Through these past 6 weeks, I have gone from never playing a string instrument to successfully learning how to play the Am, G, C, and F chords on the ukulele. My musical experience at the beginning of this course was very limited, and the last instrument that I had picked up was a trombone that I was required to play for a short portion of the year in my seventh grade music class – nine years ago. I was extremely nervous at the beginning of this process. When I first picked up my ukulele, I was frustrated at how slow my fingers seemed to be with chord changes. I found it difficult to change between chords, and at first, whenever I tried to change chords without looking I often managed to have fingers in the wrong fret.
Despite my initial frustrations, I looked back to my Pre-Assessment Liabilities and Assets, and scheduled in practice times each week. I found YouTube videos and various websites to be very helpful in my learning process, and I found a song, Riptide, that used the four chords that I was learning. At first, I tried to incorporate the strumming pattern, but I found it difficult to focus on the both the strumming pattern and chord changes, and so I instead chose to use a single down-strum for each chord change.
Although singing Riptide was not initially part of my goals for this semester, and my singing voice definitely needs work, I found it beneficial for me to sing through the song while I was playing to help me to better understand where each chord change comes in. I was uncomfortable taking a video of myself singing and playing, but I am very proud of the progress that I have made thus far, and I am excited to keep learning and seeing my musical growth progress. I am not quite confident enough to post a video of myself playing yet, but look for one in my post at the end of this semester!