Since my midterm, I believe that I have grown a lot as a singer/ukulele player. I have continued to play 30-45 minutes of ukulele a day and have been attending weekly 45 minute vocal lessons. My final musical growth goal was to write my own song. This has been a lifelong dream of mine so I was excited to finally take the steps to accomplish this goal.
Writing this song took me a lot longer than expected, but I feel like I learned a lot about myself in the process. I have no prior song writing experience, so this was a big learning process for me. I read a few articles on how to write a song and I learned that you should start by finding the chord progressions for the song and then write poems to find the lyrics. So, I started by playing different combinations of chords to see which ones I liked best. While I strummed, I would just sing “la” in tune to get a basic understanding of what a melody would sound like behind the chords. My favourite combination of chords was F, Am, G7 and C.
After I knew which chords I wanted to use the hardest part came next- writing the chorus and verses. I started with a mind map to figure out what I wanted my song to be about. Next, I started writing poems and spent a lot of time looking up what certain words rhymed with. I found that the chorus was very easy for me to write but the verses were difficult. I soon realized that writing a song is like writing a story and you have to make sure that story makes sense. Due to this, I ended up changing my chorus because it did not flow well with my verses and the storyline did not make sense. For my strumming pattern, I decided to do DUDUUDU because it is a strumming pattern that I am most comfortable with and I found it flowed best with my song. Most of the song is sung in my mix voice so I think I would write my next song to fall more in my chest voice range.
I found the process of song writing to be a bit frustrating. I was constantly judging my work as not being good enough and I was unable to think of myself as a beginner. I wanted my song to sound as good as something you would hear on the radio and I did not think that it did. However, with time I was able to recognize the hard work that I put into my first song and think of it as a starting point for the rest of my music filled life! I know that I want to continue with song writing and maybe one day I can write something that is good enough to be on the radio, but for now I am proud of the progress that I have made. I think that this is an important life lesson as a future educator to teach my students too. As they all say, practice makes perfect.