For my choose to learn something new, I chose to simply learn how to do improv. And I quickly found out that it is not simple to just learn how to do improv. There is also many ways to go about learning it. I asked some experts what they thought was the best way to do it. Eventually I began learning through exercises or games with the experts. They would explain how to do an improv exercise and then I would try out the exercise with the same expert.
My goal was to be able to do the last exercise at the end of the semester without messing up once and flowing right through the game like an improv pro would. The reason that I chose to try and learn improv was because I found out very early on in the second semester how important it is with radio on-air hosting. I thought it was a good opportunity to try and kill two birds with one stone, I would try honing my skills at improv for fun and to help me on NR92 and any radio or speaking I do in the future.
So how I learned was through 4 different sessions with 4 different experts throughout the semester. They weren’t very long sessions, and usually we would only try out one exercise or game, but i felt I was able to get my feet wet and what I did learn was good stuff. My 4 experts were Tyler Dettling, Scott Pedrick, Sam Silver, and Donovan Workun who works for Atomic Improv.
On 4 separate occasions I met with an expert and they taught a game or exercise to me and then we tried out the game. I took a video of 3 of these times and have a couple pictures of the other time. The only way I really tested myself was by trying out the game with the expert and doing it until I completed it successfully. The one day that we had Donovan come and do improv with our class, we did a lot of exercises and games and was by far the most time I put into learning improv. The other times I only tried out one or two games at a time and only tried them for around 3-5 minutes.
My ultimate test was the last one with Scott and as I pointed out earlier, my ultimate goal was to make it through a full game without screwing up. I wanted to flow throughout a whole exercise because my first exercise with Tyler, I bumbled and screwed up multiple times. I technically didn’t achieve my goal because I had to say “umm” or “uhh” a couple times and needed to think about answers. It was a pretty chincey goal in the first place and I have to do improv on a regular basis to get anywhere close to doing it well or without screwing up. I would definitely say I need A LOT more work on my improv game.
So for my learn something new, I decided to learn guitar. Ever since I was young, I was pretty musically inclined. I played the recorder in elementary (who didn’t), I was the rhythm section in a school choir group, I started playing drums when i was 11 and played trombone while I was in junior high and highschool. I was also part of a band that my friends and I made that lasted for 4 years. I continue to play drums till this day! Ever since I started playing music I’ve always wanted to learn the guitar. I wanted to learn it because the guitar has always been able to make music on its own, without the need of an accompanying band. I tried picking it up and learning, but I would quit after a few hours. I just became unmotivated when I didnt see myself improve as quickly as I did with drumming. So when I got this assignment, I knew it would help me learn guitar because I would HAVE to if I wanted to pass the course. Step 1: Getting the Guitar A few years ago I actually bought a guitar from my friend. He had no use of it and needed the cash so i bought it from him. A year later he actually needed it back for a camping trip he was going on so I let him borrow it (since I wasn’t using it anyways). I didn’t get it back until now and im glad its still in good condition 🙂 Heres the guitar.
Step 2: Getting the Lessons When I went into this project, I originally planned to get lessons from a professional. I went to Axe Music and looked at the billboard they had in the store, for guitar classes. All of them were very expensive,ranging from 30-40 dollars a lesson. Being a college student, I couldn’t afford that at all.
I then went to my friends. They all have been playing guitar as long as I’ve been playing drums and two of them were actually part of the band I was in. The first friend I asked said he was too busy with school and work and we wouldn’t be able to find time. The second friend I asked said that he was really bad at teaching and that he hasn’t played for a long time so he might have forgot how to play well. I then went to ask one of the my friends in the RTA program, Andrea Creelman. She teaches music lessons with her whole family so I thought this was going to work out well. She said she would teach me but she just had too many students at the time and would let me know when she was free. Those calls never came in. By now I was pretty bummed out and thinking about changing my learn something new project. I then looked towards the internet to see if I could learn things from there. I stumbled upon a youtube channel with a guy that was giving free EASY beginner lessons. I started watching it and doing the things he told me to do and I found myself learning pretty quickly! It started off really slow but got harder and harder with each lesson.
Step 4: The test
After the classes I did and all the obstacles I went through, this is the end result! Nothing special, but I think I’m a lot farther than I was
Step 5: The wrap up and what now…
Well overall I’m very happy with this assignment. I would never have done it without being forced to. I’ve always given up on stuff before it could get anywhere. Now that I have the training wheels on with this, I’m going to carry on playing! Hopefully someday in the future I’ll get a video of me playing a whole song!