I confess. I am an absolute learning nerd. I have learning cravings. The idea of an “independent learning project” is like a big slab of cake. Yum! I have spent all week sifting through ideas of things I have always wanted to learn. Most of the times, if I pick up on something that I want to learn, I learn it. Whether I teach myself or take a class. In some instances, I’ve had family teach me. However, there is one thing that I have always wanted (and needed) to learn. As a musician, and having taken two years of college for music education, I have learned many musical instruments. When I was taking music education classes, it was a requirement to learn all common wind and brass instruments, as well as learning percussion and piano. To break it down for you, we learned the following instruments: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, baritone, french horn, trombone, drums, chimes, and of course piano. When I started taking my elementary courses I realized that if I so choose to be a music teacher for elementary, I have to learn guitar. Yikes. I played violin as a kid, and I can pick up most instruments with ease, but I’ve had a guitar sitting in my bedroom for four years and I still haven’t learned how to play yet. (Not for lack of trying!)
I thought long and hard about this project, and debated between things such as expanding my knowledge of foreign languages, having my fiance teach me to weld, and the possibilities went on. But then I realized that this is an opportunity to learn guitar, and be held accountable for it! The picture above is a shot I took of my dusty guitar. It looks beautiful and I’m sure it works just as well, but it only makes out-of-tune squeals for me. For somebody that was graded on learning several instruments for school, not being able to learn guitar on my free time is incredibly frustrating me. I don’t know what it is about this daunting guitar. This project has prompted me to learn what has seemed impossible to me in the past.
Before I make it sound like this is a chore, let me express my excitement. I will be spending the next several weeks, several hours a week, learning something new. Although I have failed to successfully learn this task before (I even bought a beginner’s book, although the seal has never been broken!) I am elated to be able to try my hand at it again. In the future, as an elementary music teacher, being able to learn guitar will not only be helpful, but it is necessary. Many schools require guitar lessons before graduating with a degree. At my previous college, this was not a requirement. I always saw it as dodging a bullet but I look back now and realize that I wasn’t dodging a bullet, I was postponing the inevitable.
So here I am, starting a new adventure with my guitar (as soon as I rid it of dust). Wish me luck, please, and expect positive (I hope) and exciting updates on my progress.