The way I know you project is to meditate or relax, you should feel like you're going to fall asleep, then you can think of falling, floating, or even visualize a rope to pull yourself up. Easiest I found is to lie on your bed and focus on floating to the ceiling. For your first projection, try simply floating to the ceiling, then turning around to look at yourself lying on the bed, and then drift back into your body. Once you get the hang of moving around your room, just think of the Astral and you should automatically be transported there. The plane looks different to different people, I'm usually by a lake, but I've got a friend who visits dragons in a meadow. When you are ready to return, think of your room, then yourself.
Shapeshifting however I haven't really tried, but I feel the concept is similar to projection. Take your time and when you feel ready, visualize yourself as a wolf, or a faerie, or whatever you wish to transform into. I am told it takes a lot of spiritual energy to do this, but I'm not too sure about that, so just try one transformation, return home, and record how you feel. You wouldn't want to drain yourself.