quote Madeline L'Engle
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Madeleine L’Engle on nurturing your guitar practice

Though I’m not blessed with children of my own, I worked with them for years. Some moments they’re pure joy. Other times… not so much. Guitar practice is similar in this respect.

When a relationship is fun and exciting, it’s easy. Those moments are golden. Effortless.

But eventually we feel friction. It may even feel futile. We don’t feel like showing up. It just seems hard or irritating. This may last for a few seconds, or it could last longer.

It’s these moments that require love. Love for ourselves and our larger commitments and desires. Love for music.

Our daily guitar practice is like a child. It’s a relationship. It’s something we nurture with our attention and time. That’s why it’s meaningful.

Love is a verb, not a noun. Love is what we do, even if we don’t feel like it, or it’s not convenient.


“Love isn’t how you feel, it’s what you do.”

Madeleine L’Engle




allen mathews classical guitar

Hi, I’m Allen Mathews. 

I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s.  Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well.  I struggled with excess tension.  My music sounded forced.  And my hands and body were often sore.  I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward.  Then, over the next decade, I studied with two stellar teachers –  one focused on the technical, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist).  In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifullyClick here for a sample formula.


I came on board three months ago and I’m loving it more than ever. I have maintained my practice pattern. I’m sticking wholeheartedly with the program as written. That makes it easy to see what I NEED to work on rather than just playing the shiny places I’ve gone beyond…..I’ve learned to focus 100% on what I’m doing that very minute….I’m developing strength in my left hand...I spend time with the videos in the evenings and always find something more to help me. I’m not looking for info anywhere else. Everything I need is right here in The Woodshed. You say “Jump” and I say “How high.” I’m so grateful I found you. You speak in a language I understand.


-Gloria Mader

I practised your system for three days, and it solved the I-M alternation problem I had been struggling with since I undertook classical guitar three years ago.  Many thanks!


-Johnny Geudel


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Charles Poliquin  

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