Martin Luther on the Value of Today
Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Enjoy!
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
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.
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.
Click here for a sample formula.
I also want to thank you for including more video lessons on the Bridges Guitar Series. I have learned to play Calatayud's Waltz. The most exciting thing about having done this is that I sight read the entire piece as I was learning it. Six months ago looking at a sheet of music was like looking at Egyptian hieroglyphics. Learning to read notation is empowering and I appreciate the sensible way you are teaching us to learn to read music.
Great advise here. I find I am taking more time with the pieces than I would have in the past as I am focusing on the technique you have taught me. It is slower going at first but has fewer frustrations, is easier and sounds better in the end.
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