What does this group means to us as adult learners and a music 'aha' moment
Each music student is learning in a private lesson with his/her teacher and not as a collective group so we don’t know that a lot of us have the same struggles. I believe that sharing our learning experiences and feelings will benefit all of us so we don't feel alone. This is especially crucial during those difficult learning phases that all of us have experienced. The flip side is that we can also share our triumphs when we overcome a learning challenge and in so doing, maybe help a fellow learner on his or her music journey. The vision I see for this group is that it will be interactive, it will be directed by our group members and that it will be an avenue through which we can share all the highs and lows of music learning. For me, social connection with other adult learners is of great importance to me. But I see the potential for the group to be so much more than social, I see peer mediated learning and mentoring flourishing in an environment where ideas are shared, exchanged and built upon!
I wrote the above paragraph at the beginning of February when I was just starting this group. We are now about to have our second meeting on April 8th and I am very excited to meet again. As an example of what we discuss at our meetings, I have something to share. Two weeks ago, I was trying to sing a familiar song "What a Wonderful World" with my jazz vocal coach, Deanne Matley and I was having problems with the rhythm. I had learned this song a year ago with my piano teacher - learning the chords of the song to set myself up to both play and sing this song. However we did not really worry about rhythm as we were concentrating on the concept of learning the chords and execution of those chords while singing. So I just played and sang it the way I remembered hearing the song. However, this was a huge mistake. I must preface this by stating that I have a problem with keeping steady rhythm while playing piano in the first place. But in singing, it is so important as your voice is an instrument that has to be able to meld its rhythmic beat to your accompaniment ie. your band mate(s) - piano player, guitar player, bass player, drum player etc. So the beat is of utmost importance.
So to get back to my rhythm problem - after a lot of failures at keeping the beat while singing, Deanne suggested that I say the words to the beat by looking at the music notation - notes and rests etc. I found that with this suggestion and some practice, I was able to stay on the beat and eventually in our lesson this week, I progressed to singing the words with rhythmic success too. I realize that this kind of learning would be beneficial when learning piano pieces too. So I will do so. I find that learning music is a constant ongoing journey of interesting discoveries and learning to adapt musical tools to your own unique learning style. That's why I am so passionate about the learning - it is so interesting and creative that it engages me totally!