The core is teaching...

Recently I was asked, “What did you do this past week that really incited your passion?  How did you connect with your passion, and how did you share it with others?”  Of course, whenever anybody asks me about my passion, I never have to think too deeply about what that is because it’s always music and it’s always the guitar…I just really, really love the acoustic guitar, and I always have.  I love to hear other people play it just as much as I love to play. 
What did I do to share it with others?  That question is a little bit tougher because sometimes I can literally get lost for hours just holed up in my studio playing the guitar, riffing leads, learning complicated fingering patterns, going down the YouTube rabbit hole to find all of the great performances and listen to all of the great guitarists that occupy the digital world.    It was a really great question, and I took the opportunity to really think about it.
 

Dancing at Palos Park, IL Library


I think about this question in terms of who I really am, and what really motivates me, so I ended up going pretty deep.  I realized a while ago that, at my core, I am and have always been a teacher.   It all started when I was twelve years old and was a ski instructor to both adults and kids – I knew then that I had a certain level of patience and the capacity for teaching. 
 
Over the past few years, I’m realizing how much of the music that I’m making is all about teaching, and quite honestly, it’s the happiest I’ve ever been.  Teaching kids about music and sign language and exposing them to new songs is just so fulfilling.  There’s nothing better than having a class of four and five year olds explore music with me, clapping, doing sign language, dancing, and moving their bodies is all kinds of whacky ways…and they allow me to be silly and exuberant, and it fills my spirit.
 
Teaching guitar lessons is also one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. I love seeing the look on a student’s face when they’ve accomplished something today that they couldn’t do last week; it is just amazing.  I also love the diversity of my students… they range in age from five years old to fifty-five, and they’re Moms, Dads, grandparents and kids.  For me, it’s probably the quickest 30 minutes of my life…I can never believe that the time goes that fast, so I guess I’m having fun while I’m sharing my passion with the world.
 
What is your passion, and how do you share it with the world?
 

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