Hello everyone,

I wanted to start of this blog with acknowledging the fact that according to my learning plan, this blog is a few days late. The reason for that is because I wanted to allow extra time to practice some of the things that was corrected on Thursday class during our learning practice time. Over the last past weeks I have had the opportunity to learn to read music, but also play the xylophone and then most recently sing and play. I am still working on the coordination of doing both singing and playing an instrument at the same time, but I can say that there is definitely a noticeable progression from the first time I played. When starting the xylophone I followed youtube tutorials and now I am doing it with no other resources and also I am singing while playing. Although I do believe there is room for improvement specifically in terms of singing and playing, I believe that the transitions between notes is much smoother than before (see video in blog 2). The following video (attached at the bottom of this blog post) demonstrates 2 songs (Hot Cross Buns, Amazing Grace and Amazing Grace while singing) that I have accomplished for midterm. This was my goal and therefore I am happy that my continuous practice has helped contribute to that. I also modified my learning plan according to my progression and started to try to sing and play Amazing Grace earlier than planned on my learning plan. Therefore this is now included in my midterm and the focus for my final will be A Thousand Years by Christina Perri (playing and then singing).

Some things that I have noticed in regards to progression is at first I held the mallets very strong and now I am starting to show more fluidity and less grip, which thus allows more fluid transitions between notes while playing. Using different mallets has allowed me to explore and practice with different dynamics. Another key aspect was that I followed and played along either on youtube or on a written sheet of music, however now I can play these songs on my own.  I also tended to use my dominant hand and I am slowly starting to use my left hand as well.  I am looking forward to providing updates based on my new learning journey regarding the song “A Thousand Years”. Stay tuned!