Blog #4: Feeding a Passion
August 13, 2018

Blog #4

Community Service

As a high school Junior I enrolled in a guitar class provided by Taos High School.  My sister and brother-in-law purchased a guitar for me and I showed up for the first day.  First thing I learned was that there was no permanent guitar teacher for the class.  We had several substitutes rotate throughout the semester.  Most of the students’ parents were paying for private lessons outside of school, and were pretty adept even though it was a beginner class.  The teachers would hand out a sheet of music along with another sheet explaining how to read it. The instructor would print the sheets from the internet, and for the most part would not be seen again until class was dismissed.  Every two weeks there was a test to see if we could play the song.  I learned the songs by practicing with the other more adept students and was able to pass.

After one semester I purchased some beginner books on music theory and guitar technique to study on my own.  A friend of mine studied music theory at Fort Lewis Collage and after dropping out, gave me his textbook.  It was an incredibly dense writing designed for all four years of music theory study.  Over the next eight years I dedicated as much time as possible to absorbing its information.

Now, twelve years later I am learning that the interns in the TCEDC program are having the same experience in guitar class , and allure passionate about learning.  Regardless of who’s at fault , the fact is that the State of New Mexico has tremendously cut funds for high school art programs throughout the state and the students are suffering.  I also learned that just ten years before I entered high school they had funds, a permanent teacher, textbooks and in-class instruments. Not all have the opportunity for private lessons or to buy their own instrument, for both are expensive.  This is when I had the idea to provide my interns with a risk-free, immersive music class experience.  The class will last the duration of the Garden Program.