Learning New Things (final)

Learning New Things (final)

Are you tired of reading about this? Don’t worry, this is my last post on this.

At least for now. 😉

So, I’ve been going on and on about how great the new system is, and how much Tim has learned and I’m starting to get the hang of it… But I became aware of a problem this past weekend.

I really need to get a little more familiar with the program myself instead of relying solely on Tim. Because, for example, what if the system were to freeze while we were playing on a Sunday and I had to reboot it myself.

What would happen?

Well, I can tell you what would happen. I would try to play, nothing would sound, then I would try to do everything I knew how to do (to no avail) and then I would stare at Tim–who is currently playing the Bass guitar on the opposite side of the stage–until I catch his eye, trying to not be too obvious, but obvious enough to him that I need help. Then he come across the stage with his Bass guitar and stand there with me at the keyboard while the rest of the band tries to keep hobbling along until we no scratch that, Tim can fix it. It took the better part of one song to get it all back online. And it wouldn’t have been such a big deal except I had the intro to the next 2 songs, so I really needed to have sound!

Ugh. What a mess. I was embarrassed and disappointed with myself for not knowing how to fix without Tim.

But now I know. It’s time to learn a little more myself. And this week I’ve practiced turning the whole system off and on and reloading all the songs by myself. 🙂 See, I’m making progress already!

I suppose, such is the nature of relying on technology. It’s so fantastic, until it isn’t working. It’s just like my Zoom piano lessons. It’s so great to be able to continue doing lessons virtually through all of this craziness– until the technology freezes or the internet is boggy or the sound cuts out– and then it’s so frustrating!

One more nice feature though, before I go. I don’t want to end on a negative note. 😉 The system is built in such a way that I can have the click track (metronome) programmed right into my songs. That means as I end my song and scroll down to my next one the click will auto adjust to the new tempo. Isn’t that fun?

Oh, and one more thing! They have FANTASTIC free tutorial videos to help you learn the new sound patches. So, even though it may take me 30 min to learn the new song, I know EXACTLY what to play to make it sound amazing. I love that I don’t have to figure that out on my own.

Overall, both Tim and I are quite pleased with the sounds and user friendly format.

Learning new things (cont.)

Learning new things (cont.)

I thought those of you who might be interested, I’ll post a video of the overview of what the program that we use.

And if you want to hear some of the actual sounds of the keys here is another video that you can scroll through. He shows a few of the different keys and effects:

Basically you can take a sound and then layer many sounds into that sound or have different sounds come out when you play in different octaves. For example this week I have a song where I have a bells part that plays along with the piano when I’m in one octave, but when I move down an octave I only have piano with underlying strings, but then in the big chorus I can flip a switch and then the strings and bells play along with a pulsing bass to really fill out the sound.

See? It’s cool.

But like Tim said–it’s just the tip of the iceberg. And you can really see that now. With all the sound options and layer and effects (reverb, rolling arpeggios, pulses etc.) you can create literally thousands of sounds. It’s exciting and a little overwhelming. But Tim is having a fun time learning all of these things. It combines things he enjoys: music and technology.

One more post tomorrow on this then I’ll be done. 😉

Learning New Things (Church Piano)

Learning New Things (Church Piano)

Most people who know me, know that I’m not a huge fan of change. Actually, if you ask Tim, he would probably say that I hate every thing that sounds different. (Just ask him about any new home remodel project that he’s mentioned… 😉 ) Now, in my defense I do eventually warm up to new things and I dare say, love them. But it takes me a while.

A few months ago Tim approached me with the idea of playing a different kind of keyboard at church for worship team. He had a vision of trying to bolster our sound without adding more volunteers, since those are so hard to recruit. And in true fashion, I responded less than enthusiastic. But after weeks of showing me videos and cool sounds and talking me through it, I got on board.

Fast forward to now. I’ve been playing the new synthesizer since Christmas and I’m really starting to get the hang of it. It really DOES have cool sounds. And it really DOES bolster our sound in a good way and helps fill out the instruments without needing more volunteers. Granted, it also does take a lot of practice, but I’m enjoying the challenge of doing new things that are like playing piano but not exactly classical piano playing.

The program we use to run the keyboard is intense and has a big learning curve. Big. Learning. Curve. But Tim as put in dozens and dozens of hours of work learning the program and getting things figured out and has even been able to create new sounds instead of just using pre-programmed sounds (he’s pretty amazing). But this is just the tip of the iceberg, as Tim likes to say. But more on that tomorrow.

Biggest Sister & Littlest Brother

Biggest Sister & Littlest Brother

During this unusual school year we have faced a lot of challenges. There have been technology issues to deal with, and time management (for everyone) issues and schooling frustrations… and I could go on and on.

But there have also been really nice things that have come out of it.

The big kids have been home so much this year–and Levi has absolutely been soaking it up. In particular he loves Chloe playing with him. And Chloe has risen to the occasion beautifully. She has matured so much in the past year. She will play with him and read to him and snuggle him and just be a wonderful big sister. It’s been so sweet to watch.

So, while I am delighted to have the transition back to in person school for all the big kids, I know Levi will miss his sweet Chloe. It makes me wonder if they will stay close as they get older or if they will drift apart because of the age gap. I guess time will tell!

Valentine’s Day–the favorite Memories

Valentine’s Day–the favorite Memories

We had a splendid Valentine’s Day again yesterday. I always end up worrying as I go to bed the night before a big event (like a Birthday or Christmas) that the day won’t live up to the massive expectations that the kids have. And (knock on wood) that has never happened. At some point in the day, someone will exclaim that “this is the best day ever!” and all my worries evaporate. But I keep reminding the kids that the day is what you make it. I can spend zero money and just create a day using the stuff we already have and simply do things in a new way–and they will think it is AWESOME.

Now, there was a tiny bit of money spent, but nothing really not much. Oh, and Tim did surprised us with some unexpected Valentine’s treats that morning (donuts and flowers!) and he even braved the -20 temps to go and get it. I was super surprised and impressed!

I’ll post pictures tomorrow.

But for now, I thought you might find it interesting what the kids each loved best about yesterday. I asked them: What was your favorite part about Valentine’s Day?

Chloe: Everyone watching a family movie together after supper
Josiah: Breakfast together
Maddie: The heart shaped Pizza
Levi: Pink Macaroni and Cheese!
Mom: Bible time all snuggled on the couch. And flowers from Dad. 😉

Fun Valentine’s Nails

Fun Valentine’s Nails

I have this mug that makes me smile.

And I also got these adorable nails (Color Street) from one of my students–so I thought I would share. I looked back in my January picture folder to see what fun stuff I could post… and it turns out I didn’t take any pictures over the past month. Crazy, right?! So, I’m on a mission to take more pictures and videos.

In other news = This week has been bitterly cold, with the highs only reaching about zero. I’m glad that Chloe doesn’t start back to in-person (Hybrid) school until next week. I feel bad making her walk to the bus when she can’t wear snowpants when it’s so cold. Brrrrr!

Meet Wall-E

Meet Wall-E

Meet Wall-E.

He’s the newest electronic member of our family (a.k.a. motion detecting garbage can). Tee hee! It has made throwing things away a coveted chore. Levi was actually looking around the house for things to throw away.

I kind of want to give him eyes… but that might be too much. For now we just say, “Thanks Wall-E” when we throw stuff away. Hah! It’s the little, silly things that we enjoy around here!