Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Learning Guitar = Living On the Edge?

Last week I taught a one-week guitar course at Haliburton School of the Arts.

I had eleven adult students, with a wide variety of experience. Some had never played guitar before at all, some had a little bit of experience, and others had decades of playing under their belts. All week they worked away at learning how to make chords, how to play bass runs, how to keep time and play together, how to fingerpick and how to sing a bunch of folk, country, and blues songs. It was a challenging and exhilarating week for me.

And almost a week later, I am left with a feeling of deep respect and awe for my students. Signing up for a class like this means you are purposely putting yourself in the position of trying to do something you don't know how to do. How often do we as adults put ourselves in that position? I would venture that most of us find a certain comfort zone in our lives, where we rarely risk looking stupid. We gain training, take jobs, develop expertise, and stick with it. Once we are adults, do we ever openly admit to having no clue as to what we're doing?

And yet, most of the people in this class had no clue what they were doing at least part of the time. That's why they were in the class, after all. So they spent a lot of the week, out there at the edge of their comfort zone, trying to play "boom-chuck." They were patient, open, and they all made big strides over the week. It was a joy, as well as a very humbling experience, to spend time with them and help them on their musical path.

One of my students was zoom, author of a blog called knitnut, and this morning I turned on my computer to find this very fine post on her blog. I was already in the middle of writing this piece, but she put it better than I ever could. Thanks zoom! And thanks to all of my Haliburton students for living on the edge.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous zoom said...

Thank YOU Eve for being such a patient and creative teacher. I was impressed by how you managed to customize your teaching style for so many different individuals within a group.

July 21, 2008 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Eve Goldberg said...

Thanks zoom,

I try!

Eve

July 21, 2008 at 4:20 PM  

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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

I'm a musician and songwriter based in Toronto.

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