Slow and Steady

This Week:

I did a lot of work on my learning project, here is the right hand of Mercy, by Shawn Mendez, which is the piece I decided to play. I have been working on this for the past week and a half.

This week I starts on the left hand which is quite simple. So After going through it a few times I have started putting it together. It is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. Each hand alone is not bad but trying to multitask in a way is much harder. I looked at my hands quite a bit when learning so not being able to see what each hand is doing has been my challenge while learning it hands together.

This week I also tried exploring different twitter accounts that may help motivate me or give helpful tips and suggestions. One that I like the most is called Grand Piano Passion. It puts different tips and quotes involving piano. Another account that I started following is called TeachPianoToday which provided different links to different articles on their website that are sometimes useful. The last one that I started following is called Piano Mentor. This account post very frequently and I’m not sure if it is right for me yet but I am still going to give it a chance before I decide whether or not I am going to unfollow it. This account posts tons of different facts, statements, or quotes about piano and music, I wouldn’t say that it is helpful but some of the stuff that they do post is interesting to know.

Next Week:

This coming week I am going to continue to work on putting my left and right hand together. I am also going to take some tome to explore different blogs there might be about piano or music in general.

 

Let the music begin!

Recap:

Here is the progress I made from last week’s minor scales.

This week:

This week I have decided what song I was going to learn how to play. I choose Mercy by Shawn Mendez. I am going to try and learn it by ear as well as following had placements and finger placements on the keyboard. I found a website with a few different YouTube videos as well as the notes that each hand should be playing. Both are helpful because sometimes the video is going too fast to be able to see exactly which key is being hit.

My reason for learning by ear is because I have not learned how time signatures work yet and what how long to play each not just by looking at them. This will be a work in progress for the future as I continue to progress with playing.  With learning by ear I have had a little trouble holding the notes for the right amount of time so that it sounds how it should, but the more I continue to practice the easier it is getting, and the better it is starting to sound.

I like the video I found because it shows both hands together as well as each hand separately.

Next week:

Continue learning the right hand because I have not yet learned it all. I am also going to try and find more sources that will help me with learning the piano such as different twitter accounts, or blogs.

Volunteer Experience

Astonished!

I am currently working with the student researchers at Astonished! I go once a week for a couple hours and help out with there yoga session. After that is done we go for coffee and socialize! I have also attended on of there monthly social events! This is an opportunity that I really enjoy and want to continue with in the future. The individuals that I get to work alongside are so much fun and I always look forward to seeing them!

A little bit about Astonished!:

Astonished! is an organization that works in accomplishing dreams, and exploring the strengths of young adults with complex disabilities.

Educational Philosophy

I believe that Education is opportunity. Everyone has the right to learn and grow who they are an as future educators we need to be able to know how to provide a welcoming environment for people of all races, gender identities, and abilities so that they are able to have the opportunity to have the same experiences that everyone else can have without the worry of being judged or bullied for their differences.

Albert Einstein quoted, “in the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” I think that this hold true to education. There is always many bumps and road blocks along the way, but those are the time when you need to see the opportunity to grow and learn from the experience. Anything that happens whether it is good or bad has a lesson that can be taken away from it and the more you take advantage of it the more you will grow.

What is your why?

I have wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in kindergarten. As I neared grade 12 and really had to make the decision, I knew that it was where my passion lied. In high school I had the opportunity to coach competitive gymnastics. That experience allowed me to work with young children and help them learn many lessons and valuable life skills. I want to be the person in students’ life that has a positive impact. I also believe that during school is when students are given the chance to find who they are and I think it is extremely important. Everyone can make a difference. If individuals are given the chance to pursue what they truly love it will make an impact in the world we live in. I have had many good teachers and many that were not so good too and I want to learn from that and be the best teacher I can be so students leave school feeling a sense of worth and accomplishment.

During my journey in my first year of university my desire to learn and grow as an individual has grown stronger. I know that becoming a future educator is the right path for me and I look forward to what the future has in store for me.

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.

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.