Today, I said goodbye to a delightful young guitar student, Ella, who is moving in a few weeks. I've lost track of time, but I think I've been teaching Ella for two years or so. The thing that makes Ella a joy to teach is her personality: part rock star, part comedian. In her first lesson, Ella was sizing me up and didn't say much. In her second lesson, she opened up right away about school, guitar, and life in general. From that point on, Ella has made me laugh out loud in nearly every guitar lesson.
Although Ella is moving to a different state, we are going to continue lessons through either Skype or Google Hangouts. I'll miss seeing Ella in person, but I'm glad that we'll continue lessons online.
Instead of having a lesson today, I went out for frozen yogurt with Ella and her mom. As a parting gift, I gave Ella a Snark tuner and a chord book. Ella gave me a card and a poem she had written. I was really touched by the poem. Here is Ella's poem:
Strum, strum, strum.
Light sound, hard beat
Makes me want to move my feet.
Tap, tap, tap.
Guitar resting on my lap.
Bump, bump, bump.
Made from a tree stump.
You may like the sound
That comes from the amp on the ground,
But the acoustic guitar is for me
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.