Thursdays are fabulous and exhausting days for me. Fabulous in that I get to teach roughly forty people how to play guitar. Exhausting in that I have to prepare to teach roughly forty people how to play guitar. And because I build the curriculum around their abilities and desires, and they range in age between eleven and seventy years old, it's a challenge to choose music that all of them know, let alone want to learn. That's the drawback of group lessons. The advantage is that there is an energy and camaraderie that comes in that setting. Plus, group lessons make it more affordable.
So my Thursdays are full of fabulous people, and I could write about each individual in all my classes, or abut the dynamics in each one. But it's Thursday night, and besides the fact that my fingertips, which are currently tapping away at my computer, are a little weary from playing guitar all day, my head is craving some down time. I don't get a ton of down head time during Lent.
Anyway, what I am getting at here is that I adore people; especially people willing to try their hands at something new. And I am graced with he gift of being able to see talent grow, and lives be changed now and then. My own life is changed because of my relationship with my instruments of wood and steel, which I embrace almost daily, their pulses vibrating against my chest. My guitars are true and faithful friends. They don't always do everything I ask, but they will always give me the old familiar tunes that comfort me when I need it.
Tonight one of my students brought this sweet gift to class. His name is Danny, and he owned my heart even before he made this treasure. He is one of those dream students who is able to pay attention, will respond to my requests, and he smiles all the while. Besides, he's super cute, and has an angel singing voice, which goes really well with a side of guitar.
Danny chose this quote, then made me this sweet wooden sign in Junior High shop class.
|Life is like a guitar:|
Tune - Play - Repeat
I really like this quote Danny found. I tell my students on the first day of class, when I teach them how to tune their instruments, that no matter how well they do everything else I teach them, if their instrument is out of tune, it just isn't going to sound right. It's true about guitars. It's true about humans. I pray for all of them to tune themselves. Especially the young ones. Life is so much playing and repeating. Tuning first is sort of important, wouldn't you think?
I feel pretty blessed to be able to teach guitar. By this time of year I question whether or not I really want to teach. I can make more money gigging, and it would probably be wiser for me to spend my time writing and refining my own music. And I could sure use the time for other non-musical things that are pressing. But by 9 p.m. Thursday nights, even though I'm worn out, I am always glad I do this, because I am spiritually fed by the people I spend the day teaching. People like Vickie, who is a grandmother and forcing her manicured fingertips to press into the neck of a guitar for the first time in her life. Like Anna, whose little eleven-year-old hands barely fit around the neck of her guitar, but she does it anyway. People like the women who gather in a circle around me on Thursday mornings, who rearrange their crazy busy days to fit learning a new instrument into their already full lives. And beautiful young souls turning into our leaders of tomorrow, like Danny.
Thanks, dear boy.
Tune. Play. Repeat.