I know that it’s been a while, however I haven’t been able to do this blog post yet because I just met with my mentor today. The dreary weather given to us made it a perfect day to play a happy instrument. This time I went over to Kylah’s (usually she comes to mine), and since we haven’t seen each other in a while, conversation was brought up about our lives, and evidently we ended up talking about music. These are some of the questions that I asked her during this conversation:
italics = Kylah
normal = Me (Emma)
Is music an aspect that occurs daily in your life?
I listen to music everyday, I play my ukulele everyday, I sing songs everyday. I hum and I tap my foot, I own and play a bongo as well.
Did you have a strong musical education growing up?
Yes! Oh my gosh I had the best music teacher in elementary school named Ms. Fritz and she- when you met her for the first time, I remember this so clearly, the first thing she said to us is that if you’re nice to her, she’s Ms. Fritz, but if you’re rude or she’s grumpy, she’s the dragon lady. And she was so scary if she was grumpy but she was so amazing and if you did your work she would be so sweet to you. She had so many instruments as well! Xylophones, recorders, guitars and she would teach us all these weird songs. She could also play the piano like a champ. She was such a great teacher oh my gosh. I’ll never forget her, ever. Then my middle school band teacher was also sweet, Mr. Flambert.
You played the french horn right?
Yeah, the french horn and the trumpet. He was just really passionate about music. Like when you start band in grade six, and you first pick up an instrument, you suck obviously. The band sucks, no one can tell what you’re playing, but he was always like “Good job guys! You’re doing great!” He would also always get the parents to cheer extra loud for us no matter what.
Do you think it’s important to learn how to play an instrument or be musical?
Yeah I think it’s very important. I think it’s important for your soul. I think if you don’t have music your soul suffers honestly.
*laughter from both of us*
Do you think that there are benefits from playing an instrument?
Yes! I think it’s very relaxing or therapeutic obviously. Like I can get pretty frustrated with the mess of my house, or the three year-old, but then I’m just like “Whatever, we’re just going to play some ukulele, or we’re going to sing a song, like itsy bitsy spider” and then after you just feel better. You’re just happier.
The hats that are most prominent in Kylah’s answers are the red hat of emotion, black hat of critical thinking, and the yellow hat of values and benefits. All of her answers are filled with emotion (red hat), as most peoples answers are if they aren’t factual and the black hat rises when I asked her about her musical education, which made her think critically about her childhood and the musical influences during that time. Finally, when I asked her about the importance of being musical, the question made her think and express her values and what she thought the benefit was of playing an instrument or being musical.
Aside from de Bono and his colourful hats, Kylah showed me how to read tab! I never really knew what tab was, and when I looked at it, I was uncomfortable. However, once she showed me how to read it, it truly was a whole new world that was so simple.
For example, here’s the tab for the intro of the Star Wars theme:
What it translates to, is this:
Playing tab is really just fingerpicking, and the number on the line is the fret number. So when it says string A 12, you would play the A string with the 12th fret pushed down.
As well, I learned how to play a classic song, Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. With it being one of my favourite songs, I wanted to play it. As well, it has parts where there is tab, which brought a new challenge to me.