Gale Course review: ‘Music Made Easy’

By LARRY BALLWAHN | Wilton

There is an additional resource for those who view formal learning as a lifetime activity. Do you want to increase your career/job skills? What about physical or mental health knowledge?Was there a subject in school that you just couldn’t fit in or weren’t ready for at the time? Or like me, do you want to hold Alzheimer’s at bay?

The Winding Rivers Library System and your local library now offer Gale Courses, with a myriad available. Your library card and a computer (yours or the library’s) is all you need to put courses at your fingertips. For more information, go to the library’s website or talk to your librarian. The June courses started June 13, and there is still time to join if you do it right away. The next sessionstarts July 18.

I played tuba in the school band during my seventh and eighth grades and my freshman and sophomore years. I really didn’t learn to read music; instead, I learned the value of the notes and the tuba fingerings for those I needed. After that, I bought an electric Fender bass, which I played by ear until one of the members of the country band that drummer Gary Swartz and I had joined asked how my playing related to the guitar chords. Embarrassed, I dropped out of the band. It was just as well, as I was soon laid off from Tillman Produce and had to sell the bass back for what I still owed on it. Also, I’ve sung in church choirs where the quality of my contribution depended on listening to the person next to me.

Though it’s a little late in the game, the library and the Gale Course gave me a chance at remediation. And, as indicated above, a little additional learning may even stave off Alzheimer’s.

Music Made Easy, like most Gale courses, is six weeks in length. It can be taken completely on your schedule, as long as you do it in the prescribed time frame.

Two manageable lessons are presented each week (Wednesday and Friday), complete with a brief assignment to apply what you have learned and a short quiz that you may take as many times as needed. There is also an area for online discussion -— questions and an additional resource list.

Though I’m not finished with the course as I write this, I’m well on my way to being able to read music. If I were 16 again, I think I’d buy a bass guitar. Fortunately, my family has been spared.

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