Journal for Learning Through Music/Summer 2003
Jason was the first one to learn ‘My First Rock Song’ during one of the weeks that Janea was away (she learned it the following week). I think that the lead in to this piece was a very good example of what Eric Booth is talking about when he says that “learning is a volitional act.” The lesson that day was very spontaneous. Jason asked many questions and I answered them with improvised, musical answers. For example, he mentioned how the thumb seems to attack more comfortable when it is the lower strings and when the motion is opposite to that of the other fingers. This was a very astute observation in itself and I was taken aback by his making it. Then, I decided to keep the momentum going by taking it one step further. I asked myself, “why not learn about the thumb now? He is asking good questions, what can I do with the thumb and open strings?”
So together we played a blues progression in A major, using the open bass strings, E, A and D. He did very well following along and asked, “Is this ‘My First Rock Song?’ I replied that it wasn’t and that we had just made it up together, then he asked me if we could learn ‘My First Rock Song’ today. Again, I decided to go with the momentum that Jason was providing and we learned ‘My First Rock Song’ together. The following week we reviewed and showed Janea how to play and sing the piece.