Well, this semester has definitely been an adventure. I have always thought about learning how to play the guitar, but I have always found an excuse not to learn it. My favorite excuses are: I don’t have time, I don’t know anyone to teach me, and “It is the hardest instrument I have ever tried to play” said my musically inclined brother. This class has definitely helped me find the time and a teacher.
This project has taught me many things along with playing the guitar. The first thing it taught me is learning guitar is not as hard as my brother makes it sound. The rest of the things I have learned are about myself and my friends. Throughout this semester, I have overcome many battles of “I don’t want to do this right now” and “I’ll do it later.” One of my favorite procrastination methods was learning how to play another song on the guitar because it was productive yet not what I should be doing at the time. This has taught me that I will always have problems with time management, but everything will work out eventually. As for my friends, I never would have had the chance to see just how encouraging they are most days. When I thought I was not doing well, they would reassure me that I might sound bad, but I was making progress.
I have also learned that I despise the song Manamanah even though it might be one of the next songs I try to learn because it looks easy. At the beginning of this project, I never would have dreamt of learning more than one song. Manamanah was my motivation to keep trying because it was used as a constant threat. Now, I can play the beginnings of ten different songs (nine from memory), and I can play two full songs from memory. The two songs I can play are Amazing Grace and Yankee Doodle. The first song was requested by my best friend, and the second song was requested by my fifth-grade brother. These songs can be seen in the videos at the end of this post.
My two favorite parts of this project were attempting to do something that I have wanted to do for a while and hanging out with friends while doing it. One of my friends was my teacher, and there was normally at least one other friend present when we would meet for lessons. Some of these lessons got off topic, but they always taught me something in the end.
The two biggest takeaways I have from this project are: find something you want to do and people you want to do it with because the only thing better than doing something fun is finding a group of friends to do it with you; never stop learning. I can admit that some days were harder than others to find the motivation to continue with my ILP. However, with a little help from friends, learning became fun again. I will continue to advance my skills as a guitar player because nothing that I play will be perfect, and there are so many more songs to learn. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.
Because I am going into the education field, I will try to find different ways to incorporate ILPs into my classroom. The only one I can think of right now is a science fair where every student does a project that interests them. I would allow students to do their projects in groups because nothing beats doing fun things with friends, but I would ensure that every student participated in one fashion or another. In the math domain, I do not have any solid ideas of how I would incorporate ILPs into a middle school classroom, but I will try my best to think of something. Please also share your ideas on this topic in the comments section.
Here are the links to the videos of my attempts at both songs. They are still needing some work, but they are better than what I thought I would be at the end of this project.