I recently had the great pleasure of joining Jon Garon of My Favorite Guitars to the Martin Guitar factory in Nazareth, PA (cue The Weight by The Band…) Jon was on a wood selecting mission for a customer’s custom guitar, and while he was busy with that, I was treated to a personal tour, led by the company’s wood buyer! I was allowed to hold a 1937 Martin – once in a lifetime for me!! The Martin folks couldn’t have been nicer to me while I went nuts basking in the history and future of cool guitars…Thanks, Martin!
The ’53 Swingbillies played a wedding gig last weekend and had a *blast*!! We started out with a bit of bluegrass – usually reserved for the Mark Kreitzer Band – and a few people danced a bit. Then we decided to break out some traditional swing tunes, and the dance floor got packed, and it stayed that way for the rest of the night. There were many highlights, but the best (like most wedding dances) was the first dance for the couple. What a great job we have – we get to help people’s happiest day be even more fun!!
I had the great pleasure of returning to WI for a couple of gigs with the Twin Cities Hot Club. We played in Madison for their Live at Five Jazz series. It’s always so fun to see many friends and new faces at a gig, and their must have been a couple of thousand out for the last concert of the season. After a leisurely tour of Madison, we headed to Milwaukee, where we played for a swing dance in a great little pub called the Down and Over. About 100 people partied hardy (what a surprise in Wisconsin, eh?) and danced the night away. After a short night’s sleep, we headed back and I played a solo set for the Healthy Seniors in Coon Rapids – always fun to visit them!
One of the best books I read about teaching is “The Tao Of Teaching” by Greta Nagel. A very short, incomplete take on it is that students basically know what they need to know/are working toward what they need to know/or maybe even know what they need to know. The teacher’s job is help/allow the student to find the way. Often, in fact, the teacher’s job is to get *out* of the student’s way! I tend to try and explain everything in quite a bit of detail, but many people can’t *stand* to have things explained to them – they’d rather watch what I do, then try it themselves. Or maybe they learn best by talking about what they’re learning, and so after I say what I’d like them to do, they need to repeat it in their own words in order to learn it. Do you have any memories of teachers who helped in unexpected, non-traditional ways? How do you like to learn? How do you help students who have different learning styles than you do?