Last time, I was starting to speak about the true rewards of teaching and why it can be so much fun for me. For myself, it’s always been an amazingly fruitful experience, and I’ve actually made some of my best friends of all time as the result of first knowing them as my students! This certainly gives you pause for thought….it seems that If we share something so deep as music together, particularly when it really connects, there is an instant bond and a road to a close friendship that quickly makes it hard to even take any money from such a friend! I know I’ve been in this awkward place many times before….where it just no longer seems right to be taking money from someone for lessons, because we’ve become so close as friends.
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On a larger scale, I’ve also toured all over the world giving clinics, sometimes with audiences as large as 2000 people, and what’s great about those is that they become “intimate performances”, where you really have the undivided attention of all the folks who came. This kind of gathering is very enriching, and it’s something that neither the performer nor the audience soon forgets! It’s especially great when you go a long way, like a big crowd in Birmingham, England, where the first question from the crowd is “what do ya think of the beer in this part of the country!?”
I played a concert here in NY last night, and needless to say, besides the couple of hundred regular folks who came, there must’ve been about 40 people there who were either currently, or at one time, my students!
One of the things I love to say, which also pertains to my past, is that “we tend to remember our teachers more than what we learned”. I believe this to be true..that it’s the PERSON behind the teaching that really makes the impression that we remember. Try to think back to grade school, and what you remember, and it’s always going to be the teacher rather than what he or she taught that sits so well in our memories. I believe when we are learning an art form such as the guitar, or painting or literature, it is really the inspiration of the teacher that we recall, more than what was taught! So, till next time, remember who your inspirations are!