Since the last post, I have been continuing to work on improving my ability to play songs from beginning to end. I’ve been practicing about 5 different songs and slowly my skills have been improving. A couple of the songs I am now able to easily play without any errors and maybe in the future I may be able to play them without having to rely on the sheet music. I’ve also noticed that over the past couple of weeks, it’s usually the same parts of each song that I trip up on. For example, in one song the bass notes jump from an F to an Am which is quite a large gap. In order to get better at this part, I have been practicing the bass notes separately from the keyboard, which has definitely been helping. Overall, these past few weeks have been about improving the skills that I have already learned from earlier in the project, and this will likely continue to be my focus for the rest of the project.
I have continued to work on the below songs and a few other song.
How to Have a Beautiful Mind:
Concepts and Alternatives
Over the past few weeks, one of the main concepts that I have been working on is practicing, specifically the skills I’ve already learned from playing the accordion. Within this concept falls getting better at songs that I’ve previously learned, improving my ability to move from one note to the next, and working on my timing when pushing and pulling the bellows so that I have enough air in them at all times. Another concept that I have been also working on is learning to read music better which involves memorizing notes, learning what all the different symbols used in music mean, and also being able to transfer the notes on the sheet music into actual notes on the accordion and play the song.
Some examples of alternatives that mentor has offered me throughout the duration of this project are giving me different options of what song to learn next, showing me the different ways that a song can be learned and then giving me the opportunity to choose which one works best for me, as well as teaching me different ways to write out music for songs. The options that my mentor has given me have allowed me the chance to learn to play the accordion in a way that works best for me. Personally, I prefer very hands-on learning and rather than going through each skill and step with me, my mentor taught me the different skills and tools that I needed to play the accordion, and then let me learn on my own (with some assistance when needed).
Other mentors may have been able to offer me some different alternatives, such as playing different songs as my mentor has a limited amount of sheet music to choose from, or maybe using a different type of accordion to play with. A different mentor might have also offered a different style of teaching. For example, my mentor usually shows me how to play a song, then lets me learn it while she helps me along, and then gives me time to practice on my own. A lot of the time my mentoring sessions don’t last that long anymore as my mentor gives me lots of time to practice by myself which has been really helpful for me as it’s allowed me to make mistakes and then find a way to solve them on my own. Other mentors may have used a more structured way of teaching that involved have specific lessons for each session, which could’ve also been a good way of teaching the accordion.
For my learning center, I am planning to film a couple video clips of me playing different songs. I also will likely include a section that shows all the different notes and keys that are commonly used for songs as well as how the bellows are pulled and pushed in order to create sound. For the Y block that I will be attending, I’ll share highlights, challenges and nuggets of wisdom from my in-depth project, and possibly bring in my accordion to play a short song to demonstrate my learning. Overall, I’m excited for In-depth Night and for the chance to share the knowledge that I have gained from my project.