Thursday, 2 March 2017

Music Therapy (a poem for my guitar teacher Ray Gallo)

Being in Ray's guitar classes
Is Music Therapy to me!
Drawing his students to their full potential
By treating each as someone special,
He leads us up and never puts us down.

Ramon Gallo opens the channels to music in me!

by Alan the Poet Therapeutic
© 1984 by Alan Raymond Wheatley

About this poem

One aspect of living where I currently live in North London that I most treasure is my connection with guitar teacher Ray Gallo in Haringay Green Lanes, between Haringey Green Lanes Station and Turnpike Lane Station. That connection is deepened through the access that Disability Living Allowance support allows me to private lessons of about 30 minutes with him each week.

I first came across Ray via an evening class he was running in LB Camden for Camden Education around 1984 or 1985.

Sadly, the classes were short-lived due to the shortfall between funder's class size targets and student take-up, and as a person with an invisible learning difficulty, I was under too much pressure from unemployment benefit office/jobcentre to pursue conventional, non-artistic career openings to devote myself to my musical development.

In early 2011, though, I became more settled on Employment & Support Allowance 'Support Group' status and with Disability Living Allowance access to help me secure additional supports I require. With a greater appreciation that my guitar learning problems are more to do with my learning difficulty than being 'unmusical', I sought out Ray's services for private lessons.

Thus I'm now making slow but steady progress, and know that I would benefit from allowing myself more practice time.

Ray (left)  and pupil Alan show off for Karina Gallo's camera, March 2017
I recall what Mike Turner advised me at a Grey Cock Folk Club Singers Workshop session I attended in 1975 or 1976, after I had spoken of my difficulties practisings at home while my younger sister, studying for her 'A' Levels told me, "Shut up! You're tone deaf."

Mike Turner responded:
"Many people say they love art, but too few people appreciate the development of an artist."

So, many years later, Ray celebrates my musical development with me.



No comments:

Post a Comment