Music Lessons, Part 2: Accessibility to Music
The bridge I crossed by taking lessons from Chuck Smolko at Westgate Music took me from music enthusiast to music maker. This transition unlocked a reservoir of potential that was asking for my attention and commitment. Through lessons my teacher made accessible, a world that intrigued me more than anything else! As result, my guitar playing has improved and also become more interesting and challenging as I progress. But perhaps one of the greatest gifts of music lessons has been learning how to collaborate with other musicians.
To my own amazement just one year into my lessons I began attending the Acoustic Players Circle sponsored by the Cleveland Metroparks’ Canalway Center. I knew the wonderful musician and leader of the group at the time, Hank Mallory, from his coordination of the many great music events at the Metroparks.
It was here in the warm and accepting group where all levels were welcome that I discovered I could play and sing well with others. I never anticipated that lessons would lead me to the joy that playing with others brought into my life. And fortuitously, my teacher was preparing me for these events because he had a vision for what was possible that I couldn’t have imagined myself.
My own lessons learned are that you cannot stay on the sidelines as I did longing to try something you love but not doing so because of your own variety of excuses. I promise you’ll find away around your limitations and discover joy in doing what you love if you would only commit to it without expectations. You can’t do what you’re not meant to do; you can only what is right for you.
But that cannot be discovered unless you commit to the task necessary to find out what’s possible, knowing that your self-respect depends upon your follow-through. I will tell you from my experience, the suffering caused by ignoring the impulse to create something beautiful, whether it’s a painting, a garden, a song, a poem, or a letter to someone you love, can only be resolved by you.
I believe it’s a personal responsibility for each one of us to make this world beautiful – for the eyes that behold it: your own. If you do that it will become beautiful somehow, for others to see as well. Be sure to share it with at least one other person…for at least a half-hour a week. Trust me, eventually you won’t be able to contain it.