This week was the last one for my learning project, and I’m really happy with the results.
This week, I didn’t really learn a guitar technique; rather, I learned a song-writing technique. Using LiveAbout.com, I was introduced to the steps to piecing together a song. From prior experience listening to music and talking to my dad (who writes music), I was already relatively familiar with the format of verses, choruses, and bridges. Because of this, I was already thinking about whether little pieces of music would be a verse, etc when I was writing them on my guitar.
Based off of information I received from LiveAbout, I had a general idea of where I wanted to go with my composition. However, I had written a riff using octaves for the beginning of the song that I was really confident about, so I decided to include that more than the format stated. When all was said and done, I had a format similar to this:
After playing around with it, I decided to sit down and record it in its entirety. Here is a link to a video.
In all, here is what I learned:
Week 1: I cameup with the idea to learn how to write music with my guitar, and gave myself a final goal of creating a composition.
Week 2: Using TakeLessons.com, I learned what the 12 notes on a guitar are, and how they interact with each other to create different sounds.
Week 3: I utilized instructables.com to learn a picking method called Tremolo picking, which means alternating up and down picking for single notes.
Week 4: With the help of libertyparkmusic.com, I learned different chord progressions for guitar, and specifically the most common ones. I also chose a nice chord progression for my composition and began writing.
Week 5: Using WorshipTutorials.com, I finally put a name to the practice of using octaves. Also, combining learning with the progression from Week 4, I wrote a lead part for my composition,
Week 6: I used LiveAbout.com to find a few good formats to arrange the music pieces I have written, and recorded my full composition.
This learning project was a very refreshing assignment for me. It allowed me not only to learn something that I had been meaning to learn for a while and get marks for it but also to see just how effective the internet can be for gaining knowledge. This assignment, more than any other interaction I’ve had online, has really taught how helpful having digital literacy can be. If you are digitally literate and understand the ups and downs of being online, there really is no information you cannot access. This has huge implications for education and fostering inquisitive thought in our students. For me, this means that I can help my students know their way around the internet, allowing me to create young people who have a hunger for knowledge and becoming as enlightened as they can.
In terms of personal learning with this assignment, it was really interesting to learn as much as I can on a topic. What was especially cool was that I didn’t need to necessarily use everything that I learned. A good example for this in my case was Tremolo picking. I learned about it and practiced it because it was interesting, but it didn’t fit the mold that I was going for with my piece, so I didn’t use it. This has implications for real life and teaching too, especially in a classroom. I believe that it is super handy for students to gain as much knowledge and teachings as they can while they’re still in school, because they could either decided they love something and want to continue pursuing it, or that it isn’t for them. Making an informed decision about not liking something is completely alright, in my opinion, and is worlds better than being ignorant and writing it off.
All in all, this is a really cool assignment, and is something to keep in mind for my future teaching. I have always said that it is easiest to learn something when you care about it and can get motivated, and this echoes that sentiment exactly.