Guitar: Takes a Good Teacher, Time, Patience, and Tons of Practicing

Some of you may remember my SOLO from my groups Summary or Learning

So this semester I decided to take on the task of learning to play the guitar. Needless to say it was a lot more challenging than one (an inexperienced one) would think. I naively believed that I would become some amazing guitar player. GUITAR IS LITERALLY SO DIFFICULT. Even after all my practicing I still finished with only learning 1 song. Which I will play for you below….brace yourself.

Sorry for the lack of pictures….I look like crap today.

As you heard….it doesn’t quite sound like the official song but I tried my best haha…the struggle was real (and my hands hurt….a lot).

…….maybe someday.

Anyways…it has definitely been a journey. Although the journey didn’t give me the results I had hoped for I still learnt a lot about myself through this process.

  1. I am not a very good self-motivator…I need other people with similar goals.
  2. I learn better with face-to-face interactions.

As a result of the above two things, I am now looking into taking some actual guitar lessons in the next couple of months. I think that my learning style is better suited by having a time and place where I meet someone and learn the instrument. I still want to learn how to play the guitar…I just think I need a different process.

Pro’s and Con’s of Online Learning:

Pro’s:

  • Multiple perspectives (look at multiple different peoples posts)
  • Convenient (access the internet anytime you want)
  • Free (No cost for basic instruction)
  • Can chose to learn the way you feel you learn best (Learn through videos or sheet music)
  • Interactions with other people (you can connect with other people online who have similar goals)

Con’s:

  • Screen Time (Increases your daily screen time)
  • Solitary (You learn alone)
  • Challenging to know what to search (Hard to find resources that are reliable and accurate)

As you can see there are more pro’s than con’s. So I would definitely recommend trying to learn a new hobby online. It is a great way to learn new skills and try something other than watching Netflix when you have some free-time on your hands!

Here is a Summary of my Journey:

  1. Guitar Learning Plan Intro
  2. Guitar Lesson 2
  3. Name that Tune
  4. Learning the Guitar with 2-way Skype
  5. Do Guitars Have a Place in the Classroom
  6. Setting Smaller Goals to Achieve Bigger Goals
  7. Guitar Tutorial Videos; Pros and Cons
  8. “Music is a Great Thing”…find out Why
  9. Guitars on Pinterest
  10. DIY Guitar

You probably have noticed that I usually tried to branch out with creating posts about the guitar. I found that I needed to find ways to expand my learning project, to try and find different things about guitars to put in my blogs. This helped keep me interested and I hope it also kept you intrigued.

My PLN; What I Learned, Gained, and Gave Through Virtual Connections

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From HERE

PLN= Professional Learning Network

Well somehow this semester has come and gone. At the start of the semester I recall feeling slightly overwhelmed BUT now that I feel settled it is sad to think that I will be done University in only a few short weeks.

When I look back on my experiences in ECMP 355 I can think of many moments when I was in AWWW of what technology could do. I have compiled a google doc that I am hoping can show some of the moments throughout the semester where I engaged with technology. I organized these moments into 6 Major Categories that I believe summarize how I interacted online.

 

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When I consider the different ‘spaces’ I interacted with online I can’t help but acknowledge that I used Twitter the most. I felt that this medium suited my learning style the best. I also now realize that it is a space I will continue to use after this class is over. Although I didn’t interact with others as much on the other spaces, I feel that I compensated for this by the amount of time I spend on Twitter. Below I will break down some of the reasons I love the different spaces online….hopefully this will speak to why I use Twitter the most. (I wanted to try to use the other spaces as much as possible, but at times I felt I was only interacting on them because it was a criteria in the syllabus and not as much because it was a habit I would continue with. Unlike my use of Twitter which I know I will continue to use!)

Twitter

  • Fast response time
  • Free
  • User friendly
  • Short and to-the-point posts
  • easy to connect with others through hashtags
  • Great way to get resources
  • Fun to scroll through posts as if it was my FB or Instagram
  • Easy to get notifications
  • Also could connect to the News 

WordPress Blog

  • Share thoughts and opinions
  • Connect with others through deeper conversations
  • Collection of professional learning
  • Share your voice
  • Great way to reflect and connect with people who share similar reflections, gain support

Google+

  • Find answers
  • See other peoples work
  • Connect with classmates
  • Ask questions
  • Discuss topics
  • Learn through other peoples questions and answers

 

Learned

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From HERE

Here are a list of learnings that I got from interacting with others on online spaces:

  1. How to use technology safely: #digcit
  2. What hashtags can do, which hashtags were good/bad
  3. How to imbed images/videos into my blog
  4. How to use technology in classrooms
    1. Code
    2. seesaw
    3. Plickers
    4. peardeck
    5. socrative
    6. educreations
    7. Story board
    8. smore
    9. piktochart
    10. edmodo
    11. canva
    12. screencastify
  5. The power of sharing resources with others
  6. How to play the guitar and learn online!

 

Gained 

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From HERE

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Found HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is some of the resources and knowledge I gained:

  1. How to follow blogs I enjoy: Feedly
  2. A youtube channel
  3. Connections with educators
  4. A voice through my blog
  5. A positive online identity
  6. Greater access to the world and previously thought ‘unreachable resources’

Gave

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Found HERE

Here are some of the things I did to give resources to others online and to support others:

  1. Commenting on blogs
  2. Sharing resources I have used
  3. Sharing reviews on resources/tools
  4. Helping people on twitter
  5. Retweeting peoples work
  6. Talking face-to-face with people and helping them

Conclusions

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Found HERE

In conclusion I believe that the above picture is a perfect summary of everyone’s dream teacher. I know I still have a ways to go, but I do feel as though I have come along way since January. I now feel equipped to utilize these tools safely in a classroom. I know that for projects in a few of my other classes I decided to use some of the tools I learnt about in this class such as Wiki’s and Smore. Using these online tools not only helped me become more involved in my assignment but it also has allowed me to teach myself more about these apps.

As far as my PLN goes, I know that I have gained a better network of professional people on the web. When I have questions or need help I now turn to Twitter. I also LOVE looking through Twitter and becoming inspired by what other teachers are doing. As an educator it is my job to be a ‘life long learner’, I believe that technology is the place that this can truly take place. Staying virtually connected will not only help me stay current but it will also help my future students stay engaged. I personally love when I get new followers or have my posts retweeted. I can hardly wait to create my own classroom Twitter someday and watch and see the opportunities that it will provide for me and my students!

Learning Project: DIY Guitar

I have been working on learning the guitar and my younger sister is always wanting to join in. SOO I decided to research a way to include her in playing the guitar. I read this blog post that talked about the importance of children playing an instrument that is the right size for them. However, I do not have a guitar that is the proper size. So I then begin to research different ways that we could make a somewhat ‘real’ guitar on our own. I found multiple sites that take you through a step-by-step process for creating guitars (I have provided links below). I also recognized some of the websites, I had done a sound unit in internship were the students created their own musical instruments. Because of this previous experience I knew that the craft would work.

As you probably noticed Lydia was interested in created the guitar and decorating it. However, she KNEW that it wasn’t the real deal. As I am sure you noticed we tried a few times to sing songs, each time we would start she would get distracted by the guitar and get off track.

Different DIY guitar “how to’s”:

I know that some children start playing instruments at a really young age…I am curios as to how you would get a small child to focus enough to learn an instrument?

It was really fun to make, I think Lydia really enjoyed being able to engage in the guitar with me. It would be interesting to try it again with her when she is a bit older!

Hope you enjoyed my branch out from my learning project!

 

CODE-figuring out the ‘why’ to our techy world!

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Found here

What is CODE?

This was my first question. I view myself as fairly good with technology; however, I have no idea why or how it can do what it does. Here is a simple video that I used in order to understand the meaning and use of code:

What now?

So then I decided it was my turn to try my hand at coding.

3/4 of the way into my HOUR OF CODING

TEST-20, my final project

My certificate!

code certificate.jpg

Final thoughts:

I honestly was dreading doing coding. My boyfriend knows a lot about it and I always find myself changing the topic when he starts talking about it. SOOOO when I found myself enjoying the coding and having fun with it, I surprised myself!

This is definitely something I will encourage my future students to participate it. I may even include it through a subject area. It definitely tested my own brain abilities and I think it will help students find challenges and better understand the world of technology!

Benefits:

  • fun
  • free
  • challenging
  • interactive
  • modern
  • engaging
  • great directions

Concerns:

  • How can I engage students that cannot read?
  • Where do I go next after I complete the Hour of Code?

Further Research:

 

 

Guitars on Pinterest

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Pinterest is one of my greatest addictions. I have many times found myself lost in the world of Pinterest for more hours than is healthy I am sure! So naturally, when I started my learning project I decided to create a Pinterest page about guitars! I also have started to follow guitar accounts:

Following these pages has helped motivate my own learning project on an online domain that I regularly visit. I have found that this is essential in order for me to find new ideas for playing the guitar and to be reminded to practice.

Today I decided to try out a new collage making app I heard about the other day at a PD event. It is called Kizoa. This collage-maker worked really well. However, I didn’t like how you had to make an account in order to access the collage. Does anyone know of any easier-to-access collage makers? I tried a few before deciding on this one, although I still am not a huge fan of it…it worked better than other ones I tried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Identity and Sexualization

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I just finished watching the documentary; Sext Up Kids by Doc Zone. As soon as it started I realized I had already seen it a while back. However, I was just as interested about it the second time watching it. I believe that it brings up a lot of relevant issues around technology and sexuality. I also find it scary to think how some of the statistics referenced in the documentary may have gotten worse since it’s release date. As an older sibling with 4 younger siblings I find that this documentary really scares me for their online safety.

1. Chained too our Online Identity

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I think this photo depicts two very scary realities about digital identity. The first being that we are so reliant on technology and our identity that we do not know how to break free from it. The second being that our digital identity can trap us and hold us down. In the documentary it focus’ on how a negative digital identity can literally follow us every where we go. It also worries me to think of all the possible problems these kids might face when they grow up and want to get jobs, and have such a documented past online for anyone to access.

2. Reality Barrier; Healthy or Not?

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I love this picture because I feel like it so clearly depicts some of the biggest problems with technology. People now have a way to exist and communicate with others and the world through a screen. This can be a positive thing, if used responsibly. Sadly, as stated in the documentary, many people do not know how to properly use technology. Many people are finding it impossible to balance their lives both on and off the web. I think a lot of people do things online and forget that they can have negative repercussions in the real world. What we are learning more and more is that these negative repercussions can be detrimental to people.

3. There is more to BEAUTY than sex appeal

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This documentary really upset me. It showed how so many girls de-value themselves in order to make themselves appealing to others. It is scary to think that media and pop culture can so negatively influence the thoughts and actions of youth. I think there definitely needs to be a lot more changes in terms of standards of beauty and worth in order to stop this terrible cycle of girls undervaluing themselves.

MORE THOUGHTS….

Here is a video I found on my Facebook feed. I think it speaks really well to the topic I have been talking about. I also think that it connects to online social movements as well. Please watch it and tell me what you think of the #WOMENNOTOBJECTS.

 

“Music is a great thing”: find out why…

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Found HERE

Take a look at this news article that was published just this month. It tells an unique story about the ‘Syrian Refugee Crisis’. It shares an important perspective on this popular topic.

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Read the WHOLE article here

 

It grabbed my attention because it really connected to my own personal learning project. It made me rethink about the power of music. It also made me think to not take this time in my life to learn the guitar for granted. Recognizing the community, security, and language it can provide was really eye-opening. I think that music is so universal and I love how it can bring ALL people together!

This story definitely pulled at my own heart strings. If you have any personal stories to share….maybe a time when music played a bigger role in the outcome of a situation…or when music was used to connect with others…please share below!

Thanks!

DIGITAL Classroom Management

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I’ve been thinking a lot about classroom management lately. It is one of those things that I feel we don’t learn enough strategies for in University. I came across this quote earlier and thought that it creates such an accurate picture of what it is like to control a classroom.

I was loooking though some blogs in my feedly account and found a really interesting one about online classroom management tools. I thought it would be a great idea to share these and hope that they can help give some useful strategies for management.

Some of you may have seen these tools before but hopefully there is a few new ones:

  1. SOCRATIVE
  • Pros:
  • free
  • Assessment tool
  • student friendly
  • Cons:
  • all students must have access to a device
  1. CLASS DOJO
  • Pros:
  • free
  • visually appealing
  • fun for students
  • Cons:
  • point system
  1. STICK PICK
  • Pros:
  • New and exciting way to manage groups and assessment
  • Can be used as an assessment site
  • Cons:
  • only for apple products
  • costs $5
  1. EXIT TICKET
  • Pros:
  • free
  • really useful site to engage students
  • can regularly check for understanding
  • Cons:
  • every student needs a device
  1. LEARNING BOOST
  • Pros:
  • free
  • Great way to keep record of everything students are doing
  • can share progress with parents
  • can keep attendance records
  • it organizes data for you on how well your students are doing
  • Cons:
  • School divisions may already have similar tools in place
  1. CLASS CHARTS
  • Pros:
  • free
  • can track students behaviors over a period of time (this data could be used for referrals)
  • can create interactive seating plans and have the computer regenerate new ones
  • Cons: NONE
  1. GOOGLE CLASSROOM
  • Pros:
  • free
  • set up assignments, grade, and leave comments
  • communicate with your class outside of class time
  • Cons:
  • all students need a device
  • all students need to create an account
  1. NEAR POD
  • Pros:
  • free
  • can connect with all students through a presentation all at once
  • creates interactive lessons
  • many ready made lessons that are available for you to use
  • Cons:
  • only for apple products
  • all students need a device
  1. CLASS ACT
  • Pros:
  • free
  • helps you tract the progress of each student with different concepts using a colour code
  • Cons:
  • only compatible on apple products
  1. CLASSROOM TIMER
  • Pros:
  • free
  • visually appealing
  • Cons:
  • only can be used on apple devices
  1. STOP GO!
  • Pros:
  • really neat design for a classroom timer tool
  • uses colour really well
  • Cons:
  • costs $1.39
  • only for apple products
  1. TRAFFIC LIGHT
  • Pros:
  • free
  • can be used for classroom management by giving students behavior instructions
  • visually appealing
  • Cons:
  • only compatible with apple products
  1. PLICKERS
  • Pros:
  • free
  • collect exit slip data
  • test students
  • only need one device!
  • Cons:
  • only for apple products
  1. TEAM SHAKE
  • Pros:
  • fun way to make teams
  • visually appealing
  • Cons:
  • costs $1.39
  • only for apple products
  1. BOUNCY BALLS
  • Pros:
  • free
  • visually appealing
  • interactive
  • can be used on all devices
  • Cons:
  • mic needs to be close to students

 

I hadn’t herd of most of these devices. Although many of them are similar they still had some differences. I defiantly plan to try out a few of them in my own classroom. Hope they are helpful to some of you!

 

 

Guitar Tutorial Videos; Pros and Cons

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Photo shoutout because it’s our 4 year anniversary 

Well…today I have decided to show everyone how I find tutorial videos for learning the guitar.

  1. what videos worked well?
  2. why some videos are better than others?
  3. how to search for videos?

I have learnt that it is very important to be as specific as possible when searching for tutorial videos. I usually type in ‘How to play the guitar for beginners’. This narrows down my results to videos that are specifically tailored to my competence level.

This first video really breaks down how to hold the instrument and the basics to using a guitar. It was very useful during some of my first few lessons when I had no idea how to hold or play a guitar.

 

I personally really like this video below because the guy is pretty funny and easy to listen too. He doesn’t stay monotone and he zooms in on what he is doing as well.

 

Lastly here is a video I really like and am currently working with to learn the song ‘Stay With Me‘. She uses great visuals throughout her video so it is easy to see the chords she is play, she doesn’t move on to quickly, and she give optional chords if you feel you are more advanced.

 

This video below is one tutorial video that DOES NOT suit my learning style. I find that she moves to fast and it is hard to follow, especially as a beginner. I also don’t like that she talks a lot about other things, for me I am just looking for videos by people who give lessons.

I hope this blog post has helped some of you see what works for me and what doesn’t. If you have any suggestions on better tutorials for beginners, please share below!