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Dust off, drive forward.

Last week was a tough one for our team. We managed to put together the completed STORYHIVE grant application...but by the skin of our teeth, and it really took a toll on us. In the end I don’t believe we put our absolute best foot forward, but I’m hoping it'll be enough for us to get more funding. Still, there's a lot of work to be done.

My family and I spent the last 4 days at our friend’s cabin in beautiful Invermere, BC. It was well-deserved time away from work, from our daily routine, and even from GuitarBorn. This trip has become an annual getaway that our family looks forward to every year, and it's one of the most beautiful communities I’ve ever been a part of. This group includes 2 of my closest friends from University/Music, their awesome spouses, and their kids. It's also the owners of the cabin, parents of one of these friends, who are just amazing people. I really look up to them as people and parents, and I consider them close friends and family as well. These are just... amazing human beings! This group of people knows all about GuitarBorn, they've been so supportive and have been following our progress since the beginning.

As you can imagine, I always bring my guitar to this annual event for campfire sing-alongs. In the evening, when all the kids are in bed, the adults embark on the most epic campfire/live karaoke sessions ever! These people music lovers, and they are also some of the best singers to ever circle a campfire. When you combine all of this with smart phones that can access any song ever written, these nights tend to get pretty late 😊. Part way through our second night, I was asked to play one of the classical pieces that I've been preparing for the project. I was hesitant, but went ahead despite being tired from the days activities and playing all night; it was also pitch black out and I'd had plenty to drink...though I’m sure the alcohol made the decision easy as well. So, I decided to play an excerpt from the Albeniz… I’ve played it so many times and its memorized, even though it's still far from being performance ready. Not surprisingly, it didn’t go all. I stumbled over and over and barely got through the excerpt. Still, I was still happy to get through it. It was the very first time I’ve played that much classically to a live audience and I knew it was an important milestone for me. It can only get better from here…

Someone made the comment that even though we were just playing around the campfire, they saw vast improvement in my guitar playing which I was pleasantly surprised about. From the beginning, I set out to improve my overall skills through classical practice and I suppose 6 months of relatively consistent practicing can do that!!!

Now I’m back home even more motivated to keep moving forward and push through!

-- Noel

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