Over the break, I met with my mentor three times, however only two of them were scheduled practice meetings. The third was an Easter party that was hosted by my parents. My mom works with my mentor, so she decided to invite him and someone else she works with over the night before Easter. My mentor brought his wife and his three year old daughter. The other person my mom works with brought her husband and her 11 year old son. For the majority of the night, I was in charge of entertaining the three year old girl. I love kids, so I was absolutely delighted. However, closer to the end of the night, the guests we had over wanted to hear me play the guitar. I did, and this lead to my mentor giving me some advice, which lead to an extra 30 minute practice session. The other two meetings were much more productive, as they were longer and previously scheduled. Below, I will answer some questions which will give insight into those meetings.
1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
My mentor is constantly introducing new songs to me that he thinks I would play well. He will come to the meetings and give me an entire list of new songs to listen to. If I like any of them, I will tell him and he’ll teach me a part of them. This is really helpful because I am able to get a taste of many different styles and genres of guitar music which expands my knowledge and my experience.
2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
My mentor is always teaching me many different strumming patterns, as he has since day one. He has recently asked me to start making up my own patterns to help with my creativity, something that is essential with music. This has really benefited me and has expanded my options for playing music on the guitar.
3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
My mentor and I often have unexpected meetings where we can accomplish a lot. This is really helpful even if I don’t need as much guidance as I did at the start of this project. Something else that accelerates my learning is watching a specific YouTuber who plays guitar. My mentor recommended him to me, and I have found that it really helps me to understand guitar music better and even be able to catch on to concepts quicker.
4. When you get together what do you talk about?
My mentor and I mostly talk about guitar, however we also talk about things such as musical artists, other instruments and occasionally his daughter. My mentor is always suggesting new music for me to listen to, so he likes to get insights as to what I liked and what I didn’t. He also likes to know my favourite styles of music so he can have an idea of certain songs or artists I might like. We occasionally talk about instruments such as the piano, which he can play fairly well, and the violin, which his daughter plays.
5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
My mentor and I are getting along very well, but I believe that what is going best is our ability to communicate. Overtime, we have learned a lot about each other, and I can now play strumming patterns by him saying things such as “remember the weird one that reminded me of a cat?” and I know what he is talking about. He has taught me a lot over the past few months, and I am excited to see how much more our relationship evolves.
6. What are you learning about one another?
I have learned a lot about him, such as where he grew up, his family, the instruments he plays/played, his music preferences, and much more. My mentor has learned a lot about me, including my school life, my family, my friends and my music preferences. He will often tell me funny stories of when he was first learning to play the guitar, and we now have a few inside jokes about it. We are continuing to learn a lot about each other as we progress further into the project, and we are learning a lot about each others skills and abilities as well as our own.
To conclude, the last few weeks (and the project in general) have been extremely successful and enjoyable. I am sad that the end of the project is approaching, however I am extremely excited for in-depth night and being able to preform for my mentor and a crowd!