Going off Lesson Plans

At the beginning of this semester, my friend made a syllabus for the course of the independent learning project weeks. The only time we have followed this syllabus schedule was week one. This past week my friend challenged me to learn a song. He suggested Down on the Corner, but he also told me to have fun while learning.

I tried to learn Down on the Corner, but I struggled to understand the fingerings so I switched songs. My song choice was Amazing Grace which I found to be easy except for a repeated triplet. When my friend started to get frustrated with my lack of being able to play Down on the Corner, I decided to show him what I was more focused on and asked for assistance on the triplet. He said that the key to playing it correctly was to a strumming technique that he thought about teaching me, but he did not see us getting to it before the end of the semester.

The theme of this weeks lesson quickly became “going off lesson plans” which practically describes this semester. I have surprised myself and my friend at how quick I have picked up what he has given me to play. I have also not followed many of his instructions because another friend gets a different idea stuck in my mind. I have learned so far through the weekly lessons that learning can be fun with the right motivation, but it can also be a challenge.

I was shocked to see the syllabus during the first week of our ILP, but I quickly learned that there are many other paths that learning can take. The importance is to not become too narrow-minded. I have found out that my mind can be like the featured image during different parts of our lessons and my hours of practice. I can get focused on a narrow amount of information and freak out when someone wants me to focus on a broader picture. I can also go off topic very easily which is alright as long as the path turns back into the road eventually.

I have had a lot of fun with my ILP this week, but I also feel like a lot of it has been on a path that will not lead back to the main road for a long time. I know ILPs are created to allow students to explore, but I also feel like there needs to be a general direction toward the end goal. My end goal was to learn Amazing Grace and surprise my friend. However, I have ruined this plan, so if you have any suggestions on what song I should try to learn, I would greatly appreciate it.



  1. I like you kind of veered off of your path because I think that is truly when the most learning takes place. I know that for my students that happens a lot of the time. When we get off topic in class, I think that my students learn a lot even if it is small tidbits that have nothing to do with my class! Good luck finding a new song choice, wish I could could help you out there but I am not very musically talented.


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