Hello fellow forumites!
I've been able to do some much needed thinking the past few months, and I finally know what I want to do with my time. Being a young twenty-something who wasn't sure what he was going to do with his life, this is a complete breath of fresh air. I now have something to strive towards, a direction I'm headed in.
- I've been playing guitar for 11 years
- I taught beginner guitarists in high school for 3 years
- I've been in 3 semi-serious bands (playing what shows we could, no tours, some recording)
- I took guitar lessons for 4 years
- I'm finishing my diploma program in college for Social Service Worker
- I actively volunteer with a youth after-school program
But Justin, what does this have to do with your goals?! Get to it, man!
OK! Here it is!
I want to be able to help low income families learn how to play instruments. My vision is to have a building where youth can come in, relax, and receive quality instruction in a safe environment. For a lot of people, money is what stands in the way of learning a musical instrument; I want to work towards breaking down that barrier. I want a place where kids who otherwise wouldn't even touch a saxophone can learn how to play one. As much as I love rock music, I want to have a wide array of instruments available. I also envision having space for band practices and recording; I want to gather up kids with similar musical interests, and foster their creativity and get them into little bands or even solo projects.
Bottom line: I want to get more youth (and eventually adults) interested in learning an instrument and forming groups. I plan on using my SSW skills to deal with the behavioural issues and other aspects that are involved when working with my target demographic. I want to get government grants and other funding so that I can offer an affordable service to those who otherwise would not be able to afford it. It also gives the youth somewhere to get away, and I think we all know that a safe place to do that is very important.
I want to start off with providing the service to youth, but I would like to extend it to adults eventually. I've talked to my old boss about his wanting to learn guitar but feeling to old, to which my friend and I replied "You're not too old until you're dead, so go do it!" I don't see why they shouldn't be able to learn an instrument as well.
During my time volunteering so far, I'm fairly certain that rock-based instruments will be more popular. That said, I still want to be able to have someone learn violin or clarinet if they are interested - diversity is fantastic when it comes to music.
The music instruction thing is where I want to end up, and I know what I want to do beforehand:
- Take a year or two off to develop my theory and my chops
- Enroll at Humber College for Jazz Guitar
- Enroll at teacher's college
- Teach music at an elementary school
- Help sustain a gigging band
I have talked to Richard Leblanc of Terrorhorse about guitar lessons, and I'm trying to start those soon. I have the jazz theory book that Humber uses from my audition during high school, and I have some friends who are going to be helping me with that side of things. My first theory lesson is tonight, actually .
I was told to be a music teacher during high school, but having nearly failed grade 10 and 12 music due to having very poor understanding of theory, I really did not want to put the effort in to get to where I'd need to be to get in to school for guitar. I also knew that if I really wanted to be a music teacher or go to school for guitar, I would have put the time and effort in. 5 years after those conversations, here I am ready to put in that hard work to get to that point. I believe part of why I struggled with music theory was that I did not learn it in a way that translated to guitar, and the teacher just wasn't that good.
Aside from the employment side of things, I really want a professional band. I want to tour before I am 30 years old (even if it's just a week or two week tour, I want one!). I want the experience, and I fully understand that it won't be easy. I have not played many shows, mostly due to growing up in a small town and band members not having the same goals as me for how far to take it. I'm looking for like-minded people to get something going that rises above a practice or two a week and rarely playing live. SLUGEATER is trying to do that, but we are having a rough go of it in terms of finding members and everyone coming to practices. That said, we want to finish our line-up, hone our skills and come out swinging. I'm going to be starting a second project to have more of an opportunity to play live (and get paid), and just to make more music.
I think music is an essential part of life, and I want to spread my love of music so that more people create it. The path is not easy, but most paths in life never are. I expect ups and downs, big hurdles and little successes, but I think it's an achievable goal. I have contacts in both the social work and music sides of things, and intend to utilize those to achieve my goals. I have a loving and supportive family, who will be quite relieved to know what I am going to do.
Thank you to Chris for creating a fantastic online community and to all the members for being funny, supportive and experienced in different things. I'm hoping that by being on hear I can continue to learn from you guys, meet more of you guys, and share the music with you guys .
Rock on and thanks for reading
I support this post. I think everybody should play guitar. Good for you, man.