Teresa Amabile motivation guitar
-

Teresa Amabile on meaningful work

Master cellist Pablo Casals was no stranger to meaningful work:

Yet even having attained such unquestionable mastery of his instrument, throughout his entire life Casals maintained a disciplined regimen of practicing for five or six hours every day. On the day he died, at the age of 96, he had already put in several hours practicing his scales. A few years earlier, when he was 93, a friend asked him why, after all he had achieved, he was still practicing as hard as ever. “Because,” Casals replied, “I think I’m making progress.

Most of us have a start-stop relationship with guitar. We get excited for a while, then somehow we become busy with other things and stop practicing.

When we haven’t played in awhile, it can be difficult to sit down and practice. Even if we know guitar is something wonderful in our lives, we still feel resistance.

When we have a few days of practice behind us, we start to see progress. We feel our good work is making a difference. And this makes it easy to show up tomorrow and practice more.

It’s easier to sit down and practice for the fourth or fifth day in row than it is from a cold start.

Once we’re in motion and seeing results, we’re drawn to the guitar.

When we see progress, we can more readily accept the hard parts. We can delay the immediate rewards of playing something we already know, and spend our precious practice time on more challenging tasks.

When we feel successful, we’re apt to create more success for ourselves. We’re more likely to invest time and energy into doing more of what made us feel good.

We could test the theory that to see more progress (and therefore boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions), all we have to do is show up and work.

After a few days of practicing right-hand patterns and chords, learning music and running scales, we’ll feel more enthusiasm, enjoyment, and fulfillment.

All it takes is time and attention.


“Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions…, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.”

Teresa Amabile




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.


This is the ideal starting position for me. As a relative beginner with no teacher this is helping me enormously in developing good technique and not falling into bad habits. I no longer feel (A) That it's a struggle to learn a new piece and (B) That I am alone in my endeavors. My advice is to try The Woodshed program. It is fantastic and will not only bring up your playing but his explanations of musical concepts as you go along put things into perspective.


-John Andersson

Thanks to you (you are my only teacher) in only a few months I've gone from very basic beginner pieces to having just completed learning Bach's Gavottes 1&2 in good form and execution. As a non-classical electric guitarist who has always used a pick and never his fingers, this has been no small feat!


-Gregg Olson


Become a Member and Play More, Beautifully!


“The basics are the basics, and you can’t beat the basics.”
Charles Poliquin  

Join the program that takes you from the beginning fundamentals to advanced mastery, so you…

  • Move your hands safely and fluidly

  • Enjoy fulfilling practices and meaningful work

  • Play beautifully with expression and flow

Click the button to take a step towards an organized, effective guitar practice. >>>



Featured Courses

$39
jesu bach classical guitar

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Bach

One of the best loved of all classical pieces.

See more...

$39
read music guitar high positions notes

Play and Read Music in the Higher Positions

Learn to read music and identify notes on the entire neck.

See more...

$39
how to play segovia scales

Better Technique, with “Segovia’s Favorite Scales”

Detailed explorations of this popular technical tool.

See more...

« » page 1 / 2

See more…