marilyn monroe guitar great
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Marilyn Monroe on how to make something good even better

 

When we take on a complex skill such as learning the classical guitar, we’re bound to learn something that we need to change later.

It happens to us all. We do our best with what we know. But eventually we know more, and recognize new opportunities for improvement.

Some call it “creative destruction”. Some call it “breaking eggs to make an omelet”.

Some say that “what gets you out of Egypt won’t get you to the Promised Land”.

Eventually, we have to release what we know or do and start fresh with something different.

It can be hard to swallow. We may resist it. But if we’re honest, we usually know it’s for the best.

It’s tempting to mourn “lost time”, or feel it’s a setback.

But it couldn’t be any other way. We had to learn as we did to get to this point. And to move ahead, we may have to accept our limitations and “start over”.

But it’s not starting over. We bring all we’ve learned with us. We grow stronger for the new perspectives and challenges.

Sure, we may not sound as good for a little while, but this pulling back creates the momentum to thrust us forward to the next level and beyond.

We’re pruning. We’re culling. We’re winding the spring.

And to feel good about letting “things fall apart so better things can fall together”, we have to keep the big picture in mind.

It’s not about one piece of music. It’s not about being “right”, or being at a certain level (“I’m a Grade 6 player, so I’m beyond XYZ…”).

We live on a constant growth curve. The more we can stay objective and unattached, the more versatile and flexible we become.

Instead of protecting and guarding what we already know, we can open to new opportunities and ideas. We can take a childlike attitude of openness, and then make educated decisions based on honest review and experimentation.

There’s an age-old proverb that we can “never step in the same stream twice”, because the water has changed and so have we. We grow as musicians with any focused practice we do, even if we decide to go another route later.


“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

Marilyn Monroe




allen mathews classical guitar

About Allen Mathews

Allen Mathews learned guitar as an adult, and has been a full-time guitar teacher for almost two decades to students age 4 to 96.  He has taught classical guitar at Reed College and Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and has been a guest lecturer and clinician at schools and universities throughout the U.S.  Allen is often praised for his creative teaching abilities, and his dedication to helping adults learn classical guitar.  He has a popular Youtube Channel offering regular classical guitar tutorials, and has gained fans worldwide for his weekly emails and articles at ClassicalGuitarShed.com.


Hi Allen,
First public performance ever! I am up to Level 1E in The Woodshed program. It is certainly mega helpful.


-Peter Graham

Hi Allen, I am thoroughly enjoying your website and I find it is just what I need in my renewed passion for classical guitar. I have rediscovered a great love for this instrument and the music I can learn and play and it has changed my life for the better dramatically! Thank you facilitating this process.


-George Rogers


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