Minor Scales

Recap:

Here is a video of the progress I made last week!

This week:

Now that I have a good handle on the major scales, I took this week to work on the minor scales and chords. I can now play all the minor scales and chords with both hands simultaneously. The minor scales and chords include A, B, C#, D#. F and G. When learning to play these scales I continued to use the same resources that I used to learn the major scales and chords.

As I am learning the minor chords I am starting to make a connection in my head. The major side sounds much more joyful and happy, while the minor side sounds sadder and gloomy. I have also learned that every major scale is related to a minor scale. This means that they have the same keys, the difference is the starting point and that is what changes the sound of it. Another thing I learned is that there are three different types of minor scales. With this I decided to learn only the natural minor scales.

Now that I am getting more comfortable with playing I have been trying to focus on proper hand placements and posture while sitting at the piano. It is important to ensure that the bench is proper height and distance from the piano. You want your knees to be at about a 90-degree angle. Your back should be straight, and your wrist should make a straight line with your arm, this means that your elbows should also be at about a 90-degree angle. Lastly your fingers should be relaxed so that they are able to have a nice curve to them, if they are straight it makes moving freely from key to key very difficult.

Next step:

Begin learning the right hand of the piece I have chosen.

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Around the World in a Second

In ECMP 355 on May 25, we had Alec Couros come as a guest speaker. He has been a guest speaker in my ECS class as well so I have had a couple of opportunities to listen to his message. Following class, I started watching An anthropological introduction to YouTube created by Michael Wesch. From both speakers the message I received was very similar. Our world, and technology are continuously changing.

One thing that really stood out to me that Wesch said in his video is that he thinks of media differently than a lot of people would think of it. He thinks of it as mediating human relationships. As media changes the way people interact with each other and communicate change as well (11:54). This made me stop and think about how technology is shaping our society today, some things better than the past and some things worse. Today it is extremely simple to communicate with anyone in the world, no matter where they are, within a matter of seconds. Although this convenience has benefited individuals, groups, and organizations, I think that is has had a negative impact on children and youth. Many younger individuals have poor conversation skills when face to face, poor grammar and spelling, and poor hand writing skills. This I believe is from the dependency of there devices whether it be an iPod, cell phone, tablet or laptop.

Couros talked about how technology has changed over the years. He began with talking about the first computers and floppy disks, something I did not know about. Couros progressed to what technology looks like today, for example, snapchat, Facebook, twitter, and much more. Many of the tools he talked about that we have today can be implemented into the classrooms. This technology cannot replace your teaching, however it can help create stronger understanding or help to keep the students engaged and connected.

Throughout my time in high school I was fortunate to have different technology such as smart boards, chrome books, or iPads available for the teachers to use in the classroom. I believe that the teachers were not educated enough on how to use these different devices or how to properly implement them to get the full benefit. This class has allowed me to begin to learn different ways different devices and apps can be used to supplement the learning of those you are teaching.

Prezi- A New Way of Presenting

When I was in high school my teacher introduced me to Prezi but never taught me how to actually use it. At the time I stayed away because it always looked to complicated and I was comfortable using PowerPoint. When I saw it on the list of different apps that were useful in my ECMP 355 class I decided to give it another chance.

Prezi is an app much like PowerPoint. It can be used to make and give presentations on any topic you desire. With Prezi comes many different templates that cover a large variety of categories and each showcase different designs. This app is very pleasing to the eye. The way each and every Prezi look are very unique. When transitioning from slide to slide there are many different ways you can approach it. You can zoom in and view something that you have hidden deeper within your slide, you can slide over to a completely different area of the screen, or you can zoom out to another area as well. One thing about the freedom of transitions is that if they are to major the screen moves quite quickly and may cause your viewer to be motion sick. This is one thing I noticed when my teacher or classmates would show presentations in class using Prezi. Once and a while it is okay, but it is always good to be mindful of your audience and keep transitions smaller if possible.

Prezi is great because to share it with someone it is as simple as sending them the link to view your work. Another thing that is nice is that you can find other Prezi’s that are already created and share them as well. When viewing others however, be careful that all the information is correct and that it portrays the view, or tone you would like to have on the topic.

I think this is a great resource to implement in your teaching or for your students to use when they are giving a presentation. It opens the door for creativity and allows the students to at their own personality into their work.

Below I have include a link to a video that I made to provide a quick overview of what Prezi looks like and the basic features it has. I encourage you to play around with it to see what you can find and do on it!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5SYJxK89JGHVkJqVmdLRkpqQ0k/view

 

Major progress…

This week in my learning project I have tackled the major scales and the chords on the piano. I am now able to slowly make it through the C, E, G, B, D#, and G# scales with both my left and right hand simultaneously. Little did I know there is many different types of scales and ways to play each and every one of them. I am also starting to pick up on reading notes, although I have mostly been learning from watching where the fingers are placed on the piano instead of the notes themselves.

One YouTube channel that has been very helpful for me when it comes to technique is called Piano Scales Book. There are many different concepts that are described and demonstrated on the piano while he is explaining. Another website that I found with many different videos (which can also be found on YouTube) is very useful too and provides description and a visual on how to do it as well.

With using both of these resources as a starting point I think that it will help me to develop the basic skills that I will need when learning to play a full piece and then maybe one day a duet.

I am pleased with my progress so far in my learning project. The initial awkwardness of where to put my fingers and what to do wit
h them is slowly disappearing. This makes me excited to continue learning.

Next step: Learning all the minor scales and cords that go with them.

A Whole New World

In ECMP 355 on Thursday, May 18th, I had my first ever experience in and educational online chat. Thanks to Katia, I now know what tweet deck is and how to navigate many different websites that I can use for my PLN.

Going into the #saskedchat I did not really know what to expect. I knew from class that it would be very fast paced and that there would be a lot to take in but I did not realize the depth of the conversation that was going to happen. I was please to find myself actively involved with answering the questions presented, commenting on and liking others tweets, and finding new users to follow. This experience was very eye opening to me and I am excited and feel encouraged to find different chats to explore and join, as well as join #saskedchat again in the future.

As I am a new user on twitter I am quickly finding different users to follow that tweet relevant and interesting information. I think in the future Twitter will play a huge role in my PLN because there is so so sooooo much good stuff happening. The convenience of twitter is also too good to resist. I like how I can spend the time I have before class or eating supper on twitter and always see new and interesting things even though I may only have a couple minutes to spend scrolling… or as some may say, lurking!

As the days and weeks go on, tweeting and commenting on what others are tweeting seems like less of a chore. I will be honest; at the beginning of the class I was not looking forward to the amount of tweeting I would have to do. I am happy to say it is starting to become something I enjoy doing. I have always been hesitant when posting or commenting on different social media platforms because I am worried about what others may think or say about me. In this class however, I have been trying really hard to push myself out of my comfort zone knowing that for many of us it is our first time bringing involved like we are now in a whole new world of technology. I have also been at ease knowing that we are all learning together and supporting each other every step of the way.

Feedly feed me!

I have just joined the RSS reader Feedly. Wow. What a cool site. It is or should be a dream come true for every blogger out there. I was amazed by the endless amount of blogs that continued to appear with every search I made. Everything you can possible think of can be found. ECMP 355 has opened up a whole new world of technology for me. Many, if not all, of these sites I have not ever heard of before.

To start my search, I started with something super simple being education. I found multiple blogs on there that interested me or seamed relevant. A few that caught my eye include “Edudemic” and “MindShift”. From there I looked into different sites that were more education technology based such as “Emerging Education Technologies”, and then grade or subject specific. One site I found that I think will become useful once I am submerged in a classroom is called “Smart Classroom Management”. A few of the articles I have read have to deal with managing the feelings, emotions, or behaviors of students so that you are able to see more success or have a more controlled classroom environment for both you and the students to work and learn in together.

After looking at educational blogs I found a couple different blogs that fulfill a few of my personal interests as well. A few areas I explored were fitness, clean eating, track and field, and fashion. I think it is so awesome to be able to read about and follow others journeys or opinions that are much like my own. I often learn best through experience so hearing and reading what others have been through is very encouraging and motivating to me.

 

Future pianist?

For my learning project I have decided to learn how to play the piano, or attempt to. When I was younger I took a few lessons but quit because I did not have enough time to practice it. I have always wanted to learn how to play an instrument so this seemed like a great time to start. This is going to be like starting at rock bottom, I do not know how to read notes, or play much more than “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.

I choose the piano because my younger sister plays and is very good at it. My mom and her sister used to play duets when they were youngers so I would like to eventually be able to play duets my sister too. Once I am able to fluently read notes, play at a high enough level and play a few different songs.

I am going to start with learning the notes and different scales in both major and minor keys. If that goes okay I am going to choose a song to try and tackle and see how it goes from there. YouTube is where I am going to go to start my journey.

A Bit About Me!

My name is Molly Yungmann. I grew up on a farm near a small town called St. Gregor, Saskatchewan. I graduated from Annaheim School with a class of eight students, all of which I grew up with my whole life. I am the oldest of three children. While growing up I kept very active. I was heavily involved in competitive gymnastics since the age of 4. After I stopped training for gymnastics I became a coach working with young girls and boys on the beginner competitive team. Track and field is where my passion lies now. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to continue my love for track and field here at University of Regina competing in the pentathlon.

I am just finishing my first year studying Education at the University of Regina in secondary math and inclusive education. Ever since I was a small child I have wanted to be a teacher, and my reason for choosing math as my major is because it is my favourite subject, and it is the class I excel the most in. I am also very passionate about the inclusive education program that is offered here. I have had many different experiences working with students with disabilities and am currently doing volunteer work at Astonished!

I have not had tons of opportunity to be in the classroom so far in my degree. My only experience was in my field placement for ECS 100. The teacher I got to work with was very good at including technology. She taught in an all math elementary classroom. She used iPads with educational math games for the students to play. Another big part of her teaching was Mathletics. This is a website that she can assign different assignments and quizzes to the students and it allows them to have immediate feedback. Students were encouraged to play the games Mathletics has throughout the week at home to gain point for a reward at the end of the week for the highest point scorer.

I am new to blogging as this is the first time it has been required of me. I am excited to get started. Although I have not done it in the past I think it is something that I am going to enjoy.  I am also new to twitter and am excited to get involved in that community as well. I look forward to starting the development of my e-portfolio, and taking advantage of all the different tools this class will have to offer.