Sandy's Learning Log

My entire childhood was of music. You’d think I would have started early on this journey, but that’s not the case. You see, I had no confidence and took others negative opinions of my singing at an early age to heart.

My father and his entire family of 8 children and parents all played multiple instruments, all by ear. They all played the guitar. My grandmother played piano and accordion. My father played the guitar, harmonica but mostly the violin.

We had a restaurant in the 60s and 70s, and a pool room with arcades in the 80s. So I grew up with a jukebox blaring night and day. Some of the songs I’m learning on guitar now are engraved in my brain since four or five years old.

I always dreamed of singing and playing guitar but I felt or misunderstood that you had to have a god given talent to be any good. Throughout my life I thought about it but never found the funds to actually take lessons. Then Covid hit. The pandemic did a number on me. To my head, to my psyche. It made me realise that time is short. No more time to lose.

It all started July 11, 2020. My coming out. I burst through my shell and never looked back. It was a Saturday, hot, muggy and raining to beat the band all day. I was house cleaning and singing to YouTube videos when “It’s a Heartache” from Bonnie Tylor came on. So I sang it. I don’t know what came over me, but I decided to record my singing over the karaoke track of this song, just my voice not my face, and after listening to it, decided to post it to my Facebook page to get some feedback. Many said I had a nice voice. Many didn’t believe I was the one actually singing.

Emboldened by the positive results, I sang another song, audio only, of “Stand by Your Man” by Tammy Wynette.

I felt the need to prove I was the one singing, and knew I needed to post a video, and I had never videoed myself ever. My biggest challenge yet. So a few weeks later, I posted my first video of me singing, “Too much love will kill you,” from Queen. Everyone loved it.

But I didn’t want to post covers over karaoke tracks. I wanted to play them with guitar and/or piano. But what to do? I couldn’t play. And I felt really down thinking it might take me years, like 5 or 10, just to sound good.

Then September 10, 2020, I googled: Best Free Guitar lessons on line. And Justinguitar came up. I went to r/guitar (reddit), and it was unanimous: Justinguitar.

So I said to myself, who is this justinguitar guy?

I went to the website and went through his beginner grade 1, Module 0 and Module 1. The excitement I felt was beyond this world. I knew for sure Justin could get me where I wanted to go. I jumped in my car, drove to the music store, bought a guitar, a stand, a capo, some picks and started with the D chord that very afternoon. And I’ve practiced and played every day since - well that’s not true - I took a few days off when both my precious kitties were sent to heaven.

Well, enough for this evening. I shall continue this story another day.


Sandy - this is a great start to your learning log. I’m so glad that you’ve found your voice - it’s excellent. Also glad that you’ve gotten comfortable with posting videos of your singing and playing - you’re making great progress. I look forward to seeing more and following your progress.

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What a heart-warming, inspirational story Sandy. I found myself smiling and clapping as I saw you burst out of your shell, a song-bird with music in her heart and the will to let the world hear it.

And look at you now, playing, singing, a YT channel of your own. I’m so proud of you. :star_struck: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :rat: :bat:

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Yes…it’s been a wonderful journey so far.

Thank you Maggie. I sometimes can’t believe I’m actually doing this. Had someone told me prior to 2020 that I’d be putting myself out there, I would’ve said, no way… I’m too shy. I couldn’t listen to my voice or look at my face on a recording, but after once, twice, thrice, it’s actually easy, and quite liberating. You are, of course, one of my inspirations on this forum, so thank you for posting your log and videos.

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So glad you’ve started up your Learning Log here, sharing your story. I am inspired by your story. It is one of the wonderful things about our Community, all share our stories and take heart from the progress we make.

Well said. Same goes for me and I’m sure many others here.

Look forward to your next video as you keep on keeping on.

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It’s not easy. We’re all human with feelings… and sometimes the fear of rejection and humiliation stops us from progressing. If this can help others to go for it, it’s all good.


So true, Sandy. And as I said, I think one of the many things I’ve gained from being an active member of this Community, is support and encouragement to overcome those fears and anxieties.


A very inspirational introduction Sandy, something I think more than a few of us can empathise with!
Having seen you grow down the path of learning to play I think that in the time so far you’ve achieved a lot; you’re playing and singing very well and you’re getting better continuously. Keep doing what you’ve done so far and you will achieve your wildest dreams, you have the passion and determination to get there, and will get all of the encouragement from us all to keep you going.


Hi Sandy, your story is indeed familiar yet unique, inspirational and great to read. Long may you run. :slight_smile:

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Great start to your LL Sandy. I look forward to following the rest of your journey.
You’re French Canadian I think. What type of restaurant did your family run?

Hi Sandy, what a start to your learning log; I found that very inspirational and a wonderful read. I look forward to following your progress and hearing how your story continues.

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First of all, you also have a talent for writing, this was a very enjoyable entry into your musical diary!

Keep on learning, playing, singing and enjoy the ride!

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Really nice entry and you are definitely musical person like others in your family, your voice is teally heartwarming. Thanks for the post it was really nice to read :slight_smile:

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Hi Sandy

Really enjoyed reading this and such a familiar tale ! I love the way you launched yourself into singing and playing pretty much from the get go. Those karaoke session must have boosted your confidence, Despite playing off and on for years and then settling down here, I always avoided singing. Even 18 months ago if some one said I would be singing and playing, I’d just laugh! Looking forward to more tales and of course, your development.



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I’m French Canadian, Québecois. Went to French school. But my dad, though he had a french last name: Thibault, was raised English. My mother is Acadian (Metis blood - New Brunswick). We spoke both languages at home, sometimes both in the same sentence. The restaurant in the 60s, 70s was the type where you serve customers at their car by pinning a tray to their windows. But we had a small dining area with a long counter lunch, red vinyl stools, a small bistro table and a huge jukebox, where teenagers gathered to sing, dance, smoke cigarettes and kiss. The house was attached to the restaurant, though I was allowed to mingle during the day, I was forbidden at night, and nighttime was busy and so much more fun, so I used to sneak in and spy on the teenagers. I was around five. Memories of Elvis, The Beatles, CCR, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Janis Joplin, French singer René Martel, Johnny Cash and so much more. My Dad loved to cook and was a social butterflies. He couldn’t live without people or music. Late at night, he’d play his beloved violin rocking us all to sleep. Such wonderful memories.

Forgot to mention. Though I was born in Montreal, my father moved us to the country a month after I was born in 1964, near Percé, Québec, where the famous Percé Rock is located. I lived 1 mile from the beach


Thank you Darrel. Finding this community as helped me greatly. It’s one thing to learn and play, but without sharing it, getting feedback and encouragement, it leaves a lot to be desired. And I find that sometimes I can actually give back too, especially to beginners, or those that fear that first step of posting their videos or dare start singing. And that feels good.


Thank you so much for saying that. Though I haven’t shared this here, writing is my first passion, well, let’s say it’s almost tied with singing and playing. I am presently editing my first novel which I started January 1, 2020. I am hoping to get it out as an independent author on Amazon this year. I’ve already written my first song and hope to share it this year once it is a bit more polished. The goal is when I retire, to write novels and original songs, and I know Justin is the one that will get me there music wise. I’ve listened to all of the original songs posted here and it’s such an inspiration to see you guys and gals progress as real musicians.


Thank you Adrian, that warms my heart on this cold day. Brrrh!

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Yes, I still post some Karaoke covers. I practice singing all the time. I quit smoking over 6 months ago, now I need to let go of vaping, ah ah. My vocals have improved, but I do think I need singing lessons, for now though, I have a lot on my plate. I do work full time from home. A proper set up with a dynamic microphone is in the cards for the future, perhaps next year. I’m not sure I can sing with a mic and amp in my apartment, I’ll get kicked out fast. It’s amazing what practice and determination can do, and encouragement from others. You are doing great yourself.