Posts Tagged ‘hinsley’
Here’s another blog post from Matt Hinsley of the Austin Classical Guitar Society that I just had to share – they do such great work in Austin promoting the guitar and proving what a positive influence music can be in the lives of young people. They constantly impress and inspire me:
Eight high school boys in matching maroon T-shirts are focused intensely on Travis Marcum, our Director of Education. They are sitting with their left feet on footstools, holding classical guitars, playing a piece of music beautifully together. Their playing is not only synchronized, but it’s full of careful nuance with gorgeous and expressive moments that persist even in spite of the sporadic radio chatter from the guards just outside the open door in the hallway.
At the soft and slowing finish, Travis congratulates the group on their progress. This is the second performance of the piece this evening, and already they’ve refined tone, togetherness and several expressive moments. He asks if anyone has a comment and the boy to my right, Randy, raises his hand. “Sir, I didn’t think we were right together at the end of measure eight, sir.” One of the other boys nods at this observation, and Travis replies, “Excellent, let’s work on measure eight.”
Boston GuitarFest’s Youth Guitar Workshop
Today I’d like to share a recent newsletter story from Boston, because I think it’s inspiring on a number of levels. I interviewed several remarkable individuals who just added a youth workshop component to a well known festival, and I thought their story would be of interest.
Before I share the interview, though, I’d like to provide a bit of context about the Austin Classical Guitar Society, its education program and its curriculum project, because the interview will make more sense that way!
Things are moving quickly these days at the Austin Classical Guitar Society’s Education program. We’ll be providing service in over 30 Austin schools this coming year, the most ever! Most of our local service is in AISD middle and high schools, but we also have thriving programs at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Gardner Betts of the Travis County Juvenile Justice System (a full lock-down juvenile correctional facility). In fact, there was an amazing radio story on the Gardner Betts program that I strongly encourage you to listen to if you haven’t heard it already, it will brighten your day!
The main part of the story to know is that back in 2004, about three years after we got involved in education, we realized a great need to develop a full-scale curriculum for classroom guitar teaching. By 2008 we had done it, and it was launched online at GuitarCurriculum.com! GuitarCurriculum.com has since flourished. It not only supports all of our efforts here, but also has its own newsletter, and users all around the world. We have a whole team of educators working every day right now to build it, and enhance it.
It’s in that context that I wanted to share this past week’s GuitarCurriculum.com newsletter describing a recent youth festival in Boston. I hope you enjoy it!
I’m a huge fan of the work that Matt Hinsley has been doing in Austin with Guitarcurriculum.com. He’s been finding new ways of bringing the guitar into the classroom for kids in innovative ways. So when he told me that he was interviewing the people who have inspired him with their teaching I was very interested in hearing what they had to say. Here’s his interview with John Truitt from New Mexico. Click here for more…
News from Matt Hinsley and the folks in Austin about a guitar program in the Travis County Juvenile Justice System, new music on GuitarCurriculum.com and more good stuff.
In the first and second parts of this series I described two ways that we at the Austin Classical Guitar Society, have experimented with expanding our normal programming. Our “normal” programming is pretty broad: from several major series, to hundreds of annual outreach events, and a vast education program including middle schools, high schools, and opportunities for adult learners as well.
Here’s Part 2 of Matt Hinsley’s series on bringing new audiences to the guitar and the guitar to new audiences. I think it’s awesome that on the one hand Matt is presenting players at huge beautiful venues in Austin and then at the same time he’s getting involved with the coffee house scene (but of course he’s doing it on a Hinsley-esque scale).
I’m very happy to welcome Matt Hinsley of the Austin Classical Guitar Society (among other things – he’s sort of a one-man juggernaut for the cause of music education and promoting the classical guitar, and his energy and enthusiasm are contagious and humbling) as the newest contributor the GSI Blog. Matt’s going to be filling us in on his activities, as well as conducting interviews with educators and guitarists and whatever else he feels like writing about. On of my favorite things about Matt is that he’s constantly finding new ways to bring the guitar to new audiences, and to bring new audiences to the guitar. This first post of his is a great example of that:
Apparently David Russell is a golfer, and a good sport, because the Austin Guitar Society is auctioning off tickets to see Russell play in Austin, as well as lunch and 18 holes of golf with him at Austin’s Barton Creek Resort on Sunday, April 3, 2011. It’s all for the very good cause of supporting the Austin CGS’s educational outreach program, so if you’re into golf and guitar this seems pretty cool. You can bid here.
Our good friend Matt Hinsley of the Austin Classical Guitar Society and Guitar Curriculum.com is giving a few roundtable discussions on community arts advocacy, and I can’t imagine a better person to lead this sort of discussion. He’s also offering 20% off of his new book on the same subject.
GuitarCurriculum.com is an amazing program developed by Matt Hinsley and all of the folks over at the Austin CG Society. Not only is it a really fantastic way to get players of different skill levels playing together (which is a feat in itself), but the proceeds from GuitarCurriculum.com go directly to supporting Austin CGS’s outreach program. They’ve done an amazing job with their curriculum and I really think anyone who teaches kids (or any groups, really) needs to check this out.
Here’s a bit from their website:
GuitarCurriculum.com is a project of the Austin Classical Guitar Society, a non-profit arts organization based in Austin, Texas. All proceeds derived from subscriptions to this site go directly to support the Educational Outreach Program of the Austin Classical Guitar Society which provides free lessons and instruments for low-income students in the Austin area as well as classroom direction, teacher training, and ongoing classroom classical guitar curriculum research and development in the form of GuitarCurriculum.com. Major funding for this project has been provided by the Webber Family Foundation.
With an annual subscription, educators subscribe and gain access to GuitarCurriculum.com which provides ensemble-based repertoire and sight reading materials suitable for medium to large classes (5 or more students). The GuitarCurriculum.com approach divides classrooms into 3 sections of students (Guitar 1, Guitar 2 and Guitar 3).
The curriculum designates 9 levels of student advancement. If all students in the class are the same level (e.g. beginning guitar class), GuitarCurriculum.com will provide scores and parts for three-part guitar ensembles for which all students are required to have the same skill set. Ample scores are available for all levels in the case that all students in the class share a skill level, though typically this is only the case for beginning guitar classes (levels 1-4).
If the classroom contains students at different levels of advancement, students will need to be arranged into three sections that best represent their skills (read more on this here). For example, there may be a class of mostly level 5 and 6 students with some beginners who have been added (level 1). In that case, an educator will simply enter “1, 5 & 6” in the GuitarCurriculum.com search interface and it will immediately return scores and parts customized for that individual classroom.
Go to www.GuitarCurriculum.com for more info…