Where Have I Been?

Hellloooooo everybody!

I do not know if anyone actually reads my blog posts, or if this post will matter to others, but I need to take the time to apologize.

A little over a year ago, I promised that I would upload a banjo progress video in a couple of months’ time. However, I did not do that, nor did I continue my banjo journey. Right after my last learning project post, several big life changes took place for me personally, as well as in my family. We have had a crazy year and, quite frankly, I was just too distracted to think about practicing an instrument.

Now, though, I am ready to get back on track. I am hoping to pick up my banjo again and, not just relearn what I knew, but keep improving and creating ways that I can use it as an educational tool.

Along with that, I want to start using this blog again. I did use it in the fall, to document my field placement, but I want to continue it as I complete my last BEAD course and move into my internship. If nothing else, it is a great place for me to reflect and it provides a source of inspiration as I look back at old posts and recognize the growth that I have had as a teacher.

Sooo…. all this to say that I am deeply sorry for not fulfilling my promise, BUT… I am back!

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Danica Fehr Production’s EDTC 300 Learning Project Tour!

Welcome to Danica Fehr Production’s EDTC 300 Learning Project Tour! I ask that you please turn the volume up as loud as you can and get cozy because you are in for a great show…

PART ONE: Amazing Grace and Country Roads

Intermission Podcast:

https://anchor.fm/danica-fehr/episodes/Intermission-Time-With-Danica-e3nkd0

One of my EDTC goals was to create a podcast, something that I had never done before. I began by looking at this website to gain an understanding of how to do this. I then decided to make an account on the Anchor website. It has great reviews and did not cost anything to use, so I used it to practice recording a podcast. One of my favourite features of this website is that you can record directly from it, so you don’t need to upload pre-recorded files. Now, after this intermission, this particular podcast will not continue. I did, however, gain the necessary skills, during this experience, to start a podcast in the future.

PART TWO: Man of Constant Sorrow

Thank you, everybody, for coming out today! I’ve had a lot of fun and hope that you all enjoyed the show. Don’t forget to check out our FREE merchandise stand on your way out! You can take a look at a couple of custom items, from Danica Fehr Productions: EDTC 300 Learning Project Tour, absolutely free of charge! Take care!

ENCORE: 2 Versions of Brother John and Jesus Loves Meusing chords learned here!

Fan Quiz (TRY IT OUT!): https://danica839199.typeform.com/to/x475W5

I created the above quiz using typeform.com. It was really easy to create an account and did not demand a lot of information to get started. The website is really easy to use and includes many templates, options to customize, and options to connect with other apps. The only challenge that I faced was that I can not figure out if there is a way to add the correct answers to my quiz. Therefore, it looks as though you are answering correctly, regardless of which choice you click on. However, it is just for fun and I am not too concerned about that right now. I had a very positive experience with this online tool and will be using it again!

Free Merchandise Stand:

Danica Fehr Productions (A Chronological Summary) FREE TO VIEW https://www.canva.com/design/DADW7RetoeU/view

I created this storybook using canva.com and really enjoyed the experience. There are so many free images to use, templates, design options, text options, and customizing tools. It is also really easy to upload photos for your project. The only downside is that you need to pay to be able to share the link for your project. However, mine only cost $1.00, so it was worth it still.

Danica Fehr Productions (A Comic Strip Summary)- FREE TO VIEW https://Pixton.com/ic:bid4gl8e

I used pixton.com to create this comic strip and it was really fun! I only have the free trial right now, but I would definitely consider purchasing the paid version. I highly recommend checking out this online tool, whether you are looking to create comics for fun, or use it in the classroom.

 

My Next Steps:

-learn the full song Country Roads (I will probably need to purchase a lesson for this, as I was unable to find a free one)

-learn the Beverly Hillbillies Theme Song

-Post a progress video in a couple of months (maybe sooner- we will see how it goes)

 

With that, there is just one last EDTC 300 documentation goal that I haven’t yet fulfilled… Bitmoji!

Bitmoji Image

Credit: https://render.bitstrips.com/v2/cpanel/6ef96fa9-38f0-41da-94bf-4b19528fad4d-7e49f2b8-7d1e-45c0-bfe3-ad7a10a571ef-v1.png?transparent=1&palette=1

Creating a Tune with Powtoon!

Hey everyone!

It is with much excitement, anticipation, and nervousness, that I present to you…

This was my first Powtoon creation, and it was really fun! I highly recommend giving it a try. Powtoon has a lot of text, image, and sound options. It also allows you to add voiceovers, which is how I added my banjo playing to the ‘picking a tune’ slide. Once your project is complete, you have the option of saving it as a slideshow or a movie and it can be uploaded to Youtube quite easily. Overall, my experience with Powtoon was absolutely positive!

Here is a video of my completed song:

Here are the lyrics, in case you can’t hear me over my very loud banjo!

You used to play

and sing to me.

Now let me play

and sing to you.

By God’s grace

you’re safe at last.

 

Grandpa, I miss you so

but I have faith

that you are truly healed.

The day will come at last

when I will be there too.

Until that time

just know that I love you.

 

So now you see

His mercies are so real.

I have come to know

true joy at last.

And through these notes

your joy lives on.

 

Grandpa, I miss you so

but I have faith

that you are truly healed.

The day will come at last

when I will be with you.

Until that time

just know that I love you.

Just know that I love you.

 

You Can do it Too… I Believe in You!

Most of you know by now that I have been learning the banjo. You also probably know that I have been practicing the song Amazing Grace.

Now it is your turn!

I have created a video to teach all of you how you can enjoy playing this wonderful song too!

If you have a banjo in your closet collecting dust… go get it! Take it out. Dust it off. Tune it if you need to and then join me as we learn Amazing Grace together!

Now that you have had a chance to learn a song, keep practicing! You do not want to lose the knowledge that you just gained. However, you can revisit this video as many times as you need to.

Have fun strumming!

P.S. I apologize that this is being posted today after I told you it would be up last night. Uploading my video to Youtube has taken many hours this time.

Can you Hear the Difference?

Good morning!

I just had to write this post and let you all know (and hear for yourselves) that I have FINALLY TUNED MY BANJO!

With the help of my husband and this video, these strings are ready for more strumming!

Can you hear the difference? Are your ears hurting a little less now? I know I can!

It was really fun to tune my banjo because neither my husband or I have ever tuned an instrument by ear before. It was awesome to learn a new skill and even more awesome to play Amazing Grace and Country Roads, AND be able to recognize them!

I would love to hear about your tuning experiences as well. Please feel free to answer my poll and leave a comment with advice, wisdom, or a funny story!

Sketchnoting, Video-noting, and Music-noting

Hi friends,

Get comfortable… because I have A LOT to share with you this week!

Last Wednesday, we were all challenged to learn A NEW way to document our learning! *Insert panic and tears here*… not really though. In all seriousness, this was the first time that I did not feel intimidated AT ALL by the thought of new technological tools! How’s that for progress?

I instantly began brainstorming different tools that I could explore…

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I even reached out to the Twitter community, in order to gain some insight…

After a winning vote, Sketchnoting became my new goal! Rather than bore those of you who are not interested, with the details, I will simply provide the highlights of my journey with this new tool:

Reasons I love Sketchnoting (follow this link for a list of apps to try):

  1. I am a visual learner, and sketchnoting includes pictures.
  2. I think that it is super fun!
  3. I really believe that it could be a great tool in my future classroom (it is productive doodling).
  4. The word sketchnoting is unique and consequently sparks my interest.
  5. It is pretty easy to do because any level of artistic ability is sufficient.

Some challenges that I faced:

  1. The app I downloaded to my phone worked well until it came time to view my “saved” notes. They did not save anywhere on my phone OR in the app itself. Granted, this may have been a user error so I am not blaming anyone here.
  2. I had to start over on my notes because of challenge #1.
  3. It is hard to draw with your fingers on a phone screen, but I am sure this will get easier in time.

Sketch Note is extremely easy to use, and I figured out that I can simply take screenshots of my completed notes for now. If any of you have used this app and know how to find your saved notes, please leave me a comment!

My next task was to add my sketchnotes to my video. Here is a screencast to demonstrate the steps that I took to achieve this.

I used this video to begin learning my next song. It was super fun and easy to follow!

And now… what you’ve all been waiting for…the final product:

Thanks for checking in again!

 

 

Amazing Grace, how SWEET the Sound…

Sweet?… I don’t know. Better than before?… Absolutely!

Here it is everyone; my progress so far:

I am no Willow Osborne, but I am improving day by day. Hopefully, I will be able to post something soon that will not hurt your ears.

After winning the poll by 100% in my last banjo post, Country Roads is the next song on my list to learn!

Stay tuned for more posts in the near future, and don’t be afraid to leave me comments, suggestions, and/or feedback when you can!

“Amazing Grace”- It is Not a Race

Amazing Grace is one of my absolute favourite songs. I hope to use my banjo, one day, for worship and to minister to others. However, I first need some (or A LOT) of practice!

As promised, I do have a video to share with you all today. This is, by no means, a perfected skill. I am happy with how far I have come, though, and I am confident in my potential. I will keep practicing this song for a few more days before I tackle the next one.

The video I used to learn Amazing Grace is a wonderful resource! Having never played an actual song on the banjo before, I was able to follow along easily and put the right notes together with little difficulty. It is a great foundational video, and has left me encouraged to keep practicing! I am not racing through these lessons, because I want to really retain these skills, in order to play banjo for the rest of my life, or at least as long as possible.

Listen to my progress below, and let me know which song you would like me to learn next!

For practice, I would like to learn the Beverly Hillbillies Theme Song or Country Roads by John Denver. Which one should I start with?

 

Ready or Not…

I promised you all an attempt at a song and I am not going to disappoint… well, you may actually be disappointed in my skill level, but the video is underway.

I am telling you all now that TOMORROW is the day… you will hear me play.

I am going to attempt “Amazing Grace,” and take a video of it for your enjoyment (or entertainment).

I have practiced it, but I am going to try and tune my banjo before I record it.

Please stay tuned, while my banjo gets tuned, for tomorrow’s well-anticipated post! Let the strumming begin!

 

 

Photo Credit: lolwho Flickr via Compfight cc

Dream…Create…Inspire

I have decided to explore some new computer skills this week (say what!?). As you can see in the photo above and to the left, I learned some new editing techniques on my computer’s camera program.  I discovered a way to add and edit text and stickers to a photo. This will open up many doors for me, as I take photos for work, educational, and personal projects. It also enables me to type words onto a photo, rather than trying to use the ‘paint’ option, as I did in previous blog posts. I am quite sure that you can read these words easier; am I right or am I right? My word choices in the picture should make sense right away.

The photo to the right demonstrates my attempt at creatively displaying objects with the intention of photography. I am far from a professional photographer, but I tried to find items around the house that would enhance the message that I was trying to display. I think it turned out pretty nice after editing, and I am excited to explore more photography techniques in the future!

Here are some photography resources that I would like to explore further (maybe you are interested too). I have not had a lot of time to explore them yet, but they include some great tips for still life photography (I believe that is what I attempted above).

I also learned how to add captions to my photos on WordPress. If you don’t believe me, just click on the photos at the top!

Now, I will share with you the creative poem that I have dreamed up, that may bring you some inspiration (recall the word choices from the photo):

So carefully crafted,

bringing notes to life;

an array of shining colours,

puts an end to any strife.

As I open the special case,

with such gentle care;

my anticipation heightens,

before the music even fills the air.

Each simple and tiny pick,

serves such a crucial role;

as I place them on each finger,

a love for music makes my heart full.

Although I’m only learning,

playing banjo is becoming a passion;

the notes may not sound quite right,

but my journey has only just begun!

I hope you enjoyed my poem. How many of you enjoy writing poetry too?

Do you know of any user-friendly photo editing tools or photography websites? I would love to hear about them!

Keep your ears on my blog for an upcoming video that you will not want to miss! The time has come and I will be posting a video of my first attempt at an actual song in the next few days!