I want to say hello and introduce myself to this forum. I’m 51, and have played guitar since I was 11, and was taught to play by one of my favorite nuns of all time, Sister Ena Maguire. I’m not all holy or anything like that, Catholicism is just a part of my life, like having black hair is, or being female is. Anyhow I learned to played for my school choir on a crappy guitar called a Zim-Gar that my mom bought me at a swap meet for $14.00. Oh it sucked so bad! The neck was warped, it was too big to get my fingers around, and it had a dead sound. But, I wanted to learn, and Sister was offering free lessons if we’d play for the choir, so that’s what I used, with no complaints.
By 8th grade my very favorite nun, Sister Angela Mannion got ahold of me, and got me to bring my guitar to play and sing for the elderly in convalescence centers while she administered communion to them. I was scared to death on so many levels. I wasn’t very good and, and I didn’t have a good singing voice. I was afraid to say “no” to Sister A, because she was my teacher, besides that there was the “hell factor” going on. If I said no, maybe I’d end up in hell. My parents bought me an amazing Guild 37 blond guitar because I played the Zim-Gar so much, and they knew I was dedicated and would keep up with it. I’d catch hell from them for refusing to play. So off I went every Sunday with Sister to sing and play. I sang for the Saturday night mass, so I was free on Sunday. The first thing I found was that 90% of the folks there couldn’t hear very well, so I sang out, and played. If they can’t hear me, then no problem!
The second thing I found was that these people were desperately lonely, and were so happy to see me, and happy that I came to sing, just for them, so that inspired me to practice both voice and guitar every single day, as much as I could, so I could play really well for them. This continued all the way through high school and college. I even got serious voice training in high school, and started getting compliments on my singing.
During Law school and my marriage, my guitar stayed in the case. My husband was a devout atheist, and although I played Pop and rock, if I played and sang, he’d tell me to shut up, because I gave him a headache. So my voice and guitar both stayed in the case for 22 years.
I’m now single, and I started singing again and am having an amazing time with it. I now sing and play several times a day just for the joy of it. I now take private guitar lessons. I still have my Guild 37, and picked up another Guild Westerly 140ce, a Taylor and a Candelas in the past few years. I have a joy in my life again that I thought was left behind in my youth, and now couldn’t be more content.