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Martin Luther on the Value of Today



“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

Martin Luther


What’s the point of starting if we feel we’ll never be as good as our heroes?

Is it worth it to study guitar if we doubt we’ll ever reach the upper levels of skill?

If we have only limited time, either in our days or our lives, why should we put in the work?

Because, as former slave Frederick Douglass put it, “A man is worked upon by what he works on.”

The benefits of musical study cannot be reduced to reaching goals, even if lofty. We won’t be fulfilled only by playing the grand concert pieces.

Quite the opposite: regardless of level, focused practice is its own reward. And we can find just as much meaning and enjoyment first learning our chords as we can polishing the Bach Chaconne.

As we appreciate the small details in our practice, we’re more likely to appreciate them in our daily lives.

As we focus our attention on our work, we’re more likely to focus our attention on our loved ones.

As we become more aware of our bodies and muscles, we become more aware of the world around us.

Appreciation begets more appreciation. Focus begets more focus. Awareness begets more awareness.

The large-scale concert piece is a wonderful goal, even if we never get there. But the real payoff is in the daily quest.


“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

Martin Luther









Allen Mathews

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 beautifully. Click here for a sample formula.




As I said before, I think your site is outstanding. I have spent my life teaching adults difficult stuff that they really wanted to learn but didn't have the time to learn at the speed we teach university students. Thus I understand only too well how many hundreds of hours you must have spent perfecting your lessons to make my learning as quick and easy as possible.


-Mike Barron

Hi Allen, I am a Dutch guy who plays classical guitar (solo and together with a flute player). Unfortunately I have been suffering from focal dystonia since begin 2016. Of course I tried physical therapy which didn't help… But I tried some of your [technique] lessons (I had teachers before but I was never taught your techniques) and to my big surprise the nasty feeling in the back of my right hand which pulls my index finger upward was gone! So now I practice your lessons. Anyway, I am very happy to have found you on the internet. Thanks very much!


-Arnoud Reinders



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