Middle school is a time when students are desperately searching for identity, meaning, and purpose. They are also trying to find a talent they can cultivate; I try to make guitar the instrument and subject that students want to go to school for. I teach 12- to 14-year-olds how to read music and perform it on guitar and how playing music can transform their lives and give it added meaning.
While our students come from a low-income area, we have nothing but high musical expectations.
Our student population can benefit from having a guitar program in so many ways, mostly from giving students an instrument of their own to create and perform music in ways they didn't know existed. Guitar helped find my identity at a young age, and I firmly believe it can help our students find their places in often complicated lives.
Our students are working towards learning more advanced techniques on guitar. They are learning PIMA-style fingerpicking, advanced open chords and barre chords, and multi-part musical pieces. Wouldn't it be amazing to see one person on guitar who could perform all these concepts in a concert? For my students, I know it would be.
At our middle school, our student population doesn't always have the financial resources to see great artists, travel great distances, or be exposed to great musicianship.
I know this concert can inspire my students to see beyond their neighborhood and imagine musical possibilities they haven't even considered. Tommy Emmanuel can provide the backdrop to show them what a true professional looks like.
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