Music Final

For my music final my goal I put is that I would learn one song and be able to sing with it. However, through my learning process, I have changed what my final goal is. I did stick with the song I was going to learn which is “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King with four chords which were AM, F, C and G7. I have practiced this all semester and have felt very confident in my abilities. When I started to try to sing with it I found this to be something that I struggled with. While I am still working on singing and playing, I was unable to reach this goal for my final. I will still be working on this on my own but I rather focused my time and energy in switching between chords well and strumming with only my hand not my whole arm. I underestimated how hard it was going to be to sing and play at the same time. I felt like I lost the beat and would get confused on when to sing, so I am still working on this but didn’t feel confident enough to be graded on it.

Since I felt I was not ready to sing I felt like I needed to try to learn more. I have really enjoyed playing the ukulele and when I go down to the beach, I enjoy sitting there and strumming different tunes. So, I started to look up other songs that I could learn to play. I started learning to play “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and it has another chord which is G. I just started learning this song a week ago but I have been constantly playing it. I have some difficulties switching between C and G in the song because I just learned how to play G but I will still be working on it afterwards as well. The strumming pattern is different as well but I didn’t find this challenging. It goes down up down up down up but on the second down you play louder which gives it a nice tune. I love this song and playing it so I will be working on making my transitions better. Overall, I feel like I learned so much and pushed myself to try something new. I actually have really enjoyed playing the ukulele, so much that I’m buying my own to continue to learn over the summer.

I found practicing once a day for 15 minutes made a world of a difference because I was actually able to progress. When I started learning “I’m Yours” I played longer because I was really determined to learn the song in a short amount of time, so I think continuing on, I will be able to learn to play more songs. The next song I want to learn is “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” by Elvis Presley because it was my parents wedding song and this year is their 30th wedding anniversary!

I have attached these links to each song I learned:

 

 

 

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Music Reflections 9,10,11

Reflection #9: My greatest professional strength as an educator who will teach music is having many resources from my years as a student in music. I can use this strength to give to create lessons off of some of the material I have accumulated over the years. I find it will be beneficial to add songs and music into all aspects of teaching because it can help calm students and help them remember things. Much of the materials I have is used for ages 3-12 which is about the same age range I will be teaching. Music for Young Children is a great program I took and kept all the books from which I would love to use in my classroom.  I remember the books having stories about Mrs. Treble Clef and Mr. Bass Clef which made music make more sense for young children.

 

I find another strength I can bring is being able to play the piano and now the ukulele. Just like when Maeve, Julia and Liv used the instrument to just play a welcome song made it really fun and engaging, especially for young students. Being able to play the piano quite well allows me to spend less time learning how to read music or how to play because I already know how to, so I can focus more time on making engaging lessons that incorporate music.

 

Finally, I think another one of my professional strengths is realizing how crucial music is in the classroom. I always loved in French class, singing songs or when music was playing during PE. I always found it made school more enjoyable when there was an aspect of music involved. I hope that when I have my own classroom I can incorporate music into as much as possible.

Reflection #10: When I think about myself as a future educator teaching music, I want to incorporate music into every subject. Adding music into different subjects allows room for cross-curricular learning by adding music into other subjects. Singing songs or playing instruments to learn about math, science or reading, makes learning engaging and fun for all students and all types of learners. Music can help some student remember concepts and ideas better because it is rhythming with a catchy tune rather than just memorizing words.  I listened to a song in grade 7 about circles and their surface area, diameter and circumference that I still use today!

 

When learning a different a language as well, music can really help. When I teach French, using songs and rhyme help students remember better. I also want to constantly be playing music in the background of my class (except during instructions).  I was in a classroom last semester, observing and the teacher had relaxing music playing in the background when the students were working. I asked her why she did this and she said it calms the students after lunch or recess and the classical music actually helps them focus better. I do realize that this will be dependant on the class each year as some students need total silence to work, but I think it’s important to teach children how to work in an environment with some noise and having it be music I think would be great.

Incorporating music into an everyday routine I find is important and I want to allow my students to sing and have fun!

Reflection #11:  My greatest area of growth during the year/ course has been in the area of  actually learning how to play the ukulele. I have never been strong at playing string instruments as I tried to learn the guitar years ago but never seemed to get the hang of it. But this as a project forced me not to give up and to practice until it became something I loved doing every single day. When I first started to play I found it really different than my other experiences with playing instruments as I played the saxophone and piano. This instrument had strings and I had to learn how to tune it, etc. which made me feel at first way in over my head. But as I continued to practice each day, I became better at switching between chords, keeping the pace right and strumming with only my hand not my whole arm. The most challenging part of it all is singing while playing. As I am still working on this and haven’t perfected it yet, I found it difficult to keep my strumming proper while trying to time my voice to my strumming. I am a little disappointed because I thought by the end of the semester I was going to have this mastered but unfortunately I did not. I don’t feel confident enough to say I reached my goal but I am going to continue to work at it over the summer because watching Maeve play the ukulele while we sang a song was so fun and so much better than using a CD so for my students I want to continue to work on this.

Music Lesson Reflection

This week in music, we created lesson plans/ unit plans with a song about rain. Every other group made a lesson plan around the song, they incorporated science and learning about rain. Asking questions like what sounds does rain make, what types of weather are there, etc. to have students think about weather and rain and how we could mimic the sound of rain with our bodies. Some groups also took the rain chant and used body percussions to add to it which I thought was great. My group did a cross-curricular unit using the rain chant and how we could make this tie into many aspects of the curriculum. Art and music by making a rain stick which then the students could use during the rain chant. Language arts by reading the book “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and sing the song that goes along with that. Science by looking at the types of rain and making a tornado in a jar which is super fun! I found this to be really helpful because I find that while I will be teaching it is very likely that I will have a music specialist so I won’t be teaching actual music but I would like to incorporate music into my other lessons to make learning more engaging and fun. I still remember a song I learned in grade 7 about how to find the area, diameter, circumference, etc. of a circle and still helps me today, so I think if I can incorporate music into my lessons it can help some students remember concepts.

I found this also helped because I have an idea of what is expected and how to make a music lesson plan that we have coming up. I think the actual one will be better because it will only be 4 of us instead of 7 so we will be able to have more time to teach. You said in class that you have a song for me to take to Sweden so I would love to get that from you!

Week 7 Blog

This week I will be starting to learn my song ‘Stand by Me’ by Ben E. King. Taking the notes given to me after my music midterm, I will be really focusing on my strumming and using wrist action rather than my whole right hand. I was really content with the marks and feedback I was given because I worked hard on practicing and my question was answered about learning to sing-a-long with the strumming. However, I will not start singing with the music until I am confident with the tune and the strumming. I will be focusing on this week the strumming pattern and switching between chords quickly without disrupting the rhythm while focusing on using more wrist action when strumming.

Music Midterm

 

For my music midterm I learned four chords C, Am, F and G7 which are the four chords used in my final song “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. I was practicing each chord and switching in the order of the chords that go in the song to get better practice. The chords in the song go C, Am, F and then G7 then finally back to C. I still need to work on the perfect pitch for G7 but I will continue to work on this. I also have been working on tuning my ukulele by myself using a tuning app on my phone. I have found this very helpful as it goes out of tune very quickly so this is actually something that I will be able to use in my own class. I have found that practicing every day for 10 minutes has really helped me and as I don’t think I’m perfect at it yet, I do find that for only playing the instrument for only 6 weeks I have gotten quite good. I have started practicing the strumming pattern and I have found this is the hardest part to learn and keep an even beat so I was hoping after watching my video you could give me some pointers on my strumming pattern. The strumming pattern in the song goes down down up up down up. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing the ukulele and have actually found that it has relaxed me in times of stress and grief. I felt where I put my music abilities for the midterm was realistic and I was able to meet them. As I now continue onto working on my final song and putting the chords and strumming pattern together I was wondering if you could give me any tips on how to sing and play at the same time? I have tried but I can’t seem to get my timing right.  

Here is the link to my video on Youtube