Learnin’ Guitar


I have always wanted to play the guitar.  For as long as I can remember it was something I wanted to do.  I want to be able to pull out the guitar at a campfire with the kids, lead a song or two at a holiday party, or even lead worship at my local Church.  So recently I made the step, I bought a new Les Paul Guitar and amp (a beginners model, not one of those $1500 studio models, though when I become more than proficient I’m going to have one), found some good video lessons online, and started practicing.  I have been playing for almost a month and practice, on average, an hour a day.  Though when we had our semi-annual board meeting and all I had to do was wait around all day in my nice clothes for about 30 minutes of schmoozing with the board, I practiced about 4 hours, and my fingers were raw afterward.

Anyway after a month I still basically suck, I am a total beginner.  I know about 15 different chords, of which I get fingered tied most of the time when I try to transition between them.  I can do some of my scales, and I can play the theme to the “pink panther” and “La Bamba” with several errors, though I am way better than I was two weeks ago. 

Funny thing is that taking the step to learn how to play changes your perception when you listen music.  I used to listen to the radio and hear these awesome guitar riffs, and think to myself that would be really cool to be able to learn how to play, not realizing how hard it would be.  Now I listen to the same songs and think to myself, maybe if I keep working on my lessons and practice everyday, I might be able to play like that in 5 or 10 years.  By the time I’m good enough to be a rock star, I will be playing at AARP events to all my fellow seniors.  My wife is having a real hard time picturing me, in skin tight Lycra jumpsuits and long curly grey hair, with a natural mullet because I am bald on top.  Frankly, I guess, so am I.

Funny thing with me is that all things lead back to houseparenting and as I was listening to the radio today, and thinking, “there is no way, with me being a beginner guitarist that I would get a gig playing a concert in front of thousands of people, I would need way more training and experience before that; yet everyday there are places that will hire new houseparents, give them a couple hours of training or no training at all, turn them loose caring for children that have been hurt, abused, neglected, taught all kinds of antisocial behaviors, etc., and then expect them to be successful.”

I have seen many potentially good houseparents fail, because they did not have the training they needed to be effective houseparents.  They didn’t receive training to deal with the many different situations or behaviors they were facing.  Being a houseparent is an incredibly difficult job, it has taken me over 12 years to be moderately proficient at it, and I truly wish I would have had more training when I started, maybe I would be better at it now.

Anyway, my point to all of this rambling is this.  If you are an administrator, train your staff.  The better trained they are, the easier your job of managing them will be.  If you are a houseparent looking for a position, I can tell you that, “the better the training is before you start in the house, the easier the job will be once you get into the house.”  Keep that in mind when you are looking for a position.  If you are a houseparent like me, that started with little training, do what you can to improve your training: read Books (I have reviewed many here on the site), visit some of the websites of childcare organizations and find resources that they have.  Many will have articles that help.  Attend conferences if possible.  Do what you can to train yourself, because the better trained you are the easier your job will be.  I truly believe that!!

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