In-depth Post #5

In-depth Post #5

Greetings! This is Grace Lee’s fifth in-depth progress report. 

Unfortunately, I faced some technical issues uploading my progress report on time. I am still not completely sure about what happened, but the post that I thought I had uploaded was not there and only the title was available on my website. This is quite upsetting for me because I usually just type in my progress report on the site itself because I don’t like to paste my work in and have to format everything all over again with the embedded youtube codes and hyperlinks. I guess I learned my lesson through this experience to always save another version of your work in case something happens. Luckily, the youtube video that was edited and uploaded before was still there and some of the videos that were filmed were still on my phone. Sorry for the late update on my in-depth post.

If you have been reading through my previous blog posts, you will notice that my progress has been getting better and better and all the challenges I faced have been resolved. I anticipated a drastic progress development for my fifth progress report because of the continual growth I had over the past few blog posts. However, I was slightly disappointed with my progress for weeks nine and ten. Although there still has been a significant amount of progress, I feel as if I could have practiced a bit more over spring break.

But on the good news, meeting my mentor has never been easier with set dates and alternate dates. When I was not able to meet my mentor due to my language challenge exam, we simply met on Monday instead, which was a set alternate date in case one of us was not able to make it to the meetings.

Before I talk about How to Have a Beautiful Mind, I wanted to address the question I received from Ms. Mulder from my last blog post. She asked, “If you play the violin, wouldn’t you know some of the information already?” There definitely are some similarities with the violin, such as the notes on the treble clef (right hand), knowing the basic rhythms and hearing the notes, but because they are both such different, unique instruments, even if I knew that the note was a C# or a G, playing the actual note on the piano would be much different than playing it on the violin. There is no “bass clef” on the violin, so learning how to read the notes on the bass clef was new to me. I also took quite a bit of time to get used to the hand motions since the violin requires a lot of wrist movement while piano requires a lot of arm movement. Even the slurred notes are played completely differently. Although the idea of trying to play the notes connected and smoothly is the same, on a piano, you would use pedals while on the violin you would change your bow movement. They are similar in the sense that they both play the same music with the same notes, but they are also completely different when you are learning how to play them. I hope that answers Ms. Mulder’s question and to anyone else who wondered about the same thing!


Here’s the video that I made from before on the six hats of parallel thinking from How to Have a Beautiful Mind by Edward de Bono.

Please watch the video while trying to guess what each coloured hats mean and read the next paragraph for an explanation!


Here are the answers!

Red hat emotion/feelings
Yellow hat discussion on benefits, values, and how something can be done
Green hat creativity & possibilities
Blue hat organization on the way of thinking
White hat information 
Black hat critical thinking & judgemental thinking


My mentor wore the black hat, which is a hat to think critically and make logical judgements, to give me feedback on how to improve my posture when I was sitting too close to the piano by saying, “I think you are sitting a bit too close”. The black hat is described as “an excellent hat and probably the most useful of all the hats” (96). I genuinely appreciate it when someone can be honest with me and tell me what I can do to improve my piano, so I am very thankful for my mentor always being open with me and trying to seek ways to improve. 

After accepting the advice and correcting my posture, I brought up a question on whether I was supposed to be looking straight at the piano or not while connecting to the idea about the posture. My mentor, Tiffany, said that once you got used to the notes and sight-reading, you do not need to look straight at the piano. Then, I wore the red and yellow hat (orange hat?) which are hats to express feelings and discuss benefits, values and how something can be done by saying, “I didn’t really look at the piano for the other songs, but this song has so many jumps from F to A.” “A very important point is that under the red hat you do not have to give any reason at all for your feeling” (94). What I said doesn’t completely fit under the red hat criteria, but I still felt that other pianists might have not found the jumps a problem and it was just my feelings which is why I gave it the red hat. 

Furthermore, to discuss alternate possibilities to make the piece sound better, my mentor wore the green hat and brought up the idea of buying pedals for my keyboard. The bass clef for “Canon in D” is mostly all slurred, meaning that the notes must flow smoothly and connected. To achieve that on a piano, you would normally use pedals, however, because I am using a keyboard I do not have the pedals nor any functions to make the notes overlap while fading. I tried looking up connectable pedals for keyboards, but I think I will consider buying them when I become more advanced and skilled in piano to the point where I absolutely need them. 

Moreover, to explain my challenges and hardships in the piece I wore the white hat which “can range from hard facts, which can be checked, to soft information like rumours and personal experience,” to provide information on the notes and the part where I face difficulties (92). My mentor also wears the white & green hat to provide me with useful information, such as practicing more technical exercises and scales and giving me alternate fingerings to move faster on the piano. Finally, to sum up, we both wore the blue hat to organize our ways of thinking while wrapping up the entire meeting!


Here’s me playing “Canon in D” 

I took my mentor’s advice and used a metronome and practiced until I was able to reach the goal of playing the piece in Larghetto. I think using the metronome helped me stay on beat throughout the whole song!

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