Over the past two weeks since the last blog post, I have met with my mentor twice. We were only planning on meeting up once, but there was a huge coincidence and he ended up being at work (my mom’s school) on the Friday that I had the day off. During his lunch break, I came over with my guitar and he taught me a new song to practice. Although we only spent 45 minutes together the first meeting, I learned as much as I would have in a 2 hour one. During our second meet up, I played him the first two bars of one of the songs I chose to learn over the course of the project. I also played him the original song so he could compare the two. He gave me some tips on how to improve, and he asked me to send him a video of me playing the first four bars once I learn them. Below, I have answered some of the questions.
1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?
I recently started to learn the first of two (or more) songs that I need to know as a part of my criteria for this project. During our two meetings, I played my mentor small pieces and chords from the song. With his help, I was able to easily piece things together, and to make the music sound complete. I will obviously require more practice, but so far this is something that is going really well.
2. What logical challenges affected your communication?
During our first meeting, we met in my mentors office (which he shares with my mom and two other teachers) during the schools lunch break. It was obviously loud, and there were many students and teachers inside the office that were talking at a volume which made it sometimes difficult to communicate with my mentor. Since my in-depth subject is guitar, I especially needed quiet because I needed to be able to hear the notes to see if they were right, therefore the noise was a large problem. We ended up finding an empty classroom in a desolate hallway which was quiet enough to work in.
3. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?
I could improve my patience skills, because I often want to try everything I am taught before my mentor has the chance to teach me the right way to do it. For example, if my mentor strums a note, I won’t wait for him to teach it to me. Instead, I will attempt to play it on my own, which is more than often a bad idea because I get the notes wrong. The second skill I would improve is my enthusiasm. I often get frustrated to the point where I want to give up, but I can usually get motivated pretty quickly after. However, I would like to be able to not lose the motivation in the first place. If I try my best to keep an open, enthusiastic attitude, maybe I will be able to accomplish this. The final skill I would improve is my focus. During our first meeting, when there were students having conversations near us, I realized how easily I got distracted. During the second meeting, I began to notice this as well. By paying attention better and directing all of my energy into listening and processing what my mentor is saying, I hope to improve my focus.
Overall, the past two meetings have been very helpful and I have learned a lot, not just about guitar but about my mentor and my abilities.