Friday, July 13, 2007


Z gets a guitar!

I was completely taken aback earlier this summer when Z approached me about learning the guitar. He'd always seemed uninterested in music generally (although for a while in elementary school he'd talked once or twice about learning the trumpet, but backed out when we offered to sign him up for lessons). In the last year or so, he'd begun listening to the various pop groups that appeal to 14/15 year-olds. His ex-iPod (R.I.P.) was clearly a catalyst for that.

When I took up the cello, he was initially curious about it, but since he is usually at school or asleep when I practice, he hasn't had that much direct exposure to my own pathetic attempts to make music. Once or twice he'd claimed that he didn't really "like" the cello that much (ouch). A few times this summer he has shown up while I was practicing and commented that I was "getting pretty good" at a few pieces.

So, I questioned him pretty closely about wanting to learn guitar; frankly discussing the challenges and the commitment that would be needed. While not wanting to discourage him, I also wanted him to understand that it was going to take a lot of effort, persistence, and some frustration; that there'd be some dark days when it felt like he'd never get good and he'd feel totally inept (I was speaking from recent experience), but that these would be followed by really good days when he'd realize he'd actually "gotten" it and was ready to move onto the next level. He responded thoughtfully, letting me know that he realized it would not be easy but that he was willing to work at.

As it happened we were quite far (in time and distance) from home, so I told him we'd continue to talk about it see about lessons, etc. after we got home.

A few days after we got home Z reminded me that he was still interested in the guitar. I asked him if he had any preferences - he said he wanted to learn acoustic classical along with music theory(!). The music teacher at his school offers private guitar lessons, and we finally reached him the other day. He only teaches classical guitar, and was quite willing to take Z on as a student.

So, today we went to one of the local music stores and picked out a basic student acoustic classical guitar. He's been noodling on it all afternoon. His first lesson is Monday.

Wow, good for you! And for Z of course.
Classical guitar! Sounds wonderful. And it will sound so nice with the cello. All good wishes to Z.

I bought my kids guitars a couple of years ago. My son plays acoustic, after Jack Johnson; my daughter's languishes in the closet. Oh, yeah, I bought one for me too. It stays mostly in the closet. My husband had a classical guitar, but one of the kids lost it....
Classical and theory. "High Five" to Z!

Guanaco, you will have a good time observing and listening to Z's journey. Is he going to blog about it? Keep us all posted on his progress.
My younger son plays his acoustic guitar beautifully. No lessons, though he has done a 2 year course in music technology and grade 7 piano. It sounds wonderful late at night..quiet, enigmatic, wistful. I love to hear him. I hope Z. finds it answers things in his soul as, I feel, my son has.
Wow, maybe you both will get to play Boccherini someday!
Hey that's great, Guanaco. I'll bet you're relieved to have him show an interest in something other than computer games.
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