We at ACG believe that music has the power to change the world. Having artists visit our local school programs is one of our favorite things to do when we have the opportunity to. Seeing a great performer can be a life-changing and inspiring experience for both young people and adults alike. Here is a beautiful reflection from Guitar Director, Meredith McAlmon, at Lively Middle School.


On September 22nd Joseph Palmer came to Lively Middle School and gave a presentation and performance of guitar solos ranging from beginning level to advanced. 

He talked to the students about each piece before playing it, gave them a chance to choose pieces from an extensive program, and answered questions. He played for Caitlin Landolt’s Advanced Guitar class and then for my class.

I teach a beginning guitar class made up of fifteen  6th grade boys and three 6th grade girls, and they were spellbound.

Joseph played and talked for an hour and a half, and when it was getting close to the end of class the students all insisted on getting his autograph. They had him signing programs, binders, backpacks, and even a forehead!  

They have not stopped talking about him and keep asking when he is coming back. They talk about the different pieces he played, and they all are looking forward to playing “Epiphany” – a special favorite from the selections. 

I noticed a definite increase in their focus in class after Joseph’s visit. He was so generous with his time, and even stayed to play a piece for my Advisory class  (a non-music class) that meets right after my guitar class.  

Joseph’s visit brought a lot of joy into these young people’s lives. This morning as this class was getting started, one of my students gave a poignant sigh and said “I wish Dr. Palmer was here.  It has already been so long”.  (I will say she gave me a hug after she said that.  All is not lost….)  

Again – my heartfelt thanks go out to Austin Classical guitar and Joseph Palmer for making this happen for my students. You make a difference in their lives!