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Strumming Through Life: A Tale of Music, Literature, and the Unexpected Classroom

I didn’t want to become a teacher, I promise. Sometimes, I feel that this title is inappropriate for me. I was a bad student for many years, especially during my secondary school (scuola superiore, for the Italian readers), and finding myself on the other side of the barricade still feels weird in some way. Since I turned 12 year old, my obsession became the music, and by 19, my school career was on the edge of the abyss. For the second time, I failed my September revision exams, and I had to leave school, find a job, and start supporting my ‘recovery’ studies path.

 

So, you might want to know what happened that dragged me back to a place that apparently wasn’t the one envisioned in my dream of becoming a rockstar? What really happened was that I found myself studying to become a Land Surveyor, which had little to do with music, and I was struggling to find it interesting. However, after two years of boredom, I realized that I was falling in love for literature instead, and I was really enjoying writing. So, I started reading tons of books and became fascinated by the authors of the “Decadent Movement” and the “Beat Generation”, who progressively started influencing my life choices and vision.

 

From the age of 15, I started to write lyrics for my songs and a lot of poems, diving more and more into the vastness of this endless ‘world library’ that was inviting me in. Alongside, since I was putting a lot of effort in learning to play the guitar, I thought that teaching the things I knew to some young kid would pay for some of the music equipment I needed. My parents never stopped me to chasing my dream, but they weren’t always financially supportive on this matter. I got my first real good guitar amplifier when I turned 24; you do the math.

 

Then, in 1998, during my military service, I decided to attend a Drama school, and this is when I finally realized that the theatre was the right place for me to contain and combine all my passions: music, literature, writing, and visual arts. Photography and videomaking were my favourite hobbies at that time. So, as soon as I dropped my uniform, I undertook the difficult mission of enrolling at the faculty of Literature at the University of Turin and becoming a good student. I’m sure a lot of people had good laugh about it, and only few, perhaps, thought I would have reached the end of this MA course.

 

Now, since I was financing most of my ‘missions,’ I needed to earn more money. Therefore, I immediately started teaching in a music academy in Rivarolo, near Turin, which gave me the opportunity to survive and keep my dreams alive. I’m not sure if I was a good teacher, but I had a lot of enthusiasm to share, along with enough knowledge to instruct beginner guitarists. This is when I realized that the greatest thing about teaching for me, was a continuous discovery of new things related to my subject, sometimes completely unexpected. The reason was that the students were tremendously curious, and they were searching for answers and asking questions all the time.

 

Unfortunately, nowadays, this doesn’t happen that often anymore, and I’m sadly witnessing a sort of passive approach towards subjects that, like music, rely on passion and need a strong commitment. It’s like this digital world is paralyzing us instead of enriching our lives. Having said that, I’m sure that you might have had the same or different perception around this theme, not necessarily from a teacher’s perspective but as a parent, relative, or friend.

I would love to know your thoughts about it…

 



Metronome and music score
Teaching music is a matter of time 😄🎶



And as always, I like to say ‘arrivederci’ with one of my songs…



Nessun Rumore...a song about dreams and silence
...from the album "Librante"







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