The Joy of Learning, and Learning Guitar
I’ve been playing guitar for quite awhile now, and it’s been such a fulfilling and exciting journey with its own ups and downs over the years. I am an entirely self-taught musician, and to be perfectly honest it’s only in the past two to three years that I feel that I have finally found a voice on the instrument, a voice that I’m excited to keep exploring in various forms. That definitely took awhile, but I think the main thing though is that I never gave up at any point of time throughout this journey.
Why the mention of all this? It’s because I personally think that learning guitar, and overcoming each musical challenge that comes your way, is a great way to supplement the living of life. I struggle to remember the person I was before I picked up guitar and really decided to give it a proper go. It seems like my spirit and soul took on completely new levels of euphoria and joy the longer I kept at it, the longer I kept hacking away at this instrument.
I teach guitar and have been teaching guitar for many years. It is something that I have a great passion for, this idea that I could pass down experiences and knowledge to make a difference in someone else’s life. Over the years I have also amassed qualifications that help justify my teaching credentials academically: I hold a Diploma in Music Teaching (Level 6) now from Rockschool, which was very kindly paid for by the previous music school I used to work at.
As a guitar teacher, I am aware of the benefits of having learnt guitar the way I did and then getting the paper qualifications later on – it helps me be keenly attuned to the challenges someone may face at any point of time as I have probably faced them head-on before, and have devised appropriate and multiple strategies both on a micro and macro level with the goal of incremental progress for myself, and over the years, for my students as well.
I remember not going to lectures and sitting in the school library simply reading and staring at guitar theory books in the hopes that all that information would mysteriously seep into my consciousness through some kind of osmosis. I also remember mapping out my days in eight-hour blocks, with very detailed lists of things ‘to-do’ and ‘to work on’. Ultimately, I remember especially in the beginning stages of learning how to play guitar, of getting a hundred percent better every week and the feelings of awesomeness that brought to life.
Learning How to Learn
Over the years, I have listened to a lot of music both for enjoyment and for intense study, and have learnt many things about various styles and the specific ornamentations that bring home a certain colour that is unique to each style. Through happenstance and also some level of consciousness, I have also gotten well-versed in a multitude of playing styles which has in turn brought me a healthy amount of employment as a side-man and session guitar player.
Always consciously seeking out an identity for myself as a musician, I have practiced doing things like writing out everything I know and everything about music that resonates with me, and also intellectualising the properties that I would like to bring out in my own writing and compositions in the hopes that it would inform some sense of originality (time to insert a plug: check out my stuff here).
The years of teaching have resulted in me developing a of systemisation of knowledge and a semblance of a syllabus for my students. I have created methods of understanding and application that translate well to varying levels of students in differing stages of their playing, whether it has to do with improvisation and improvising in specific styles, getting a hold on rhythms and time-feel, developing a clarity of sound, or even with regards to song-writing and expanding upon the toolbox they can draw from the moment inspiration strikes and so on.
Informed by my curiosity in learning how people learn, I genuinely hope to be able to help anyone seeking to expand their guitar-playing horizons in ways that would enhance their quality of life and well-being. I conduct trial lessons, so if you feel at the end of the first lesson that I am not a suitable teacher for you, that lesson will be free of charge! If you wish to continue, we will discuss fee structure and more details in person then.
Head on over here if you’d like to check out clips of my guitar-playing, and get in touch here or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re keen to take up lessons with me!