Long ago in 2014 I heard Nils Lofgren of E Street Band fame talking about a Beginner School that he had started for guitar players. Now, I don’t know too much about the school, how it’s doing 4 years later, or really much about Bruce and The E Street Band but the message that Nils offered still resonated with me. The message was this:
People have told Nils that they would love to learn to play guitar but they can’t because they have no talent or rhythm. To which he responds that at his school you don’t need talent and you don’t need rhythm. Learning anything is going to be frustrating. He wants people to enjoy the gift of music immediately and worry about the really hard stuff that’s going to bum you out in smaller increments. He understands that for most people life is crazy enough so emphasizing making music fun and therapeutic is of priority.
Why is this important? Since I’m often thinking about and relating things to training or the gym, I see what I offer in a similar light, or, as a place for beginners. To train with me you don’t need to be a current or former athlete. You don’t have to already be strong or “in shape” prior to walking in the door. If you are that’s great but, like the Nils mindset (read more on mindset here), everyone can enjoy the gift of movement and strength immediately when we focus on the proper progressions. The more successful I can make people as opposed to frustrated, the more chance they have to stick with the process. After all, this is a long term thing. The same goes for guitar as it does for training. One doesn’t “accomplish” playing the guitar and then stop playing altogether. Movement and strength are qualities that one can enjoy for a lifetime. They take an investment, yes. But, the more coaches/teachers can chunk it down to make it a more fun learning experience and the more the students believe in themselves the more successful they will be. Some “students” already have the right mindset and simply need to find the right coach while others need the coaches leadership to find themselves and accomplish their goal. Regardless, all are welcome.
– Mike Baltren