Ahh, In-depth Night is coming up! I got qipao for Michelle and I in China, and am super excited! We’re still iffy on our performance piece, but should have it sorted out by this week.

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
    1. My mentor puts on performances in the community, usually in Henderson or the Coquitlam Public Library. This would be a great opportunity, except that almost all her other pupils are in middle school and are way more advanced than we are. To preserve the continuity of ridiculously talented 11 year olds, we have abstained from the performances so far. We’ll get to watch a performance soon, which will be great! Seeing live performances gives an added edge to our own preparation, as we need to start burning the midnight oil on that one. I’m so excited to perform!


  1. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
    1. Our lesson books come with CD’s noted with the different tracks. The audio version is great to really synchronize my playing with an “ideal” version, and ensure that I don’t have any audible mistakes. Reinforcement also comes through other Youtube videos and online lessons, that help to clarify vague or ambiguous new concepts. New learning is then solidified, synthesized, and reviewed for the next mentor session.


  1. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
    1. Choosing to perform at the library will almost definitely accelerate learning, but I think the risks of that are too much for a lesser gain. If we focus on accelerating our own private learning, I believe that will work better. One thing that really helps me personally is doing the recordings for these blog posts, as I’m far more attuned to slight mistakes while recording. The constant repetition required to get a good recording is also beneficial for muscle memory practice. I believe as we look for a good performance piece, the sight reading required to taste-test (ear-test?) the pieces will also help speed my progress.


  1. When you get together what do you talk about?
    1. We don’t talk about a lot, as it’s mostly demonstration and action, but when we do, it usually focuses on my current strengths and weaknesses in playing, as well as techniques that need improvement.


  1. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
    1. Progress, as I am constantly noting improvement in one aspect or another. I hope to have improved far more by performance night! Continued learning & expansion is also going well, especially as I proceed into harder and harder techniques. It’s awesome to learn the different styles the ornaments are for, and what kind of musical “mood” one tries to convey while playing it.


  1. What are you learning about one another?
    1. Our different styles of communication and musical interpretation. I’m learning lots about how my mentor herself learned guzheng as well!