For the past eight weeks, a group of us–well, really two groups–have gathered on Wednesday nights in Cradle, a haven for new parents on the third floor of Thornes Marketplace. This workshop came about because some parents asked me to teach them how to play guitar. I gave up giving private lessons long ago, but Katryna had the brilliant idea to run a workshop where many could learn the basics at once.
The goal of the class is simple: for parents to learn enough guitar to accompany their kids while the family sings together. The repertoire is the same as our summer HooteNanny repertoire, with a spread of very easy songs (“Aikendrum”) to more challenging ones (Tom Petty’s “Alright for Now.”) The great aspect of this is that now, eight weeks later, the class has gone from rank beginners just learning to tune their instruments to accomplished pickers and strummers. Together we fill the room, singing “Country Roads,” “Slippery Fish,” “Old Joan Clark” and “The Fox” (in several keys!)
I didn’t know what to expect when we started. I didn’t know how much fun I would have. I certainly didn’t think so many of the participants (26 in all) would actually learn to play the guitar in such a short amount of time. I think the fact that folks were in a group might have fed the “rage to master,” as author of The Talent Code Daniel Coyle calls it. Wouldn’t you practice your chords if you knew you had to perform in front of your peers?
I discovered after the most recent class that some of the participants meet afterward at the frozen yogurt shop in town. I assume they are snatching a sweet idle moment, out of the house, on the town, a rare night away from the bedtime routine, connecting with other musician moms to create a little community. Well, that was certainly the point!