Unité 1 Parlez-vous français-Critères C es D and l’oral

Last week we had our French oral summative. We had to record a conversation with a partner. This is my reflection:


A challenge was that our recording was under 2:30 minutes, as our script was too short. I had tried to lengthen it but still we were under time.  We overcame this challenge by speaking slower, and adding a whole other section in our script.

Time Management?

For time management, my partner and I live in the same apartment complex, so finding time to record was really easy. We had tried to record at school, but there were people talking so we just decided to record at her house.

Partnership/Work Ethic?

I’m really good friends with my partner, and I think we worked well together. We had a challenge, though overcame it.

Final Product?

I’m really happy with my final product and grade, though I think my partner and I could have done better if we had better pronunciation.

My Recording:

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Ukulele

How is your recording the same as the original song? Why did you do this?

I chose ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ as my ukulele song. Since the song ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ was originally written for the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’, it’s not originally a ukulele song. But the artist Israel Kamakawiwoʻole modified this song and made it into a ukulele song. My recording is mostly the same as the Israel Kamakawiwoʻole version of this song, as the same chords and strumming pattern, which is an Island Strum, are identical. The key is also the same in both versions, which is the key of C Major.

How is your recording different compared to the original song? What were your reasons behind your decisions?

Since the Israel Kamakawiwoʻole version of my song was a ukulele song, it didn’t have a drum track, so I just added one that was the original setting in Garage Band. I also shortened the song, excluding the intro and outro, and only including the singing parts of that version of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. I also added a electric piano track, which wasn’t part of the original song, though I think it suits the recording really well.

Ukulele Skills

I started playing the ukulele this year, and learned many skills, including strumming, plucking and multiple chords, and I used those skills and applied them to my recording. Although I new many chords already, I still learned some new ones. I also learned a new strumming pattern, called the Island Strum. This strum can be used in many songs, so I’m really glad that I learned it.

Garage band editing – digital instrument, drum use…

I had never used Garage Band before this year, so I learned many new things about creating music using digital instruments. I learned how to use the digital electric piano, and how to play chords on the piano. I was a bit nervous about having to use drums, as I’ve never played it in real life before. Though when Mr O’Toole showed us how easy It was to use, I was really happy that I didn’t need to press a lot of buttons, as it wan’t too complex to use, yet is really affective in the overall recording. When recording the strums, I did it chord by chord, as when I was trying to record my ukulele the first time, I kept messing up.

Time management for your project…

For the first few lessons that we were introduced to this project, I was mostly just learning this song and all of it’s components, and didn’t record anything. Though, a week before the due date, I started to record my ukulele track. I didn’t like how it turned out, so I recorded again at home with my own ukulele. Then, the next lesson, I worked on my digital instrument track, which is the electric piano. Then I worked on the drum track. I then submitted the recording to google classroom. I think I managed my time well, and didn’t leave it to the last minute.

Independent learning…

Since it was my first time using Garage Band, (excluding the ‘Amazing Grace’ recording), I learned many new things about it. When I was at home and couldn’t ask Mr O’Toole, I searched on Youtube how to use some of the functions on Garage Band. For the ukulele, I learned this song at home, then practiced at school. I started playing the ukulele this year, and learned many skills, including strumming, plucking and multiple chords, and I used those skills and applied them to my recording. I think I did really well in my independent learning.

Ukulele Recording: Amazing Grace

What is the key of your tune? Time Signature?

The key is C Major, the time signature is 3/4.

What sort of rhythms are used in your song?

Crotchets, Minims, Dotted Minims, and 2 quavers are used in this song. The songs starts on the 3rd beat, and almost all of the other bars have a minim then a crotchet. The 6th and 11th bar has a minim then 2 quavers, and the 7th and 15th bar have dotted minims, and the final bar has a crotchet, then a rest.

Discuss your note accuracy and rhythm accuracy in regards to your strumming and melodic playing.

I learned the notes and chords and rhythm of this song very quickly, and I think I was pretty accurate when practicing. I had a little bit of difficulty when playing the 6th and 11th bar, as I had to quickly play in keep in time when playing the 2 quavers on each bar. Though I think I did alright when recording, though I had to record the melody several times as I think I wasn’t too used to recording.

What Ukulele skills have you acquired?

This was my first time playing the ukulele, so I learned a lot of ukulele skills. These include plucking, strumming, the C chord, the F chord, the G7 chord, and a few notes on the ukulele. I’m glad that we had a ukulele unit in music, as I bought a ukulele a month ago and have been really enjoying playing it.

How did you decide your tempo to match your song and style? Did the context of the song change because of this?

I decided to use 80 as my tempo as Amazing Grace was a relatively slow song, and I thought it would be a good fit. I don’t think it changed the song too much, as it was a slow song to begin with. If I had made the tempo 120, I will have probably been a bit fast.

How did you use the editing tools in Garageband? Editing, cutting, flex-time, trimming, plugins.

For the melody, I had a bit of difficulty when staying on time, so when recording I had to cut a lot of recordings, along with some trimming as I had trouble staying on time. But I think the final product was ok.

Discuss your recording process; did you have any concerns or issues?

For the melody, I had a bit of difficulty when staying on time for my recording, but when playing the chords and when singing, I was more used to recording, and didn’t have to record several times over. I think we didn’t have too much time in the recording rooms, and maybe should have more than just 5 minutes a session, but I’m glad I was able to finish my recordings under 5 minutes.

Welcome to your iFolio

Welcome to your iFolio

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Featured image used in this post by Nathan via Flickr Creative Commons