Measuring my Steno Progress through Songs

It’s no secret that I love practising to videos that I watch on YouTube; I’ve done it for as many as two years now. In particular, part of the reason why I think I was able to pass so many speed tests consecutively when I first started speedbuilding was because I kept practising to certain music videos over and over again. I just like listening to songs in general. It’s the reason why I will almost always have my radio turned on when I’m at home and even in the car. When I first started stenoing to songs by streaming them through YouTube, I picked songs that I liked to listen to..such as popular pop songs and old-school pop songs. They were familiar to me, I was able to sing along to them, and it was a challenge to see whether I could steno out the lyrics. Over time, I found that although the repetition of the song’s lyric was effective in helping me reinforce a specific word or phrase, I eventually found it boring that it was the same words over and over again. That’s the characteristic with songs — it will repeat the chorus and refrain and whatever else. It’s a song; it’s designed to do that!

So, I moved onto another part of my hobbies for practising steno instead: musicals. I love watching musicals! You can even see all of the musicals I’ve seen in my life thus far here in my carefully crafted slideshow. 🙂 The best part about stenoing to musicals is that the challenge to get down all of the words is just the same — you never know that words are going to come up at what speed, but the best part is that the same words aren’t repeated over and over again! The actors and actresses will be singing their dialogue out in song which makes my practise even more effective. I’ve yet to practise musicals like a testimony practice (that of a Question speaker designation and an Answer speaker designation. I really should though as that will reinforce my Q. and A. banks even more 🙂 ). But I digress. There are only so many song videos from YouTube that I can find which peak my interest and which are challenging enough for me right now.

One of them is comes from my top favourite musical of all time:  Legally Blonde.  I know, those of you that don’t care much about musicals know that it was first a book, and then a movie, and then made into a musical — which was the best idea ever!  There is a song from the musical that encapsulates the essence of the character Elle Woods.  She is strong, independent, fierce, and knows how to go after her goals by instilling everything in her character and not backing down.  The musical song number shows this:

The lyrics in this song are sung quickly and challenged me since when I first started stenoing to it, I was not yet at the speed of 160 wpm and up.  I found it really difficult to steno out every single word that she sang.  I remember stenoing it on repeat many many times but still being unable to get every single word.  Last night, I tried it to break up some montony from practising and to my delight, I nailed it!  I got down every word.  Yay!  Success!  I’ve been feeling that I can write a lot faster than before and this confirms it. 🙂

Moving on from pop songs to musical numbers for the sake of incorporating more dialogue and vocabulary into my speedbuilding, I’ve also been stenoing documentaries and other videos that I watch on YouTube.  Unlike most people who visit YouTube to unwind after a long day or catch up with their favourite subscriptions, I go there to do the same thing but also to steno whenever I’m watching.  It’s just good practice for me to do so.  Extra practice never hurts if I want to steno realtime one day, and I’m pretty sure I will be able to.  I can already realtime steno at 140 wpm with generally clean writing and non-complex vocabulary, so it’s just a matter of time before I creep up my translation stats and achieve near perfect writing. (I know.  I sound really egotistical, don’t I?  But these mark my goals and achievements and I’m proud of them.)

One more point I wanted to write about before wrapping up this blog post was that you know how I’ve been recently stenoing to this super quick word poem?  I referred to it recently in my post in October.  Well, I’ve been practicing nearly everyday whenever I get the chance and I can tell that I’m improving.  I can get more words down from the poem.  It is still fast for me, but it’s getting better.  I glanced up at my WPM counter, and I saw that it approached 250-260 wpm last night when I was stenoing to it.  Wow!  That’s the highest I’ve seen it go.  Pretty happy about that.  The average of the poem goes from 140-170-200 wpm.  Lately, in my practice, I’ve been seeing a lot of 200 wpm float up in my WPM counter.  Again, I’m happy about that.  It seems like the stenoing is coming along well.  My goal it to make the responses automatic and lightning fast.  I cannot afford to hesitate if I want to achieve realtime writing.

And with that, I’ll end this long blog post with some of the previous videos that I would steno to.  They all started off sounding really fast to me, but now, they’re easy peasy! 🙂

This song comes from the Wicked musical and it’s where I learned to stroke out the word “popular” in one stroke and also without thinking now!

This song also comes from Wicked.  It was comfortable to write to back then, and even more so now:

Another musical number from Wicked.  This was one very slow to me back then, and is just boring to steno to now.  However, I love this song.

Before “To This Day” by Shane Koyczan, I stenoed this one almost daily.  It was fast and too fast for me to steno to:

This one still kind of stumps me, but again, I can see an improvement.  Beyonce’s Countdown music video:

And the current one that’s kicking my butt and that I want to be able to steno out perfectly one day:

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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