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One of the best guitarists I know

Lately my motivation and morale has been down because sometimes the process of writing a thesis can seem like trying to show certain people how you're not a failure. However, this morning I received some wonderful notifications. In 2007, I had the honor and privilege of teaching a talented 7-year-old Japanese boy how to play the guitar. Despite having a full-adult-sized electric guitar, he managed extremely well. Reflecting back on the experience, to say that I actually "taught" him to play the guitar wouldn't be 100% accurate. It was more like I simply showed him how to learn his favorite songs. After that, he and I mostly just jammed guitar together. We would play a lot of Green Day. It was a lot of fun (see vid below). Eventually, after a few short months, he ended up debuting his guitar-skills for his 2nd grade class. He played AND SANG the entirety of the Green Day song "Jesus of Suburbia." The video went viral (by 2007 standards, anyway: This morning, a whole 7 years later, he sent me a video of him playing "Just the Beginning" from 仮面ライダーGIRLS. I sat at my desk watching just how great of a guitarist this now young man had become. Then he started to solo. The tap and pull-off work was superb. My jaw dropped open, and I am really just so proud of him. Music is a wonderful thing. It's like exercise for the soul. Quoting one of my other students and fellow musicians, Kenshin Kai, "Music is the vitamin of the mind." And this morning, music is the reminder that no matter what, I am not a failure. None of us are. Thanks again for showing me how awesome you've become on the guitar, Reku. Your video came at just the right time to motivate me about life again. I'm really proud of you.

About the Author

PhD Candidate in Japan, researching Narrative in Games. Responds favorably to Thrash Metal, Karaoke, and Dungeons & Dragons.

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