Some Success Stories and Some not Success Stories


All names have been changed to protect identities. I have 2 adult students and 1 adult acquaintance that I want to talk about.  All true stories.


 Claire is a mother of 2  teenage children and works as a fitness instructor part time. We had met through common acquaintances in the neighbourhood. She said she always wanted to play guitar, her husband dabbles but she wants to play and sing.  I find a guitar for her in her price range that is a fine instrument to learn on and will last her for years and we start weekly lessons.  First year we learn the chords and she starts playing songs she likes.  She does well, and has minor difficulties in the common areas; bar chords, difficult chords, changing quickly and rhythm but all in all does outstanding. 

Year 2 : she makes improvements in all areas, bar chords are coming along and rhythm is improving chord changes seem to be no problem now. By the way, learning bar chords should start early in lessons, do not put them off!!

Year 3: She is learning difficult songs and singing to them just fine.  Current song we are working on is La vie en Rose, fingerpicking and singing! Huge success, she is doing it!!! Very Proud of her accomplishments.


 Paul is an elderly retired electrician who has always had a great passion for music and guitar, in fact, his son is a very good Luthier in town here. Paul has dabbled in guitar over the years but now that he is retired he has more time and is going to give it a real serious effort. Paul, from timer to time, also battles a shoulder injury that makes it very painful to hold a guitar. 

He loves old jazz standards,  “All of Me”, “Satin Doll” etc.  These songs are not easy for a fairly new guitar player to play and Paul has some issues getting through chords at a good speed so he decided to concentrate on the melodies. He would bring in a song and I would transpose the melody from beginning to end onto guitar tab and he’d go through it, sometimes taking months to complete the whole song, but I’ve never seen another student with the kind of determination that he has to finish a song.  Also, if there is a better activity for a brain for someone like him, let me know.

He has since moved out to Vancouver Island and has struggled with more shoulder issues so he had to out the guitar down for a year or so, but recently has found a physio therapist that has been able to help him, and we are  back at it doing lessons online.


 I don’t like negative stories so I will keep this one short.  I’ve been a casual acquaintance of Ricks for years. We are both social and as result bump into each other at community events on a frequent basis.  We happened to be at a dinner together one day and he brought up the fact that his wife had bought him a guitar and that he’s always wanted to play it and wondered if I’d teach him.  “Of course I’ll teach you. Let’s coordinate a time and we can start whenever you are ready.” Crickets.  Long story short, over the next 8 years, whenever I bumped into him, he’d ask about taking lessons. I’m not sure he was aware of how long this went on for.  After 8 years of this, what I wanted to say was “Think of how good you’d be if you started this 8 years ago, when we first talked about it.”  What I did say was ” sure, let me know when you want to start.”