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Aug
15

Here’s the latest from Matt Hinsley, just back from Boston’s GuitarFest:

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.

So!

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!

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Feb
11

Marcelo Kayath has had a pretty interesting career – In 1984 he won both the Toronto International Guitar Competition and the Paris Councours International De Guitare, and toured for the ensuing year. He was acknowledged as one of the finest classical guitarists of his generation, and yet he managed to get a degree in engineering in 1986. In 1988 he decided to try something new and used his engineering degree to get a job with a mining company, where he worked for four years, during which time he managed to record two albums. In 1992 he went to Stanford to get his MBA and after graduating became an investment banker, eventually becoming co-CEO of Credit Suisse Investment Banking in Brazil, a $1 billion business. Click here to find out more and see videos of Marcelo.

Feb
05

Last year I wrote a bit about what a snob I am when it comes to pickups for my guitars in my review of the Kremona pickup, and I’m still pretty much as snobby as ever. But I’m also an optimist (I guess) and every year or two I ask around and see if anything new has come along that might make me consider plugging in, if only for rehearsals and such. After all, I love the sound of my guitars, and not the sound of pickups. But I’m always mic’ed when I play live, so to that extent it’s never the actual sound of my guitar in a room that I’m hearing, and I should probably admit that it’s the extent of the compromise that has always bothered me with pickups. Read the review…