Guitar Lessons Part 12

Sep 6: Happy

I passed Greensleeves! I played it slower a few times (75%, 80%, 85%) before attempting it at full speed. I made a few mistakes (got two stars on two parts instead of three stars) but I passed it according to the app, so I’m really happy with my progress today.

I’ve started practicing my chords both without the capo and with, because there is a lot less space for my fingers when the capo is on, so I figure I should practice that.

I played my song. The first time through it is rough still. It’s like my brain forgets what the rhythm is supposed to be overnight. I recorded myself, and I’m actually pretty happy with it. I feel like my strumming is improving a lot, which is nice to see. I definitely notice the slow downs when I change chords, but I know my speed will improve with practice, so I’m not beating myself up over that.

Context for the song: In my book Crushing It, not yet submitted to a publisher, 14yo boy (A) wrote the lyrics for this song in half an hour as he was trying to make sense of his emotions towards his new friend (B). A then plays it for B to tell B that A likes B.

I figure it makes sense for the song to start off slow, because he’s figuring out what chords he likes for the song, and then it picks up in the second verse. The bridge is slow again, as is the last line (because mirroring).

I hope you like it! Drop me a comment!

P.S. I’ve only been playing guitar for just over two months. You can follow my progress if you click on my tags!

Sep 7: Brief but satisfying

I tried Greensleeves again today and passed. I’m very proud of myself. Then I moved on to the next lesson: Aloha. It is very fast. So I dropped down to practice mode and played it at 50%, 60%, and 70%. I’m pleased by my progress so far.

I practiced my chords, both with and without the capo, and then listened to yesterday’s recording to remind myself of the rhythm. I think that was a good idea because I didn’t fumble over it nearly as much as I did yesterday. I am very happy with how it sounded today.

I felt like a real musician!

Then I played Frère Jacques, just so I can play it with my daughter.

Yesterday afternoon, I played the soprano ukulele for over an hour! It was a lot of fun and my son enjoyed it. (Daughter was at her piano lesson.)

Sep 8: Short

I played the Aloha song in practice mode at 70% and 80% speed. I didn’t make too many mistakes and was pretty happy with my progress.

I played Frère Jacques several times for my daughter to sing along with. The third line is causing her problems, but she’ll get better with practice.

Last, I played my song. I didn’t need to listen to the recording first, which was nice progress.

I still love it.

Sep 9: Oops

Forgot to write my post today. I did play. I completed Aloha! I was very proud. 3 stars across the board. My daughter applauded for me.

We sang Frère Jacques together. Her voice is getting better.

My song is going well. I need to work on my rhythm.

Sep 10: Practice

Today I worked on a new melody. It requires all four fingers on all but the top string and it is very fast. I practiced it at 50%, 60%, and 70% speeds today. I was pleased with my progress.

I practiced my chords and then played my song a bunch. I really need to focus on the rhythm. I keep changing it to match the rhythm of the words. It’s really hard to separate the two.

Then I played Frère Jacques. I also tried it with chords. That’s really hard to change between them. Practice will probably help.

Sep 11: Too long

I passed the lesson I was working on (2,2,3,3 stars). I’ll try it again tomorrow and see if I can get 3 stars across the board.

Then I brought my guitar up to the main level for the rest of my practice. I played my chords first and then my song.

I worked on my rhythm… With mild success. It’s ok. I have the time to work on it.

Then I played many many songs from my app. Too many. My fingers hurt a bit.

I hope I didn’t overdo it.

Update: it’s been 3.5 hours since I stopped playing and my fingertips are still a little numb. Definitely ukulele tomorrow.

Guitar Lessons Part 11

Sep 1: A surprise

My lesson today was half instructional and half a new song.

The instructional was all about down and up picking (single strings). The guy said to rest my wrist on the board at the end of the strings so that I would know where my pick was.

Ok, so first off, that pushes my arm too far back, so it hurts my back. I was in pain within a minute.

Secondly, I don’t have a traditional board because my strings are attached to pegs. So if I rest on it, it mutes my strings.

Also, I have no idea which string I’m on when I use a pick! I got so lost!

The new song was Scarborough Fair. I managed the first note and then got completely lost because it was so fast. So I dropped into practice mode and lowered the speed to 50% and even then, I only got the right notes about 50-75% of the time. Suffice it to say, I did not speed up today and I finished the lesson very frustrated.

I played my song next, my daughter singing along. I decided to attempt recording. There’s a special guest who sang along with me.

Please pardon the roughness of it. I’m not used to singing with someone else. Also, I’ve only been playing for two months, so please be gentle.

Context of the song: a boy (14yo) has realized he’s gay and he’s telling his friend (15yo) that he likes him as more than a friend. Their story is written in my book “Crushing It” that will be submitted to my publisher in October.

After recording, I played a bunch of songs and they all went fairly well. I’m pleased with my progress. I can switch between chords much faster than I used to and my fingers don’t hurt.

Sep 2: Slow and steady

I think I was holding my picking wrist too tense because I was trying to get the song.

I managed to get the 50% and then I sped up to 70%, which wasn’t too bad. So I sped up to 80%. I made a lot of mistakes, but I felt like I was making progress.

And then I noticed my wrist was hurting.

So I practiced my chords and my song and left my practice session at that.

My wrist has already stopped hurting. I think I was smart to stop when I did.

Sep 3: Nursery rhymes

I played my lesson (Scarborough Fair) at 75% and then at 80% (with several errors) and then because I wanted to see what would happen, I tried to perform it (for scoring in the app).

I passed.


I’m shocked too.

I didn’t play the full time because I decided I should look up Frère Jacques so I could teach our daughter the words. We realized yesterday that she didn’t know any French songs, other than the months of the year. She enjoyed learning it. I’ll be adding it to my regular practice time to give her practice.

Then I played my song.

For some reason, I’m not playing the A chord properly today. 🤷‍♀️

I decided I should probably stop playing today because my fingers and back were hurting.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be back to normal.

Sep 4: Strumming!

My app lesson was tough today. I replayed Scarborough Fair with pretty decent success. I was happy to move on. Next lesson was Greensleeves. Omg. So fast! I’m going to have to slow it down considerably tomorrow.

Then I played my song. I added some extra strumming to it to change it up a bit. Omg! I absolutely adore how it sounds on the chorus! I desperately need to work on the rhythm of entire second verse and on the Fmaj7 in the chorus, but it’s really coming together. I’m ridiculously excited about it.

After that, I played a variety of songs by request from my daughter and then we worked on Frère Jacques. She’s enjoying it.

I love it when my fingers don’t hurt even after a long playing session.

Sep 5: Greensleeves

It’s a REALLY good thing that I like Greensleeves as a song, because I have a feeling I’m going to be stuck on it for a while. Today I slowed it down to 50%, and I still wasn’t able to get all of it. I sped it up to 60% and then 70% and was able to complete just as much as on 50%, so I was pretty happy about that.

After my lesson, I practiced my song a bunch, focussing on the new rhythms. It’s HARD to play one rhythm and sing a melody! I’m really happy with how the chorus is coming along. The verse still needs a lot of work. I might try recording it tomorrow. I’ll see how it goes. Even if it’s only for me. I find it’s easier to hear where the issues are if I’m listening to it rather than playing it.

I practiced Frere Jacques. It’s coming a lot faster now and I don’t need the music.

My fingers are a little sore today. I think I was pressing too hard while practicing my song.

Guitar Lessons Part 10

Aug 26: Low key

Not a pun.

I didn’t do any lessons today. My fingers were still stinging a little from yesterday.

So I practiced chords and riffs for a bit.

And then I played my song 3-4 times. The chord changes are getting more natural. I’m really excited about this song.

Aug 27: Quick

I didn’t have much time to play guitar today. I practiced my chords and riffs and the finger stretching thing that my music mentor told me to do. Wow, it stretches.

In other words, no lesson today.

I played my song 3 times. I feel like I’m getting more consistent, which is nice. I still play more than the bottom 4 strings on Fmaj7 sometimes, which isn’t great. I need to work on that.

I’m hoping to play some ukulele this afternoon.

Aug 28: Riffs!?!

I did a lesson today. Apparently the first riffs lesson was made to induce a false sense of security. The second lesson was complicated. I had to slow it down, but I was able to get it before the end of the lesson.

But the third?? They changed how they showed the riffs (instead of a bar over two strings, they highlighted the individual strings with numbers for the fret) and it was so sped up that I had to slow it down to 50%, and even then I wasn’t getting it every time.

I think this lesson is going to take me a couple days to pass.

I played my song a bunch of times. I need to stop playing it on the ukulele because I don’t use a fret on it and the tone is different. And then my voice takes a while to remember what sound it’s supposed to make.

I worked on the Fmaj7 a lot. I also focussed on playing the chords at the time I’m supposed to and not a couple beats later.

When my son woke me up for his 3am feeding, I came up with a few lines for a new song! I remembered them long enough to write them down. Not sure where they’ll go in the song because I haven’t started it yet, but I like them so far.

Aug 29: Ouch

I passed the riffs lesson after much practice. I didn’t get it quite as high as I would like (only got 2 stars on the second half, but I got them consistently, so I was ready to move on) but I don’t expect to need riffs all that often. I haven’t come across them in any of the music I’ve seen. And if it does show up in a song, at least I know what they are.

I played my song. A lot. I’m feeling much more satisfied with my Fmaj7 chords (not strumming the top two strings), and I’m trying to add nuance to the lyrics and how I sing it.

Although I think I should perhaps focus on the difference between “wanna” and “want to,” which are both in the song.

Why is this titled ouch?

So I have a chronic back injury. My lumbar spine is being pulled in the wrong direction by my back muscles. It causes a lot of problems and limits me a lot, especially where it comes to my children (picking them up is next to impossible). Apparently guitar playing is another one of those things that affects my back. If I play for more than twenty minutes or so, my back is in an awfully lot of pain.

I’m going to try sitting somewhere else. Maybe a chair isn’t the best place for me? Maybe my phone with the app isn’t high enough so I’m crouching to see it?

I’ll figure it out.

P.S. Two months of practice!

Aug 30: I need a timer

My lessons were both theory and practical today. I (re)learned about sharps and flats and the difference between major and minor chords. Then for the practical, I attempted a minor scale.

I say ‘attempted’ because it did not go well. It was very quick and I’m not used to playing notes instead of chords.

Before all this, I played one last riff song. It took half my time, but I was able to get it. It was fun.

Then I played my song a bunch of times. I even played along with my recording, which means I was able to keep up with the speed I prefer for singing, which is excellent.

I recorded myself on an app I have. I’m pretty happy with it, tbh. I could still use work to make it a little more seamless, but that’s where practice comes in.

Then I played a bunch of other songs.

I played for over an hour.

I need to start setting a timer so that I don’t play so long. My fingers don’t hurt at all!

Aug 31: Passed level 3!

I passed the lesson I was working on yesterday. I had to slow it down drastically in order to get it, but once my fingers got used to it, it wasn’t too difficult. I did the same thing for the next lesson, and then I was done level 3!

Level 4 started with beats. I passed the first lesson with very little trouble (I got mixed up at one point but I found myself again).

I played my song a bunch of times.

I decided to try putting my phone on the bookcase, to see if that helps my back. I still bunch, so perhaps a higher shelf will work? I’ll try that tomorrow. I feel kinda weird facing the bookcase, but whatever works, right?

Guitar Lessons Part 9

Aug 20: Too Much? Hope Not

I “passed” the lesson I was working on for the past two days. Tbh, I was tired of playing it and I think the only reason I wasn’t getting 3 stars was because my mic wasn’t picking up the chords properly. I passed it according to the app, so I moved on.

I learned A! I mean, I already knew that chord, but I got to learn it in the app. I got to complete another “play as many chords as you can in a set amount of time” game. I got 3 gold stars. It was super fun.

Then I passed the first song with an A chord. I feel good about today.

I played my song a few times. The chords are becoming easier to switch between.

Then I played a bunch of songs that I have chords for, including I want it that wayHit Me Baby One More TimeMamma MiaDust in the WindHouse of the Rising Sun, and a few Disney songs.

I played too long, I think. It’s just so exciting to recognize the music that I’m playing!!

I don’t think I aggravated my blister, but I think I’ll probably play the ukulele tomorrow.

Oh, and then at the end of my session, a friend of mine told me that she hasn’t been feeling well, so I recording my song and sent it to her. She loved it.

Listening to the recording, I realized that I’m not consistent with my speed in certain parts… Mostly the chorus. So I’ll have to work on that.

Aug 21: Ukulele Break

My finger wasn’t feeling great today, so instead of playing guitar, I picked up our soprano ukulele.

I’m not doing lessons with the ukulele, so I went straight into playing songs.

Peeps, you have no idea how awesome it is to pick out a song, go through the chords at the top of the app, and just play and have it sound like it’s supposed to!

I recognize that this is mostly due to my experience—slight though it is—on the guitar. The chords are different on the ukulele, but the concept of changing finger positions and strumming is very much the same.

I played for almost an hour and barely noticed the time fly by. So much fun!!

Oh, and after I’d played enough songs that I remembered what the chords we, I played my song! That was really fun.

Aug 22: Awesome Lesson

I had a great lesson today! I passed the lesson I was working on two days ago with no problems, and then passed the next two lessons on the first (and second) tries!

I played my song, paying attention to the timing of the chorus so I wasn’t speeding it up.

I really need to schedule a music mentor session.

I played a bunch of fun songs, including True Colours and When you Believe.

I still can’t get over how much fun I’m having with this.

Aug 23: Music Mentor

I didn’t do a lesson from my app today because I had a meeting with my music mentor!

He walked me through strumming to my song and we decided to keep it simple because adding a more complex rhythm kept messing up my melody.

But I do understand how strumming works a bit better now.

We also talked about the sight changes that I’d made to the chords in my song. He approved the E major, confirmed that the A major he had suggested a while ago did work for the song, and suggested Em instead of Dm at the end of the bridge.

He said I’m doing really well. It’s really great to hear that. 🙂

He also suggested a finger stretch. I’ll definitely work on that.

Aug 24: Audience

I had an audience today in the form of my daughter.

I completed the chords lesson and started the riffs lesson. It’s my first riffs lesson! I learned E5 and A5. I need to figure out how to play those.

I played my song, with a second voice singing along (heart melt!) and was very happy with how it sounded.

Then I played a bunch of Disney songs. That was fun. And an enthusiastic audience, too!

Aug 25: New Song Attempts

The riffs lessons are going decently. I feel awkward playing them. Hopefully they’ll get more natural as I continue.

I played my song a bunch of times. I’m really happy with it. I know I keep saying that, but I am. After I’ve played it a couple times, anyways. I always make mistakes the first few times.

Then I played some new (to me) songs. Ed Sheeran was fun. I played some more ABBA. And Disney, of course.

Guitar Lessons Part 8

Aug 14: Callouses

I just realized that my fingertips haven’t been hurting for a while. At least, not once I stop playing. That’s really comforting.

I played the chord song in my app today (Am/D/C). I shifted my phone closer to the body of the guitar and it registered the sound much better, which was a relief. I was getting very frustrated.

I played my song again. I’m really liking the Fmaj7 chord in place of the F chord. I changed one of them to a Dm chord. We’ll see how I like it tomorrow.

I also should play it for my music mentor and see what he says. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week.

Aug 15: Good Day

I played the chord song I was going to start yesterday but my time got cut off. I passed eventually. It had some quick changes between Em/C/D. I found it exhilarating. I then played the next song once. Same chords, different order; Em/D/C and slightly faster.

I then played my song. I took less time to switch between chords, which was really nice to note. I decided I liked the Dm chord that I put in yesterday. I updated the master song and let my music mentor know.

And then I played my song for my family! It was really nerve wracking. I need to get over my anxiety about playing for others.

Aug 16: I Played Songs!

I didn’t pass the lesson today. According to the app I did, but not according to me. I was getting very frustrated.

I played my song several times. My music mentor suggested that I was doing a key change in the bridge, so I tried that out and he’s totally right, so I changed that.

Then I tried a bunch of different songs in an app I have. Dust in the Wind, You’ll be in my Heart, At Last I see the Light, and Part of Your World. I didn’t know all the chords (I don’t know B at all yet), but I did very well, according to myself.

I played for way too long today. My fingers are tingling!

But it was so fun to play songs that I can recognize!

Aug 17: Break

I took a break from playing guitar today because my middle left finger has a tiny blister and I don’t want to make it worse.

So instead, I picked up the soprano ukulele that we bought and I played a bunch of songs, including my new favourite Unsaid Emily from Julie and the Phantoms. It was super easy to play and made me feel really accomplished.

Hopefully I’ll be healed tomorrow and can continue my guitar lessons.

Aug 18: Feeling Better

My finger looks and feels better today. I’m glad I took yesterday off from the metal strings of my guitar.

Today, I played the chord song from two days ago and got it. That was nice.

Then I played the next chord song. My fingers are getting faster at switching between the chords, which is really nice to see, but my fingers were clumsy today and I kept not being on my fingertips, which was causing dull notes all over the place. I did not pass, thanks to that. 🙁

I played my song. I still love it. I don’t think I have a good strumming pattern down at all, but at least my fingers are getting used to the chord changes. Other than the bridge. I’ll get there. The Dm is slowing me down.

I didn’t play very long today. Don’t want to aggravate my finger again.

Aug 19: Frustrations and Fun

I did not pass the lesson in my app (according to my restrictions. The app passed me.) I’m getting very frustrated.

I played my song. I still love it. I’m getting faster with the chords, even the bridge.

Then I played a few songs from an app I have. That was a LOT of fun!

Guitar Lessons Part 7

Aug 8: Very Good Day

I passed the melody I was working on yesterday, after several attempts.

Then I moved on to a pinky finger exercise. It was fun and easy.

And then!!

I got to play a song I recognized!

Ode to Joy!

Omg you have no idea how excited I was too not only get to play this, but I got to hear myself play it properly!? I passed it on the second try and then I played it two more times just because I could. So cool!

I played my song too, again without listening to the recording first. My daughter sang along with me. Super cool that she knows most of the lyrics to a song that I wrote.

I got the F chord today! Slowly on the changes, but I got it!

Aug 9: Melody Challenge

I played Ode to Joy again, just because I could. I did well on it, although not as well as after 4x yesterday.

Then I moved on to the next melody. It has FIVE parts! I passed according to the app, but I have not gotten 3 stars on all 5 parts yet, so I’m going to keep going with it tomorrow.

I played my song again. The chord changes are getting faster, which is very encouraging!

I’m still feeling weird about the timing on the verses. I might have to do a video call with my music mentor again this weekend.

Aug 10: Gah

The lesson through the app went really well. I passed the song I was working on yesterday on the first try and then again on the second.

The next song was difficult at first, but I’m feeling confident I’ll get it tomorrow.

Then I played my song. It sounded okay, but I could hear the dull notes, so I tried to play each chord individually.

Apparently I cannot play the F chord today. Like, at all. 4th string, fine. 3rd string, fine. 2nd and 1st? Dull, no matter how I move my hand.

I am incredibly frustrated today.

I stopped playing because I felt like smashing something and I thought it would be smart to just leave it alone for now.

Aug 11: Not Bad

I passed the melody I was working on yesterday. It took several tries, but I managed it.

The next melody has barely any pauses in it. If I mess up, I have a really hard time finding the notes again. I passed it once before my time ran out for the day.

My song went well. I added an E chord, for “colour” as my music mentor says. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it, but I liked how it sounded today.

And that F chord… I managed it correctly about a quarter of the time, if I’m being generous.

Aug 12: That F-ing Chord

I completed the melody lessons for level 3 in my app. I only needed to play that one melody from yesterday once more to pass it.

Then I learned a new chord! D chord. I’ve been practicing it with the other chords for about a month, so I was able to get it right away. There was another chord challenge where I had to play as many chords as possible in a set time frame. I did that a bunch of times and managed to get 19 chords to give me three gold stars. Woo!

The first chord song in the app ended up required down strumming AND up strumming. I haven’t been practicing the up strumming, so I didn’t do very well. Something to work on for tomorrow.

Then I played my song.

That F-ing F chord. I couldn’t get it even once. Not even outside the song. I’m seriously considering transposing the entire song so that I don’t have to play the F chord.

So frustrated today.

Aug 13: Chords

The app I use is EXTREMELY picky (pun not intended) about chords. It’s exhausting.

I passed the chord song I was working on yesterday… Barely. I wouldn’t really say I passed, but I was tired of playing it. It kept not hearing me properly.

So I skipped on to the next one. I only played it once, but it didn’t hear a single C chord. Very frustrating.

I told my music mentor about my frustrations yesterday, and he suggested I play Fmaj7 instead of F. Omg what a difference! I’m very happy with the switch. I know I’ll have to learn F someday, but that day is not this day.

I played my song several times. It’s coming along well, I think.

Oh, and we ordered a soprano ukelele that came in today. Our daughter is EXTREMELY excited about it.

Our little soprano ukulele!

So it looks like I’ll be learning uke as well as guitar.

Change to 2021 JenEric Schedule

Hello JenEric Fans,

With Dragon doing full digital school, we’ve decided to move things around a little. Here’s the schedule for the foreseeable future.


Éric Desmarais will randomly write things like an unspecified number of monkeys with typewriters… which is totally not how he writes his posts… *Shifty Eyes* EDIT: Please send bananas.


Guitar Lessons Jen is learning guitar and her journey is quite a lot of fun to follow. Certainly a Major Scaled accomplishment.


The Travelling TARDIS will continue it’s adventures in space, time, and backlogs.


JenEric Movie Reviews continues to watch movies, over-analyse them, and tell you all about it.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is logo.png

The monkeys Éric returns with serial stories, regular stories, rants, coffee info, and really whatever comes out of the typewriters… uhm mind, his mind.

Saturday & Sunday

Unless 2021 ends up being as movie watching heavy as 2020, these will be left blank and let the monkeys, time machine, and musicians rest.

Hope you enjoy it!

JenEric Designs Management

Guitar Lessons Part 6

Aug 2: Scales!

I finished this set of chord lessons. I think I’m getting the hang of up strumming. Sort of.

The next set of lessons is knowledge stuff. So I’m learning how to do scales! They’re starting off with a simple scales with no sharps or flats. They didn’t give it a name, but I start on an open E, so I guess it’s an E major?

I guess the guitar isn’t in the same key as a flute, because E major for a flute has flats, if I’m remembering correctly from twenty years ago. (??)

Oh, and big news for my song! I sent the recording I made (and the lyrics) to a very talented guitarist friend of mine and he sent me back some chords!!

So I have music for my song now! (Note to self, remember to credit him for the music!)

And he gave me chords I already know, which is so very sweet of him to think of. Thankfully I have a capo.

They’re very basic chords, which is perfect for a beginner like me: C, Am, and F (which I’m cheating on and only playing the bottom two strings).

Now I have to get used to singing the melody while I play a harmony. That’s going to take a lot of time and practice.

I tried it today and my voice automatically dropped into the harmony. Sigh.

Practice makes perfect, right?

Aug 3: What a difference!

I played the scale again today. It took a couple attempts, but I was able to play it.

Then I moved on to playing arpeggios. It took some time, but I got them today too. I think I’m a little lazy with my finger placement, not using the tips of my fingers. I’ll have to pay more attention to that tomorrow.

The last thing I did was a song with whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes. It had a couple string and finger changes that I struggled with in the first go-through and then my time was up for the day.

Then I got to play my song!

I decided to put the recording I had made on the Google mini while I played the chords to keep my voice on track and IT WORKED!! The chorus is so good I’m ridiculously excited about it. The verses need work, but I have a month to practice before I’m going to play for people.

Omg I’m so hyped from my practice session today!!

Aug 4: Challenges

I passed the knowledge section. I don’t really have anything more to say about that.

Now I’m on to level 3!!

It starts with melody lessons; adding the fourth finger! I did very well with the first two training songs. They were both on the bottom string (1st) only, so very simple.

The next song in the lesson was on the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings and used the first four frets.

Apparently I have no idea which string I’m on with either hand. I think this song is going to take more than a couple days to master.

It’s a good challenge.

My song. Omg my song.

I played my recording once, singing along with it. Then I played it twice more, singing and playing the chords. And then! I turned off the recording.

And I was able to sing it properly!

I’m still so in love with the chorus.

I think I really need to master the F chord because the cheat I’ve been using feels very unfinished. So I’m going to work on that.

I still awkward with the verses. I’ll get there.

And the bridge is slightly uncomfortable, but I think that’s because there are F chords in it, so hopefully it will get more comfortable as I get better with that chord.

A good day.

Aug 5: Well then

You know that melody I said was going to take days to master?

I passed it today. And passed it well. I played it four times, and got three stars on all of them except the first (only two stars). So yay?

However! This next melody is actually going to take me days. I’m playing it at 75% speed and barely managing a third of the notes. So yeah. DAYS. That’s ok. I feel like I’m learning.

I played my song again. Once with the recording, several times without. Still in love with the chorus. Still fighting with the F chord.

It’s ok. I’m getting there. It’s nice to make progress.

Aug 6: Accomplishments

I worked on the melody from yesterday today for the entire half hour. I played it at 80% speed several times, sped it up to 85%, sped it up to 90%, and then played it at full speed.

And you know what?

It wasn’t as difficult as it was yesterday.

It was still really hard, but I came really close to passing. (3,3,2,2 and then 2,3,3,2 stars on each part of the song – I have decided that I need 3 stars on each part of a song in order to consider it passed. According to the app, I have passed.)

I played my song again. I’m still having trouble with that pesky little F chord. (my nemesis!!)

Keep on practicing.

Aug 7: Playing with a Headache

I completed the melody I’ve been working on for the past couple days. I’m honestly kinda surprised. Even though it was very challenging for me to start with, I felt competent while playing it today.

Shows the value of practice, I guess!

Then I played a new melody. I got three stars on all three parts the second time I played it, but then every time I played afterwards, I got worse and worse! It was kinda funny, looking back on it, but very frustrating in the moment.

I played my song without listening to the recording first. It went very well! I’m very pleased with my vocal training. Making the recording was definitely the right thing for me to do.


F chord, you will not defeat me!!!

Cinderella III: A Twist in Time – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2007 film Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.


Interesting, if overdone, idea of using time travel and magic to alter what originally happened in the first movie. It’s endearing for nostalgia and because the prince, still unnamed, is the nicest person alive.

Score: 0


The characters are all played by different actors than the original and they do a wonderful job. The king gets a little more character development, as do the stepsisters.

The prince again is absolutely the nicest person and really rolls with the ridiculousness of the plot.

Score: 1


Some of the dialogue is quite clever and some was intentionally funny. Overall, it wasn’t great.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The art was pretty, especially when it borrowed from the original, but not the best quality for Disney. They definitely took some shortcuts and it shows that this was straight to video release.

The music is pretty good and really takes inspiration from the original.

Score: 0.5


The first time I saw the movie I liked it, the second it was okay. It doesn’t have the narrative or humour levels that many Disney movies have that make it re-watchable. It’s better than the second one, but no where near the original.

All that said, it is watchable.

Score: 0.5


This is a cute straight to video Disney sequel that is fun to watch but utterly forgettable.

Final Score: 2.5 Stars out of 5

Dragon’s School Year 2021-2022

Hello readers!

Last year, for Dragon’s first school year, we decided to do a combination homeschool/virtual school. Her teachers were really accommodating and understanding.

However, after looking back on the year, despite Dragon learning a LOT and having a lot of fun, there were several aspects that she clearly missed.

The major one being French. She resisted learning French and, well, I am NOT a French teacher, or a kindergarten teacher.

She also missed seeing her classmates.

So after several discussions with Dragon, she has suggested (after leading questions from us) that she attend virtual school full-time this Fall.

I discovered that the reason she was hesitating to suggest this was because she was afraid of hurting my feelings. Once I reassured her that I thought virtual school was a good idea, she was very happy with the idea.

I also told her that we could do the big activities on the weekend, if she wanted.

Considering I told her the same thing about this summer and she has yet to suggest we do one, I’m not sure if she’ll take me up on that offer.

The biggest change that her attending virtual school full time will cause is a change in the kids’ bedtime routines. In order for Dragon to get a full night’s sleep, we’re going to have to put her to bed an hour or two earlier than we have been. One day up early wasn’t hurting her, but a full week of it would definitely be a problem.

And since it seems silly to put Pegasus to bed after we finish putting Dragon to bed, we’ll be adjusting his sleep schedule as well.

So much for sleeping in on the weekends.

On the selfish plus side, Dragon attending virtual school means I have an awful lot of writing time. I also don’t have to do all the school prep (lesson plans, worksheets, activity planning, etc) I did last year.

Let’s hope this plan goes well!