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15 January, 2016 - 09:13
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Begin your investigation by thinking about your current music-learning goals. Are you trying to become a more-informed listener, a better singer or improviser? What types of investigation will this require? Will you be learning, for example, about Western music theory concepts, about the cultural practices surrounding a particular music tradition, about the acoustics of your instrument? If you have no idea, consider doing the Designing Inquiry Questions or the Ways of Knowing about Music inquiries before doing this one.

Once you have decided on the type of learning you will be pursuing, consider whether you have learned anything in this area recently. For example, if you are trying to improve your music-reading skills, have you learned something useful about music-reading lately? If you want to study the history of jazz, did you learn something very interesting about that history recently?

If you have learned something in your chosen area recently, do a little extra research to ensure that your understanding is accurate and to pick up any useful background or extra information. (If possible, go back to the original source of the information to refresh your memory, and then look for at least one other resource, to gain a different perspective on the information.) Then use that learning experience as the focus for the Create step of this inquiry.

If you have not learned something in your chosen area recently, try to think of a question in that area that you believe has an answer that you will find useful or interesting, but that will not require extensive study. You are looking for something that you will be able to do or to understand after studying only two or three resources, so that your focus in this inquiry will remain on the creative process rather than the research. (If you have no idea what to ask, the following inquiry modules might help inspire a question that interests you: Designing Inquiry Questions, Aural Knowledge, Ways of Knowing about Music, Four Inquiries in Constructive Music Criticism.) Find two or three resources with answers to your question (see the Finding and Evaluating Resources for Music Inquiries module if needed). Once you feel that you have learned something useful and interesting, you can go on to Create step.