As many of you know, I liked to tinker in the wood shop with my father. So as I began to learn many of the wood craft lessons from my dad, it just so happened that he also became a student around that same time. His friend and local guitar maker took my father under his wing and showed him how to craft a Mountain Dulcimer.
My dad was ecstatic about his new adventure, not just into furthering his wood craft abilities but he also took the lesson as a form to reconnect with our Appalachian ancestry. I listened to him many evenings talk about the history and the personal meaning for him behind the mountain dulcimer. Our conversations made me nostalgic for this foreign Appalachian world that I have only connected to through birth right. He also intertwined the things he learned while constructing the dulcimer to the lessons he was teaching me in the wood shop at the house. I really enjoyed learning from the student. ;)
There were many evenings that my father spent away working in his friends wood shop. He used a piece of his favorite type of wood, chestnut and put his (our) signature design, (the deer tracks) across the face. He also embellished his mountain instrument with his hand crafted antler cross. The end result was a beautiful hand crafted meaningful instrument. After he brought the dulcimer home I couldn't wait to give it a try. I refrained as everyone had their chance at the strings. I was scared... Sucking at something especially in front of people is never fun.
My father has repeatedly told me how much he wishes that he had learned to play an instrument but failed to learn because he never had anyone to teach him. I sympathize. I have always enjoyed a wide variety of music but particularly listening to the acoustic guitar and banjo. I always wanted to learn but like him, I just never had anyone to teach me. Now both of my children are taking an interest in music therefor I feel like now is do or die time.
Lee has taken up the acoustic guitar. He says he isn't very good but if he IS truly bad, I cant tell. Even when he first started I found peace in his calm soothing melodies. I love listening to him play. Nothing puts me to sleep faster than hearing him strum Dust in the Wind. And when I say puts me to sleep I don't mean like on a Sunday morning sitting on a hard church pew while a long winded minister preaches about tithing. I mean every muscle in my body relaxes and every thought in my head is carried away by the sweet sound of each cord.I sleep in total bliss. I LOVE IT.
Lee knows how much I love to listen to him. He has encouraged me to learn and has offered several times to teach me what little he knows BUT again I refrained. I think its because I had a boyfriend in high school that attempted to teach me once.... we broke up. I like to think it was because he was such a horrible teacher. I hoped it wasnt me but I am pretty sure that the blood dripping from his ears was an indication of whose fault it really was. Ever since then I have been a little intimidated by learning how to play anything that has strings. (By the way I was just kidding about blood dripping from his ears... it was so his fault- hehe)
Today I embarked on a new journey. I wandered into the depths of the unknown as I broke out the dulcimer. I have discovered amazing things just from my single youtube lesson. The first and perhaps maybe the most important... I AM absolutely horrible!!!!!!
Lee assured me this evening that the dulcimer is terribly out of tune and I should take it to his pal in town to get it tuned... I have to say what a wonderful guy my man is... Its not me its the dulcimer! HA
I am also going to talk to his buddy about getting a few real lessons. Not that youtube is a bad place to learn. Lee has learned a lot from his sessions, but I on the other hand am a different kind of learner. I need someone of authority standing over me stroking my ego or in this department, lack there of.
So yes once again, after a not so good lesson, I decided to take a break and blog (We all remember a few weeks ago when mom was attempting to teach me to quilt, right!?)... which brings me to my thought for the day "Those who cant, Blog"...
I'll keep you posted IF there is any progress. ;)