As I researched YouTube videos and help forums about playing the piano, I knew I needed to pick a song to make my learning more specific. Once I decided on “You Are My Sunshine”, I was off and running. I found several videos, note and finger charts, and lessons online. I’ve started my online lessons via YouTube with some wonderful videos from three different teachers in three different videos. I’ve decided to use all three different videos because of the level of complexity with each, the variation of progression throughout the lesson, and the scaffolding of teaching each teacher uses. With my videos on my iPad, sitting on the music stand, I was ready to begin my YouTube piano lesson with this sentimental meaning-filled song.
I’m very pleased with my progress thus far. I’ve learned all the chords that one video broke down for me in the key of C and the key of F. I am currently practicing each hand separately, as instructed by the video, and mastering those first. Once both hands have been mastered and memorized I should easily be able to put them together to play both the melodies and the harmonies of “You Are My Sunshine”.
Throughout my progress I have found many pros and cons of learning via YouTube. One of the things I enjoy is being able to watch the outcome, pause it, complete the action myself, then continue on with the video. I can learn at my own pace and move on once I’ve obtained mastery or continue working on parts that I am struggling on before moving on.
My biggest struggle so far is memorization. I don’t have sheet music sitting in front of me therefore it’s much more difficult for me as a visual learner who struggles with memorization. When I play and pause I can play one melody or one harmony line at a time perfectly, but when I reach the end of the lesson and wish to play the song in it’s entirety, I struggle. I hope this comes with repetition, so hopefully more practice this week will help this become easier.
Overall, I’m enjoying this whole process. I can see the progress and love being able to see it instantaneously. Until next time, I will be playing the YouTube videos, pausing, playing the line of music, and practicing this routine over and over until I’ve reached mastery. I hope that I can move past playing one hand at a time and move on to both hands together this week. I’ve added my YouTube videos and websites to my Springpad Notebook for this Network Learning Project so my videos are more easily accessible, along with the notes and fingerings charts. I can review this information even when I’m not in front of the piano via my phone and iPad.
Until next time, I will be practicing, practicing, practicing!