“on fire for music…”

We have worked with Susan Rosanc for several years now helping to build what has become an incredible classical guitar program at her school.  Her advanced class, in fact, just debuted as the pre-show student performance before our November International Series concert!  We received this remarkable letter form her on November 26th – in it she refers to “GuitarCurriculum.com” which is the online teacher resource we have been building since 2004 that supports all of our local education programs, as well as hundreds around the country and around the world.

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Austin Classical Guitar and classical guitar education programming has affected me and my students in a profound ways.   We have been using Guitar Curriculum.com for just over two years at my school.   In that time I have seen this curriculum not only serve as a very solid foundation for musicianship but it had ignited a real love for the instrument and a desire to achieve an extremely high level of musical artistry.

I have been a classroom music educator for nineteen years.   In that time, I have taught orchestra, choir, band, music theory, and musical theatre.  Never in my career have I seen students so on fire for music as I have seen with my students studying classical guitar.

The effect this has had on my students is nothing short of amazing.   Students in the program show improved time management skills, increased self-esteem, improved problem solving skills, improved self-discipline, improved classroom discipline, and  an overall improvement in all of their academic subjects in order to be eligible to perform with the guitar ensemble.

Guitar students tell me that learning classical guitar inspires them to listen to new and different music and it can be a huge help in distracting them from some of the negatives in life.   A freshman student, “Josh” has been undergoing chemo-therapy and he states, ”Practicing guitar takes my mind off my illness and the discomfort and pain of my chemo.”   “Destiny” said, “it actually makes me want to listen and learn in both guitar class and all of my other classes.”   Students who would never even considered going to college before are now planning on pursuing a music degree with classical guitar as their primary instrument.

During the course of the last two years, I have seen students suffering from depression, bullying, and peer pressure do a 180 degree turn around and become happy, productive students with goals and plans for the future.  Students who have difficulty achieving in other subjects often change their whole way of thinking about school while members of the guitar ensemble.   It has become ‘cool’ to play classical guitar and I now have a waiting list to enroll in guitar class.

Austin Classical Guitar has been instrumental in assisting me implement the curriculum.   I am a wind player by trade, so it has been extremely helpful to have someone who is a guitarist assisting me with learning guitar specific terminology and performances practices. 

ACG has provided free tickets for my students to attend world class classical guitar performances and even a few opportunities for students to meet and interview the performers.  This in particular has been highly motivating.  When students become aware of the sound they are trying to produce it motivates them to practice and to keep that practice consistent.  The ACG Youth Orchestra gives my students yet another goal and another way to achieve.

As an educator, I appreciate the feedback I get from ACG instructors. It helps me to be the best educator I can be and to set a positive tone for my classes. 

This year, for the very first time I can say the I GET to go to work every day.  I never HAVE to go to work.   Teaching my guitar classes is a privilege and a joy.

Susan Rozanc, High School Guitar Director

 Read our previous Changing Lives story: Guitar at Pease Elementary