We blew the dust off my son’s Christmas present and put it in its case. I picked it and the amp up and loaded it in the back of my car. My son sat in the front seat, eager, yet a little nervous. We listened to Zac Brown Band’s guitarist Clay Cook’s solo album. Clay can tear up a guitar.
He first saw his teacher when we pulled into the parking lot. Gravel crunched under the tires as my son quietly sized him up. My son’s instructor’s a big guy with glasses and a big, bushy beard. My son quietly introduced himself to him as we walked to the studio.
John Mark Coon is one of the most talented people I know. He’s a multiple threat guy — artist, musician, singer and family man. And when I found out from my wife’s coworker (a music teacher) that he taught lessons, I jumped at the opportunity. He’s the kind of guy you want teaching your child.
I sat on the couch and watched my son enter a new world — the world of music. I saw him soak in John Mark’s instruction. I watched his small fingers try to pinch the notes out of the guitar. I saw him fail, get back up and then succeed. I smiled as my son’s eyes widened as John Mark played Stairway to Heaven. I watched a fire get lit in my child’s soul.
Last night he practiced until his fingers hurt. He played his new chord (an A) and I pulled a D harmonica out of the drawer and jammed with him. It was ten minutes of bliss.