Learning music with Lynda

Have you discovered our Lynda? I have.

Lynda logo

I’m struggling with music notation and learning to read music… I should have paid attention when I tried to learn at 11, because now when I’m trying to learn at 55, it’s quite painful.

It just isn’t straight forward, there are weird rules and exceptions, and it’s more mathematical than I thought it would be. Add to that, I’m looking at it from a jazz perspective and my brain not only hurts but feels numb.

I’ve got books, and I’m in a class, but I recently thought, “hey there’s that Lynda woman in our Christchurch City Libraries eResources who offers videos to learn about just about anything… I wonder what she has to offer me?”

So I got my library card and my PIN ready to go: it’s one of our resources you do have to be a  library member to use. I logged into Lynda, after finding it in the eResources section of our website.

Next, the search for ‘music’, which yielded a plethora of results from Intro to songwriting, Insider’s guide to today’s music biz, and Finding music using apple apps, and there amongst them was Music Theory.

I settled on learning musical notation and worked my way through a series of videos that I could stop, back up, repeat until some of what I was reading and practising was sinking in. There was also music theory for songwriters, improvisation and theory, and one I’m obviously not quite up to, Music Theory for Fun!

In the process, I learnt that you can adjust the skill level to suit you, as well as choose from specific authors and teachers, the length of course you want and a wealth of other limiters to make the learning truly suited to you.

But wait, you say I’m not interested in music theory.. stick with me here, because there are so many other things to learn, such as:

  • Become a Photographer
  • Publish an eBook
  • Become a Web Designer
  • Become a Motion Graphics Artist
  • Be a Small Business Owner
  • Be a Six Sigma Black Belt

So, check out our Lynda and expand your horizons… I’ll keep on with my key signatures and triads (not of the Chinese gang variety!)

International Day of Older Persons 2017

Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20 percent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. According to Statistics New Zealand, here in Aotearoa by 2051, there will be over 1.14 million people aged 65 years and over. They are expected to make up 25.5 percent (or 1 in every 4) of all New Zealanders (4.49 million).

That’s a significant group of part of why the United Nations has an official International Day of Older Persons, and why Christchurch City Council has an Ageing Together Policy.

Resources for older people

Here at Christchurch City Libraries we have many resources and services that can be of use to older people, including:

  • Audiobooks
  • eBooks
  • Large Print books
  • eMagazines
  • DVDs with subtitles or captions for the hearing impaired

Find our more about library services for older adultsSeniors learning about eBooks

Events for older people

Community connections for adults

Classes and programmes for adults offered in our Learning Centres.

GenConnect

Informal tech instruction for Seniors provided by high school students at Upper Riccarton and Papanui libraries.

Positive aging and having fun

Marg Miller from Presbyterian Support will be sharing some of the tips and tricks to having fun when getting older.

Linwood Library
10am-12pm, Thursday 28 September.

Positive Ageing Expo

The Expo will be held at Papanui High School, and promises to be a fun day combining information about services for older adults with free entertainment.

Exhibitors will cover areas such as:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Recreation
  • Staying safe
  • Nutrition
  • Social Opportunities
  • Transport Options

And of course staff from various units of the Christchurch City Council will also be there. Pop down and see the stand from Christchurch City Libraries. Library staff will be available to chat about the many ways in which we can help you enjoy our vast selection of print, audio and online resources.

Papanui High School
9am-2.30pm, Monday, 2 October

Find out more

Adult Learners’ Week – Celebrating the Value of Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning is great for health, wellbeing and mental agility. Adult learners of all ages and backgrounds report benefits like better self-esteem, greater tolerance, confidence and career prospects.

Adult Learners’ Week/He Tangata Mātauranga runs 4-10 September and celebrates all adult learning whether it’s upskilling for a better job, preparing for further study, improving life skills or having fun. It is supported by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and incorporates International Literacy Day on September 8.

If you’ve ever been curious about our learning programmes for adults – sessions on learning how to use a new piece of technology, family history research, or polishing up your CV – Adult Learners’ Week is a great time to head along and try out what we have to offer.

Library events during Adult Learners’ Week

  • eResource Taster sessions, Central Library Peterborough –  Each session focuses on a different eResource. Learn about accessing/downloading digital newspapers (PressReader), eBooks (Overdrive), eAudiobooks (BorrowBox), and eMagazines (RBdigital Magazines) as well as tips for researching family history (Ancestry Library) or online language learning (Mango Languages)
  • Technology Help Drop-in Sessions, several libraries – Have a specific issue relating to a device or piece of technology? Drop-in and get some guidance.
  • ESOL Club, Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre – This club is for non-native speakers who would like to practice English in a relaxed, pressure free environment. Every week we will have a different themed topics to guide conversational practice.
  • Family History Help, Fendalton and Upper Riccarton Libraries – Looking for more help with your family history research? A volunteer from the New Zealand Society of Genealogists will be available to help you with your family history questions.
  • CV drop-in, New Brighton Library – A librarian will be on hand to assist customers who are needing help with their resume. We can offer guidance on creating, updating, and editing your CV.
  • Learner License Course, Aranui Library – This course, delivered by Literacy Christchurch, is designed to give you all the knowledge and confidence needed for best success at passing when sitting for your learners licence test. Laptops and devices will be available for use during the class times to sit practice tests and for researching questions.
  • How to organise and edit your digital photos, South Library – Learn how to organise your photographs and do some basic editing using online photo editing software. Please ensure that you bring your camera and USB download cables. Cost: $7. To make a booking please call 941 5140

Find out more

Never too old to learn

Cover of The Mature Student's handbookDo you envy those with a bit of paper from university? Do you think “If I had the chance I could do that”?

Did you try university when you were younger and wonder if you could give it another try?

Are you are over 55 years of age and have not studied for the last five years? If you are you can apply for the Deans Award which will pay half of your fees.

Stepping Stones A Guide for Mature-aged Students at University Book coverHave you always had an interest in Greek myths or Medieval Europe, or wished you had learnt Māori or French at school? Do you want to read the great works of English or find out about Picasso? Do you want to explore what makes science good bad or bogus or discuss god and human freedom determinism then the University of Canterbury have the course for you.

If you want you can study for as little as one semester and take on subject or you could study for a year and get a Certificate of Proficiency in that course or courses. If you want to take a few courses and study part-time without studying for a degree you can get a Certificate in Arts. There are further options of a Certificate in Languages or Te Pourua Reo: Diploma in Languages (Te Reo Māori) for those who do not wish to complete a full degree or if you decide you can complete a Bachelor of Arts. You can even select your own programme of study with the help of a Student advisor.

If you need to speak to somebody who studied at University as an older student then I have the chap for you. Dr. Jefferey Paparoa Holman from UC Arts Lifelong Learning would be happy to talk to you about his experiences of starting out late in life on a university degree.

Mature students their life experience to their course of study bringing a whole new perspective to classes. Mature students are motivated and know how to work and apply themselves they give their experience to society. University life now has much more support for students than in the past and you do not have to buy as many books as much is available online.

How to study again book cover

Have I perked your interest? Have a look at our library resources on how to study again and studying in New Zealand as a mature student.

Are you or have you studied as a mature student? Share your story with us.

Keep Learning: Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. The focus for this year is Keep Learning, and what better place than the library for inspiration!

Evidence shows continuing to learn throughout life can help improve and maintain our mental wellbeing. Learning can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, help build a sense of purpose and connect us with others. Studies have shown that ongoing learning can be linked with greater satisfaction and optimism and improved ability to get the most from life.

Learning isn’t about going to University and aiming for that Ph.D. in Neuroscience (although that is a worthy aim); it’s also about connecting with other people, having fun and achieving something… anything!

Cover of Everyone Can Learn to Ride a BicycleIt doesn’t need to cost money and may not take up much time depending on your circumstances, but it is a way to reach out and learn at the same time. This earlier post from our blog has some great ideas for lifelong learning.

Our CINCH database is also a good place to start. Every type of skill or hobby imaginable is listed and I am always amazed at just how many people out there are willing to share their knowledge and passions with others.

However perhaps you or someone you know is at a really low point. I have always found reading a good way to find solace and help – to read that others are struggling with similar things is comforting, and learning new ways and ideas to help has at times been a lifesaver. If reading feels too hard then our audio material may be worth a try. Listening takes far less concentration and there is the added bonus of a friendly voice.

Our website has links to various organisations that work in the area of mental health that can offer support when needed, and here are some new titles on mental health that have just arrived on our shelves.

Cover of The Mood Repair Toolkit Cover of Change Your Life With CBT Cover of Overcoming Shock Cover of The Noonday Demon Cover of When Depression Hurts Your Relationship

Adult Learners’ Week — He Tangata Mātauranga: an opportunity to try something new

My grade three teacher confused me. He told me that he learned something new every day. How could that be? He was a teacher and he knew everything. My grandmother and her sister added to my primary school-aged confusion by telling me that they enjoyed learning new things all the time. What was going on? Adults know everything.

What I didn’t realise then, but I am well aware of now, is that adults don’t know everything, and that many, if not most, like learning new skills and information, and expanding their horizons by trying new experiences. The importance of this lifelong learning is celebrated every year during  Adult Learners’ Week — He Tangata Mātauranga.

Adult Learners' Week brochureThe library fosters learning at all times, of course, but during Adult Learners’ Week it particularly encourages you to learn something new and to celebrate your successes and achievements as a lifelong learner. If you want to take on a new challenge, I recommend you:

Adult Learners’ Week also incorporates International Literacy Day on 8 September. Find out about our English Language Skills resources for both people with literacy difficulties and their tutors.

Hurrah for volunteers!

Today is International Volunteer Day, which is an annual event dedicated to celebrating and recognising all types of volunteers around the world.

Volunteering is a wonderful way to experience new challenges, develop new skills and get involved in the community. Our web page provides all sorts of information about volunteering in and around Christchurch.

Volunteering in Canterbury came into the spotlight after the earthquakes when organisations such as the Student Volunteer Army, the Farmy Army and many others were involved in the massive clean-up effort. These contributions really showed how much can be achieved when people come together with a common purpose to benefit the community.

The volunteering spirit has endured post-quakes with initiatives like Greening the Rubble and Gap Filler, amongst others, actively using volunteers in the quest to fill empty sites before permanent redevelopment.

My own experiences of volunteering helped me to discover if the career path I wanted to go down was right for me. I wanted to get into the museum sector and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help out at my local museum. I was able to find out about this type of job in a very hands on way and meet people who could tell me more. This experience initially led to a part time job and helped me get onto a Museum Studies course.

So, whether you have a little time or a lot of time have think about volunteering as you never know where it will lead you – and if you know a volunteer say a big thank you to them today.