Blog post: three
I find it a lot easier to practice piano on my own then play in front of people. Therefore I decided to challenge myself and get my friend to record me. This friend had laughed at me when I said I was planning on teaching myself the piano. He thought I couldn’t do it. Although I am no Beethoven I am able to play simple songs including Row row row your boat, twinkle little star, the Dreidel song, a blues scale and a slow version of Fur Elise. I had to get him to record me playing the song a few times before I got rid of my nerves and was able to perform the song with little error. If you had told me I would be able to play the piano by the end of the term I wouldn’t have believed you. I believe this experience has taught me a lot about inquiry and about music concepts. I have learned about personalized learning and how students can help structure their own learning. I am proud I learned to read treble clef and I learned to play some basic piano songs and one more advanced song. I tried to use my left hand for fun while playing Fur Elise to see if I could do both but it was too challenging. I plan to continue practicing the piano as I am really enjoying it. I am hoping to learn to play faster and to play with two hands. I am saving up to purchase my very own keyboard so I can continue to improve. Learning how to create music will help me in my future teaching as music is universal and everyone enjoys it. Music can take you on a journey and help you express yourself. I could play piano in my classroom with my future students. Playing the piano is useful to help students learn about many music concepts such as tempo. I could use piano to accompany my students. For example if I was teaching them how to sing a scale I could play the piano to make sure they were singing in the right key.
I attached two different videos of me playing Fur Elise…
Blog post: two
In class the other day we learned some important music skills that help me with my understanding of how music works. I now know that when playing a C on the piano you are not only hearing the C instead, you are hearing a series of notes vibrating. I also learned every note has an enharmonic note. For example is B flat is the enharmonic note for C. Lastly I learned the piano creates its sound from hammers rebounding off the strings which is a simple concept I never thought of. At the moment I am struggling to read treble clef so I have been using a youtube video that shows which keys need to be played for the song Fur Elise. I am going to try to learn to read the music although it might take some time. I have been filling out worksheets to help my understanding. Fur Elise is a challenging piece for me. I have been practicing the notes but I am unable to play the song at the speed it is supposed to be played at. Therefor I am learning a little slower version. In music terms I will be playing lento rather then allegro. I can play some parts of the song fairly fast but other parts I need to play slower. I decided it would be best to play the song in a slower tempo so I could play with consistency. Although I have found it can be rather challenging staying on tempo even with all the practice I have been doing. I have been practicing three times a week. I am still finding the song difficult to play as I am such a slow learner. It can be frustrating learning a new song luckily Fur Elise is fairly repetitive. When you do play a couple measures without mistakes it is a great feeling. One of the reasons people enjoy creating music so much is the immediate gratification you get after learning.
Blog post one:
For my mid term video I had sticky notes on the piano keys in order to remember which notes were which. I have now learned that middle C is always the left of the two black keys so I am able to play without the sticky notes. Looking back on my videos I realized I wasn’t playing with only the right hand as I was supposed to. Instead I was using both hands which made it easier at the time but now when I am trying to play a more advanced song I am having troubles reaching all the keys using one hand. I have had the realization that I may have not chosen the best instrument for my abilities. I am a person who types using two fingers. I am finding it challenging to stretch my fingers to the distances needed for the piece especially because I have broken one of my fingers when I was younger. Nonetheless I am having fun learning and trying my best. Right now I am learning to play Fur Elise a lovely piece composed by Beethoven. I decided to learn more about the song so I did some research. I learned Fur Elise is written in A minor. I had no idea what A minor meant so I did some more research where I learned about the 12 major scales. Major scales follow the pattern: tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, tone, tone, semi-tone. Every major scale has a relative minor scale. For the song I am learning the major scale is the C scale which is relative to the A minor scale. Fur Elise was composed in 1810. It was published by Ludwig Nohl 40 years later. Therefore the song was published after Beethoven died. Most sources believe Beethoven wrote Fur Elise for Therese a women he wished to marry others believe he named it after Elisabeth Rockel a friend of his.
Blog Post: three
The last thing I learned was a blues scale. The scale uses C, E flat, F, G flat, G, B flat, and C. I was not planning on learning a blues scale, but I heard someone in class playing it and decided to learn. I am happy I learned the scale because now I can play something in the blues genre along with the classical beginner pieces I learned. I believe I accomplished my goal of learning beginner piano songs as I learned three. I also learned a blues scale which I was not planning on learning. I did not end up learning bass clef as I decided to really focus on learning one clef rather than squishing in two and struggling. It is highly likely I will learn bass clef after this class when I continue learning piano. Now I am going to try and learn a small part of Fur Elise (using only the right hand). I realize this is a challenging music piece but I am going to try my very best to learn some of it. I wish to learn a part of Fur Elise because it was one of my favourite classical songs growing up. I am looking forward to playing part of it because it was written by Ludwig Van Beethoven an accomplished composer. I am excited to learn more piano basics and part of Fur Elise. I believe playing the piano will be an asset I can bring into my future classroom. Since I can read treble clef and play basic songs on the piano, I will be able to accompany my students while they sing or complete other music activities.
Blog Post: two
I continued to practice reading music although I am by no means an expert. I decided to move on and start learning to play the piano. The first thing I did was put post-its on the keys to help me remember which keys are specific notes. Then I decided to play around with the keys. I learned where middle C was and proceeded to learn a song. The first song I learned was Row row row your boat. This song uses the notes C, D, E, F and G. It was difficult to play at first, but once I practiced more and got used to how my fingers should move it became easier. The second song I learned was Twinkle twinkle little star. Twinkle twinkle little star uses six notes C, D, E, F, G and A. For both songs, I had to practice often and was not able to play them by simply reading the music. I am a kinaesthetic learner so I rely more on my fingers movement to learn. I found Twinkle twinkle little star surprisingly easy after learning Row row row your boat. I also learned the Dreidel song, which I found the most challenging of the pieces. The new note in the song I learned was B. It took a while to learn the Dreidel song, but it helped that I knew the rhythm and how it was supposed to sound as I struggled through it. Once I finally mastered it I felt very accomplished, which is one of the benefits of learning an instrument.
Blog Post One:
Playing the piano has proven more challenging then I originally thought. However, the bumps in the road are all part of the process of learning a new instrument. Now I realize I will not be able to learn to play using both hands. This is okay because I said I simply wanted to try, which I did. I also tried to learn how to read bass clef however I was confused between the two clefs. I decided it was more productive to learn one clef well then two poorly. Therefore my inquiry project path changed. I started off learning treble clef. I learnt the acronyms FACE and Every Good Boy Does Fine. Surprisingly, I did not remember much from playing the clarinet in middle school so I had to relearn most skills. I filled out worksheets and read piano theory books. The pitch and rhythm practice worksheets given out in class were very useful. Some dynamics I learned to indicate playing quiet are pp/pianissimo which stands for play “very soft”, p/piano stands for play “soft” and mp/ mezzo-piano means play “moderately soft”. The dynamics that indicate playing louder are mf/mezzo-forte which stands for play “moderately loud”, f/forte means play “loud” and ff/fortissimo means play “very loud”. I also learned what crescendo and diminuendo mean. Diminuendo is Latin for diminishing and indicates volume must gradually decrease. Crescendo is a gradual increase in volume. The worksheets I completed helped me learn the length of notes. I know a whole note lasts for the whole bar, and a half note takes up half the measure. I also learned a quarter note is one beat. Rests are intervals of silence. Whole rests hang and half rests look like a hat. Then there are quarter rests which symbolize a quarter of silence in a measure.