By Mike Couture

My father played guitar in the big band era. He had his guitar and amplifier in the corner of the living room and in the evening after dinner he would play for hours. As I think back on it now, I realize that this was a form of expression and even a therapy of sorts. As my sisters and I were going about our nightly tasks, we could hear him in the background and it was a form of therapy for us as well.

At the age of nine, he taught me to play the guitar using his style of music with these huge chords and difficult patterns. Even though that was not my style, it taught me rhythm and timing. I was more interested in Van Halen, Creed and Sound Garden, but went on to play alternative, smooth jazz and country.

As I listen to artists like Dave Mathews, One Direction, Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw, I am amazed with the raw emotion that goes into their music. It’s motivating to see TV shows like The Voice and American Idol. This is what makes anyone want to learn to play an instrument.

So, with this in mind, I would like to take a different approach to guitar lessons. Presently, the norm is to place a student in a sound room with the instructor. However, I feel the learning curve jumps significantly when these same lessons are taught in the classroom setting. I will teach my students all the different chords, and in doing so, they will be watching each other and working harder to keep up with their fellow classmates.

With only four students per class, as we progress we will learn to keep rhythm, strumming, finger-picking and so on. Students will interact with each other as they learn. We will have jam sessions that will incorporate the latest up to date music.

I am offering four 30-minute classes per month for only $80 for beginner, intermediate and advanced students. Bring your acoustic, classical or electric guitar. Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 4p.m and finishing at 7 p.m.

Come meet me during an open house on Saturday, June 29 from 1-6 p.m. at 220 W. Brandon Blvd., Ste. 202.  You can also call or text me at 244-0787 for more information or to schedule classes.


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.