martin luther guitar practice
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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 classical guitar

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 work with teachers, 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 sore after playing.  I was frequently frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward.  Then I studied with two stellar teachers –  one focused on the technical, and one on the musical.  In time, I came to discover a fundamental set of formulas and movements. These unlocked my playing, and brought new life and enjoyment to my practice. Now I help other guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully.


Since a year ago with my subscription to CGS it has been for me a pleasurable adventure and a discovery of all the facets of the classical guitar.
Your dedication and enthusiasm, as well as your talent, in the tuition is quite contagious (well, lets hope also for your talent) and has made it fun and useful in my progression. Also the weekly tip that you mail us and the Facebook group is excellent.


-Michel Donnet

I appreciate the organized, well thought out progression of each level, as well as a measurable means to determine when to proceed to the next level.  I had burned myself out by pushing too hard and playing beyond where I was comfortable.  This course is just what I needed, and I am happy to be back on the road to playing again.


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