In September 2010, David Adams began teaching weekly guitar lessons to small groups of Adolescent Boys (ages 12-15) at the Nelson Center in Denton. He has since added guitar lessons with our Big Boys (ages 9-11), and we are so lucky to have him lending his talents here at Nelson.
Dave is a funny, cheerful, sincere, genuine, compassionate, understanding, flexible, and creative guy. These are just a few of the adjectives that describe him.
Following is my Q & A interview with Dave:
How did you hear about volunteering at Nelson Center?
Why did you decide to volunteer?
I had the time to volunteer, and knowing that God would provide an opportunity, I was ready to plug in somewhere. I have kids and grandkids, so know how to interact well with kids. My wife is a therapist, so I know something about what it takes to work with an emotionally “troubled” population. I knew she could give me tips and help me with the right words to say.
What’s been your favorite moment of volunteering at the Nelson Center?
Because the boys at Nelson – and any emotionally-disturbed child, and teenagers for that matter – have such a difficult time attaching to and focusing on one thing, you have to find a “hook” in whatever activity you are doing to capture their attention. My favorite experience was when I found that “hook” in the Adolescent Boys group – teaching them a few simple chords, so they could play the chords in a continuous beat , and I could play “above” them in a bluesy-rock rhythm. This allowed the boys to play together and feel like they had made real progress. Another favorite moment was watching one young man, “K,” start to pick out chords and notes by ear. K struggles with reading and identifying notes on a page, but he had an amazing, undiscovered talent.
What has been your biggest challenge volunteering?
It’s not been an issue with patience at all. It’s just discovering that “one thing” for each boy that sets a fire in their eyes for the guitar lessons – finding the connection for each one that is the key to getting them invested in their own talent, growth, and abilities.
What keeps you coming back?
It’s like golf. When that one right swing or great shot hooks you. That one moment when you see them become invested and believe in their own potential and ability that hooks you. That one moment is awesome.