I was suffering from Guilty Parent Syndrome. It was a quiet sort of suffering, yet it was always there, right under the surface. Ever since my youngest, who was nine at the time, saved up her own money and purchased a fairly decent first guitar, I have felt guilty for not giving her any instructional help.
At first, I actually did purchase a DVD that taught basic guitar. It was really lame and hard to follow. I realized that I could watch the DVD and learn it myself, then pass on my newfound knowledge to her. I actually tried one lesson. One part of one lesson. Then the guilt set in. Not only did I not realistically have TIME to learn and teach guitar (nor, honestly, the ability) but I was going to have to cut my nails!!! I just couldn’t quite bring myself to do that. So, I settled for feeling guilty instead.
My intention was to find something different to enable her to learn. I did ask a friend to show her a few things. He tuned the guitar and then played it like crazy, not exactly sharing it in his enthusiasm for the great sound from such an inexpensive guitar. Soooo, it just sort of sat in her room, propped in a corner, strummed on occasionally and shooting guilt-laden daggers my way when I tucked my daughter in at night. I have let my heart grow callused to lessen the effects of the syndrome.
Enter Jean Welles Worship Guitar, Volume One. When this arrived in the mail, a free DVD for me to review, I had one happy little girl! She wasn’t as little as she once was, for two years she has waited patiently (most likely giving up hope), for a chance to learn the guitar. Now thanks to reviewing for the TOS Crew, she had another opportunity to try.
I feared a repeat of the first DVD I purchased two years before: Low budget, grainy, hard to see and follow. However, I was pleasantly surprised that there was a clear picture, no distractions, and a nice, easy going style that Jean Welles brought to the video. The only draw back was an echo-y sound whenever she spoke, though it didn’t hinder how well she could be understood. Maybe it was necessary for picking up the sound of her guitar, I don’t know.
My daughter enthusiastically began the first lesson, guitar poised. She was absolutely thrilled with the instruction on how to tune a guitar to itself. That may sound like an oxymoron, especially in a grossly out of tune guitar, but it really did work! By the end of the first lesson, she actually could play a simple worship song with two chords! I got a really big “thank you!” from her, even though I really had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
Day by day my daughter has been working through the lessons and building on each new concept. Sometimes the pace is a bit fast and she certainly uses the pause button but I think that is to be expected. She also said she wishes that Ms. Welles would call out the chord changes in a song and slow down a bit. However, since Ms. Welles has been teaching for over 30 years, I am sure there is a reason on both counts.
In fact, Jean Welles has some really impressive credentials. She has a Master’s in Guitar performance from USC. Her instructional DVD’s are in nearly 60 countries and 1500 stores. Over 100,000 students have learned guitar with these lessons. And now I can count my daughter among the successful masses. We haven’t quite made it through all 7 lessons but I am already impressed with the songs she has learned and she is really pleased with the results. I also appreciate the focus being on Christ and using our gifts to worship him.
In all, there are four different volumes of Worship Guitar Class. Each DVD can be played in either English or Spanish and is suitable for children or adults. Also, if you visit Ms. Welles website by clicking here, you can also view the first lesson from some of the programs for free and you can even download the music. The DVD (along with a book containing the lessons and music) is $29.95. There are also DVD’s for piano, percussion, electric guitar, violin and voice.
So, we now have the best of both worlds: my daughter is learning guitar and I still have my nails. All is right with the world and hyperbole lives on.