chesterton guitar practice wonders
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G.K. Chesterton: How to Find Endless Wonder in Your Music

Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Enjoy!


We are perishing for lack of wonder, not for lack of wonders.

G.K. Chesterton


What’s so interesting about stamps? Baseball cards? Fancy decorated eggs?

And what’s so interesting about turtles? Whippets? Dinosaurs?

And what’s the big deal with history? Astronomy? Engineering? Music?

The answer is: nothing.

There is nothing inherently interesting or wonderful in any of these. Or anything else.

But each becomes an entire universe when we add one alchemical ingredient. Each becomes full of fascination, depth and endless discovery.

And what is the key to unlock the gate to any garden?

Curiosity.

But not the noun curiosity. Not the word to be thought about. But the verb curiosity. The action of looking closer and wondering. The act of prodding and poking and asking questions.

Any subject, including music, is rich with nuance and detail, just below the surface. And it’s there to be discovered, if only we dig.

If ever we feel the world dry and lackluster, it’s not because it is so. It’s because we’ve zoomed out too far. We can remedy this in an afternoon of verbs: Learn. Question. Engage.



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.


I have lost my entire metallic sound while I am playing now. Even my single note practice sounds more melodious, less tinny. [The Woodshed technique practice] has made a major difference in my tone. Thank you.


-Harlan Friedman

Allen, your website and teaching methods are excellent. You have an easy going yet encouraging way of inspiring people to learn and practice their art. And you are always accessible to your students to personally answer questions. I appreciate ... that personal touch. The course on reading rhythm and playing higher up the neck I found particularly helpful. God bless you and many thanks.


-Joe Bazan


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