My project is to get back into playing Guitar again so that I can join the worship team at Church later in the year, and so I can work towards writing a song.
Why the Guitar?
I have found lately that I have not made the time to play since I stoppped doing lessons two years ago, and it's something I miss and feel like I need to get into the habit of again so that I can maintain the skills that I already have, and develop and learn more about chords, songs, and music.
Goals & Outcomes
Writing a song has always been something I've wanted to do, and is a goal that I made at the beginning of the year. I am hoping that as I get back into doing regular devotions this year I can write a song as an overflow of what I've learnt, what God's taught me, or just as a reflection on life.
I would also love to join the worship team at church, but I don't feel ready yet, and practicing reguarly will help prepare me for this.
The hardest part will be finding the time each day, but I know that making this my project and having a goal will help motivate me.
What will be the Outcome?
Reflect, Imagine, Focus
With getting back into playing Guitar again I can see myself growing in my passion for music, and fufiling my desire to become a better musician.
I would love to be able to feel confident in the chords and songs I'm playing because of the practice and extra time I've spent playing the Guitar.
I know that writing a song could be quite challenging for me, as I feel like I don't have a very big vocabulary, and struggle a little bit more with creative writing. However, I know when I do eventually finish one, whether it's in a month, or 6 months, that I will feel satisfied in what I've attempted.
At the end of this project I want to have developed good habits in practicing Guitar reguarly again.
'I See Fire' Tutorial
Knowledge Phase: 'I See Fire' Tutorial
'I See Fire' YouTube Tutorial by Gareth Evans.
To help me learn and understand the 'I See Fire' Tab on Ultimate Guitar I decided to look up how to play it on YouTube, because I was really struggling to learn it by just reading it (especially because I've forgotten a lot of what I learnt about Tabs).
What I learnt & how I can relate it to my practice:
- When reading a tab, to experiment what chord formation my fingers should be in. Before listening to the Tutorial I was trying to play the tab without having my fingers based on a chord, and this was making it extremely difficult. Watching the Tutorial showed me how to have my fingers, and reminded me that tabs are often based on chords. This will not only be useful for this song, but any others songs involving tabs that I might want to learn.
- That 'p' on tabs means: Pull off. This is something I had previously known but had forgotten. When I was first reading the tab I had no idea what it meant until he mentioned it. This will help me when reading the riff for I see fire, and tabs for other songs.
- Practice makes perfect. There is no way that I am going to be able to pick up the riff quickly, and Gareth in the tutorial must have spent a lot of time practicing to be able to play it so well. I am going to have to put the time and effort in to be able to play it as well as he does (or close enough!).
Quote: When words fail, Music speaks.
I used two different reflection models throughout my reflection project. I thought it would be useful to compare the two so that I can get an idea of what one works for me, and what will direct me towards in-depth and insightful reflections.
Gibbs Reflection Model
AJ Burton's Reflection Model
- They are both a clear process - from Description, to feelings, to evaluating to an action plan.
- They are both based on similar concepts and have similar questions.
- Burton's model is less in depth, and would be only be good if I had a short period of time to write up a reflection.
- Burton's you have to encorporate your feelings into the overall reflection because there is not specific section for writing about how you felt.
- The Gibbs reflection has more steps in it, forcing you to search deeper during your reflection and encourages you to be more detailed.
The Gibbs Reflection Model is definately still my preference at the moment. I feel like Burton's model doesn't force me to go in depth enough and I tend to be more vague. Whereas the Gibbs model really makes me question why I think certain things in my reflection, it leaves me searching for more answers and gets me to press deeper than what I can just see on the surface. I know I will get a lot more meaning and will learn a lot more from doing a Gibbs reflection. However it is more time consuming, and when I was doing my reflection project I have realised that I could have gone in depth slightly more than what I did. It mainly came down to timing though, and allowing myself enough time to do a thorough reflection. I think if I was time pressured Burton's would be better, but only as a second option.
Skill: Knowledge & Ability to learn
- To have a better knowledge and understanding of some of the harder chords, and what chords sound best together.
- Memorize 4 songs.
- Get quicker and better at reading Tabs.
I will develop my knowledge of chords and songs by practicing daily over the next two weeks. It will be important when I am choosing songs that there are a range of different difficulties as this will help me to learn new chords, while also challenging me to remember hard songs as well as easy ones.
By the end of two weeks (28th Feb - 13th Mar) I would like to have memorised 4 songs (one that has tabs) and to have learnt 4 new chords.
- To recognise why I need to practice.
- To play not because I have the time, but because I need to.
Lack of dedication has been one of the reasons I haven't played Guitar reguarly in a while. Throughout this project I need to remain committed to practicing daily, and also have the help of family and friends to keep me accountable. I am going to ask my Mum, and one friend to help keep me accountable.
By the end of two weeks I am wanting to see improvement in how I play and practice, and to also notice the importance of setting regular time aside to practice. I will know that my dedication to practicing has improved when I want to continue playing reguarly even after the project is completed.
Skill: Creative Thinking
- To start drafting my first song.
By looking at chord charts and chord combinations in songs that I play I am hoping to pick up some ideas to incorporate into my own song. If there are ever any lyrics or sentences that come to mind I will write them down, and then also set aside 2-4 hours over the next 2 weeks to brainstorm ideas for a song. This will involve me recording how long I spend brainstorming and keeping an accurate log so that I know whether I have achieved my goal time.
I will know I have been able to think creatively when I have recorded chord ideas and lyric ideas at the end of two weeks.
(For a more detailed plan, see the file attached below.)
On the 6th March I edited my Action plan to make it more achieveable. The goals that I had written down I was struggling with, so after reflecting for a few days I came to the conclusion that adjusting my goals would make my project more manageable - especially considering that I found I would often be short of time to practice.
I have attached the edited Action Plan below, and all changes are highlighted in Red.
Knowledge Phase: Research
When doing some Research about how to practice, I came across two articles in particular that I learnt something from - and something different in each one.
(The article is are attached below.)
Article 1: Practice Mythbusters
- Practice Myth #4: If you can play a difficult passage perfectly at a slow tempo, you’ll be able to play it perfectly up to speed. This myth is really relevant to me learning the 'I See Fire' tab on the Guitar, and reinforces that I need to practice playing it fast so that I can actually play it fast. I have just been going over it slowly before now, as I'm still trying to fully grasp it. But I am nearly at the stage now where I can start practicing it at it's actual pace, and reading this article made me realise that changing from playing the tab slow to playing it fast might be a bit harder than what I had initially thought. I also learnt to "put down your instrument and sing through your music with the metronome. You’ll be surprised how much this improves your rhythm and phrasing". I have never heard of doing this before and I think I'll try doing this next time and see how it effects my practicing and my overall learning.
- The importance of practicing at appropriate times. The student in the article was starting his practice at 1am in the morning, and practicing for hours, however he was still not improving, and instead doing worse in his performances. This was because he was lacking in sleep and this was effecting how much he actually remembered and learnt from practice. This highlighted to me the importance of sleep and that everyone needs a balance of sleep and practice for practices to be useful and worthwhile. I need to make sure I keep this balance, and not sacrifice sleep because of practice.
- Practicing more (or for long hours) doesn't mean you instantly improve. Trying to cram in your practice won't give you better results - as this student found out the hard way. This article is suggesting that students practice a little bit each day over a longer period of time to have better lasting results. I have noticed the improvement because of the practice that I do each day, and I am glad that I am practicing the right way.
Overall I found this article very useful, especially because of how applicable it is to my current situation. I have often found myself practicing late at night or in times when I'm tired and I now know that I should probably re-look at these times and find other periods in the day that will work better - which will hopefully give me a better outcome.
I am thankful to have had the advice and direction from this article to help me practice better, especially because I am trying to get as much out of my practice times as I can, and it not only offers advice but also plenty of little tips that I can benefit from. I feel this article will really help me make the most of my practice times and I am looking forward to seeing an improvement in my practices this week!
Goals for the Future
Goals for the future:
- Continue to Play 2-3 times a week! Music is something I love, and the Guitar is a beautiful instrument which I love even more.
- I have been blessed with the gift to play and I should make the most of this.
- This will also mean I have to keep on top of my Time Management and choose to make time to play instead of going on facebook or finding other distractions.
- Today Peter asked if I wanted to play in the worship team in two weeks for the Laidlaw Residents. I agreed to do this as it's so that will keep me playing over the next few weeks and will help me get used to playing in a band again!
- Be more confident!
- Being confident is something I really struggle with when it comes to music and the Guitar. I often shy away from performing in front of people mainly because I find myself comparing my Guitar playing to everyone else who is better than me which makes me think I'm not good enough. I know that practicing more will increase my confidence, and learning the 'I See Fire' song definately boosted my confidence heaps! I need to be more confident and be thankful for the gift God has given me.
Day One - 28th February
Reflection using 'Gibbs' model of Reflection'.
Day One of my project I sat down and decided to start playing songs that came to mind. I used my laptop and the website 'Ultimate Guitar' to look up songs that I wanted to play, and ended up playing for a total of 45 minutes. Songs I played included: Lead me to the Cross, Good life, Say something, Christ is enough, Beneath the waters, Your love never fails, and Man of sorrows. I only stuck to songs I knew I could play, but when I was researching songs I did come across a few that I could start learning, and some of which are a bit more challenging.
At first I couldn't be bothered sitting down and playing Guitar - my day had been busy and the only free time I had was late at night, but I knew I needed to and I'm so glad that I did. Afterwards I felt refreshed, mentally and spiritually, and it felt so amazing to finally get the chance to play again. I didn't realise how much I was missing it, and it reminded me of my love for the instrument and how I can just take my mind off life and let the music carry me. Because it was late at night, I was quite tired so I didn't attempt too many hard songs because I was more in the mood to wind down. I loved being able to sing praises to God, using his gifts and talents he's given me , and to honour him with them. I feel so glad that I chose this as my project and now I'm even more excited to get back to playing my Guitar again.
Looking back, the session went really well because I got the chance to play songs that I haven't played for a while, as well as a few new songs that were easy enough to pick up. However, next time I think it will be beneficial to spend time beforehand researching and printing off songs.
When I was practicing I found that looking for songs took up quite a lot of time. To fix this problem I think it would be a good idea to start printing and collecting songs that I enjoy playing, and creating a folder of music for the times when I just want to sit down and play. Next time I would also plan my time better, as this time I left it until late at night and it meant I had to play quietly. This will involve me writing in my diary a time each day that I will set aside to play.
Both of these problems came down to Time Management. Because of my busy day and busy week I hadn't thought enough about when I was going to fit time in to play my Guitar. This led to me being disorganised and practicing at an inconvenient time. To work on this I need to be more concious of my busyness and write times in my diary of when I should practice, and stick to them. Then I know that it won't be left until the end of the day.
In conclusion I have learnt that stepping back and reflecting on the situation really highlighted my lack of time management skills in relation to setting time aside to practice. If I am going to make it a goal to practice every day then I need to write down a specific time each day otherwise I'll forget. I wasn't able to start any challenging songs, which hopefully I will get to do next time.
- Next time I will have a folder set up of songs that I enjoy playing/want to learn. I will do this by printing off songs after ever session and start compiling them in a folder.
- I will also start planning practice times by writing them in my diary so that I have a set time every day and so I don't leave it until it gets too late in the evening.
Day Two - 3rd March
Today I practiced the Guitar for 40 minutes. Before I started, I gathered some songs that I was wanting to play and learn and compiled a small file for me to use (an idea I had from my last reflection). From these songs I picked out 4 songs to play, two that were more challenging, and two that were a bit easier. I managed to get through only 3 of the songs, and it was still a bit rushed. I spent the longest amount of time learning the riff for 'I See Fire' by Ed Sheeran, but I still have a lot more to learn. To help me learn this riff I used a YouTube video that I have attached to the page and used as a part of my 'Knowledge Phase'.
I was quite stressed tonight as I had a lot to get done and not enough time, so this led to my practice being rushed which I was disappointed in. However I am really excited that I have chosen 'I See Fire' to learn, and think I'll really enjoy this.
I don't feel like my practice went as well as I had hoped. Although I was more organised with my songs, and I had written down in my diary what time I was going to practice, I was still time pressured. I also find that when I have a lot of other things on my mind I don't enjoy it as much. However, as I step back I realise that practice isn't always going to be easy, and part of developing my 'Dedication' skill, I need to practice whether I feel like it or not.
Time Management is still an issue I'm struggling with, unexpected events came up that I hadn't scheduled to be a part of my day. Because of this, and the busy week that I have coming up, I am realising that my goals aren't as manageable as what I first thought,. When I was talking to my Mentor Sarah about this at lunch, she mentioned that I should maybe re-look at my goals and make them more reasonable now that I've had a feel for what the next two weeks are going to be like. After looking at my Action Plan, I know I need to edit some of my goals, and maybe also shorten my practice time to half an hour - only picking out 1 or 2 songs to play, instead of 4.
Gathering a folder of songs was part of my Action Plan from Friday, and I have been able to do this. I did notice that because of this, I could use my practice time more efficiently which was a really positive outcome!
- To take on the advice from Sarah and edit my goals and Action Phase to make them more manageable, and reasonable for these two weeks, and also make them slightly more specifc.
Day Three - 4th March
Today, I had limited time so I decided to re-watch the 'I See Fire' Tutorial video (linked to this page under 'Knowledge Phase') to help me get a better idea of the song, and especially concentrate on how to play the tabs well. I found this video extremely useful because it gave me a better idea of how the Riff sounds broken down, and helped me understand reading the tabs off Ultimate Guitar better - reminding me of the terminology involved in reading Tabs.
I knew Tuesday would be a busy day for me, so I purposely didn't schedule in any practice time, and instead will do a longer practice tomorrow when I have a lot more spare time. I am glad that I have still managed to do some work today on my project, even if it wasn't practicing, because it will benefit me when I go to practice tomorrow. However I don't want to make this a regular habit, and realise that I need to practice reguarly to get better. If all goes to plan then hopefully today will be an exception and I'll have the time to practice every other day.
I am seeing improvement in my Time Management and I am beginning to have a better understanding of what I can handle, and how much I can fit into a day. I do need to stay organised and keep on top of my To Do lists and reflections, but hopefully the rest of this week I will have more free time to focus on these.
- Practice every day, and if I miss a day then practice then schedule a day or time to catch up.
- Re-look at my Action Phase tomorrow - as I haven't had time to do this today.
Day Four - 5th March
Today I got the opportunity to practice with my younger sister Anna for about 30 minutes. She had been learning how to play Say Something on the Keyboard, so we both played that together, and also chose a few songs from my file to also play. They were songs that we could both sing, and I got to practice some harmony's which was good too! Afterwards I sat down and re-watched the YouTube video for I See Fire, and learnt up to the first 5 minutes.
How I felt:
I really enjoyed playing alongside my sister. We don't get the opportunity to do it very often, and I know that we both thought it was a lot of fun. We both could have a good sing a long, and I was also able to practice harmony's. Practicing with Anna reminded me of the importance of playing with others, especially if I am aiming towards being on the worship team. It helped a lot with my timing, and showed me that that is something I need to remember to work on.
Analysis & Conclusion:
I am really pleased with my folder of songs that I have compiled because of what I wrote in my action plan last week. When playing with Anna I could just pull songs out that we both knew and play them, which meant we could use our time a lot more efficiently.
The learning of the 'I See Fire' riff went really well today. I found that breaking it down into managable sizes and just practicing them over and over was really helpful. I feel really proud and satisfied with the progress I have made today and what I've learnt. The Tutorial video was a really effective way of helping me learn. Seeing someone demonstrate it to me worked better than reading a tab on the internet. I know that in the future if I'm ever wanting to learn a tab or riff again, that YouTube will be my most useful tool.
- It's going to be important that I keep the practice up, which means practicing Thursday and Friday and also one day on the weekend. After putting in all this effort I don't want to be forgetting what I've taught myself.
- I would also like to plan another time with my sister where we can play together so that I can practice my timing again.
My sister and I practicing tonight:
Day Five - 6th March
I found myself short of time today, so I decided to do some more research for my Knowledge Phase and try find some articles that will help me with my practicing, and in my method and planning of practices. I used the Laidlaw Library EBSCO Database and came across plenty of good articles with one in particular standing out. I will use this for my Knowledge Phase, and write up and reflect on what I have learnt and what can be applied from it.
I feel a little bit disappointed that I didn't get a chance to practice again, but busy days happen and I think I need to learn to be open minded and just be committed to practicing the following day instead - it'll be a good test to see how much I remember from the previous day too!
Because I missed practice today I am going to plan in a practice in the weekend instead to make up for this. I think this is a good way of approaching my missed practice times, especially if it's simply because I run out of time. If I re-schedule it then at least I am still getting the practice in, and not missing out all together. It also means I don't have to be so hard on myself every time I miss a day, and instead of being negative and disappointed I can just make sure I catch up when I am less stressed and have more time.
-Reschedule my missed practice to Sunday, and also make my practice tomorrow slightly longer so I can catch up on the missed time. This is part of me making sure I manage my time, but also staying positive about my practices if I miss them by knowing I simply have to re-schedule it (making sure I actually DO the practice this time).
- Write up Knowledge Phase Research about the aricle that I found, as I didn't have time to do this today. Write about what I learnt and how I can apply it to my practices.
Day Six - 7th March
Before starting my practice of 'I See Fire' I decided to play a couple of worship songs just for enjoyment. During this time I played Sinking Deep by Hillsong Young & Free, and Jesus Friend of Sinners By Casting Crowns (which I had to transpose to an easier key for me to sing along to). After this I listened to the song 'I See Fire', paying special attention to the riff, and then I also re-watched parts of the YouTube tutorial on how to play it. I used the advice I found from an article I researched in the Knowledge Phase, and hummed through the tune of the riff which gave me a better understanding of what I was trying to play, and also helped me pin point the parts that I wasn't doing quite right on the Guitar. After I got the rhythm right I just practiced it over and over and over again and aimed to get faster so that I was at the actual speed of what is played in the song.
How I felt:
Doing this section of the song intensively I could really notice the improvement, and it was the first time that I played the riff and it sounded slightly similar to the actual song. I knew I was on the right track and that I would just have to continue practicing to get it perfect. But even getting slightly close to the actual sound got me really excited and I definately felt a sense of achievement and it pushed me to want to practice even more, and to want to perfect it! I felt encouraged and motivated to keep practicing!
Analysis & Conclusion:
I recorded myself playing the riff and am hoping to see an improvement between now and when I next sit down to practice. I think this will be a really interesting way to compare what I've learnt, and to show how I've grown. It will also encourage me by showing my progress and will useful in showing others how I have improved as well. Being able to see improvement is important, and in the future I could also consider using this tool to show my improvement on another song I learn. My fingers did get quite sore today, and I did only have limited time, but I was really happy with the amount I achieved in the short time, and I have learnt and demonstrated that practice is key to mastering anything!
- From here I mainly just need to work on linking the first half and the second half together well. This will mean practicing the finger transition as this is what is slowing me down the most.
- I also want to be able to practice again soon so that I can get to the point where I can play it perfectly each time!
Day Seven - 9th March (Catch up practice time)
Sunday afternoon was my scheduled catch up time which I decided to dedicate to practicing the 'I See Fire' tabs. I originally only thought I would be practicing for 30 minutes but I ended up spending about 50 minutes. I spent this time just playing the tab over and over again, and especially repeating the parts that I was struggling with and finding difficult. I ended up being able to play the tab near perfectly, and I recorded a video of this on my laptop. I also went and showed Mum and Dad because I was just so stoked that I had finally managed to play it right! Although when I went to show them I mucked up quite a few times, but I just kept repeating it and I eventually got to the point where I played it well.
How I felt:
I felt really excited and proud at the end of my practice. I don't think I've ever actually self taught myself any tabs in songs so this is definately a huge first and something I'm proud of. I also got the chance to play through the whole song, including the tabs throughout it which really made it feel like it was all coming together!
Analysis & Conclusion:
I know that I need to keep practicing, not only to remember what I've just learnt but so I can play it more smoothly and without mucking up. I am also much more confident now that it comes to reading tabs and teaching myself. I have proved to myself that hard work pays off, and now I'm looking forward to setting myself a new challenge! I am aware that I also need to keep learning new chords as it was in my Action Plan to learn 3 new chords, so this could be my next challenge for this week.
- Continue to practice every now and then so I can make my playing of the tab slightly more fluent and smooth.
- Look for a new song for me to learn after my reflective project has finished. A song that is still slightly challenging and one that I will enjoy learning.
'I See Fire' Progress
So far in my Reflective Practice Project I have noticed an improvement in my Time Management skills, and can see the outcomes of some of my Goals.
Looking at the daily reflections I have done so far I can see that I have done a small amount of reflecting before I practice – mainly in the preparation of how I’m going to practice. I could improve on this more, and also include how life experiences are influencing my practice and reflection (e.g how I can still recall what I was told when I took Guitar Lessons.)
I have been able to take on board what I have learnt from the Journal article and the YouTube Tutorial from my Knowledge Phase and I have applied these to my practices. I am making sure that I have action plan steps at the end of each reflection which help me focus on what I can improve and what I will do to improve this for next time.
Noticing my strengths is definately something I need to focus on slightly more. Sometimes I look back and notice that my reflections focus on the negative aspects too much and I need to recognise my strengths more and how I can develop these.
For today's reflection I am going to use a different reflection model, since I haven't tried doing this yet. As a part of this I will reflect on how the new model compares to the Gibbs Model that I have been using.
I have enjoyed talking to others in my class about my project, and they have been really encouraging of me. I showed a few people the video of me playing the song I was practicing and they recognised the song which I was really encouraged by! I will upload this video to attach to my Project Page so others can see my progress. I have also had heaps of support on my Project Page and am enjoying helping others with their own project pages.
Day Eight - 11th March
Reflection using AJ Burton's Reflection Model.
Today I decided to spend half of my practice time going over 'I See Fire' Tab, playing through the whole song picking & strumming. For the second half I learnt the chord G/B in 'Lead me to the cross' and played through that song, and also attempted to learn a new chord in 'Oceans', but my fingers couldn't reach where they needed to go so I decided to not play through that song and moved onto 'Christ is enough' where the new chord was D/F#. This chord in particular was a little challenging and I will have to continue to practice it to get it right.
What? What Happened/What were the results?
I could still play the I See Fire' tab really well, infact I feel like I have improved even more compared to my last practice which made me really excited! The tab is starting to stick in my memory now. As a result of playing 'Lead me to the cross' and 'Christ is enough' I also learnt two new chords - D/F# and G/B but wasn't able to learn the third with limited time and there was no way that my fingers were going to be able to stretch across the frets that far. I also got to spend quality time connecting and worshiping God which I haven't done in a while lately - I felt especially refreshed afterwards.
So What? What do these results imply/how did I influence the outcome?
These results show my improvement and ability to pick up new chords quickly because of all the practice I have been doing. Learning new chords also brings back memories of when I took lessons, and the techniques I learnt which are still helping me today. Being able to play 'I See Fire' definately implies that hard work pays off.
I can see that I still need to work on my time management, because I left my practice until late at night again, so I didn't have as much time to practice or even research the new chords. I need to write in my diary practice times for the week like I did last week, because this worked really well - I just hadn't gotten around to writing up times yet. Being short of time influenced the outcome of playing the song 'Oceans' because I didn't have the time to look up alternative fingering for the chord.
Now What? What will I do differently next time?
- Plan my time slightly better for this week - need to write times in my diary since I haven't done that yet for this week. This will allow me to be able to practice the new songs slightly more.
- Look up the new chords before I play and search for the easiest chord diagram.
The Chords I have been learning:
12th March - Chord Challenges
Day Nine - 12th March
Ben mentioned in some feedback that I should look at reflecting before my practice, so I decided to take that on board and written down what I reflected on before Practice.
Songs I am going to practice: Your love Never Fails (to work on my timing), Oceans (New Chord) & Christ is enough (new chord), and I See Fire and Say Something (inspired by Ginny Blackmore & Barry Southgate version released on YouTube.)
When I was practicing yesterday I wasn't able to practice the A/C# chord because my fingers weren't able to stretch that far. Today I did some research and I came across a chord Diagram that showed a more simple way of playing the chord, so I am going to try this during my practice today.
The diagram/example is below:
Tonight I played 'I See Fire' twice - I could definately notice that the more I played the tab, the better I got - however I still have to keep practicing it so I can nail it completely. I still feel really proud that I can play this.
'Your Love Never Fails' - I still really need to work on the strumming and timing - only practiced this once but this could be one of my next projects because I definately was out with some of the timing.
Christ Is Enough - I practiced this song twice and there was an obvious change in how fast I could change to the new chord, repeating this song was really helpful especially being able to see myself improve.
Oceans - the new chord A/C# didn't sound right when I played it, so the picture above wasn't as useful as I thought it might be. I didn't end up playing the song because of it which I was slightly disappointed about but I just left it because I wanted to do some research first.
Say Something - I was inspired by watching the cover that Barry Southgate and Ginny Blackmore did at Parachute. This was a song that I could just play through easily and have a sing-along, although I did really enjoy figuring out the harmony.
I am really pleased that I could do a Reflection before my practice because it meant that I didn't have to waste time choosing songs.
What I felt I did well:
- I was prepared, knowing what songs I was going to play, learn and practice
- Practicing 'I See Fire' means that I'm still improving in how I play the Tab.
- I knew parts in songs that I needed to practice and specifically made an effort to play them well, or go over them.
What I will change for next time:
- Persevere more with the song Ocean (do more research on how to play this chord).
- Have less songs to practice (I have commented in a reflection last week that I chose too many songs and I've done it again. I don't need to practice more than 3 a night.)
An Overall Reflection
Overall Reflection & Evaluation of my Project:
What went well:
- Keeping on top of my reflections.
After each practice I would write bullet points in a Journal entry about my practice while it was still fresh in my mind, and then the next day I would write up my reflection and was able to look back on the night and what I did and how I felt. I am really glad that I could stay on top of my daily reflections because it meant I have less work to do at the end of my project, and also meant my reflections were accurate.
- Learning songs (especially 'I See Fire').
I am quite proud of the fact that I am to play I See Fire so that it actually sounds like the song, and the fact that I taught myself it too. I also felt like me playing through other songs in my file went really well, and I especially enjoyed singing along to some of them.
- Acting on my Action Plan after Reflections.
At the end of each reflection I made sure that I made some Action Plan steps to help me improve before my next reflection. I made sure that I actually stuck to these and I noticed huge improvements in my practice times and how I was able to use them more and more effectively.
What I found hard:
- Managing my time so I still had time to practice.
I have been really busy over the last two weeks with the start of Uni, and being involved in Childrens Church and Youth, so I had to be really concious of when I was going to find time to practice. I also had to make sure my practices weren't too late at night which did happen a couple of times. I did see an improvement in my time management, especially after reflecting and realising this was letting me down. I am now aware that I have to keep on top of this so that I can still practice during the week.
- Memorising Songs
This was one of my goals which I didn't actually get to achieve properly. I got to practice lots of songs, but because I was so concentrated on remembering 'I See Fire' I didn't really pay that much attention to learning the other songs. Learning 'I See Fire' was my main goal, so I am more pleased that I accomplished this, and less worried about memorising songs, because I can work on that throughout the rest of the term.
- My Goals - Drafting my first song
I also didn't get around to starting a draft on my first song, simply because I ran out of time. However I am going to keep this as my goal for the year, and keep working towards it. I'll probably have more of a chance in the holidays to sit down and write, but I do want to get this done by the end of the year!
What I learnt/would I change:
- I would have more bullet points or headings in my reflection.
I found that looking back at my reflections it would have made it a lot easier to read if I had highlighted key points or used more specific headings. I went back through my reflections and changed these slightly so that I could see how I was following the Gibbs model.
- I learnt that I CAN do songs on the Guitar that I think are really hard.
I just have to be willing to put time into them and be willing to practice, practice, practice! And reflect on each practice so that I can keep improving.
Overall how I felt it went:
Overall I am so pleased with how well my reflection went. Although I didn't achieve as many of my goals as I had hoped, I still achieved some and I am proud of that in itself. I don't want to focus too much on the negatives, but the Goals that I didn't achieve, I know I can work on in the next few months as I continue playing. Doing this as my project reignited the passion that I have for the Guitar as an instrument, and really made me realise how much I miss playing it! There is definately something special about entering into the world of music when you're playing - and not have to worry about anything else for that period of time apart from you and your Guitar. I am so proud that I am able to play 'I See Fire' on the Guitar! At the beginning I was really doubtful that I would even be able to learn it and now I can play it almost perfectly which is so encouraging!
In terms of the reflections and reflecting, I have learnt so much! Even just looking back at my daily reflections now and seeing how they have developed and grown deeper is really encouraging and it's so good to see my progress from the start to end. It has helped me to be more aware of reflecting, when I reflect, why I reflect and how I reflect. Even today when I was at the Gym I was thinking about my last workout and what I can improve and where, and I realised I was reflecting - exactly what I had been practicing! So I think I do it more than I realise, but I have been made concious of it now and I now have the tools to go deeper in my reflecting. It has helped me to not only look at what I might have done, but also question my motives, why I felt that way, why I might want to change something, and has helped me to understand myself and my own habits a lot better. I am pleased to say I am on my way to becoming a reflective practitioner - and this excites me!