My Story

It's interesting hearing stories of how people got started in the teaching field. Although they are all unique, most teachers seem to have one thing in common. Most of us never really expected to become teachers. Here's my story:

When I was growing up, I had thoughts of becoming a scientist or an engineer. As children we often fantasize about having some ultra important job that will change the world. When we get a little older, we start to realize that our natural gifts and talents tend to guide us into our particular field of interest or study. When I was around 9 years old, my parents bought a home computer. In the late 1970's, computers were very simplistic compared to what we have today. But to me, this device was nothing short of incredible. I took to it right away, and before long I was writing my own computer programs. I really started to get good at this, and I guess everyone just assumed that I would end up programming computers for a living.

A few months after my 10th birthday I discovered my Aunt's old guitar in my Grandfather's attic. I was intrigued by the sound it made and I asked my parents if I could take some lessons. For the next two years I studied Classical guitar with a top local instructor. For some reason, I was becoming bored with the instrument. I would listen to songs on the radio and wonder why I couldn't play like those guys. That summer I decided to quit the guitar, and honestly I never intended to ever pick it up again.

A few months later school started. On the first day of school I met a kid named Mark, and he was reading a guitar magazine. We struck up a conversation about the guitar and I told him how I had just quit playing because I was bored. He looked surprised at what I said to him and asked "how could you get bored with an instrument as cool as the guitar???" I told him that I was studying Classical guitar for two years and that I wasn't able to get any of the sounds that I was hearing guitarists get on the radio. He laughed and then said he had the solution to my problem. After school, Mark invited me to his house. He had two electric guitars. I had never played an electric guitar before. He sat down with me and showed me a few things he had learned on his own. I think they were some Rolling Stones and AC/DC riffs. Well, instantly I was hooked!! This was the sound I was looking for. Now I understood why my Classical guitar couldn't make these sounds.

I asked Mark if he would sell me one of his electric guitars and a small amp so I could get started again. He agreed. I couldn't have been happier!!! From that point on, I found myself becoming more and more fascinated with the guitar. I would play for hours and hours and never get tired or bored. The sound of this instrument was addictive!! I started teaching myself by copying what I heard on my favorite albums. I would get together with other kids in the neighborhood who played and I would try and learn everything I could from them. Soon, I became known as "the kid who could play anything on the guitar". Of course this wasn't true, but because I practiced so much, I could play a lot of songs that the other kids didn't know.

One day when I was 15 years old, a boy I knew from school approached me and asked if I could show him a song on the guitar. I told him I'd be more than happy to help him learn the song. A few days later he came to my house and I spent about 45 minutes with him showing him the parts of the song he was interested in. Afterwards, he gave me 5 dollars. I said "what's this for?" He said "well Ed, you spent almost an hour with me and I really appreciate your help with the song. I wouldn't feel right not giving you something for your time." Later that night, I started thinking about what had happened earlier. Someone just paid me 5 dollars for showing him how to play something on the guitar. Heck, it wasn't even that much work. In fact, I actually had fun doing it!! Hmmmm. I think I may have a brilliant idea here!!!

I talked to my folks about my idea the next day. I asked my Mom how much it would cost to take out a small classified add in the local newspaper for guitar lessons. At that time, the paper was charging seven dollars for a three line classified ad. I figured I had just made $5 from giving that lesson, so most of the ad was already paid for. Two dollars more and I'd have my ad. So I decided to go through with my idea. The next week my classified ad came out. It read something like "Guitar Lessons - Rock,Blues and Heavy Metal. No music reading necessary. Call for more info" Well, at the end of that month I had 10 students. The rest is history!! I've been teaching ever since.