"Everything I do is for my people". - Sacagawea

Category: Learning Project

Looking Back at the Learning Project

So I have been practicing the piano for several weeks now, currently grinding to learn that song I mentioned in my first post, the piano rendition of Stay by Kid Laroi. I am encountering an issue when trying to learn it though. This issue was a problem for me when I played piano several years ago and again it rears its ugly head to block forward progress for me. That issue is the ambidextrous nature of the piano. Combining both my hands is just a neurological connection my brain refuses to make!

I have tried learning both hands individually and then combining them but I have to focus on one hand at a time. If I focus on my right then my left either lags behind or cannot find the proper chord to play so this week I am going to try and find practice methods to working with both hands simultaneously.  To that end, I found this video on YouTube explaining and demonstrating several exercises to (hopefully) become more adept at becoming ambidextrous on the piano

I will update next week on my ambidextrous progress

“Cram”ing two posts into one

Hello all, I know this post is supposed to be primarily about the learning project and using a type of educational technology but I wanted to make a short statement about this class first. When I first signed up for this class I thought, I hoped, I would learn about how to use different sorts of technology in the classroom and improve my technical skills. When I read the syllabus, the weekly plans, etc., I was a bit disappointed because I thought “Oh, its just blog posts and an online community” but now that we are entering our 4th week I am starting to see the bigger picture, especially with this latest blog post.  The learning project directly ties in to using educational technology and I am improving my tech skills. All in all, the class is turning out the way I wanted.

Okay, with that said I will begin focusing on the prompt for this week. So the educational technology I decided to explore for my learning project is called “Cram” an online flashcard software where you can create your own flashcards and also discover millions of other flashcard sets created by people all over the world. Initially, I planned on creating my own flashcard set about different musical symbols, and then about halfway through my set I said to myself “You know maybe someone already created what I am looking for” and sure enough there was already a flashcard set with everything I wanted. Regardless I have included a video demonstrating how to use the software. It is very easy to understand and very user-friendly so really anyone could use it with my demonstration or without.

Under the SAMR model, the way in which I used it would be substitution. However I will provide examples for the rest of the acronym.

Augmentation – Students can use the software to embed images, audio clips or interactive elements

Modification – Students share their flashcard sets with peers for collaborative learning and receive immediate feedback, enhancing the learning experience.

Redefinition – Teachers and students from around the world collaborate to create a shared flashcard deck, pooling knowledge and resources.

Another thing about Cram is that once you make the flashcards you can create tests and even games using the content of your flashcards, important to consider when thinking about the SAMR model.

The flashcard set I used I will link here, it took me about two hours of studying to be able to clean the set without failure, and some of the terms I do not know the meaning of. I will create my own set where I put the term and put the meaning next to it.

“Simply” Not Enough

See what I did there? As I said last week I explored Simply Piano

There are several good things about Simply Piano, it teaches you basic notes and chords, it listens to you play and more but quite honestly I find it a bit too basic and does not really align with my way of learning. Looks like I will have to find more resources to learn from.

In my pursuit of looking for additional resources, I found a video on YouTube from a channel called “Become a Piano Superhuman” In this video the gentleman outlines the notes on the piano and teaches a basic note sequence that can be used in several ways to produce beautiful rhythms. I found this resource exceptionally helpful as it refreshed my memory on the location of the notes on the piano and doing the rhythm sequence helped my finger dexterity. When I did play piano in the past the biggest thing I struggled with was using both hands. If you try and make your hands do different things at the same time it is notoriously difficult. It is like your brain is trying to push a square through a triangle aha!

I think next week I am going to explore more videos about teaching piano from this author and see what else there is to learn. I also want to buy this book called “Piano for dummies”. while not an online resource I find these books helpful when learning new things. Actually just as I went to grab the link for that book I found another book that might be helpful called “Music Theory for Dummies” I will update everyone next week if I decide to purchase that book as well.

My Learning Project – Week One

For my learning project, I decided to pick up the piano again. I used to play the piano in my early teen years (13,14) but when I started high school I got too consumed in other hobbies to devote time to practicing the piano. I ended up discarding my piano. To begin practicing piano I went on Amazon and bought this piano . Decently priced for the purpose of this project and if there is one thing I learned about music and instruments is the better quality instrument the easier it will be to learn on.

To help illustrate my beginner-level grasp of the piano here is a short video of me playing small snippets of Let Her Go by Passenger and The Last of Us  Main Theme by Gustavo Santaolalla.

I am excited to develop my skills on the piano over the course of the semester. My goal is to be able to play this piano rendition of the hit song “Stay” by The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber

The piano I bought from Amazon came with a free subscription to an online piano learning resource called “Simply Piano”

For the first week of my learning (maybe two, depending on how much their is to learn from Simply Piano) I will use this learning resource to knock some of the rust off my piano skill. The goal for the first curve of this learning process is to get myself back to where I was, then once there I will focus on learning the aforementioned Song by Justin Bieber.

If you play the piano I would appreciate any tips or resources you have that would help me along in my piano journey, please leave a comment!

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