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Do We Live In "The Future"?

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Do we live in “the future”? We’ve all seen the short films from the 1950’s depicting the
excitement that technology will soon bring. Housewives in white aprons making instant meals for their
families, seeing loved ones in the telephone, encased in an art-deco, “The Jetsons”-esque environment.
Cars may not yet be able to fly, but in 2010 I can drive 5 miles from my house in an electric powered car
and purchase a device that can organize my favorite music, films, literature, contacts, and pin point my
exact location using satellite technology. I can play computer games displayed on a high-definition, two-
inch thick screen that bring me closer to an alternative reality than ever before. Sixty years ago, a
statement such as this would be considered lunacy. In the present day, I just described to you a few
products available for sale at the local Wal-Mart.

Is this sudden leap ahead in technology affecting the way children are raised? Footballs are
being replaced with Xbox controllers. Instead of a new bike, parents purchase an electric scooter for
their eleven year olds birthday. Bright lights and instant gratification are now not only preferred, but
expected from children. Lacking the creativity musicians, writers, and artists of this era developed in the
early stages of childhood; going for walks without the fear of abduction, discovering nature without fear
of poison ivy, what kind of intellectual property will these kids create in the years to come? Will they
even possess the mental tools required to do so?

The fear of not having anything to truly call my own got the best of me at a young age. I took up
guitar and have been progressively teaching myself the fundamentals of the instrument since age ten.
Sound is merely a vibration in thin air. However, if you choose the right ones, paired together with some
kind of life lesson, an experience worth marking on paper, a tune is born. Music brings people together
as a whole, humming along to a familiar hit single. Music can also send you back in time to when you
heard it last, like a flashback waiting to be revisited. The gift of composing isn’t presented to you, it
requires discovery.


“It won’t come easy, but have heart. Love for the instrument and the sound you’re making
conquers the difficulty.” I reiterate this quote in not so many words to my eight current guitar students,
ranging in age from seven to fifteen. I began teaching guitar four years ago when it hit me that teaching
adolescents something that has the potential to stick with them for the rest of their lives definitely beats
flipping hamburgers or standing at a register, unappreciated and underpaid. I take pride in bringing kids
away from their Gameboys and television, teaching them something concrete. I’m teaching them
limitless possibilities of composition from a young age; something they can take home and truly make
their own. Technology brings kids into an alternate reality; I try and teach them how to make the real
one their muse.





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