Final Demonstration of Musical & Professional Growth

I’ve finally reached the end of Alfred’s Basic Piano Lesson Book – Level 1A! I feel proud but also sad to be done, it’s bittersweet. These 61 pages haven’t been easy and at times I’ve become so frustrated that I actually removed the keyboard from my room just so I didn’t have to look at it. However, looking back at these humorous moments makes completing the book feel that much more rewarding.

Since my mid-term post, I have covered a wide-variety of new material. Just like anything else, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. I was introduced to melodic & harmonic intervals, legato, intervallic reading in C & G positions, sharps & flats, and staccato. Whenever I started to feel overwhelmed, I would just take a break and pick up where I left off the following day. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much information I actually retained over these breaks. Sometimes I would start-off significantly better than I was the day before.

What I found most accomplishing was transitioning from one-handed playing to using both hands. I never thought I would reach this point considering some of the difficulties I faced with the one-handed songs. But.. I did it! In comparison to other courses I’ve taken in the Bachelor of Education program, I felt most ill-equipped for Music considering I had little to no prior experience. But I realized that it’s truly never too late to learn something new. I now feel confident and prepared to incorporate music into my future classrooms!

I hope you like the following video of myself playing the book’s final piece (pages 60 and 61). It took me a few days to be able to play this song in full smoothly, but now I feel totally comfortable. Even though I still need to write the notes onto the staff, I was so impressed with myself that I had my ten-year-old sister film it for me. Enjoy!

Page #60: Horse Sense
Page #61: Horse Sense

EDCI 336 – March 19, 2019


We started off today’s class by learning a little bit about graphic design from some of our talented peers. They explained the design principles of C.R.A.P. (contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity) and how to pay attention to them as professionals. From there, we were set loose to use Adobe Spark, Canva or PicMonkey to create something for ourselves. I created the image above using Canva (which is now my twitter header)! It was super easy and there’s tons of free templates without watermarks. I will most definitely be using it again.


Experimenting with Sketchnoting really opened my eyes to other ways of processing new information. I’m looking forward to exploring TED talks online to learn more. Here are a few images of my practice notes.


Twine is a really neat online platform used to create choose your own adventure stories (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch actually originated here). The only part of Twine that took some getting used to was saving the html file to my UVIC server. However, I’m glad to have gained a little bit of coding experience in the process! I know my younger sister and future students will love this handy tool.

Part 1, Chapter 4

Part 1: Dark Chapter
Chapter 4: They rose against us

What really hit me hard in this chapter was just imagining how difficult it must have been for Indigenous peoples to maintain their identity amongst all these laws, prohibitions and expectations. For centuries, Indigenous peoples were self-sufficient and suddenly they were trapped in this unhealthy paternal relationship with the Canadian government. They had to ask for permission to leave their reserve, they were forbidden from seeking amusement at places like pool halls. To top it all off, they couldn’t even hire lawyers or form political organizations to pursue land claims and human rights actions. But somehow Indigenous peoples managed to keep fighting and that fight maintains strong today.


We have done all we could to put them on themselves; we have done all we could to make them work as agriculturists; we have done all we could, by the supply of cattle, agricultural implements and instruction, to change them from a nomadic to an agricultural life. We have had very considerable success; we have had infinitely more success during our short period, than the United States have had during twenty-five years. We have had a wonderful success; but still we have had the Indians; and then in these half-breeds, enticed by white men, the savage instinct was awakened; the desire of plunder  —  aye, and, perhaps, the desire of scalping  — the savage idea of a warlike glory, which pervades the breast of most men, civilised or uncivilised, was aroused in them, and forgetting all the kindness that had been bestowed upon them, forgetting all the gifts that had been given to them, forgetting all that the Government, the white people and the Parliament of Canada had been doing for them, in trying to rescue them from barbarity; forgetting that we had given them reserves, the means to cultivate those reserves, and the means of education how to cultivate them  —  forgetting all these things, they rose against us.

xiii. Forbade Indian students from speaking their home language.
In residential schools, punishment for speaking a language other than English ranged from washing mouths out with soap to piercing tongues with sewing needles. Indian children were taught that their home language was evil and many refused to speak it once at home. A loss of language meant a loss of culture (especially in oral societies).

xiv. Forbade western Indians from appearing in any public dance, show, exhibition, stampede, or pageant wearing traditional regalia.
Similar to other punitive measures, these rules were designed to eliminate culture.

xv. Leased uncultivated reserve lands to non-Indians.
Uncultivated land was perceived by settlers as unused. Therefore, land held by physically disabled Indians, widows, orphans and others who were unable to cultivate the land, was leased out. This was only beginning of ongoing land disputes that continue between First Nations communities and the federal government today.

xvi. Forbade Indians from forming political organizations.
Approximately 4000 Indigenous peoples enlisted in World War I. Ironically, it wasn’t until leaving Canada that Indigenous peoples from different communities finally had the opportunity to discuss the injustices they faced. These discussions prompted Lieutenant Frederick Loft (Mohawk from the Six Nations Band) to fight these common injustices by starting the League of Indians of Canada. It’s no surprise that Indians meeting to discuss their rights was disliked by the government, so they ban Indians from forming political organizations like the League of Indians of Canada. Nonetheless, Indian political organizations continued to meet in hiding.

xvii. Prohibited anyone, Indian or non-Indian, from soliciting funds for Indians to hire legal council.
It was illegal for Indians to hire lawyers or raise funds for a legal council. In pair with the last section, this made it very difficult for Indians to pursue land claims and human rights actions. They were prohibited by law from seeking help.

xviii. Prohibited pool hall owners from allowing Indians entrance.
The government wanted limit Indian’s leisurely time so they put laws in place to regulate where they seek amusement. The Governor General still has power to make regulations concerning on-reserve places of amusement according to the Indian Act of 1985.

Technology Inquiry Project, Post #7: QuestaGame & Geocaching for Students

As we reach the end of our assignment, Beth and I are getting eager to head outside with our digital devices. We wanted to try playing QuestaGame and go Geocaching, however, it looks like we’re only going to have time for one.


Here is brief video outlining how QuestaGame works.

1. Download the app.
2. Capture photos of your outdoor surroundings.
3. Receive expert feedback on sightings.
4. Collect individually, challenge friends, and have fun!

I really like this game because sightings are shared with biodiversity record organizations to help researchers on their quest to save the planet. So not only are participants actively outside learning in real-time about nature, but they’re actually contributing to something far bigger than themselves. Moreover, this is a game that can be enjoyed individually or in groups via features like the winner-takes-all “Challenges.”


I’m going to make this description a little bit more detailed because SURPRISE.. Beth and I are going geocaching!

This video outlines how to find a geocache.

1. Download the app.
2. Research clues using geocache’s name and description.
3. Check difficulty rating (mental exertion).
4. Check terrain rating (physical exertion).
5. Decide how you’re going to get there.
6. Once your phone says your within 20-30ft of geocache, search with your hands and eyes.
7. You found it! Sign the log-book, trade swag + trackables, put it back, and log your find online.
8. Repeat!


  • Geocaches will never be buried. Check in trees, on metal objects for magnets and under sticks. If you still can’t find it, think “If I hid a geocache here, where would I put it?”
  • If you’re still totally lost, check the most recent activity and hints on the app.
  • Bring a pen!


This totally awesome website shares a wide variety of resources that makes introducing geocaching to students a breeze. You can even download a PowerPoint presentation on “Geocaching 101” here. The website also has brochures and posters, but what I found most useful is this blog! Teachers and parents provide tips and tricks on how they’ve incorporated geocaching into their learners’ agendas and it looks like a blast. I mean, what kids don’t want to hunt for treasure?! As for curricular opportunities, one teacher creates academic puzzles for Science, Math, Music, History, Art, and English. However, that’s just one way to do it. I thought another cool idea would be to include QR codes on hidden items to share more knowledge with students. Check out the blog and see what appeals to you.

I can’t wait to go geocaching and see what it’s all about for myself!

Photo by Settergren / CC BY

Part 1, Chapter 3

Part 1: Dark Chapter
Chapter 3: Tightening Control

As you might have noticed, I’ve started each new summary with a John A. Macdonald quote. I find them extremely insightful. Reading such harsh words straight from the former Prime Minister’s mouth really puts Canada’s formation into perspective. In light of the recent John A. Macdonald statue removal from Victoria City Hall, I can’t help but wonder if that was the best course of action. It seems like Canada has a bad habit of covering up unpleasant history, giving rise to an uninformed population. What if instead of tearing the statue down, we used it as a teaching tool; adding signage which featured some of the Prime Minister’s thoughts and ideas. For example,

When the school is on the reserve the chid lives with its parents, who are savages; he is surrounded by savages, and though he may learn to read and write, his habits, and training and mode of thought are Indian. He is simply a savage who can read and write. It has been strongly pressed on myself, as head of the Department, that Indian children should be withdrawn as much as possible from the parental influence, and the only way to do that would be to put them in central training industrial schools where they will acquire the habits and modes of thought of white men.

If we choose to ignore history we can’t possibly learn from it.

Now here is a brief overview of the chapter that gave me this worrying food for thought.


The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change.

viii. Prohibited sale of ammunition to Indians
The government was concerned that if Indians were armed, they might rebel considering their growing agitation. The North-West Rebellion eventually took place in 1885 led by Louis Riel (as some of us might have learned about in grade school). This unsuccessful uprising prompted the government to take further action by prohibiting ammunition.

viiii. Prohibited the sale of intoxicants to Indians
-It was common for fur traders to feed Indian traders alcohol before negotiations.
-The prohibition benefited settlers who didn’t want to associate with Indians at drinking establishments, and the government by forcing Indians to work on their farms undistracted.
-Like other forms of prohibition, it was not entirely effective and instead alcohol was sold on the black markets and consumed rapidly by Indians in hiding. This led to the persisting stereotype that Indigenous peoples can’t tolerate liquor. Joseph provides a far more rational interpretation. In short, alcohol serves as a coping mechanism for intergenerational trauma, residential schools, stolen culture, the list goes on.
-Enlisted Indians (WWI and WWII) were permitted to consume alcohol, however, these privileges did not apply once back in Canada. Moreover, since Canadian Legions served alcohol, Indians were not only denied entry but also had great difficulty accessing veteran benefits.

x. Declared potlatch and other cultural ceremonies (ie. Sun Dance) illegal
The prohibition simply drove potlatch and other cultural ceremonies underground. One example of an underground potlatch took place in Alert Bay over a duration of six days in celebration of a wedding. 45 people were arrested and 22 jailed for giving speeches, dancing, and gift giving. Moreover, priceless ceremonial items (ie. masks, regalia) were confiscated and later distributed to collectors and museums.

xi. Restricted Indians from leaving their reserve without permission from an Indian agent
Indians who wanted to leave the reserve needed to obtain a permit to pass from their local Indian agent. This difficult process also applied to Indigenous parents who wanted to visited their children at residential schools (Indian agents were encouraged to allow this no more than four times per year).

xii. Created residential schools
“It is estimated that 6000 of the 150000 children who attended the schools between the 1870s and 1996 either died or disappeared. The numbers are not precise because no one kept accurate records: not the schools, the churches that managed the schools, or the Indian agents.” (p. 53) The history and legacy of residential schools requires far more reading than a single blog post, but I encourage interested readers to also include the 60s scoop in their research.

Minecraft in the Classroom

Today, Colquitz Middle School teacher Heidi James and her students met us in the computer lab to help us discover why Minecraft is such an awesome learning tool! It was a truly wonderful experience to learn from such enthusiastic and passionate students. My ten-year-old sister plays Minecraft at home and I’ve never put a whole lot of thought into what kind of skills the game actually entails. Let me tell you, it’s a lot more difficult than I expected. Even basic movements like walking and jumping were challenging at first. The idea of building houses and worlds seemed impossible. However, with the help of Heidi and her students I finished our time together with a solid understanding of the controls. More importantly, I learned how Minecraft can fulfill and exceed curricular competencies in Math, Science and Social Studies. Not to mention develop social skills since the game is highly collaborative. Learning and playing in class today made me realize why I need to bring Minecraft into my future classrooms. I can’t wait to go home and play with my sister! Thanks Heidi and students, you rock!

Some handy resources from today include: