I’m always in wonder at my students, their bravery, commitment, and honesty. They range from 6 years old to 85, guitar, ukulele and piano, mostly guitar as it’s my main instrument.
The kid’s are sometimes more of an entertainment lesson, their attention span wanes, so we go from one instrument to another. It’s all music, so it’s all good, my hope is that something sticks past their exit.
The teens are interesting; as they’re trying to find their place in life, peer pressure, college decisions, wild variety in musical tastes, which keeps me hopping. Some of them are writing songs, they amaze me.
It’s the adults that bring me the greatest challenges and rewards. Some are picking up an instrument for the first time, so nervous that they’ll disappoint me with their progress or lack thereof.
As we travel their path together, I get to also, spend time with their inner child
My message to your Inner Child:
It’s okay not to know, that’s why you’re here. Thank you for your trust and faith in me. I promise not to lie to you about your progress; I will be gentle and encouraging.
The things your parents told you, some are simply not true. You can sing, regardless of what your mom said, you are brilliant despite what a teacher said, you are simply amazing.
What’s happening is that you are learning to walk with your fingers; it’s nothing more than that. You’re retraining your muscles to make shapes in the proper way.
Left hand, thumb behind the guitar neck, last knuckle bent, stay on your fingertips, like a ballerina.
Right hand, fingers relaxed; strum down with fingertips, up with your thumbnail, constant motion, like the pendulum of a Grandfather clock. Learning picking patterns is repetition, repetition, repetition, keep going, you’ll get it.
The only reason that I’m better at it than you is because I’ve been doing it longer.
Stop regretting that it’s taken you so long; rejoice in the fact you’re here now.
Who I’m trying to reach is that 6 year old in you, the one full of wonderment and excitement. Who I’m trying to silence is the judgmental parent inside of you; let’s leave him/her at the door. That critical voice in your head is wrong, it’s playing a song that’s untrue, it’s an old tape; let’s trash it together. Let’s make a new story, one that says you can, you will, you are!
Some of my students are going through rough times, it always comes out during the lesson, as their eyes begin to glisten with tears, I run off for tissue paper. It’s okay, I believe that music is of the heart, so of course emotions can run high. I have lots of tissues, I can always get more.
Remember, I’ve been exactly where you are, I know the spaces between
Today’s Musing: In us all, is an inner child knocking at the door, waiting to be invited to come out and play ~ kcurtiss
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Really beautiful, Katrina! I totally am “this” that you wrote about—wanting to learn quickly and not to disappoint you, and also wanting to not judge myself. I hit my inner critic at every turn, but I’m learning to let that go. Thanks for your gentle encouragement and help on my musical journey!