Lucy, you’ve got some explaining to do!

Hello Folks!

Final blog post, Yaaaaas! #Learningproject

Well, what do you know… the end of the semester just sucker punched us right in the face… well at-least that is the case for me ha-ha!

It has been a long time since I have blogged about my learning project, but I assure you I will get to the nitty gritty of whats been going down and how I progressed through out the semester.

ALTHOUGH I MUST ADMIT… BLOGGING EVERY WEEK ON MY LEARNING PROJECT WAS A… FAIL…I REPEAT EPIC FAIL!

Even though I didn’t post much about my learning project does not mean I didn’t progress at all, I mean I totally could have done a better job with blogging about it more and sharing my progress. Even though I didn’t get to where I wanted, I am still super proud of myself for the amount of work I did put in and the progress I did make. Especially considering how busy and stressful this semester was.

Looking back to the beginning of the semester I was super confident that learning the Piano was a good idea. I mean I loved the music, it was something I was passionate about… and better yet my son loved it. He had already began Piano lessons, and so I thought maybe I should join him. I could teach myself by using online resources, then practice and learn with him. I thought it would be a good journey for both of us but apparently the universe had other plans… well kind of!

Although we did get a lot of time to play together, it was mostly just to help him. I put a lot of time into him play… and why wouldn’t I? He is my pride and joy!

Also, I found that learning to play the Piano was a lot of work, finding the right resources and trying to get enough practice in for myself. A lot of my practice was done late at night

But…

If I did get the chance to go back and do it over, I would definitely make more time for myself and I would have BLOGGED MORE ON MY PROGRESSION!

My good semester turned around quickly for me, and it seemed like I was being tested a lot. Out of all my semesters in University, it had to be my last that was the hardest. Even though I am glad it is coming to an end, I wish that some things were different. But I know that this even though I feel like i could have done so much better, I won’t beat myself up over it. I believe that things happen for s reason and there is always a lesson to be learnt. You and you learn.

However, I will talk about what I did learn and how I progressed throughout the semester…
1.) What the heck did you get yourself into Skylar?

When I first started, I took a look at some notes and the diagram of the Piano. I was like WHAAAAAT… so confusing. It was very difficult for me to get the hang of things, and I wasn’t so confident anymore.

2.) Baby steps…

So, I honestly thought that this journey was going to be easy as pie… boy was I wrong. I mean I knew it would take time, patience and lots and lots of practice, but dang.

I decided to first label the keys, then practice separating my finger (so they weren’t so sticky and hitting the keys beside them) then learn the different Piano tones.

I searched and came across a lot of resources but some I just couldn’t understand. I finally came across a guy on YouTube, his tutorials were pretty straight forward and I understood him the most; He got right to the point. I subscribed to his channel on Youtube, he goes by “Piano Keyboard Guide”. He also has his own website Piano-Keyboard-guide.com anything that I needed to know I would do so on his page and also watch his videos on YouTube, he was so very helpful.

Here are some pictures from Piano-keyboard-guide.com He gives you the diagram of the keyboard and labels each key. This is where I started and it really helped me a lot.

Simple Piano Keyboard diagram: the white keys are all labeled. If you look closely you will see that the same note names are repetitive. These notes are A,B,C,D,E,F, and G. This is the same on all different piano styles.
Photo credit: Mantius Cazaubon-Piano-keyboard-guide

Also…

As you can see here, he added a more complete piano keyboard diagram. You can see that both the black and white keys are named. The black keys, each have two note names. There is the D-Flta (or C-sharp), E-Flat (or D-sharp), G-flat (or F-sharp), A-Flat (or G-sharp) and B-flat (or A-sharp). 

Photo credit:Mantius Cazaubon-Piano-keyboard-guide

Also thought I’d share the full version of this lesson from Youtube, you will probably understand better!

Mantius was the bomb dot.com, his videos and diagrams have been my best friend! 

Tones:
To help you better understand sharps (♯) and flats (♭), let’s find out what a semitone is. A semitone is also called a half step or half tone and is the smallest interval used in Western music. It is the distance between two notes which are next to one another in pitch. So the distance between C and C-Sharp is one semitone, the distance between D and D-Sharp is one semitone and the same can be said for the distance between A and A-flat.

What is the note that is one semitone higher than C? The answer is C-Sharp. What is the note that is one semitone higher than D? The answer is D-Sharp. Let’s go the other way around. What is the note that is one semitone lower than D? The answer is D-Flat. One semitone lower than E? It’s E-Flat.

A whole tone means a distance of two semitones, i.e. the distance between two notes which are separated by one other note in pitch. For instance, C and D, D and E, and F and G are each one whole tone apart.

Piano-Keyboard-guide

Here is just some pictures of my son’s keyboard and where we labeled the keys! Labeling the keys was so helpful!

 

 

The piano has a 12 note pattern. You can see it on the piano keyboard digram int he once listed above. Even though there are many notes on the piano its just the 12 notes that are being repeated.

To understand the piano key layout bette you have to see how the black keys on a piano are grouped together in groups of two’s and three’s. (that actually helped me a lot, it helped me to remember which keys were where)

You will also notice that the not C always comes before the group of 2 flats (or sharps), while the F always comes before the group of 3 flats (sharps). “On a 49 keyboard, there are 5 C;s, on a 61 and 76 keyboard there are 6 C’s, and there’s 8 on an 88 key keyboard.”

Piano-Keyboard-Guide

Piano-Keyboard-Guide

No troubles bubbles…

Actually, yes, lots of troubles! haha! It was hard for me to play when I first started (I still have trouble) opening up my fingers. They were super sticky and kept pushing all the keys. In my final video that I share below you can see that my left hand looked like it was cramping up and looked mangled ha-ha; thats because it was! I damaged my left hand a long time ago, it never healed right. I didn’t think it would be as big of an issue until I started playing the piano more and more. It would ache sometimes at night! Yikes!

In the picture you can see my pinky, it hangs far away from the rest lol it will never be the same!

 

Although I wanted to add much more, I am running out of time.  I only got to add a few of my videos and  final video. 

Playing different notes on each hand was extremely hard for me, I mastered the right hand but my left hand just couldn’t cut it. So you will notice in my final video I just played the melody of the song, and my left hand kicked in here and their but even that was tough for me.

Here is a video of me of when I first tried to play the Piano! I was just doing some exercises to loosen up my fingers. I actually did pretty good here, my fingers didn’t cramp and I was just messing around ha-ha!

 

Here is the First song I learnt “ABC’s” 🙂

 

Also, here is a video of my son and I playing together!

We had fun learning and exploring together, we won’t stop here!
Here is a mother video of me practicing “My heart will go on” By Celine Dion
As you could see in the video I played different notes, and on my last video below you will see that I just used the white keys. I found it so much easier and less painful for my left hand to play those keys.

My Big Boy!

I started out playing the ABC song, then trying to play random songs after that. My boy heard the melody of “My Heart will go on” by Celine Dion and wanted us to learn that one. I have a video from when I first tried, and then the video below where I am playing the melody!

Here is my final video!

 

Final Thoughts…

Learning the Piano was not an easy task, especially when you are using only online resources to learn. I think I missed the presence of a teacher ha-ha! It’s nice to get more feedback and knowing that you are doing okay! My son however, always let me know mama was a rockstar haha! Although I am not completely satisfied with the way my learning project went I am still happy with what I did learn. My learning project doesn’t stop here, I will continue to learn with my son. I look forward to it!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have an awesome summer break! Also Congratulations to all of you that are convocating this spring! Woohoo!

 

Skylar J

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Independent learner? I think not…

 

So, here’s a video I thought I would share. The guy in the video essentially just talks about learning piano online. He talks about how some people debate that people need teachers and that they just can’t learn how to play online. But he argues that you definitely can, and that some people prefer to learn on their own (online resources etc.) … These people are “independent learners”.

This got me to think, the reason why I have been struggling a bit with this piano playing. Maybe I am just not one of those “independent learners”. I would much rather have someone right there beside me… somebody to give me feedback immediately (teacher). Maybe I just need the guidance, or that “I am doing a good job” I know I’ll get it, and Ill be awesome at it! Just time, patience and lots of practice! 🙂

The online resources have been helping me tons, and I feel like I am becoming more comfortable behind the keys.

This is a learning project… not only am I learning a new skill but learning things about myself… I’m surprised at how much I learnt about myself already ha-ha. Especially being patient and trying not to be so hard on myself.

Anyways until next time,

Sky

 

 

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Thought this was cute! ^^^ 🙂

Thingamabob

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So, ladies and gents this here is the keyboard that I have been learning how to play! It actually belongs to my sonny boy whom also refers to it as his “Thingamabob”. He has been ever so kind and let mama borrow it for my learning project, he sits in sometimes… not as much as we would want but It’s a work and progress!

The keyboard is located in our living room (in the open), there really is no any privacy or quiet time when I  play. So when I do practice, it’s usually when my boy is in school and hubby is doing chores outside with the horses. When Im not practicing hands on with they keyboard, I spend my time on google or Youtube researching things about the piano. So, far I learnt about the benefits of piano playing and looking at beginner videos, like labeling the keys and important things to know before starting.

 

until next time,

Sky

Passion over perfection…

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So I have finally made up my mind on what skill I wanted to learn for my learning project. For weeks I have contemplated, I wanted to choose something I could bring with me inside my classroom and share with my students (and teach them as well)… so I chose to learn how to play the piano. I have always been fascinated and passionate with the piano and people who played it.

 

My son who is 8 years old has just started piano lessons; I thought it would be neat to lean with him as well. I will be sure to share our jam session! J

 

I excited to start this new journey and for this passion I have for the piano to grow… passion over perfection!

 

I did some research on piano and found some fun/good positive benefits I thought I would share…

Top 10 ways playing piano makes you healthier and smarter:

  1. Music keeps your ears young
  2. It boost your test scores
  3. It alters your brain
  4. It helps with language skills
  5. It keeps your brain “fit”
  6. It breeds future success
  7. It’s good for your well-being
  8. It’s a stress reliever (I so need that J)
  9. It makes you feel good
  10. It affects hormones

 

Here is a link to the site if you’d like to read more: http://www.cooperpiano.com/top-10-ways-playing-piano-makes-you-healthier-smarter/

 

(FYI I did my blogs a long time ago but I had them in the text section… I know–Im getting it :/)