Monday, May 22, 2017

The Power Behind Music

Take a look at these two instruments. On the left side, you have a small, delicate flute producing light, beautiful music. On the right side, you have a huge, strong tuba producing deep, supporting music.

In our band, I consider every instrument important. In any band, every instrument plays a key role in the music the band produces, but I think that the tuba and the flute are among the most important instruments.

The flute is the highest pitched instrument overall, along with the piccolo. This is why the flute typically plays the melody of a song. A higher pitch will be more likely be heard over the deeper instruments. Without a melody, songs would sound very different.

The tuba is the lowest pitched instrument in a band. Even though it's the lowest, the tuba plays a really big role in our band music. This year in band class, I learned that tubas play supporting parts and harmony parts, keeping the band on track during the song. Our tuba player, Alex, does a really good job of this because he practices so hard on his tuba.

Bands really cannot do without these two instruments. Flutes bring out the melody while tubas support with the harmony, and although they are two very different instruments, they both play a key role in the music that is produced.

This is one of the reasons I love band - we work together to create something we love: music! We are a team, just like my swim team, but the interest that we have together is different from swimming. And that is why I am grateful for my band - because they work with me to that we can all enjoy the music that we love. The power behind music is our teamwork. I'm glad I took band because it's taught me a lot about how we can work together and create a rainbow of sound from black and white notes. I'm proud of us!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Procrastination = the Thief of Time

Everyone knows that procrastination steals your time away because you're distracted. There are a lot of procrastinators out there, and everyone feels bad when they get a bad grade in a certain subject, but who's to blame? The only person that you can blame is yourself. And why is that? Procrastination, and not studying. So, here are three study strategies that I find most useful when I'm studying for a quiz or test.

One of the study strategies that I find most useful is Quizlet. Not only does it help you review vocabulary, it's also fun to use! The games Match and Gravity test your skills and your knowledge about the words. If you'd rather do some old fashioned studying, you can use the flashcards they provide, or test yourself using a test which they'll grade for you. You can also practice spelling the words, too!

The second strategy that I enjoy using the most is filling out my study guide. Teachers hand out study guides to help you study! The thing about study guides is that they cover all topics that you've learned in the unit, so you'll practice everything again before taking your test. After answering all the answers in your study guide, you can then check with the answer key.

Finally, I love studying with a partner. Sometimes, I'll play Concentration or Go Fish with a friend using my vocabulary to get more familiar with the terms in a fun way - and this way, not only are you practicing vocab, your friend is, too!

When you study in the right way, it can be fun as well as good for your learning - and that's the way I like to study.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Swimming Technique

I recently watched a YouTube video replay of Michael Phelps's 200m IM in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, because I am a swimmer who is specialized in swimming the Individual Medley event. The first thing I noticed about this video is how all the swimmers do underwater dolphin kicks. Their kicks are so powerful that they've gone a third of the way across the pool before they even start swimming the stroke. This tells me that underwaters are incredibly important to swimming.

The second part of the IM that I focused on in the video was the breaststroke part, which is my worst stroke. I noticed how fast his arms shoot out to start his next stroke, and how he dives under the water just a bit to glide further. From this part of the video, I learned that breaststroke has fast parts and slow parts, and you need to perfect your stroke before you start sprinting.

I learned that you can learn a lot from people who enjoy the same things as you and are older, with more experience. And these tips may even let me do better at the one sport I love to do! In the future, I will both try out Michael Phelps's skills and also keep an eye out for more videos or articles that might help me with my swimming.