Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Archive for May 1st, 2006

Teaching a parallel language.. 36

Posted on May 01, 2006 by jimparedes

I remember what it was like when I asked for a guitar even before I turned into a teen. I was an adolescent and the awkwardness of being ‘in between’, or being too young to be grown up but being too old to be a kid was beginning to kick in. It was like being in some twilight zone. On top of that, my hormones were beginning to stir. It was a confusing time as anyone who has ever gone through it can attest. If there ever was a boy who was so moody, self-conscious and had so many self-doubts, it was me then!

It was also about that time I had discovered the Beatles. That must have been the reason I asked for a guitar on my 12th birthday and that made a world of difference to me. I embraced the guitar with heart and soul. I felt I had discovered a parallel language that could express what words could not. My emotions reverberated with the vibrations of the strings and chords. I remember discovering what a Major 7 chord was and I felt I had stumbled on something of incredible beauty. It was a sound that evoked such a mysterious ‘blue’ feeling that was sad, wonderful, mysterious and felt good at the same time. I can honestly say that the guitar ‘saved’ me from all that self-absorption that we all go through in our teens and ‘opened’ me. It let out many of the things I had wanted to say. I could ‘play’ them and to my great surprise and delight, I discovered that people cared to listen.

I recommend that if you have a son or daughter, encourage them to learn an instrument—any instrument instead of just letting them become couch potatoes in front of the TV, or becoming addicted to video games. This alone is a potentially life-changing thing for the better.

I started giving guitar lessons around a week ago to some kids. Not only did all the memories and feelings come rushing back to me, it made me wonder how my life would have turned out if I had not asked for that guitar many years ago!

Through this blog, I would like to invite anyone who may be interested in becoming my student. My youngest student is only 7 but what she lacks in age, she more than makes up with spirit and enthusiasm! I am hoping you or your kids discover the wonder of the instrument and the unquantifiable joy that playing music can bring into life. My duty as a teacher is to teach chords, technique, inversions, strumming, plucking, progressions, and all that. But the most important thing I am eager to pass on is the LOVE for the guitar so that even after they learn a few tricks from me, they can come into their own in expressing themselves musically.

If you are interested, leave your details at jim_paredes@yahoo.com and I will get back to you.

In two days, Lydia’s brother Marty and his family will be visiting and we are all excited to have family around. Then, it will be a sister from the US. How nice! We’ve always had a full house even in Manila, and I am glad that it is turning out to be the same here!

If I don’t blog for awhile, it only means I am too busy and too happily distracted to do the solitary activity of writing.

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