Today, I went and explored the same website as last week, Piano Lessons On the Web. I found the website to be extremely helpful when it came to giving pointers and tips to succeeding at playing the piano. I backtracked to a blog post made in March of this year, “Get Better Results on Piano With ‘The Problem List’”. This tool is a specific tool that is very positive and has great benefits to help you get over some stuck places or areas in your playing that you are perhaps not correcting in your practicing and playing.
This time, I am going to make a list of the areas that cause issues in my playing and keep me from growing. So, while it may sound like I am focusing on the problems only, I am doing so because I am going to be turning them into positives and how pulling out the problem areas can turn them into successful ones (Wurm).
To start…have some way to start making a list. It can be really helpful to have some paper and a pencil at your keyboard so you can keep track of it when you practice. Digital notes in your phone or tablet work great too…just have them accessible when you practice so you can keep track of your list.
Things that you want to look for in your playing and include on your list are:
To answer these questions I answered:
Recognizing these mistakes and problems can be beneficial for your learning:
Following this is a video on more information about the problem list.
This class has really taught me how to get better at my procrastination. This week I played and I played and I played. It was amazing. I found a really cool blog! It's called Piano Lessons on the Web. It has all sorts of neat pages and you can even purchase courses. I went through the blog and there are posts going all the way back to 2014. There's also SO many categories of different things you can learn within the blogs that I am not even going to try to count them. It has a very pleasing aesthetic of black, white and gold. The mission of the website is to create more piano players around the world even if they cannot afford expensive piano lessons. He also posted videos of him playing in recitals from his final year of schooling. After graduating he had a hard time finding students and turned to Youtube to cover piano instruction videos.
“LessonsOnTheWeb was originally created as a way for me to help people all around the world achieve their dream of playing piano and music. I have been playing piano for over 22 years, have a degree in music and teach dozens of students locally.”
With this newfound blog I started exploring skills that I needed to improve on. The blog I studied was This Piano Warm Up Routine Delivers Big Results. Did you know as a pianist you are also an athlete? I did not know this and as a first sentence to a blog I am officially curious to know more about what I am about to learn! This week I wanted to earn a good warmup as I have noticed some serious tension and cramping in my fingers. The first thing I did was practice a scale. His 2nd step is to use a metronome but I definitely don’t own one of those. The 3rd step was sight reading. Reading new music to warm up my brain and keep me focused/alert. The 4th step was to begin practicing using both hands, starting off slow, making sure to keep proper form and flow. The main goal of this step is to practice accuracy, not wanting to hit any extra notes while playing. Last but not least is step 5 and that was finger exercises.This step will increase your speed, knowledge of the keyboard and accuracy. He included a video from his Youtube Channel on how to add to this routine and change things up every once and awhile
This concluded the warm up routine! I had finished it! It’s great to be challenged but also have fun with it.
This week has already been busy and I am writing this on a Monday morning. Halloween is Saturday and every class has something new to learn and work on. If I am going to be honest I haven't had much time to practice my piano skills. I have gone on the piano maybe once or twice for 10 minutes each during the week. I am finding it so hard to prioritize certain assignments that I am scrambling last minute to complete them and then the idea of practicing the piano just doesn't amuse me as much. This week I am going to step up my practice time and continue to practice my end goal. I have been using the apps every time I do have the chance to crawl onto the piano and they really have helped me learn new skills. I can’t be anymore grateful for technology and how it's helped me learn new skills and new things about myself. This may be a learning project on learning piano but I have also been learning something new about myself as well. Fingers crossed I can finish this goal strong!
Today I tried out another new app, this one is called Piano 3D! I was excited to try this one because it has some good reviews on the app store. I have also gotten bored and unmotivated to watch anymore Youtube videos on how to play piano. The app itself is really easy to navigate and it has a very pleasing look to it. You can choose your type of piano that you want to play, you have the option of White Grand piano, gold grand piano and mechanical upright piano. They also give you a brief tour before to show you how to use it. I used this app while working at the piano, they have an in-app feature where you can play on the screen but it's quite small and not very useful for practicing when you could be using a real piano. I found the app to be short and simple, offering a couple songs to practice while getting used to the keys and music sheet. The app does have a premium version for 7 day free trial and after that it is $76.99 a year to play. It unlocks 3000+ songs to learn and play, unlocks all instruments, unlocks song creator, import any song, and the ability to connect your piano.
This app really helped me learn how to play in a more fast paced way, slowly allowing me to adjust how fast I can move my fingers for the piano keys and how to better recognize where they need to go. I recommend this app to anyone who wants to play piano and learn in a fun environment!
Flipgrid is the tool/app I chose to explore, it is a video discussion app, where students can post their feedback to a particular topic set up by the instructor. I am going to use this app to track my progress over the next couple weeks. In order for me to make my own room I signed up for an educator level. It was free and was super simple to set up, all I had to provide was an email! After opening the app it would only let me enter a join code, so I went into settings (the three dots in top right corner) and opened the Educator Dashboard. It then took me to a website where I could add a topic, I clicked Add a Topic and it took me to a new page where I entered a title and added a “discussion question”. You can set the max amount of time a video can be from 15 seconds to 10 minutes. After setting the time you scroll down to see access control, where you can set it as private or public and you can add all your students emails or usernames so only they have access. Then you hit create! In order to get the join code for the app, click on the topic you just made and you will be able to see all the posts and located at the top is the join code. If using it in the classroom, give students the join code and when they join it will ask for their username or email that you saved in the system. Now going back to the app you enter the join code and you can begin posting your videos! You can edit the videos to have effects and if you mess up you can retake the video! At the top right corner there is a timer that shows you how much time you have left in your discussion. They provide you with steps when going through the video process;
I absolutely love this app! I find it so easy to use and it has really great features, it made filming my progress video even easier! Applying this to a classroom makes the student become more independent, learning from their peers. Here are some ways to apply FlipGrid to the SAMR model:
Week 4, how is it already week 4?! This week has definitely been challenging for me, I have been in an unmotivated slump and have been doing the bare minimum of completing my assignments. COVID-19 has really put a wedge between my life and I am still trying to adapt to online learning. This week I went back to basics for learning the piano, I decided to try out a new app named flowkey, it’s been a really good app so far and has brought me back to learning how to play with both hands beginner style. Without having to worry about trying to play a song, it’s really helped me grasp the concepts behind piano and how to improve my skills. The app has so many features and it's FREE. They do have a premium version of the app and it’s $175 a year to subscribe. If I was going to be playing piano the rest of my life I definitely would pay for the full service. As you begin one of the courses it asks to connect to your microphone and hears for when you play a certain key on the piano. As you progress through the course they teach you new skills and make you practice moving your hands in different directions at the same time. They slowly go through one hand at a time and eventually make you do both hands at the same time. With this new app in my learning project I can definitely see myself prospering and meeting my goal!
It’s been a pretty busy week/weekend so I haven't had much time to practice the new song. It is still a challenge to remember what note is where and how to use both hands at the same time. I have just been fiddling around with “All of Me” by John Legend at the moment and have pretty much got it down. I would like to try playing it without the labelled keys but I don’t want to have to take all the labels off and re label them later when I start practicing “Lean on Me” again. I can remember a few notes to “Lean on Me” without watching the videos but it’s definitely not fluent quite yet for myself. I can only keep trying and hope to succeed at this goal!
Here's a video of me playing “All of Me”.
I have officially started playing around with the piano and the beginning of “Lean on Me”. After watching videos teaching me how to play each note, I realized that this song may be quite difficult, but that will not stop me from learning it. The hardest part at the moment is remembering where my hands are sitting on the keys and how to move them to new notes without looking. It is also quite difficult to keep track of both hands and where each key is. It is definitely a challenge. I continue to practice every day for up to 30 minutes, sometimes longer. I am really hoping to finish this challenge successfully.
I have chosen to learn how to play the piano, it has always been a hobby that I have wanted to do and learn. Today I picked up an old used piano and set it up at my place. I then went on youtube and learned how/where to label the keys. I have previously fooled around on my friend’s old piano and know how to play the intro to “All of Me” by John Legend. I also played the flute for about 6 years in junior/high school. This made the key labelling easier, knowing the letters the scale went to. I have yet to look at sheet music and try to remember how to read the notes. My end goal of this learning project is to be able to play Lean on Me by Bill Withers. My plan is to: