Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Account of my participation in this activity on 30.09.2011

This time, instead of devoting a few hours to learning an entire song, I was given a lesson on strumming techniques from my partner, who has been a participant of this activity for 9 years now.


Today, communication was crucial for my engagment in this activity, because I was being taught strumming types, so I had to be able to listen and mimic effectively. I was also given praise from Tom, my partner, when I got certain strumming types right, and I also gave out praise from his excellent teaching strategies. I found I got frustrated at times when I couldn't get it right, but I would keep trying, with encouragement.


It was Tom, who first introduced me to guitar playing, making a hobby out of something I was already very interested in. Tom gave me my first acoustic guitar, it's name is nyley, because it has nylon strings. From this, I'm able to see the relevance of using affordance to pull apart my chosen activity, in terms of connections, because every time I pick up my guitar to start playing it, I am reminded of Tom, who lives in Tauranga, so it is always a comforting reminder and adds extra passion for my guitar involvement.

With Tom's, legendary skills, he took me over 3 different strumming techniques that will be useful in my future playing for when I move from finger picking songs to proper chord involvement. While playing a certain strum type, I am reminded of a song that John Mayer plays, which immediately reminds me of my grandmother, who passed away last year, who adored John Mayer. From playing, I can always pull out things that spawn memories and connections that make me feel as though playing the guitar brings me closer to people who are fr away, or who have passed.

Reference #3

"Having good connections, making connections, finding the right connection, are the ways in which human beings got on in the world", (Wilson, 1976).

I chose this quote for my third reference in these blogs because to me it shows the vitality of engaging in something that you experience and pull connections from. To me, I wouldn't participate so often in an activity if it meant nothing to me. However, I find that connections are what I pull the most from my activity engagement when playing my guitar, and so I completely agree with Wilson when it is said that it is how "human beings get on in the world" -- having meaning in something makes it worthwhile, makes it something you NEED to do, not just WANT.

In further regards to affordances, and from this certain activity engagement today, I can point out some good and bad things about playing the guitar.

  • Learning this skill makes me and others happy
  • Makes me feel a sense of accomplishment when I nail it
  • It allows to spend time among others, being taught, or playing in front of others
  • I feel joy that I can do something that not everyone else can do
  • Joy of playing something I am very passionate about
  • Takes up a lot of time
  • Can be painful on my fingers
  • Can cause calluses to form on my fingertips
From this activity account, and from writing about it in this blog, pulling out the affordance aspects, I can see the things that make this activity a NEED, and not just a WANT. I find that I pull out more connections than anythings else, which shows me that I NEED to play the guitar because the connections around it that much more important to me.


Wilson, P.J. (1976). At our wits beginnings. Anthropology department, Otago university, Dunedin, New Zealand.

1 comment:

  1. Concentrate on the good Chloe. More good I discovered is that playing musical instruments actually improves concentration; remember that it can take you 5 hours of concentration to learn to play just a 5 minute long song, but this trains your brain not only to concentrate but also to be patient. Your blog is really well designed and presented, probably just needs 1 or 2 videos to spice it up.