Jeremy Osborne has touched the lives of many young people who have had the great fortune of working with him, as well as his colleagues, friends, and family. Join us in learning what motivates Jeremy, as well as what this time at ACG has meant to him.

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I cannot begin to express my gratitude for all of the wonderful notes and generous gifts of support that came this past month in honor of my 10-year anniversary with ACG. I have to look at the Appreciation Page in moderation because my emotions completely overwhelm me, but wow, what a gift to receive! 

I especially want to acknowledge my former students. I truly believe that any impact I’ve had on you is merely a fraction of the impact you’ve had on me. You were my teachers, too. 

It’s been an amazing ten years, and I would like to share a little bit about what this time has meant to me.

My mother is an elementary music teacher, and my father is a Lutheran minister. They value service to others as a virtue above nearly everything else, and instilled that in me early on. As I got older, I became motivated by the idea of altruism, and grew to appreciate how those who share their time and talents actually receive more than they give.

ACG has allowed me to give myself in so many ways, most of the time with a guitar in my hand. It has pushed me to face seemingly insurmountable tasks, but always with the tools to be successful. ACG has informed my humanity, and more importantly, has taught me how to transform empathy into action.

When I joined ACG 10 years ago, I was preoccupied with learning how to be a more effective leader in the classroom. As any veteran teacher will tell you, it takes about three years of classroom experience just to realize how clueless you are. I eventually gained my confidence, but my “Aha!” moment had nothing to do with pedagogy. It was the realization that success in teaching is directly related to how you cultivate, maintain, and leverage the community of your classroom.

I’ll never forget the first concert I led with my students at Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center. We were nervously warming up beforehand, and suddenly one of my students asked, “Mr. O, do you know that Our Father prayer?”

I paused, because I wasn’t sure it was appropriate, but I said I’d lead us through it and no one needed to feel obligated to join. Without a word, they all stood and gathered around me, forming a tight circle. I heard a couple of the staff members gasp. What’s significant is that up until this concert, some of those kids were not even allowed to be in the same room together because of fear of violent conflict. I had to teach them in separate sections. But standing together in this circle, everyone’s hard work and refinement had led us to this moment of trust, and an appreciation for the collective strength that comes through community.

Our mission at ACG is to inspire people through musical experiences of deep personal significance. This leads us to engage the communities we serve in creative ways by using artistry to meet people where they are.

Guitar education has progressed dramatically on my watch, especially in central Texas. In my 10 years, we’ve gone from supporting programs in two high schools and two middle schools to guitar classes in nearly every middle and high school in AISD. We’ve created a one-of-a-kind program at Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center, and will start a new one in Williamson County next month. Our online curriculum went from a unique website to a resource utilized all over the world! Despite all this, it feels like we are just getting started.

Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey, thank you for letting me lead you through parts of it, and thank you for supporting us as we see what lies around the bend!