Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What I learned today

My educational trail today took me to a piano lesson, and through the second cd in the core and love of learning cd set.
At my piano lesson, my first, I learned that the reason some chords have "7", or "13" written by them is because they are the seventh or 13th note in the scale that is named by that chord and the chord is including that note with the basic notes of that chord.
Another thing I learned is that a melodic interval is notes played in a melody, not at the same time like a chord, in intervals. If a "c" is played, then the "second" interval would be "d", and the third interval would be "e". In a harmonic interval, the notes are played at the same time. The "c" and "d" would be played together to make a harmonic 2nd.
I had not realized that the treble chef circles the "g" line on a staff because it is the "g" clef, and that the bass clef circles the "f" because it is the f clef.
The thing that I began learning that is still stumping me is inversions. The way I understand it so far is that a scale in a certain key will contain all of the notes that can be used in a chord. The first inversion in the c chord would be the c in the next octave and the second inversion would be the e. In the instance of a first inversion the chord would be played with the e on the bottom of the chord, the g next, and then the c on top. I will practice that this week and see next week if I understand it correctly.
It was refreshing to hear someone speaking in music terms. It was like hearing someone speak in a language that I usually only hear in my head, not having anyone near me that speaks the same language. I am happy to have someone to report to and push me.
The thing that interested me most in listening to the Core and Love of Learning CD today was that I am supposed to try and learn for myself during our morning school time. I have been devoting my mornings to activities with the boys, but the cd said to shoot for 3-4 hours of personal study realizing that I will only really get about one hour because the kids will want me to read them a book, or play with them. I guess I need to not try to do activities that whole time, but just have one short thing ready to show them and then let them go from there. We have been playing lots of scrabble and monopoly which have been taking the whole morning and then I try to study in the afternoon after lunch. Yesterday we drove to the lake behind our house so that the boys could play while I studied but it was too nice out and I couldn't let them explore and play in the sunshine without me! We had rock throwing contests, forded a river, and watched an eagle swoop around us over and over screaming(scary really). It got even scarier when my boys were making dying rabbit calls that they are really good at from mimicking my husbands coyote calls. The eagle was close enough to see individual feathers. We left when it perched in a tree next to us. The day before yesterday our monopoly game went for 3 hours and we still were not done but had to quit anyway because we had to go clean a house. So I need to get better at letting the boys do their own thing after I have shown them something I am interested in, and then work on being inspiring the rest of the time. I crave studying but the day goes too quickly. It has helped that my 11 year old son has decided his job should be making breakfast, and my almost 10 year old wants lunches. It was so nice to go about my chores this morning and then sit down to a breakfast of a fruit and yogurt smoothie and eggs, and then to finish sewing scout badges on uniforms and come out to a lunch of leftover enchilada, and cut up carrots arrayed beautifully on the table.
Another thing I read that interested me was that when I take the time every 6 months, finding a quiet place with no distraction, to ponder each person and make a page long brainstorm of what I can do to help them in their personal educational path, I should include myself on the list of people to ponder about. I have been doing the six month purge, giving away or throwing away everything in our home that I do not love or need. I have attempted the six month "no", but have not really found anything yet that I need to be rid of in my life. I am aware of it though, every time I think about the boys joining a new sport, or myself taking on new guitar students, etc. I have not done the 6 month inventory yet. I think it would be very helpful to put my direction for each kid and myself down on paper, getting it out of my muddled brain and making it clearer.
The last thing I will write tonight is that evenings are for inspiration. The best time for family bonding is in the evening, so I need to make sure that as many evenings as possible are at home where we can have meals together, and read, talk, play, and be a family together.

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