Independent-Learning Project Overview


Photo CC-By Carla Arena

Most of us have been told that learning is a life-long process. Because of this, learning should be fun and not something people are forced to do. I usually enjoy learning, but it is more at my own pace rather than teacher driven. I believe this individual-learning project will help bring the fun back into learning.

So far, I have too many ideas of what I want to capture in my “Learning Box.” I have always wanted to learn another instrument. I already know the oboe, flute, and piano. I would not consider myself an expert performer with these instruments, but I have already learned them and enjoy playing them. Two of my ideas for my individual-learning project include learning how to play the violin and the guitar. I have always wanted to learn how to play these instruments, but I have never had time to teach myself or to find a teacher. I have already found a teacher for both of these instruments if this is the path I so chose to take. I believe I will enjoy either of these sessions because the teachers I have found for these instruments are friends that I do not get to see often.

Another idea for my individual-learning project is something I want to enhance in my “Learning Box.” It is embroidery. My mom used to embroider when I was younger. After having six children, she claims she cannot find enough time in the day to continue doing it, but she said she would teach me. However, last semester I had a class where embroidery was taught, so I beat my mom and taught myself. I enjoy doing it, but it takes me a long time to complete a project so I would like to improve this skill. I would also enjoy doing it more often so I can reteach my mom.

I feel that all of these will help me in the future. I can use instruments in my classroom to create songs to help my students remember information. The instruments could also be used in other learning methods, such as building an instrument or calculating tension on the strings. I can also find a creative way to make embroidery fit in with math or science. I could have students embroider different shapes or figure out the amount of string needed to embroider a specific pattern. In science, I could have students creating different methods to die the string or cloth they are going to embroider.



  1. You have some great ideas for your learning project! I would have never thought that there was a way to bring embroidery into a math lesson, yet here you thought of a way! Which ever one you decide to choose, I’m sure it will be greatly used inside your classroom.


    1. One thing I have learned in college is to become creative because if you do something just right it will work as planned, but if you do it differently you will get some entertaining results.


  2. I come from a very musical family, so I think that learning a new instrument sounds like it would be a lot of fun! It would also be a good way to bond with your friends if they teach you! I also like the idea of learning embroidery. This would be something that you would be able to take with you throughout your life and be able to do all sorts of projects! Good luck on making a decision on your learning project!


    1. Music is a great way to connect with people. Most of my family is also musically inclined, but I do not know if anyone can play a string instrument very well. This was one reason why I wanted to try.


  3. I like the instrument idea a lot!! I am a big big fan of using songs to remember things in school! Maybe try making up your own song??


    1. Songs are a great way to remember things. Making up my own song is something I have never thought about. It sounds like a great idea that I might try. Thanks for the advice.


  4. Barbara,
    Your ideas sound so fun! I don’t know how to play any instruments, unfortunately, and I’m amazed that you can play so many! Learning another one would be awesome. I think embroidery sounds like a really cool idea!! I have always wanted to learn how to embroider and the projects are so awesome in the end! Good luck deciding, I can’t wait to read more!


    1. Thanks for the reassurance. Although I can play three instruments already, I am extremely rusty. I also do not know how to incorporate them into my classroom which is why I want to learn guitar or violin. Embroidery is also a lot of fun and can be used in many situations. This is a hard choice.


  5. Two very different paths, but isn’t it crazy what comes to mind when we have the freedom to choose what we learn? I personally, don’t play any instruments, but I would love to learn the violin, and I think that it is a beautiful instrument. I do, however, know how to embroider, and it is a limited skill in life. I am excited to see what you decide!


    1. I agree that freedom to choose brings about crazy ideas. Embroidery is very relaxing and the violin is a gorgeous instrument with a pretty sound if played correctly. However, I ended up choosing the guitar because I had a friend who was willing to teach me.


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