About Me

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I am a Zimbabwean who is a permanent resident of New Zealand after coming to New Zealand in July 2007. I am currently (in 2011) studying for the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy degree at Otago Polytechnic (second year), Wintec Avalon Drive Campus in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Participation in Occupation 2: Fifth Posting - 'Practical considerations' in playing my guitar

The last time I played my guitar was last week on Saturday afternoon at home in the garage.

I was preparing Church praise and worship songs for the next day, Sunday's service at my Church. I had 4 songs to work on, not necessarily learning to play all of them from scratch as I was familiar with 2 of them I had last played some 2-3 months ago. So, to warm myself up, I decided to start with the 2 familiar songs.

Firstly, I had to replace my number 1 guitar string which had snapped into two in my last session about a week ago. I had bought a replacement set from the Rock Shop in town a few days ago. After replacing this string, I then tuned it into tune with the other strings on the guitar. I then went on to play around with some familiar melodies just to warm my fingers and my mind up to the task at hand. All this preliminary work took about 15 minutes. Luttjeboer (2010) writes that "People who are just beginning to play the guitar are often surprised by how much work the fingers must do. And to keep those mighty digits limber, strong, and injury free, you should take time to warm them up before you put them through the paces of your guitar workout. Just as athletes warm up and stretch their muscles before playing or practising their sport, you should do the same for your fingers before you jump into the real music" (p. 9).

I then listened through the first of the songs on my recorder with my powerful headphones on. The headphones help me to pick up all the sounds (chords & notes) that make up the song. I then went on to write these chords in order in my song book for future reference. I went on to practice the rest of the songs using the same format.

Some approximately 4 hours later, I concluded my happy guitar session.

The above are some of the 'PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS' associated with my guitar playing activity. These include consideration of the venue, equipment and accessories(guitar, belt, guitar pick, strings, bag, chair, amplifier, speaker e.t.c), the condition of the guitar itself and myself, the time it takes to play and the ethics around noise for other uninterested family members and neighbours. Crepeau (2003) states that, "Identifying the multiple demands, skills, and potential meanings of the activity enables practitioners to have a deeper understanding of this activity in general" (p. 191).



Always remember this,"If your strings are poorly attached there is little chance of good tuning stability, and your tone will probably suffer too. Even plenty of experienced players load their strings in ways that fail to optimize their performance, but its easy to learn a stable and efficient technique for stringing-up - either a basic wind or more advanced locking technique" (Hunter, Bacon, Benedetto, Burrluck, Carter, Chandler & Day, 2008, p. 62).



Sunday, 2 October 2011

Participation in Occupation 2: Fourth Posting - AFFORDANCES


This time around, I am exploring affordances.

Affordances, which can also be looked at as 'outcomes of a particular activity,' are defined by Hagedorn, 2000, as "Anything which the environment can offer the individal which is pertinent to role challenge and can facilitate role competence. Aspects of the environment perceived by the person which combine with the person's efficiencies to produce competence (Christiansen & Baum 1997)" p. 307).

Affordances comprise of various components, namely;


From the above list, with regards to my guitar playing, I will explore the first three, namely, communication, connection, and spirituality.

Communication, in guitar playing, takes place in that the music that I play, even without any accompanying vocals, communicates a feeling or mood to whoever is listening to it, me included. This in itself can be spiritual as well in that we sometimes use guitars and other musical instruments to accompany worship and prayer at my Church. This, we believe, helps us connect horizontally with each other as fellow christians and vertically with our God. "It is through our activities that we are connected with life and with other human beings. Through the activities in which we engage, we learn about the world, test our knowledge, practice skills, express our feelings, experience pleasure, take care of our needs for survival, develop competence, and achieve mastery over our destinies" (Hopkins & Smith, 1983, p. 296). I achieve all these just through playing my guitar.

Below is a Christian Pentecostal'Praise and Worship' concert led by a guitar playing Worship Leader.
< Israel Houghton and New Breed: "I Am A Friend of God" Praise and Worship Song


I have also made new friends of different cultures and nationalities through playing my guitar in public places like in parks and at the beach like in this analogy below of the famous reggae song 'Redemption song' composed by the great late Bob Marley.