Mahatma Gandhi Tells How to Shape A Beautiful Future
Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Find more here. Enjoy!
“The future depends on what we do in the present.”Mahatma Gandhi
Looking back, time often seems short. A decade may feel like it passed in mere months. Memories appear as if from other lives.
And looking ahead, we may feel we have infinite time. Or we may feel like time is short.
But in fact, whether we look forward or back, we only have this moment. We create memories as images in our minds. And we have no guarantee of tomorrow.
Abrupt changes and ends are commonplace, though surprising – like solid ground when we fall.
When time feels short (in the day or the lifespan), we may be tempted to compromise on quality. We think that since we don’t have much time, it’s better to ignore training or “work” and just focus on what seems fun.
And this is valid, so long as a moment of diversion is the only goal. In the same way, junk food is fine if immediate gratification is the only concern.
But if we aspire to greater things, if we hold a higher vision for ourselves – what then?
Mahatma Gandhi also said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
For a musician, this means deliberate practice.
Music is something we cultivate over time. We carve it from the stone of time like water etching canyons.
And as the sculptor of this future, we also get to enjoy the process. We can feel the daily satisfaction of intentional work. We can relish the knowledge that we’re releasing a masterpiece, as yet unearthed.
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 other stellar teachers – one focused on the technical movements, 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 beautifully.
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Allen Mathews was recommended to me as somebody who could help me expand my guitar vocabulary. Allen started me on a really fun cycle of lessons and practice. He is a very good,and very enthusiastic teacher, and I feel that I'm on the road to learning. I couldn't be more pleased with my experience.
-Peter Buck (r.e.m.)
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!
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