At the beginning of the semester I was really scared and not at all excited to begin learning how to play the ukulele. I was intimated by the instrument and really was going into this process completely blind with zero musical background. At first I did not even know where to start, feeling very in the dark as I did not know what strumming, cords, or evening tuning meant. Now I am so proud to say that I know all of these terms and feel way more confident picking up a ukulele than I did before.
Since my midterm I have been practicing on my strumming technique as well as exploring strumming patterns and finding one that fit well with my songs. I feel like my strumming has greatly improved since the midterm, and I have since realized what a difference it makes when you have a good strumming pattern.
Overall, I have really enjoyed this experience and feel like this class has widened my view on music in the classroom. I have realized how fun learning and creating music can be, and how with time and practice it is possible and not too hard to pick up on. Because this class was such a positive experience, I am already finding myself wanting to continue to learn this instrument, practicing and leaning new songs that I can hopefully one day implement into my teaching. : )
This week has been my best week of practice yet! I have progressed so much, and I am happy to say my cords are finally staring to piece together and sound like a song!!! I have been practicing my strumming techniques this week, which has made a huge difference in my playing and the the timing of the songs.
One of my friends who plays ukulele has been practicing with me and was able to show me the necessary cords for “Sweet Home Alabama”! The Cords you need are D, C, and G. I already knew C from my previous songs, so I just had to learn the other two. At first I found G really difficult but as I kept practicing it became easier and easier.
I am just now starting to piece together the cords trying to speed them up so they match the tune of the song. I am getting much better at changing between cords without having to pause for too long and think about where I need to place my fingers. I have also been working on my strumming patterns, as my friend Jessica has been showing me the difference it makes when you change it up in your song. Prior to I had just been down strumming, but not that I am using a strumming patter it is making such a difference! The song flows so much better and it is a easy way to keep me on beat and staying at a consistent timing which is awesome!
The strumming pattern I am using is DDU, UDU
I am also super excited because not only have I learned my final song, but today when we were practicing, I taught myself how to play “Riptide”. I was so excited because this is one of my favourite songs and I think it just has such a beautiful flow to it.
My new goal, since things seem to be going so well and that my practice has been so positive, I want to challenge myself to not only work on and perfect “Sweet Home Alabama” but I now want to also continue to work on “Riptide” and see if I am able to get that song as well 🙂
I am currently feeling quite stressed and anxious as the final creeps up on me quickly. I have spent the last week in my bed due to a concussion I gave myself by hitting my head quite hard last week. I am nervous for the final because do to this concussion I have not had the chance to practice my ukulele and being learning my final song “Sweet Home Alabama”. I am hoping to be feeling much better this week so that I am able to start learning it so that I give myself enough time to practice and perfect the 3 new cords that I need to learn that are required for this song.
I have been way more comfortable with my first two songs and have been showing everyone who lives in my residence building my talents! I even brought my ukulele to my work meeting the other day and showed them my skills. They are a bit rusty but not too too bad! It is actually super fun to walk around and play my ukulele, showing everyone what I am learning in class!
I also have a lot of friends I live with who also play the ukulele and other instruments and who like to all play together. I have already learned so much from them showing me in person how to strum, or play a cord, or even how to play a few songs! It makes such a difference practicing with other people, I find it so much easier to work through a song with someone there to show me and model the cords rather than me trying to just read the music and work on it myself.
I am hoping that depending on how my head is feeling that I will be able to start beginning to play “Sweet Home Alabama” this week as I already have looked at the music and figured out which cords I will need to play in order to complete the song : )
This past week I had a minor set back in my free Inquiry because I had a concussion. I had hit my head on the metal squat rack bar and unfortunately just hit it in the right spot and way too hard : ( I have spent that last few days laying in my bed starting at the ceiling… how exciting!!! Thankfully, I am feeling a bit better and am hoping to get back into the gym again and get back to my normal day to day life!
Today in Tech we spoke about the positives and negatives of distributed learning and how we personally feel about online university. I thought this was quite a valuable conversation because it is something we are all going through right now. I do feel like there are positives, as it is a more relaxed way of learning that allows for more flexibility and leeway in our learning. However, I am not a huge fan of distributed learning because of how mentally draining it has become. I find it extremely difficult to be on my computer 24/7 as it takes a lot of energy and makes you feel quite drained at the end of the day. I also find that distributed learning is quite busy, I often feel overwhelmed because there is so much stuff going on all the time and it is hard to keep track of all your assignments, lectures, and tests.
I think that during these times it is incredible that we were able to continue our studies and that we have the technology to do so, but I do feel that the quality of classes in person is something that you can’t replicate online.
We also spoke about ways of presenting distributed learning other than zoom. We spoke about bright spaces, Moodle, Blackboard, Teams ect. as other options to share learning and classes online. I found this interesting as a teacher because I did not realize that there are so many different ways and websites that offer an online learning experience. It is important although a year ago we would have never though this is something we need to learn, we as teachers need to be informed about distributed learning as we may or may not have to implement it into our teaching one day if a similar situation was to arise. I think it is also important to learn because regardless of a pandemic or not, I think parts of education will still continue to be online. Because of all this technology we have started to use and uncover we will be able to use it when students are at home sick, or unable to attend to class and need to hear the information that was lectured.
Overall it is honestly incredible how far technology has come and how we were able to continue our studies online. I have enjoyed my time online although at some points it was proven to be difficult, I would have much rather participated in distributed learning than taken a year off.
I am beyond excited to return to in person classes while still continuing to explore the online learning experience and how I will be able to implement aspects of it into my own teaching.
This week we had Tracey Humphries from BCEdAccess come to our zoom meeting to speak about technology and the use of technology in the special needs and alternate learning pieces of education. I found this a really important and engaging conversation as I personally see and agree with the implementation of technology to aid those who may need extra assistance in the classroom. My mom who is an Educational assistant at my former high school works with many students who use technology everyday as a means of helping them get through the school day. I have spent quite a lot of time down in our special education classroom and have had the opportunity to see some of these types of technology and how beneficial they are to the students using them. My mom works with one non-speaking boy, who uses an I pad to communicate his needs and wants to his EA. I think this is such an amazing tool for in the classroom because it allows for him to have the opportunity to communicate and speak without actually speaking. It is incredible to see how far technology has come, as we were discussing in my breakout room, there was no way this type of technology would be able to be used in the schools even 10 years ago, so it is so special that we are able to use it today. That being said I feel as though we need to provide these students with more equipment and technology resources for them to use at school. The budget for these types of programs and resources is usually minimal, but I believe that there needs to be more emphasis on how important this is and how useful it is to have technology available for these students to use on a daily basis at school.
This is my attempt at “This Old Man”. At first this song was quite difficult for me because it changes the cords a few times during the song which slows down my flow quite a bit. Looking back at the video I still need to work on my strumming and holding the cords tighter in order to get a better more defined sound when I strum. I think in this one especially my confidence was on and off, there were parts I felt I did really well and parts I felt I was a bit unsure of therefor, that is something I would like to continue to practice and learn going into the final. One thing I feel I did accomplish is the timing of the notes. Because of the music literacy videos I was able to see and identify which notes to hold for longer and which were connected making them fast and upbeat.
This is my attempt at “Row Row Row your Boat”. This is the first song I learned and feel like I understand the most. This song is quite easy because it only asks for one cord change right at the end. I still have a bit of trouble switching from C to G7, so for the final I want to continue to work on that and making the change quicker so it doesn’t feel as though there is a break in the song.
Overall I am happy with my progress, but have a few things I would personally like to work on to further my understanding and confidence when playing the Ukulele.
I am so beyond proud of myself and how far I have come. I feel much more comfortable on the Ukulele playing my two songs: “This Old Man” and “Row Row Row your Boat”. I feel like the transitions between my cords are much smoother now allowing the song to better flow.
At first I had absolutely no idea where to start and was unsure of how I would ever be able to get through the songs without stopping and asking a question or looking up how to play the cords a million times. I now am able to confidently pick up my ukulele and play my songs at a relatively fast speed, and continue to keep the flow and correct cords allowing you to understand what song I am trying to play.
For the final I want to keep working on my transitions so that there is no need for me to pause when switching, thinking about where my fingers need to go.
I am also going to begin learning my final song: “sweet home Alabama”. I am a little nervous as this song requires 3 more cords that I had not used in my pervious 2 songs. I am feeling okay though as I have friends who are able to support me in this learning curve who are comfortable on the ukulele and have been so kind to help me practice and show me tips on how to improve my strumming, flow, and changing of cords.
Overall this has been a really big learning curve for me and something I was very reluctant to begin trying to learn. I am really happy with the progress I have made thus far, and am excited to continue to watch myself grow, learn, and improve my music literacy and competency of this instrument. I am happy that I pushed myself and chose an instrument that was quite daunting and looked quite intimidating, because I now understand that with practice it is nothing but a simple instrument that can make create some beautiful pieces of music.
I am planning on continuing my learning of this instrument beyond this class, in hopes that I will one day be able to implement music and the learning of an instrument in my classroom one day.
I want to be able to greet my students into the classroom playing a soft inviting instrument with a fun and catchy welcoming song on the ukulele 🙂
This week In EDCI 336 we explored how to use videos to our full advantage in class. We leaned what a great tool they are, and how we can use them and customize the settings to best suit what we are aiming to do with the video. We talked about different types of educational videos and how they are useful when implemented into the classroom. I loved reflecting on this because there were so many examples I could think of that are videos that have stuck with me throughout my education career. One in particular that came to me right away are the Amoeba sister videos for learning biology; these are a series of YouTube videos that breakdown all the basic and complex information in bio by explaining it in fun and new ways. I have attached a Link to the videos home page! http://www.youtube.com/user/AmoebaSisters
We also spoke about how we can change the setting on videos such as turning on and off subtitles, slowing and speeding up videos and much more. I found this helpful because sometime we need to accommodate for students needs which may mean attending to whether or not they can hear the video and if it is too fast. This gives all students an opportunity to learn in a way that works best for them!!!!
This week because the weather has improved greatly, I have been able to spend way more time outside! One of my friends and I have made it our mission to try and discover or visit a new beach every week and add it to a running list we created 🙂 It has been super fun and a wonderful way of getting out and exploring Victoria and getting some Fresh air. I love having an escape and being able to leave and go somewhere for a bit to get a break from all the chaos and business on campus!
I have also been able to spend more time outside going for walks, playing frisbee golf, and playing spike ball! I am super excited about the change in the weather because I have been dying to just get outside and play!
I forgot how much fun something as simple as throwing a frisbee can be, it is such a good mental break in-between classes and such its super fun 🙂
I am excited for the week ahead and am hoping Mother Nature decides to keep up this amazing weather!
I have attached some of the beautiful photos I took the other week at Holydene Beach in Victoria