In-depth Post #3

In-depth post #3

Dear readers of my in-depth blog post,

For the past two weeks, my mentor and I have only gotten the chance to meet once along with another short call to clarify some questions and further meeting times. This is an ongoing struggle that has continued since the last blog post. My mentor and I both thought that the problem was resolved. However, My mentor, Tiffany, has been very busy with debate tournaments, which unfortunately collided with my meeting schedules. It was challenging to schedule other dates where my mentor and I were able to meet and make up for the missed meeting time. To replace the cancelled meetings, I texted my mentor questions that I had on my in-depth via iMessage and tried to practice as much as I can on my own. 

In addition to solving this problem, I called my mentor on Friday to re-emphasize some united goals and sort out the meeting schedules. Luckily, we were both in agreement to meet on Monday (Family Day) instead of the usual meeting on Sunday. Moreover, I felt that the conversation I had on the phone with my mentor touched on a lot of concepts from the book, How to Have a Beautiful Mind, such as clarification and support. I had to clarify until when the tournament will continue. She responded that her debate tournaments would not be an issue starting on February 19th, 2021.

I have also talked to my mentor about how I felt as if I was not improving fast enough. I was recently very frustrated with my progress as the piano is an instrument that requires hours and hours of practicing. I felt like my hands were not cooperating with my brain and my eyes not reading the notes fast enough. After listening to my struggles with piano, “[My mentor] support[ed] the preposition from [her] own experience.” (56) According to my mentor, practicing was key to improving my in-depth skill as she has personal experiences of struggling due to lack of practicing. My mentor gave me motivation and encouraged me to try my best to practice for at least thirty minutes a day without giving up. Some advice she gave me to unify and play both hands together smoothly was to practice on separate hands first, starting with the right hand and then the left hand. She also told me to work on writing down the rhythms on the score, starting at a slower pace, try counting while playing and using a metronome. “Now that is interesting!” (49). I enjoy having a supportive mentor who has so much knowledge in my field of passion. This automatically makes whatever my mentor says about piano immensely interesting. I hope and would love to continue asking questions about the piano to make our conversations even more interesting.

Nevertheless, My mentor told me a while ago, near the beginning of my in-depth journey, that writing the finger number on each note will help me play the notes and remember which finger to play quicker. I made a discovery while playing the piano that when numbering your finger on the piano the order is 5 4 3 2 1 and 1 2 3 4 5 (See image below). The entire time of my in-depth learning I thought that the order was 1 2 3 4 5 and 1 2 3 4 5. My mentor noticed this from the photo of my score that I sent over iMessage. This comedic event made me realize the importance of clarifications and questions when you do not completely understand something and even to show that you are interested in what is being said. Something I need to remember is that “ask[ing] for clarification does not mean that [I am] stupid.” (55) .

To elaborate on my progress, I have been working on some scales, techniques and chords for the C major.

Practicing scales, techniques and chords for the C major (Click to download video!)

I have learned that the sharps are added in the order of F, C, G, D, A, E, B and these sharps indicate the music’s patterns such as major chords and minor chords. To put it in simpler words, there are two main types of music: major and minor. Major chords tend to sound brighter and happier and minor chords tend to sound dark and gloomy. This is caused by the number of steps within the notes. I will explain this concept in more detail in the next blog post, but just remember, major sounds happy and minor sounds sad.

Furthermore, I also played the Minuet in G by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Short clip of the first two bars (Click to download video!)

I am only able to upload videos in under a minute due to storage issues, however, this will be fixed by the next blog post as I will organize all of my photos and files! Thank you for reading & listening! I hope to see you in the next blog post 🙂