NO CHORDS BARRED #2 – The First Day of School

“No, I’m not the instructor.” I’m sitting in the waiting room with my guitar, anxious to meet my teacher and get started. The room is pretty full. I’m the only unaccompanied adult. Most are children also waiting for their lesson to begin. I’m uncomfortable and feel awkward. I don’t know what I expected but for some reason I completely forgot that most people who take music lessons are 12 and under. No one really asked me if I was the instructor but I felt like at any moment someone might. Or, even worse, a bored parent might want to chit chat about our kids and their musical progress. Needless to say I was relieved when a bearded man about my age stuck his head out of one of the many doors surrounding the waiting room and called, “Andrew?”

We quickly got down to business. He asked about my experience with guitar and if I could play him something. I couldn’t so I showed him a few chords I could remember. Right off the bat he told me I should play the G chord differently. He explained that it will be easier to switch chords once I’d mastered the new fingering. Even the things I thought I knew I didn’t. G is one of my standbys, one of the first chords I ever learned. I told him I needed to work on my rhythm. He showed me a few strumming patterns and wrote them out for me to practice. I’m to get a pick and a notation book, the name of which I’ve already forgotten. I enjoyed the lesson and meeting my new teacher but left knowing I had work to do before next Tuesday.

My adult students have their first day of school next week. They’ll have their own waiting room experiences and there will be things they think they know that will need to be finessed in order to progress properly. They too will have a lot of work to do. How well either they or I do will ultimately depend on how well we handle that work and how we handle our own hang ups about returning to class. Signing ourselves up was the easy part.


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