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Category: Music

Final Music Blog 6


For the past week I have been able to do a little bit of xylophone practice at a time. I was able to practice in small increments in order to lead up to the final product. Due to my injury, I was only able to use one hand and so I made amendments accordingly. Therefore, something I realized along the way is that A Thousand Years needs to use both hands in order to be quick enough for it to flow and sound connected. Therefore I decided to accept the fact that the chorus of the song was slower when I played it with one hand. Throughout my practice I played around with various parts of the song and realized that the chorus was the most effective to do with one hand. I also decided to add in and play the introduction of the song. I am super excited that I was at least able to play and sing the chorus of the song, however I do believe that it could be more fluid and more on tempo. I found it rather difficult to sing to the speed I was going while using one mallet; therefore I believe that the singing did not flow as well as I would have liked, even after I had practiced numerous times.

All in all I am very happy I was able to at least to part of this song! I think the xylophone is a very useful and fun tool to use in the classroom and I was so grateful to be able to experience it and learn a few songs. I wish I could have been in class the day we did the xylophone but things happen. Thanks for an amazing term! I really enjoyed creating and blogging about my xylophone learning journey!

The following is my final video, hope you enjoy it!

Music Blog 5 Preparation for Final

Hello everyone,

In preparation for my final blog and video submission, there has been many factors that have been obstacles in the post midterm progress of my learning plan. Therefore this blog, I decided to practice singing and confidence instead of playing the xylophone for the time being. I believe I will try and learn at least the chorus to A Thousand Years on the xylophone.

The following video will demonstrate my progression towards confidence, I also believe that the classroom dynamics change and I would be much less nervous than in front of a video. Anyways, throughout these practices I think that I learned the importance of practicing and scaffolding before putting the 2 playing and singing together. Last time I learnt the song before I added singing. This time I am focusing on the confidence aspect and singing of the song, before learning to play it. That way the song will just come more naturally and I can focus on playing.

Although this was not the original plan, learning in two different ways (starting with singing the song and starting with playing the song) are two ways that could be incorporated into the classroom. One way may work better for a student than another, as such these amendments are very transferable and very much so a learning opportunity.

Please see the following

Music Blog 4 Preparation for Final

Hello everyone,

I am back to blogging! After almost one whole month off of blogging, we are back. Unfortunately I would love to say that I have been constantly practicing my xylophone, however some unforeseen circumstances arose and I am was unable to play due to an injury. As such, I will have to make a few adjustments to my plan. This situation is important as it is beneficial to understand how to make amendments for your future students in order for activities to be accessible and inclusive to all.

In regards to my learning plan, I have had to make a few adjustments as I will only be able to play the xylophone using one hand. I would have liked to practice playing the xylophone while alternating mallets even more. However, I have had to make an amendment due to an injury.  Following my midterm update, I was on track with my learning plan and ahead of schedule, this will help since I have now fallen behind schedule. As such, I will still try to learn to Play “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri and possibly accompany my playing with singing as well. However I may only be able to play part of the song due to the time factor involved and my pain tolerance. In order to practice more confidence while singing, I think it is a good idea to switch my focus to that a bit while I recover. As such, in my next blog I will post a video of me practicing singing the song as if I was singing it to my students and then for my final post I will try to focus on playing at least the chorus and singing along.

Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!


Music Blog 3 and Midterm Video

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!

Music Inquiry Update 2

Hi here is an update on my musical xylophone journey!

I have been working on my xylophone and practicing daily. Something that I realized is that I have been really favouring my dominant hand and have difficulty using my left hand. It has also been challenging for me to not grip the mallets, but but instead use loose wrists as my past experience with dance and gymnastics have trained me to do otherwise, Overall, I believe that there is still room for improvement but I definitely feel as though I am improving and adjusting.

Throughout this past week, my focus has been on my second song Amazing Grace. The line (I once was lost but now I am found) in this song has been particularly challenging for me as it includes notes that accentuate a certain letter when trying to sing while playing. For example, please see picture below the line “I once – was-s”.

I began by first following a tutorial on youtube, then I decided to write out the notes (this step helped me start to memorize the notes and become a little more fluid in transitions between notes). Then I thought to take it a step further I should write what is being said during each note, as I found myself singing in my head anyways, but could not quite put it to the exact notes. Therefore I wrote out this to help me understand the relationship of notes to the words.

The third line is still very difficult for me to play and sing at the same time, but with more practice I cannot wait to update my progress. I also think that the following video is slower and not super fluid, but shows a good demonstration of my practice and will be useful to see for progressions when I upload my midterm video later on in the term.



Music Inquiry

In music we have the opportunity to create a learning plan. A learning plan is beneficial as it supports the diversity of learners by allowing each child to create a course of action based on their levels and abilities. It provides students with a choice and voice in their learning. As such, I was able to choose an instrument the xylophone and learn how to read music. My action plan consists on trying to learn how to read music and then learning the 3 following songs, while following my designed criteria and timelines.

  • Hot Cross Buns
  • Amazing Grace
  • A Thousand Years

Since this is my first blog post I wanted to give a little outline of my inquiry project and now I can move on to the start of my learning journey with the xylophone. To put into context I have never really done music, so a big goal of mine was to learn to read music during these first three weeks. With the help and guidance of my instructor, I was able to learn tricks (which are demonstrated in the picture below).

I also was able to effectively learn how to hold the mallets. I also had the opportunity to use different kinds of mallets (rubber, fabric and wood). When we had the time to practice during our personal learning day, I was able to play Hot Cross Buns more smoothly with the slight adjustments to my hand grip and continuous practice. By the end of this practice day, I was able to play Hot Cross buns without following a video tutorial but instead read the notes and finally without just by memorization. A similar manner will be for the other 2 songs as well, except I will also be adding an additional step which will be playing the song while singing. Stay tuned for more updates on my learning journey of the xylophone! I quite enjoy this instrument as I believe it is a great opportunity to learn this instrument as it can be beneficial for my future classroom and  daily classroom activities.