This is my final #learningproject post for my #edtc300 class.
I had chose to learn how to play the guitar as I have always wanted to, yet never seemed to jump on the band wagon. A.K.A I want to become a rock star. Before I go a bit more in depth as to how my project has gone, I want to give you an overview of each week. I would like to think the process was as graceful as this dog skipping along:
But it was not quite as elegant.
Overview of posts:
Week 1 – Learning to Play Guitar
This week explains how I came about my decision to learn how to play guitar and my motivations behind this choice.
Weeks 2 and 3 – How Do Rockstars make it Look so Easy
These two weeks were focused on getting comfortable with my positioning of my hands on the guitar strings. Using the videos and website “GuitarJams” I was able to learn the following chords:E Minor, C Major, A Minor, A Major, and D Major. I noticed some struggle with pain in my hands as they are quite small and not very flexible. My goal was to loosen this up so I was not focusing on my pain, but more so the chords and connecting transitions to begin strumming notes chords together.
Weeks 4 and 5 – Guitar Chords Don’t Have to Be Tough
Having a job where I travel, some weeks there was such little progress that combining two weeks would contribute to creating more meaningful blog posts, so here was another two week combination for my readers. These weeks I had discovered that shorter videos were the ones that benefited me the most. They allowed me to sit down for a short amount of time and get my practicing in while I was on the road or stationed in a hotel room. It also allowed my anxiety that homework often gives me, to get my sessions done quickly and effectively. I discovered Yousician where chords were taught within one to two minute YouTube videos to create an ease in learning guitar. This was the first week where I filmed myself playing a few chords to create a visual for my viewers as to how far along I was coming. In this post I also introduce my pluses and deltas system as well as a summarizing question for my readers to contribute to a discussion that related to that particular post. I will explain these tactics later on in this post.
Week 6 – Smoke on The Water
This week was the first week I was able t introduce a video of myself playing an entire chorus of a song. Although simple. this was the first week where I felt an overwhelming success! I played “Smoke on the Water” in which it took a lot of practice and attention in order to switch from chord to chord. This week I found strumming to be the most difficult, however my transitions really came together.
Week 7 – Twinkle Twinkle Little Rockstar
This week was yet another successful week of learning another new song, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, otherwise known as a children’s classic, haha! I really enjoyed learning this as my boyfriend had mentioned if I learned this song, that I would be able to learn any song. The Chords in this song are the base of many others, so I felt amazing when I was able to get this down. I specifically learned the song from this YouTube video from Quail Guitar Studios. This video was very calm and clear in the instructions, so it was quite easy for me to follow along. After this week I had decided to discover the WHY behind people playing guitar, and I visit that within the next post down below.
Week 8 – Strumming Some Love
After wanting to learn more about WHY people decide to play guitar or why they have a certain joy behind it, I focused this weeks post just on that. I link to an article as well as some videos of American Idol Auditions that have inspired me and continue to motivate me throughout this journey (mainly because I want to be them).
Week 9 – Back to the Basics
This week was simply a refresher of the past three learning project posts. I became unfamiliar with what I had learned. I thought this was really important to document as the struggles are what creates a learning opportunity and makes it meaningful. I re learned “Smoke on the Water” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and was successful in doing so. I felt a little unmotivated I had forgot, but hey, it happens! All part of the learning.
Week 10 – Breaking the Routine
This week I explained my struggles with anxiety and depression and breaking my routine of progressing my learning project. I felt as though I had been doing so well and then it suddenly came to a halt when homework began piling up (as it does near the end of every semester) and I had a break down. Again, this was an important struggle to document as it contributes the my learning experience. I was able to continue to practice the things I have learned up until this point as well as take a break form learning anything new in relation to guitar. Instead I switched my gears to learning about how to be productive when anxiety hits and I gained comes resources I could use for my students when it comes to dealing with anxiety and depression. Although this week was rocky, I was able to turn it into something positive.
Pluses and Deltas
Each week I used my system of Pluses and Deltas to discover what I had accomplished and where some areas of opportunity arose that I could focus on for the next week. This was a great tool I used as it allowed me to keep track of what I wanted to work on as I could reference back to it when I needed to understand what to work on. I found this kept me motivated throughout. This idea derived from my part time job at Sephora where I train a group of employees and each day we go through pluses and deltas to see what needs to be addressed the next day. Here are my main Pluses and Deltas for the end of this experience for now.
- I learned more than I had expected to! Two songs is a huge accomplishment.
- My hand positioning continues to improve and does not hurt anymore.
- I really enjoyed this experience and am motivated to continue.
- Confidence in strumming without lucking where my hand placement is
- Remembering individual notes
- Don’t let struggles effect my learning journey, they are part of it!
At the end of each learning project post I posed a question to my readers so they could join me in my learning journey. These questions could be asking advice for the following week, to simply starting a conversation about their own learning projects. I figured keeping my readers involved with reading and motivating them to leave a comment with a question would be the best way to entertain readers and keep them reading. Here are some questions I asked:
- So my question for my readers is, do you or someone you know struggle with anxiety? If so, what are your or their best practices to staying productive during the hard times?
- WHAT is something you do that you love and WHY do you practice or do something that you love?
- Are you finding a sense of calm in your learning journeys?
- Any tips on gaining confidence of feeling the chords as opposed to looking at them?
As you can see they can be quite open prompts, or really specific questions. My motivation was simply to have my readers involved. I found that the more broad the question, the more intense and critical responses I received.
Online/ Tech Resources
The following resources are the ones I used during my experience with learning guitar. Learning through technology platforms is not easy until you find the right one. That’s why I went the route with trial and error to find what worked best for me, and when I did, it worked out perfectly. This is important for teachers to think about as students have many different ways in which they learn. Many options for learning resources online should be given to the students so they can explore what works best for them.
- Guitar Jamz: This was extremely helpful to begin. Slow and steady pace for learning, and great explanations. I found as I went on, the shorter the videos the more helpful. So as this was great to start with, I did not keep with it throughout the semester.
- Yousician: This is the program/ videos that really guided me through my experience. The videos are clear and concise and having a busy schedule, it allowed me to gain a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time.
- GuitarSix : is a blog that focuses on strategies to help recall the knowledge and skills while in the process of learning guitar. After losing recollection of how to play the two songs I learned, this was extremely helpful moving forward and avoid forgetting again.
- Quail Studios Guitar: Again, another video platform, this one specifically taught me how to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. Great easy to follow video, that is calming and rather nice to watch. Great teacher within the video and clear instruction. This channel provides many different songs to learn, categorized from easy to more difficult.
- Others Comments/ Support: It truly was the #edc300 community that allowed me to thrive and stay motivated during this whole process. Without the support, feedback, conversation and critical questions they asked me, I could not have done it without them. It really helped to know my peers were working on the same assignment as me and having successes and struggles just as I was. If I was stumped with what to write about, or how to format a particular blog post I simply looked to them or asked them for inspiration and they always gave it. Students could really benefit from an assignment where a community like this develops.
Where Am I Now/ Assessment of Learning
I am still practicing guitar as I have found a new found love for it during this journey. I mentioned anxiety and depression that is stress related within my last post. This new skill has given me a resource to find serenity in times of panic.
So have I truly developed my skills? Yes! I am so proud of how far I have come in this learning journey, and what I have learned. I did not have a computer until about two years ago so my tech knowledge was slim to none. Knowing I took my learning into my own hands and used the internet to teach myself something new is extremely rewarding. I am so proud of myself!
I have learned a lot during this experience. First off being my new love for learning through online resources and technology. This has opened my eyes to a new world of teaching through what our world is becoming ruled by. Our students are so dependent on technology and this class has given me hopes that I can use their obsession to guide their education. This will create an innovative and interactive classroom that will spark students interest and allow them to enjoy learning.
I have learned patience is key in a learning project. I found through this experience that I was not only looking up resources for how to play guitar, but also how to stay organized, how to have patience with learning something new, and how to handle stress and anxiety alongside of learning a new skill. Without these tools I would not have been successful. I think its important to incorporate these for students as well so they have a set of resources for motivation.
Finally I have learned to keep up! Especially with having weekly blog posts, commenting and doing my learning project, it is important to stay on track. I found myself flustered if I didn’t. Creating a schedule for practicing and writing these posts became a must during this process. Students would need an organizer for an assignment such as this so they could feel confident in keeping up too.
Overall, this assignment was a fun an innovative practice that I really enjoyed. I love that I found a passion for a new skill, but also learned some new techniques to finding resources online, potentially gaining some new material for a future classroom of my own.
In the classroom this could be a useful idea for students within many different subjects. Its an interactive way for students to take responsibility of their own learning through online platforms. They are not only learning to have confidence in learning a new skill, but gaining skill in technology and creating relationships through online resources.
I will leave you with one final question: Are you continuing on with your learning project? If so, why are you choosing to?