A Master Class In Patience

    He sat about 2 feet away from me and I was there to open up his mind to an instrument that would surely pay him back in unlimited joy in the years to come. I set the rules in place from the first five minutes. When I speak, you do not play. When I play, you only play if instructed to. Lastly, I will tell you what we are going to cover, then we will do it. Lastly, when we are finished with our lesson, we will review what we learned and you will get a small homework assignment. He agreed, albeit reluctantly. I was attempting to get into his head, smoothly without any push back.

     This incredible child is over 5 yet under 10. He loves to play the guitar and my mission is to get him familiar with how it works and how he can make it do exactly what he wants it to. He fidgeted and strummed when I told him not to. He became fascinated with my guitar and wanted to switch guitars halfway through the lesson. I agreed, on one condition. He had to listen and wait for my instruction. That only lasted a few minutes. Let me not leave out the fact that he is a very friendly, caring, and sensitive child. I feel that he trusts me and he did ask for me to teach him, which is humbling.

     I thought to myself during the lesson, this young man was once me and I really want him to be thirsty to master this instrument. I want us to build synergy that lasts for a very long time. How will I achieve this? How will I be stern, yet easy going all at the same time? Is this possible? I believe that it really is. I also believe that he will test my patience for the next few lessons before this happens. I am up to the challenge though. He deserves this joy and I want to transfer it over to him. At a certain point in the lesson, he told me that he felt like he was working out in a gym. His hands were hurting and he didn't like it. I promised him that it would get easier and that I would help him in anyway that I could.
 
     As we went over a couple of easy chords that he had played before, the strings buzzed. I changed the position of his hands. He then made a face similar to one a child would make if he had just been reprimanded. I then played it for him and he liked the sound, so he tried again like a champion. We went over the names of the different parts of the guitar and I taught him an acronym to remember the string names. He seemed to enjoy these things. I had made some visible progress. I still had a long way to go.

      The time was closing in and the hour was almost up. I put the guitars to the side and sat him back at the table. We reviewed what we had gone over and I gave him a small assignment. I was mentally exhausted by this hour, however, it was the greatest feeling at the same time. He is young and full of vigor and is not worrying necessarily about failing. He is running head first ahead and I don't want to stop him. However, we all had to have the reigns pulled in for us growing up in one way or another. I felt so great that I had contributed to this young and  mind.

       I instructed him to practice for 20 minutes a day and he agreed. He also said that he had a good time with the lesson when I asked him. I gave him a shiny new blue guitar pick at the beginning of the lesson. Interestingly, he gave it back at the end. When I asked him why, he told me that he didn't do good. I corrected him and told him that he did really well and that he will get better and better in time. I wondered how he felt deep inside about the past hour? Was I too hard? Did I create a hunger to learn more? How can I keep his attention even better during the next lesson?

       In closing, this lesson challenged my mind, heart, and overall ego. It's true that you don't know how much you know, until you attempt to teach another. I have taught others, however, it's different every time. Each person needs a different amount of patience and guidance at different times. Patience is definitely a virtue and sharing your knowledge is without a doubt one of the most powerful vibrations on the planet. I am very much so looking forward to our next lesson. I will practice twice as hard on myself now as well. I am truly inspired..

                                                       Chase
     
     
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