I tend to spend my free evenings learning my choir music. For the past few nights I’ve been watching YouTube videos designed for preschoolers! I am trying to learn a new skill that will help me musically and one that is definitely a step out of my comfort zone. Solfege (the ‘do re mi’ scale) has a set of hand signals that go with it, I never knew about them until recently and am now trying to learn them and be able to use them competently. It is hard!
I am not as musically talented as some of my peers, I don’t have any natural ability to sound perfect pitch and while I have sung in a choir for most of my life my sight reading is at best mediocre. I need help on a level that works for me and I’ve finally found it.
The videos are very basic and include auditory and visual learning segments that are great. The style is working for me. Watching is helping immensely (likely the 3 year olds that are also using them are already much more competent!) and supporting the work we do in choir but I have to keep practicing, working at it and challenging myself. There is no instant gratification, it is taking time. I forget what I have learned, can’t transfer the skill to more complex pieces and sometimes just don’t feel motivated to keep sticking with it. I get frustrated that it is so easy for other people to pick up quickly or jealous of those that had the opportunity to learn it more organically.
In all truth I don’t really have to learn it, I am making a conscious choice to challenge myself and learn something new that I know will have some benefit but is not crucial to my performance as a singer. Even though it is hard I am committed to making progress and improving my level of accomplishment, I am self-motivated to get better and to stick with it.
At Camp Runoia girls are challenged every day with new skills. Some are self elected and others are dictated as part of our daily routine of camp life. There are those that are certainly more essential than others and potential some that will never be mastered. We present skills to girls in different ways that will hopefully help all learners grasp the concepts. Sometimes exploration happens independently and often an ‘aha’ moment comes during a teachable moment. Skill building is never wasted even if success takes hours, days and even years to achieve. The life skills that we learn at camp are transferable to other areas of life. Hard work, determination, practice, patience, tolerance of self and others, acceptance, perseverance not receiving instant gratification and so many more. Camp provides a supportive environment for girls to feel confident to try new things and build new skills.
I am off to use my life skills to keep working on mastering my solfege!