In-Depth Post #2
So, I’m 3 weeks into my project.
I have encountered a lot of difficulty in finding a mentor. I have emailed community centers, music studios, local bands, and other organizations to see if any instructors would be willing to mentor me. Nobody emailed back from these groups. I then realized I could use the website “meetup” (which I had been using for my invasive plant removal leadership project) to try and get in touch with local guitar circles. I have sent out many texts on the website, and surprisingly got a plethora of answers! Unfortunately, those who were available to meet had their groups scheduled at the same time I had extracurricular activities. All others were also willing to mentor me, but at absurd rates such as $100 per hour. Of course, I didn’t accept these mentorship offers, so I had to make a last-minute decision that I would have a family friend teach me guitar, even though he isn’t a professional.
My mentor’s name is Bogdan. He is a close friend of my parents and used to have a lot of experience in music. He played violin in a music university for seven years and taught himself many other instruments on the side, such as guitar. During my first session with him, I learned all the basic and essential chords on a guitar and started learning the tune to multiple different songs. I learned that with 9 basic chords, I would be able to play along with almost every mainstream song, and I’m currently trying to learn “Chasing Cars” by applying what he taught me. I am planning to meet with him every week from here on.
Apart from my struggles finding a mentor, I have made lots of progress in learning and practicing guitar. First of all, I am taking the Getting started with Playing Guitar Udemy course online, taught by one of the top 5 instructors online. I am doing at least one lesson per day and I am very quickly growing comfortable with my guitar. I am also practicing daily a new chord strumming technique I have found in the hopes of increasing my speed over time. If I continue to practice this routine 10 minutes per day, I will be able to play fast enough to play complex songs soon. After this Udemy course, I have another one planned, AND a third if I get the time to do that one as well, so I have plenty of online content that will last me for the rest of the project.
I am also planning to meet with a friend of mine that goes to the university transfer program at UBC, as he is very skilled in musical composition, and he can begin to teach me basic music theory so I can create my own music. He can share his knowledge with me, as he is already a certified music tutor.
Finally, I have learned how to read tab format music sheets for guitar, which means that if I have the skill needed to play a song, I will be able to play it following the music sheet.
Below I have 2 videos. One from my first week of in-depth, and one from now. These will show the current progress of my guitar skills.
How to agree
During my time with my mentor, I tried to keep my mind open as much as possible, as he was obviously more professional than me, and knew a lot more about both the theory and the practice on the topic than I did. At one point, I was positioning my fingers wrong on a chord, and he showed me the correct way of placing my fingers on the fretboard. I listened to him without hesitation, as I instantly noticed how much easier playing became when I took his advice and began playing with the proper finger arrangement.
How to disagree
Sometimes it is necessary to disagree with your mentor, or someone that has more knowledge than you, simply because they may have a false trust in their own beliefs and knowledge because they are more professional than you, but in reality, you may understand the concept better from a fresh point of view. This can open your mentor’s eyes to possibilities they had not yet noticed, or other correct points of view that they had not yet considered. During this practice session with my mentor, I had no disagreements with him about my in-depth, but as I learn more and more, we will no doubt have disagreements about certain aspects of playing guitar, and it is important that we solve them through respect and listening to one another’s points of view.
How to differ
Differing is a natural part of human nature. Everyone will have their own preferences, and ways of doing things. It is important to recognize the discrepancy between disagreeing and differing. Generally, when you disagree, someone will have the right opinion, and someone will have a wrong opinion, this will be sorted out through conversation. Differing however means that both people have a correct opinion, and they need to learn how to accommodate their separate points of view. For example, I use slightly different finger layouts on the fretboard than my mentor does. But after doing some research, we realized both methods are viable, and it’s a matter of personal preference. This distinction allowed us to keep working efficiently together, while I still used a method that felt more comfortable to me.