MADELEINE Y. GOMEZ

This story about Patric reflects his amazing mastery of the sitar. He truly commanded that instrument and his gift to all of us was himself through his artistry and generosity in sharing his world.

When I was 16 and had first decided on pure-inspiration that I wanted to play sitar, my dad picked me up an instrument. At least, I think it was a sitar, LOL. To focus on the positive, he also found me a teacher. That teacher was Patric Marks. I started my lessons with Patric with my beater sitar proudly in hand. It didn't really sound that great or tune or play that easily, but it was my instrument and all I had.

However, I noticed that in contrast to myself, when Patric played it, it sounded like a concert instrument. Amazing! I would be in awe just hearing him tune it up. Then he would playa little something to make sure it was in tune and I was mesmerized. Could this fantastic sound actually be coming from the same sitar--my sitar? I began to realize that some sitars may be better than others, but great players can make even a not so good one sing.

Thankfully, Patric soon suggested that I take my lessons on his sitars and leave mine at home. That was a load off of me in more ways than one. Not only did I not have to lug my caseless instrument to my lessons but I had earned the privilege of playing one of his treasured instruments. Not long afterwards, he got me a great sitar which he had picked out himself and shipped in from India. It was a joy to play and sounded incredible! Now, decades later, you should hear how the sound on that sitar continues to improve even upon its own excellence.

As you can see, the lessons I learned from Patric about the sitar and life in this situation were many.

1) Always try to do the best you can with what you have.

2) Appreciate what has been given to you.

3) Develop yourself in all realms despite the apparent limitations.

4) Feel inspired by the masters of what you are studying.

5) Never devalue even the most humble presentations.

6) A true master can not be denied.

7) Appreciate the fine craftsmanship of a first-class instrument.

8) Sitar tuning like good cooking takes time.

9) Value the artistic efforts of all who endeavor to express themselves through music.

10) A fine teacher and guru like a fine sitar is a friend for life and will always support you in continuing growth.

This was a small piece of how Patric shaped my life and touched the lives of countless others. This was how he lived and shared his treasure.