Thursday, September 27, 2007

the tree and the wind

In a time when man was yet to walk upon the earth, the world was ruled by the spirit of the wind. The spirit of the wind traveled though its lands and rejoiced in its possessions. It's favorite game was to blow strongly and force the trees to bend before it. One day it noticed that one small tree was not bending, but remained erect....

"How dare it" the spirit of the wind thought, and blew more strongly. The stronger it blew, the straighter the tree remained. Meanwhile, all the other trees snapped, one by one.

The wind flew into a rage and blew with all it's might. It's breath made the sand fly like birds and the birds drop to the ground. The rivers turned into rain and the earth was destroyed.

The small tree still stood it's ground.

The spirit of the wind contemplated what it had done and how it had destroyed everything it loved. Shaken, it stopped blowing.

At that moment, the small tree bent gently before it.

- anonymous

Monday, September 24, 2007

Admiration of the Students

As a teacher for many years now, I am always impressed with my older students. They are not children, where they are told by parents that the discipline of music study will do them good or because some report suggests that learning a musical instrument will make them smarter. These students are studying simply because they love it. As I have learned, love can transcend any logic or reasoning.

My older students are working at least 8-10 hours a day, they have families and other commitments, and yet still try to find time to learn the classical guitar. And I might add - this is not always a pleasurable study. The study of the classical guitar is demanding and can be frustrating. I've seen students weep over frustration, get angry, get depressed. I try to explain to them that the plateaus in study (and life) come frequently. We must learn to enjoy them as much as the climb. We must enjoy and travel on any plateau to eventually reach the highest mountains. Relax and know that those mountains will come.

classical guitar lessons, music and philosophies at

Thursday, September 20, 2007

video from nicaragua

an old video of me playing in Nicaragua....many fond memories of that tour.

classical guitar lessons, music and philosophies at

Saturday, September 8, 2007

the more you love something, the more it will reveal itself to you.

classical guitar lessons, music and philosophies at

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

slow practice

Many students practice slowly because they are afraid to make mistakes - but how else are we going to reach the tempo of a piece if we never practice it at the desired tempo? You can't learn to walk without trying to walk, or run without trying to run. Don't be afraid to fall down a couple of times. Make the mistakes and ignore them - enjoy the tempo instead. Do a little bit at a time, but get used to the new speed. We have to become conditioned to it.

classical guitar lessons, music and philosophies at

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Practice

"Let us not regret the past nor fear the future, but look around us - in awareness. "

Leland Val Vanderwal

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