After much contemplation, I’ve reach a decision on what to focus on for my “Free Inquiry” project. For the remainder of the term, I will work towards learning new fingerpicking techniques on my acoustic guitar. I will be specifically concentrating on beginner blues fingerstyles with the ultimate goal of playing a song (maybe more) from the 20th century country blues player, Mississippi John Hurt. Throughout this project, I will be drawing on a range of old and new resources with the goal of integrating them into my learning framework to create a final, multimedia presentation.

To outline the details of my inquiry and track my progress, I will be using Trello. Throughout this project, I hope to not only learn what is needed to play a song, but to also be able to develop the basic skills needed to feel comfortable learning more advanced techniques in the blues genre, in general. Though I have been playing guitar for over 20 years, I have never spent much time exploring these specific blues techniques. I have owned a couple of introductory blues books for a number of years now, but have not spent more than a few minutes tackling the lessons they provide. This assignment has opened up the perfect opportunity to analyse what a successful, personalised learning framework looks like.

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Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar, by Arnie Berle and Mark Balbo.
Mississippi John Hurt, edited and transcribed by Stefan Grossman.

As I begin developing a model for effectively assessing my progress, I will be reflecting on the “Inquiry Tools” that the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry has developed.

Inquiry Map from Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry

It’s my hope that as I begin to define the steps towards meeting my end goals, my overall objectives will feel more attainable than they currently do. I’m really looking forward to embracing the “Inquiry” approach as I work towards accomplishing something that’s been on my mind for of years. I have not really used this approach as a formal method of reaching a goal before, but I can tell already that I’ll learn a lot about technology, guitar, and the overall inquiry process.