He's the reason I'm still teaching. He's the reason I'm still playing. He was the first one to instill a passion for music and creativity that would last a lifetime. He taught me more than just an instrument...
For those who don't know me, my name is Matt Tims. I'm the owner of Coming Hour, and this is the story about the lasting impact my first guitar teacher, Jerry, made on me.
I started guitar lessons when I was quite young, as early as first grade if I remember correctly. There was nothing special about me. I didn't really practice all that much, and I really was just an "ok" player.
You know those 6-year-old prodigies all over YouTube? That definitely wasn't me! But week after week I went to my lessons, and week after week I kept progressing.
At the time I thought I was being formed into a shredder who would tour the world melting faces with my speed-picking. I was learning the hits of Zep, ACDC, Dream Theater, and all my other favorites at the time.
But what I never realized is that Jerry was my biggest fan, encourager, and mentor. Every time I brought a new jingle he would inspire me to keep creating. He cared more about my love of music than about the perfection of any solo I learned, which really pushed me to a higher level of excellence than anything else.
It hurts me to hear endless stories of adults who regret dropping an instrument, or college music students who are squeezed dry of all pleasure in their instrument. If they just had a "Jerry" when they were growing up, they would have never had a reason to quit.
I can't change anybody's past, but I can help shape the future for the next generation of musicians. And that's a huge reason why I started Coming Hour to begin with.
Our goal isn't to produce mechanical prodigies who can spray a million notes playing "The Flight of the Bumblebee" by the age of 11. Our goal is to encourage and inspire musicians that will turn it into a lifelong passion.
For any person, but especially a younger kid, the drive to be excellent is only sustainable when they know that their teacher is on the same journey, and that they care more about who you are than a single note you play.
Don't get me wrong. We push students to practice, and they do. We challenge them to new levels, and they step up. But it's all rooted in a love of music that will last them a lifetime.
And that's why we do what we do.
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