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  • Josephine Brereton

12/2/2019 0 Comments

This morning we had the final lecture for KAME, and I think that although I didn't like the approach presented by the Kodaly Method, I thought that Constructivist Learning, and Flipped Learning was really useful and has really useful applications in the classroom, as well as in learning guitar (and other instruments, I'm sure). As my recital preparation amps up and exams draw nearer, I'm finding it difficult to balance study, and practice for voice and guitar. However, I'm still trying to keep playing, including attempting some fingerpicking. I've started with a classic - Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. I've just been playing through it really slowly. Its actually also been really helpful with making sure I am putting an equal amount of pressure on each of the strings to eliminate buzzing and muted strings, because plucking each string individually highlights where I need to put more pressure, or move my finger up closer to the fret, or make sure it wasn't being muted by another finger. I am feeling pretty good about the exam as I know all the chords pretty well, and my strumming is coming along alright. I think if I continue practicing by playing through a ton of different songs, I will be all good for the exam in a few weeks.

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  • Josephine Brereton


My practice has been going pretty well this past week. I feel pretty confident with all the chords and fingerings, I'm just still having difficulty getting a really clear sound. Often I have buzzing strings (usually the top E string) and a generally muted sound. I think this is due to still not putting enough/even pressure on the strings, but also I've noticed that my fourth finger tends to rest against the top string, which causes the sound to be come muted or buzzy, so I've been focusing on correcting this.

This is Gospel by Panic! At the Disco Peekabooshoon. (2016). This is Gospel Acoustic Chords by Panic! At the Disco. Retrieved from

Havana by Camilla Cabello Stumbledthrough. (2018). Havana Chords by Camilla Cabello. Retrieved from

There is just under a month left until the exam, and I feel comfortable in knowing all the chords, but I still am slow at moving in between all of them, so I've just been practicing this by moving through a bunch of songs and learning by gaining experience. In Contemporary Pedagogies, I've been picking up a few more terms and techniques, like 'laying eggs', power chords, muting strings, changing the tone depending on where you strum/pick the strings. I've also been refining my strumming, which I think is improving, but I still find it super difficult to sing along! Luckily that won't be assessed.

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  • Josephine Brereton


I did manage to brush up on my guitar before our lecture on Monday which was more contemporary pedagogies with Brad. We talked briefly about Constructivist Learning, which is (as so eloquently and accurately put in the UOS outline) "Accidentally learning theory just coz yo in a band." We played some Alicia Keys which was great, and I am even more enamoured with learning through experience. Musicians have this notion of 'practice makes perfect' ingrained into us with regards to the study of our instruments, and I think that is truly and wholly supported by Constructivist Learning. I think that this approach is supported a lot in the primary school system, with Orff and Kodaly which encourages hands on learning, however I found that my high school experience, especially in learning theory, was lacking in this approach. In terms of guitar playing, I'm still just going through songs, trying to brush up on my skills and improving my sight reading, strumming and chord changes with different songs. Unfortunately since my little break, my fingers are hurting again which sucks, because it makes it a lot harder to practice and get a decent sound out of the instrument.

Love Song by Sara Bareilles Al_bus. (2019). Love Song Chords (ver 2) by Sara Bareilles. Retrieved from

Download File Love Song.m4a

I found the movement to the B chord in the Bridge really difficult throughout this song because of the chord shape I'm using (I have to just down to the third fret) but I can improve this with more practice. Otherwise, the movement between Am, C, Em, D and G is becoming a lot easier. I just need to get a clearer, less fuzzy sound now, and I guess that will develop better when my fingers are hurting less?

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