Are You Ready To Learn To Play Guitar?

Ellen AllardUncategorized


Sometimes, it’s the littlest things that can make all the difference.

Yesterday, I presented a keynote address and breakout workshop for the Detroit Alliance for Jewish Education. At the conclusion of the keynote, a woman exuberantly approached me and shared that she’d always wanted to learn to play guitar and something I said just made it click for her. She planned on going home and fetching the guitar she’d given her daughter several years ago (that had remained in her daughter’s closet, never to see the light of day), and making it her job to learn to play it so that she could accompany herself while teaching songs to her preschoolers.

That just made my day. It was my sweet take home. Or one of them. There were a bunch.

  1. Early Childhood teachers are super uber committed to integrating music into their classrooms. They’re one of the reasons I continue to do this fine work. I already knew this, but it’s lovely to learn it again and again!
  2. Detroit might have gone bankrupt but their Jewish community is vibrant and strong, and there is support for keeping things fresh and new, including an amazing Social Media Bootcamp for EC teachers.
  3. After wondering whether I can do this on my own, after 17 years of being part of a duo, I am stepping into my solo circle of excellence with grace and gratitude. You know what I mean, right?
  4. The camaraderie and spirit of sharing and support amongst the people I met, especially the staff of the Alliance that brought me in, was refreshing and inspiring.

Amy Newman, Jeffrey Lasday and Gail Nachman Greenberg, all from the Detroit Alliance for Jewish Education, were so welcoming. Amy was extremely organized and efficient and made the event run like clock work. Jeff and Gail encouraged me to articulate a vision for an idea I have that involves Tot Shabbat that could be brought to life by a Covenant grant. I’d never considered submitting an application for one, but that is all changed now.

I’m feeling so grateful for colleagues like Amy and Jeff and Gail (not to mention Lisa Soble Siegmann and several others) who get the importance of music in the Early Childhood classroom. With professionals like them at the helm of our Jewish organizations, we are bound to make really wise and impactful choices.

So, I’m just wondering. Have you thought about learning to play the guitar? Or taking your guitar out of its’ hiding place and allowing it to see the light of your day? There’s no time like the present, my friends. Go for it!