I have always been interested in art, but have only tried poetry. I wanted to learn more about music but never had the skills required to learn an instrument. I decided to learn how to play ukulele, mostly because it is quite easy. Art is an amazing way of self-expression and I wanted to venture into new art forms. I self-taught myself using YouTube videos and at times by consulting my musically inclined friends. In this creative experience, I covered LO 2 and LO 4.
Learning Outcome 2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
The most challenging part of the experience was figuring out how the ukulele works and getting comfortable with it. This was personally challenging because I have never played an instrument before and there was a lot I had to learn. One thing that helped me, because I was learning it on my own, was to reach out to my friends. At the beginning of the experience, I didn’t even know that I was supposed to tune the instrument. My friend explained that I had to learn music theory so that I could easily get comfortable with the ukulele. Such advice helped me overcome challenges and helped me understand different chords.
I’m incredibly happy that I undertook this challenge of learning a new instrument because it allowed me to expand my artistic abilities and also channel my time and energy into something productive. It is important for me to undertake new challenges because they allow me to grow and extend my abilities. I also believe that trying new things and challenging oneself is the best way to discover your skills.
Over the lockdown, my family and I started spending more time together, and playing music has been a bonding activity. I have played my ukulele for them on multiple occasions when we’re sitting together on the terrace or in the verandah. This skill of being able to play the ukulele has also improved my motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Irrespective, this skill makes me feel great about myself because I have always wanted to be able to play an instrument and now I can, which is a big achievement for me.
Learning Outcome 4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
Learning an instrument requires one to practice every day, which shows perseverance. It was difficult for me to practice during the first few weeks because I didn’t know how to play it and it was getting frustrating. But I reminded myself that music, or any art form for that matter, requires you to put in daily effort to polish your skills. I found myself questioning my abilities multiple times throughout the experience, and sometimes even required external motivation from friends and family. After the first few weeks, I dedicated a time slot where I was committed to only playing the ukulele and focusing on just that. This helped me make a healthy routine where I could learn new skills without neglecting schoolwork. It is usually easy for me to commit to things, and it was with this experience as well. The first few weeks were a little rocky but with time, I understood how to go about it. I believe that it is crucial to keep practicing your skills, especially when it comes to new skills because they can easily get rusty. I am still persistent and have the habit of practicing ukulele at least 3 to 4 times a week.
In this activity, I developed 3 main learner profile characteristics: reflective, knowledgeable, and communicator. As I was learning a new skill, I had to improvise and reflect on what I was doing. In the process, I reached out and communicated with my friends and gained knowledge about music and the ukulele. The highlight of my experience was when I learned my first song, I’m Yours by Jason Mraz. I felt a feeling of accomplishment and utter joy. As it was a creative experience revolving around music and playing it, I don’t think 3 or 4 months is enough time to categorize it as a success or failure. But I think that I have definitely learned a lot and taken a step towards this being a success. This activity definitely brought a sense of enjoyment because I also used my ukulele time as a getaway from any stress or overworking.
From this experience, I learned that learning something new requires more perseverance than you’d think, and irrespective of how fun the activity might be, it can get boring but you have to push yourself. One thing I’d change if I did this activity again would be learning music theory before starting any practical learning because I think that would have helped me a lot. Overall, this was one of my favorite CAS experiences.