Once upon a time a high school freshman in Virginia announced to his parents that he wished to learn to play the guitar.
“That’s an interesting idea,” his parents said, “but to ensure that you are serious, you will need to do some research before we agree to fund this.”
Excitement turned to disappointment in a heart beat. “Research?” he asked.
“Yes. First, find a local teacher, preferably close by,” the parents said. “Then find out the best type, brand, and cost of a suitable starter guitar.”
He did all his research in a timely and efficient manner. His new guitar teacher, a competent and motivating fellow named Buzz, lived a few streets over. Very convenient indeed. With the new, entry level guitar Buzz suggested, the high school freshman began to learn to play the guitar.
And learn he did. He practiced for hours every day for months, and his skill grew quickly. After much hard work and dedication, he was one wailing guitarist. He formed a band and played at a local youth group every Sunday night after church. His band, Flannel Mice, was never destined to win a grammy. But our young guitarist got to feel the hot stage lights and hear the screams of adoring fans as he played bluesy riffs on his lipstick red Ibanez electric guitar.
Fast forward to last week. The wailing guitarist is now 31 years old, married with one child and another on the way. In addition to his family responsibilities, he heads his own consulting firm, travels extensively, and in general, has had little time to play guitar.
He missed the thrill and satisfaction of making music, so he recently decided it was time to resurrect his guitar playing. He also decided that, since so much time had passed, he would seek out a teacher and take some refresher lessons. This time his research was easier. He started with Microsoft Live (Live.com), through which he found several possible local teachers. He then used MySpace to gain more information about a promising prospect. What luck! The prospective teacher lived close by to his home in North Carolina.
He didn’t recognize the name, but when he played samples of the teacher’s music posted on MySpace, he thought it all sounded vaguely familar. Even though it had been 13 years, he recognized the music and the musician. He called and asked for the teacher by his MySpace name. To his great surprise, the teacher said, “Call me Buzz.”
Yes, that’s right. It was his original teacher, now relocated to North Carolina a few blocks away. Happily reunited, the guitarist, my beloved son Ray, and his teacher, Buzz, are again making music. Score another win for social media.