My inner Spanish rocker

Hello EC&I 831!

I can’t believe we have two more classes left! My major digital project is coming to a close. Please be sure to check out a video of my guitar playing (Feliz Navidad) on my Summary of learning.

Meet my son Connor:

connor rock

He’s a happy and energetic 4 year old boy who is channelling his inner rocker while his mom practices and plays her guitar.

My thoughts on this project have been that I envy anyone who can easily grasp a musical instrument. Had it not been for this project and class, being the busy mom and teacher that I am, I would have put the guitar playing to the side.  I am thankful that I had the opportunity, the time, the finger beatings on my fingers to learn to play the guitar via online learning and face time supplements in my guitar journey.

My guitar journey

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  1. The first thing that I did was research and choose from various guitar instruction websites. There are millions and millions of guitar learning websites on You Tube. I found that some of the sites were free and some will cost some money. The free websites were just as good as the paid websites and most were designed with in-depth instruction for beginners, intermediate and advanced guitar playing.

These are my top 5 sites that I enjoyed using at a beginners level:

www.expresionmusical.net

www.christianvib.com

www.jerrysguitarbar.com

– Thomas Michaud at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHtg4kp-vug

Jose Felicianno at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMtuVP8Mj4o

2. Second, when I chose my song “Feliz Navidad” I realized that I had to also learn about parts of the guitar even the term “strumming”! While learning online I picked up terms for various guitar parts like: fret, fingerboard, heel, turning peg, sound hole, rib and all the lovely chords of the guitar. http://www.learn-classical-guitar-today.com/guitarparts.html

3. Third, I have short “man hands” so I had to also learn about adjusting my fingers in the right position while keeping my wrist loose on the fret hand positions. The G, C and D chords were my best friends and the only way I was able to use them properly was with continuous daily practice….sometimes even hours! Practicing for hours also embedded these finger positions into my busy mom/teacher brain. Eventually, I began to figure out if it was the correct sound and pitch coming from the guitar. And if the sound was wrong, I knew I had to work on my finger placement while strumming the guitar. The finger pain, the finger indents eventually went away because my fingers were getting used to playing.

4.  Practicing in front of the camera, friends, family and my face to face supplements Mr. Warren and Miss McDivitt (Teachers and fellow colleagues from Thom Collegiate). While practicing the guitar, I would also go over all the chords over and over again. I always looked and stopped at my finger placements on the guitar but eventually I got the hang of it.

5. There were a few times that I wanted to throw the guitar against the floor like the United Airlines throwing and breaking guitars video. It’s normal that there were frustrations during this learning process but eventually the guitar playing began to link with the humming and singing of the song.

In summary of my Digital Learning project, I believe that you can theoretically learn to play the guitar via online learning.  You can actually LEARN anything that you are truly passionate about via the internet. For example my daughter Madison who is 8 years old, has learned how to create Rainbow loom bracelets via the internet. She found the instructions useless via paper based instructions, and motivated herself to learn online with You Tube videos.  She is currently addicted to making them.

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I also found that as long as you have the persistence, motivation to learn online, you can learn how to dance to even learn how to fix a timing belt on a car. During this project, I watched and read about fellow EC& I 831 classmates learn via the internet on numerous things from language learning, learning via Mooc’s to even sew and make fashion bags!

Looking back on this Major Digital project, I have had a lot of fun in my guitar learning journey. I look forward to learning new songs…..perhaps one day down the road; I will want to teach guitar playing as a hobby. I know that I am not the perfect guitar player, but I am supper proud of myself. And now that I have this motivation, I will definitely continue my online learning with the guitar in the future….I can’t stop now….I have my inner Spanish Rocker in me now.

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Thanks!

Krista Gates (Brockhill)

Listen to my voice!

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It’s been a busy and crazy week with extra curricular at my school with our fall musical. It also took me a while to gather my thoughts and feelings from Tuesday’s night class with Audrey Watters’ session when she spoke about gender inequalities in the technology world.

I am going to be honest and say that I was uncomfortable during the session. I am quick to post on my blog after our night classes, but that night I decided to play and practice with my guitar. I was bothered and avoiding this blog post because of many reasons. I was also bothered that I kept quiet during the chat discussions that evening. I’m an extrovert of a person and I believe in sharing my voice on many different issues. So I was bothered with myself…… that I kept quiet during the chat discussion that evening as I watched the discussion coming along.

I felt as though the workplace for women had changed for the positive and the good. But after having listened to Audrey speak, we FOR SURE still have quite a ways to go.

Audrey’s narratives on her experiences with death threats made me look closer on the evil side of the internet. Audrey speaks her mind on her blog and has the full right to. Her strong voice as a woman was not favoured by many, so she was made to feel uncomfortable with these awful threats which are ridiculous! She has the full right to state her opinions and I fully support her amazing blog.

It makes me mad to think about the sexism, the threats, the harassment, the violence that women and minority groups are facing on the internet. Audrey shed light also on the fact that the internet that we all use, is designed by wealthy and privileged men whose main focus is to be geared toward the male population. She discussed how women and minority groups continued to be marginalized groups and are not equally represented on the internet. If you think about and look closely, it is all around all of us. May it be from advertisements, politics, and social groups it’s cyclical.

We all have the right to state our opinions, feelings and thoughts. In the work place professionally speaking, we always need to be aware of what we say on the social media and the internet.

I love my teaching profession. I am vocal on my job, but to be honest, I am very aware of the “politics” that surround me in regards to gender. I have heard comments about “boys clubs” and “girls clubs”, comments about gendered position advancements in our system and to be honest it’s very frustrating to hear. I have heard these comments for a long while now, and frankly I have tried to be quick on responding with questions to make others have uncomfortable discussions. Why can’t we just work together gendered friendly? Why are these comments even around? Why is it even an issue?

I am just as qualified in our teaching profession as another other man and woman is. Why do we hear these comments……it always bothers me so I am letting this steam out!

We need to have uncomfortable discussions with each other, in order to let these gender inequalities out in the open, instead of sweeping them under the rug….like the internet has. No more side discussions or walking away when these comments are floating around. These gender issues need to be addressed and make people uncomfortable like Audrey’s session did.

This is the hardest blog post that I have ever written. I know some of you will relate to the comments that I brought about. We all need to take a better look and look closely at what surrounds us and also on the internet. Not just look and think about it, but to also use your voice and have these uncomfortable discussions.

Thanks

Krista Gates

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P.S. Please continue to support student travel who may not have the opportunity and chance to do so. Did I mention Saskatchewan is in the lead? Thanks for your continued support on this. You can vote once a day here: http://woobox.com/vvyhu6/c35x4b here until November 30th. Share with friends and family….let’s do the “internet wave”.