When I was 15, I was given my first guitar; originally, I wanted to play the drums, but my mom said it was a boy’s instrument. We didn’t have much money, monthly my mom would blindly reach into the “Bill Drawer” and pull out one and say, “This is what we pay this month.”
I took a shoebox, cut a hole in the middle, stretched rubber bands around it to make myself a little guitar, I’d plunk on it endlessly. A distant cousin came to visit and asked what I was doing, I told him I was playing my shoebox guitar, he laughed and said he had an old one he would gift me. Wild with anticipation, I awaited his next visit.
It turned out to be a worthless guitar to everyone but me, now finally with my instrument I was off to find a teacher. We didn’t have money for lessons, so I raked leaves, shoveled snow, anything to make enough to find a mentor. I remember putting that beaten up, broken down guitar in a trash bag and walking the 2 miles to the music store every Wednesday.
My teacher was Eric Arnold, a guy who looked a lot like a young Richard Dreyfuss, he never taught me theory, instead he taught me songs and made me sing. I never questioned his methods; listened intently to everything he said and would run home and practice, practice, practice. Some girls get their first crush at 15, I had found my true love. I’d phone friends, play my guitar and make them guess what song I was playing, I’d take it to school when possible, I took it everywhere.
Who could have thought that the simple gift of an instrument destined for the trash, would lead me on my life’s amazing adventure with music. I’ve performed around the country, some amazing places in the world. I teach lessons with an incredible amount of gratitude of sharing, honored to observe my student’s growth and happiness.
Thought for today: “One man’s junk is another’s treasure”