With our concert coming up in March we’ve had to do a lot of preparing and fixing in these past few practices. My part of music is particularly hard for me, and in order to be able to improve and play it the best I can I’ll have to sacrifice a lot of time to practice. Personally what discourages me is that I practice what I don’t do well, so what I play doesn’t sound very good. I know that this is how it’s supposed to be, but somewhere in my head I think “why play this when I can practice something that sounds well”. Yesterday a very accomplished drummer, Eric Hargrove, came to play with us, and he motivated me in a way. I thought that he got where he got because he practiced what he was bad at, and got good at it. I feel less discouraged now to sound bad in practice, and more encouraged to work on what I don’t do well and do well because of it.
On Wednesday was my first ultimate frisbee practice. When playing here I realizad that the environment surrounding the activity is very different to what I was used to. In the past I come from a very competitive and pressure focused environment. However from playing now there seems to be more emphasis on enjoying and improving rather than on competition. It’s been a little hard to adjust since I’m accustomed to always being on people’s backs and someone always telling me how to improve, I realised that doing this could be taken the wrong way. There is not nearly as much pressure on performing as I was used to, but there is much more pressure on improving and showing that you can play well.
Today is the end of the first term, and we did a SWOT analysis of our work in AMK for the past couple of months we have been working with them.
Even though the main focus of the service is drumming we’d really benefit from another more creative way to work their motor skills, as the drumming gets repetitive and the clients don’t get as much as they could from it.
Today during our session at AMK I saw progress with our clients for the first time. Normally what we do is work with our the people individually and make them play around in a circle, and after that we color. Before this session I thought that we weren’t really going to get anywhere musically with our clients, and I felt content with the fact that playing the drums made them happy. However, today I saw Benji (one of the first persons I personally worked with) take a step forwards. Since the beginning he has always been playing one constant rhythm, wether he plays individually or as a group. Today he played his rhythm but at different speeds, and while this might not seem like much it is a big step for him. Also today when we were playing as a group, we’ve never really been able to play one rhythm all together…except for today. Today we were just letting them play what they wanted, and slowly everyone started joining and playing conjunctly. Our priority is still the well-being and enjoyment of the people at AMK, and making sure they enjoying doing something that they normally wouldn’t. What’s even better now is that we know that it is possible to get somewhere reasonably musically with them, which is something we weren’t 100% sure of before. I think that in the future as we start developing relationships with our clients we should work with one person consistently, then it’ll be easier to measure their progress.
When I joined the GC I was very conflicted wether I should stay or go. I wasn’t sure of a couple things: I didn’t know if it was going to be enjoyable since no one I knew was joining this GC, I didn’t know much about the Tabitha and what they did (all I knew was from the description in the activities page), and I didn’t know if it was going to be one of those groups that sat around and did nothing for most of the year. I was truly contemplating leaving the GC when at the beginning we only watched a video about the organization, which I thought was very unproductive. However learning a little more and more about Tabitha motivated me to stay for the sessions with the video, and at the end I was proven wrong and learned a lot about the organization.I saw how everyone worked together and the efficiency of the group. I am much more sure about the GC now than I was before and I’m glad I didn’t chose to leave. While staying at the beginning was a struggle at first, it has paid off. I still have to improve my relationship with the people in the GC. I don’t really talk to them unless it’s necessary, which I know from experience can lead to communication problem in the future.
I’ve been going to Jazz Band for about a month so far, and I’ve liked it an incredibly amount. I play the Euphonium and Jazz Band is something which I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time now. It’s been exciting as much as it has been challenging. This is the first time I’ve played on an ensamble with someone else playing my instrument, and this has made me aware of the things I can improve on, like jazz articulation and the range required for the specific music. Since it’s easier now for me to see what I need to improve on, it’s easier for me to work on these things outside of Jazz Band. From the struggles that I’ve found in my playing I’ve been able to work on them more in my ITP lessons, which hopefully will reflect while playing on Jazz Band.
Last Jazz Band practice was the first time I played am improvised solo in front of anyone during a piece of music. I had no idea of how it would turn out. After getting 5 seconds of instruction of how to work around the solo from my instructor I tried it to the best of my abilities. The solo wasn’t excellent, but I was proud of it being the first time I had done it in a Jazz Band. Additionally, I feel like I know how to improvise a solo that fits better in the music next time that I get called upon to play alone.
Learning Outcome 1 – Awareness
This week was the first time we actually worked with our clients at AMK MINDS. It was a very different experience to anything I’ve tried before, I’ve never really worked with people with this kind of disability. I know people that have down syndrome, but I’ve never tried to teach them anything. I feel comfortable with my ability to play the drums since I’ve been studying music for quite some time now.
I know that teaching them drums will be hard, specially since it’s a such broad and subjective topic. We have to have realistic expectations for our clients, I don’t expect them to be able to play complicated rhythm, but I would like if by the end they’ll be able to play some sort of basic pattern by themselves (and hopefully together as well).
As a service group we’re still not sure how we’re going to do it, and I’m worried it’s going to take us too long to find a way that is reliable, or that the group won’t put enough effort to find one.
After a couple sessions, some of the ideas I had of the group, were changed. At first I thought some people weren’t going to put the effort in order to make the service a good experience. I know it’s bad to make prejudices and judgments about people, even when they’re unconsciously, but everyone does to some degree. And after seeing the group worked my previous thoughts were completely changed. I now feel like we’re going to be able to accomplish a lot at this AMK.
My brief and spectacular on image on my future with CAS:
CAS will allow me (and the rest of Grade 11’s) to explore what I’m interested on, and how much I really am capable of in this school year.