Saturday, April 18, 2009

Present: The New Saturday Routine

Life has changed a little at the Authenreith household. I used to get up whenever I wanted on Saturday morning (still usually before 8am), make a pot of coffee and throw myself on the couch until I "felt" like doing anything. I have a full schedule at Mainstreet - working Sunday through Friday with a few evenings thrown in, so Saturday was my only official day off; notice I say was...

I'm always looking for opportunities to supplement my income as many of us do, and through the years I've been asked by different people here and there if I give guitar lessons. My personality type leans towards the cautious - "don't try anything you think you will fail at" so I've always said no. One day several months ago, I was in Marty's office (my supervisor) and he asked me out of the blue if I ever considered giving guitar lessons - he thought there was a bit of interest by people in the congregation, including his son Marty Jack. After a some prayer and much discussion with Donna, I began the research to see if I could pull this off.

I started with an online forum I belong to called The Gear Page, (TGP) which is a forum of, for and about anything having to do with guitars. I've been an active participant on TGP for almost two years - learning about different guitars, playing techniques, amps, pedals... you name it. It's a blast for someone like me who lives and breathes guitars, and it is has proven to be very beneficial to me as a player and as a worship leader. I started a thread on TGP - "How Do I Become a Guitar Teacher - help please," or something like that, and with thousand and thousands of guitarists active on the forum I received plenty of responses from those who teach - almost all of them positive, with most saying that teaching guitar is a very rewarding activity. I also got advice on what to teach each week - (a piece of theory, an exercise and a piece of music) and practical things like how to handle students who don't practice, etc. One of the great things I was turned on to was a marvelous beginning guitar book, "From Liverpool to Abbey Road - Beginning Guitar with the Music of the Beatles." Wow, how can you beat that. So - I had my friend Lisa Feather design some cool business cards, Donna and I spruced up the basement, and I ordered my teaching materials - along with a book called "How to Make Money Teaching Guitar," (another invaluable asset to my venture) and off I went.

Within a week or two, I filled up my student openings and the new Saturday routine began. I have eight guitar students coming to my house each week for lessons, and we're all working through the great book "From Liverpool to Abbey Road - Beginning Guitar Lessons with the Music of the Beatles." So far, it has been a blast - and as my friends on TGP said - it's a very rewarding activity. Music and the love of playing my guitar was somehow engrained in my DNA from birth or something, and being able to share that God-given passion and love for music with beginning students is a great thing. Now if I can just get used to the new Saturday routine it will all be good!

Oh, one other thing... the first song you come to in the Beatles book after a few weeks of lessons is "Little Help from My Friends," which I've now heard and played dozens of times. The problem with that song? There's lines in there that talk about activities you can do with help from your friends..."Oh, I'll get by with a little help from my friends... gonna try with a little help from my friends... I get high with a little help from my friends..." Being a worship pastor and all? I've had to scratch that one word out of all of my students books - just to be on the safe's not 1967 anymore.

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