a beautiful and satisfying end. This part of my great journey is now complete. A new volume is about to begin.

I've met some amazing musicians from all over the world and I've learned so much from every single one of them. That's the difference coming to a music college like this as opposed to studying privately back home - I may have gotten the same level of training but there is no way I could've gotten the same amount of exposure.

I've seen many of my classmates become phenomenal monsters behind the kit and I've been able to draw from them. There is no better inspiration to practice that the spur of competition. Alongside them, I've managed to establish myself as a worthy adversary and they've kept me on my toes and I've done likewise. I've managed to carve a small little space that I can call my own that no one else can replicate. I'm starting to sound like me.

And that's an awesome thing.

Initially the desire was to do what everyone else was doing and beat them at it. That's what you think when the words 'being the best' come to mind. But it slowly becomes revealed that there is no way in the world that one can achieve that. Everyone is different. Just as I am different from everyone else. There are things that I can do that no one else can. I may not be the best drummer as of right now in certain things, but there are also certain things that I can kick way more butt than most others.

And that is a lesson you cannot learn anywhere else.

It has been an incredible volume in my adventure. Cumulative hours of practice in these past months goes beyond 2000 easily. I've broken countless pairs of sticks. I actually had a picture of my stick collection, but that was in my camera which I lost.

Yes mum. I lost my camera. Don't ask me how or where because it happened in the final weeks of school and my brain was in no condition to attempt a backtrack of my steps to figure out where I lost it. The bottom line is that it's gone. I'm sorry. It served me well for a year and a half. Maybe it just wanted retirement.

Back to practicing. I've also cracked 3 cymbals in the course of my adventure. The greatest thing I'm going to miss about MI itself is the 24/7 availability of my practice space. I cannot tell you what a joy it is for me to be able to go to school at any hour I like and play drums without worry of noise or time or anything. I can just sit down and play to my heart's content. I work best in the wee hours of the morning despite my mum's constant pleas for me to go home. After 18 months she still hasn't quite realised that it has little or no bearing on my urge to practice up till 4 or 5 am.

Scold or nag if you must, but I think I can still afford to do that now. Especially when my physical condition can still take it.

That's another thing. This experience will never be replicated again in my life. There will never again be a time of such intensive focus on my instrument. Waking up each day, going to class with 15 credit hours of drums. Nothing but drums. Who would've thought that they could create an entire 90 credit program for drums and drums alone. Classes, practice, classes, practice... entire days swallowed up by just drums. Nothing is more fantastic for a drummer. Such joy. Tiring. But incredibly joyful.

I'll be writing a lot more over the next 2 weeks trying to reflect back on the many adventures I've had in school for the past 18 months.

Volume 1 has come to an end. But volume 2 is just beginning. And it's just as exciting. By the sweat of my brow and the strength of the Lord, I will pursue this to the very end. It will be a volume of new challenges and exciting opportunities. It's exciting to see where God will lead me and where He'll put me.

I'll end here for now. There's a lot more to come. I'll end with this little thing I posted on twitter which I would like to repeat. Upon reflecting, I've found that I can come up with some really profound stuff sometimes. I guess the Holy Spirit has His way sometimes.

"If I leave my life in God's hands it doesn't mean I don't need to take care of myself. It means I can afford to fall, and land in His arms."

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