So You Want To Learn Guitar?

Crescendo issue: April 2014
One of the world's most versatile instruments, the guitar is used in a wide range of musical styles. This versatility is probably what makes it one of the most popular instruments as well. Whether you are dabbling in blues guitar or mastering fingerstyle techniques, Interlochen has a wide range of programs for guitarists.

Here at Interlochen, students interested in the guitar have a plethora of opportunities at their disposal. Indeed, the guitar is present within almost every art major on campus. But it's not just grades 3-12 mastering the techniques of Jazz, Fingerstyle, Rock and beyond. It's adults too.

"The Fingerstyle Guitar Workshop is unique in so many ways. It provides participants with rare and intimate access to some of the world's most talented and most highly-regarded guitarists," says Interlochen College of Creative Arts director Leslie Donaldson. "These musicians share their personal stories and trade secrets, and provide workshop participants with unprecedented one-on-one mentorship on technique, arranging and performance. Participants walk away with tremendous insights into their abilities and are able to enhance their playing as a result. Additionally, participants are able to improve their skills by learning a special guitar ensemble arrangement developed for ICCA Fingerstyle participants. As a part of learning this one-of-a-kind work, participants are able to meet and perform in an ensemble with others who share the same passion for the guitar. In addition, participants also have the opportunity to experience live, intimate concerts with guitar faculty guest artists--all as a part of the workshop. Now, where else can you meet others who share the same passion, enjoy evening concerts by world-renowned guitarists, experience master classes and perform a unique work as an ensemble?"

In the summer of 2014, the College will welcome renowned guitarist instructors Laurence Juber, Muriel Anderson, Matthew Schroeder, Thomas Clippert, and the Academy's instructor of guitar, Jennifer Trowbridge.  These instructors will work closely with their program participants in an effort to pass along as much love and knowledge of the guitar as possible.

"I think the increased popularity of this instrument is an inevitable result of the ever-expanding number of players with good technique applying true creativity to their music, combined with the rapidly increasing number of qualified learning opportunities available," says John Wunsch, owner of Strings By Mail and former instructor of guitar at Interlochen Arts Academy. Wunsch also played a huge role in getting the guitar program up and running at Interlochen College of Creative Arts.

With the renowned resources and talent present on the campus, Interlochen is one of the first stops that students, young and old alike, make on their journey toward mastering the instrument, no matter what their original art form may be. The guitar offers a world of possibilities and, here at Interlochen, we offer the guitar to the world.