One Music Lesson

Written by: Music Motive director, Steve Hilstein

A young man who is a student at Cal Poly SLO won a free private music lesson at Music Motive. I wasn’t sure if he was planing on continuing after cashing in his voucher, but he asked me a fair question. He wrote, “I wanted to reach out to you and ask for your recommendation. I am fairly inexperienced when it comes to music – I have an old guitar and my roommate has a keyboard and cajon – what instrument (from your offerings) would you suggest I start with? I am looking to get a better grasp on the fundamentals of music and think Music Motive will be a great place to start.” – Tim

Taking one music lesson would be the equivalent of reading only one chapter in a great book. How much could you really expect to know or understand? However, it got me thinking – if you did take only one private music lesson, what could I possibly recommend? I had to dig down deep. This was my reply…

“Being primarily a drummer myself, but also a guitar and bass player (to a limited end), I may be a little biased by recommending drums/percussion. One of our drum instructors,

Tracy A. Morgan performing last year with the Julian Temple Band.

Tracy A. Morgan performing last year with the Julian Temple Band.

Tracy A. Morgan is skilled in both drums and percussion. He teaches drum set, cajon, d’jembe (and other hand percussion), and also leads our Percussion Break group every Wednesday at noon, and Percussion Happy Hour on Mondays at 5:30pm. Based off what you described, that could be my recommendation to you. “Time” and “Rhythm” is the foundation of all modern music. I believe all musicians should study this.

Devin Welsh last month with Natural Incense.

Devin Welsh last month with “Natural Incense”.

I will also add that musicianship is a very individual thing, like choosing which sport or hobby you are drawn to. Keyboard (specifically piano) is a percussion instrument which also relies on melody and harmony. Devin Welsh is one of our instructors who has experience on the keyboard and also plays guitar, teaches recording, sings (he teaches vocals too), and plays in the local/touring band, Natural Incense. He’s a very “well rounded” musician and could be an good influence on a budding career.


Justin Pecot at the SLO Mission concerts with “Truth About Seafood”.

Steve Ambarian last year with "Stereo Steve".

Steve Ambarian last year with “Stereo Steve”.

Since you already own a guitar, and it has all the musical elements that I’ve already described, I could also recommend either of our primary guitar instructors, Justin Pecot (with Truth About Seafood) or Steve Ambarian (of Stereo Steve), both brilliantly talented musicians who possess a ton of experience and skill.

So, I will answer your question with a question. Now dig down deep… what instrument is your heart drawing you to?”


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