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Guiterrorizer
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15,696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow forumites!

I've been able to do some much needed thinking the past few months, and I finally know what I want to do with my time. Being a young twenty-something who wasn't sure what he was going to do with his life, this is a complete breath of fresh air. I now have something to strive towards, a direction I'm headed in.

Some background:
- I've been playing guitar for 11 years
- I taught beginner guitarists in high school for 3 years
- I've been in 3 semi-serious bands (playing what shows we could, no tours, some recording)
- I took guitar lessons for 4 years
- I'm finishing my diploma program in college for Social Service Worker
- I actively volunteer with a youth after-school program

But Justin, what does this have to do with your goals?! Get to it, man!

OK! Here it is!

I want to be able to help low income families learn how to play instruments. My vision is to have a building where youth can come in, relax, and receive quality instruction in a safe environment. For a lot of people, money is what stands in the way of learning a musical instrument; I want to work towards breaking down that barrier. I want a place where kids who otherwise wouldn't even touch a saxophone can learn how to play one. As much as I love rock music, I want to have a wide array of instruments available. I also envision having space for band practices and recording; I want to gather up kids with similar musical interests, and foster their creativity and get them into little bands or even solo projects.

Bottom line: I want to get more youth (and eventually adults) interested in learning an instrument and forming groups. I plan on using my SSW skills to deal with the behavioural issues and other aspects that are involved when working with my target demographic. I want to get government grants and other funding so that I can offer an affordable service to those who otherwise would not be able to afford it. It also gives the youth somewhere to get away, and I think we all know that a safe place to do that is very important.

I want to start off with providing the service to youth, but I would like to extend it to adults eventually. I've talked to my old boss about his wanting to learn guitar but feeling to old, to which my friend and I replied "You're not too old until you're dead, so go do it!" I don't see why they shouldn't be able to learn an instrument as well.

During my time volunteering so far, I'm fairly certain that rock-based instruments will be more popular. That said, I still want to be able to have someone learn violin or clarinet if they are interested - diversity is fantastic when it comes to music.

The music instruction thing is where I want to end up, and I know what I want to do beforehand:

- Take a year or two off to develop my theory and my chops
- Enroll at Humber College for Jazz Guitar
- Enroll at teacher's college
- Teach music at an elementary school
- Help sustain a gigging band


I have talked to Richard Leblanc of Terrorhorse about guitar lessons, and I'm trying to start those soon. I have the jazz theory book that Humber uses from my audition during high school, and I have some friends who are going to be helping me with that side of things. My first theory lesson is tonight, actually :D.

I was told to be a music teacher during high school, but having nearly failed grade 10 and 12 music due to having very poor understanding of theory, I really did not want to put the effort in to get to where I'd need to be to get in to school for guitar. I also knew that if I really wanted to be a music teacher or go to school for guitar, I would have put the time and effort in. 5 years after those conversations, here I am ready to put in that hard work to get to that point. I believe part of why I struggled with music theory was that I did not learn it in a way that translated to guitar, and the teacher just wasn't that good.

Aside from the employment side of things, I really want a professional band. I want to tour before I am 30 years old (even if it's just a week or two week tour, I want one!). I want the experience, and I fully understand that it won't be easy. I have not played many shows, mostly due to growing up in a small town and band members not having the same goals as me for how far to take it. I'm looking for like-minded people to get something going that rises above a practice or two a week and rarely playing live. SLUGEATER is trying to do that, but we are having a rough go of it in terms of finding members and everyone coming to practices. That said, we want to finish our line-up, hone our skills and come out swinging. I'm going to be starting a second project to have more of an opportunity to play live (and get paid), and just to make more music.

I think music is an essential part of life, and I want to spread my love of music so that more people create it. The path is not easy, but most paths in life never are. I expect ups and downs, big hurdles and little successes, but I think it's an achievable goal. I have contacts in both the social work and music sides of things, and intend to utilize those to achieve my goals. I have a loving and supportive family, who will be quite relieved to know what I am going to do.

Thank you to Chris for creating a fantastic online community and to all the members for being funny, supportive and experienced in different things. I'm hoping that by being on hear I can continue to learn from you guys, meet more of you guys, and share the music with you guys :yesway:.

Rock on :metal: and thanks for reading :)
 

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Premium Member
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32,765 Posts
I support this post. I think everybody should play guitar. Good for you, man. :yesway:
 

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Guiterrorizer
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15,696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Drew!

I feel that people should be more exposed to music, and that the exposure should be to a wide variety of music. Most people don't like a whole wack of different styles of music, but it's nice to know what's out there. My main love is modern metal, but I want to learn more about jazz and country and blues too, because it's different and it's cool.

I think there should be more guitar players, but I also really think that there should just be more musicians in general. It's fun, it's social, it relieves stress (adds it too, but hey :lol:), it's invigorating and it can change your life.
 

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's all in the wrist
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859 Posts
I hope you succeed in doing this man, I firmly believe that everyone should learn how to play at least one instrument. Music is not just a passion, it's needed to give hope so people will look forward to tomorrow. When things go bad the first thing most people turn to is music, be it sing or listen to a song or play an instrument. The more people making music the more it makes the world a better place.

Good luck! :yesway:
 

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...
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18,790 Posts
I love the idea man, and if you need someone to help out with the recording studio part of your idea, you know who to talk to :D I too had an idea of starting a rehearsal/recording studio with the idea of giving bands/musicians a place to develop, etc.

Maybe have a "performance" room and have a weekly (or more often), all-ages show featuring some of the bands from there, and occasionally bands from outside as headliners. Turn it into a place where teens can hang out, and will want to hang out, with a positive and safe atmosphere. That was my idea anyways :lol:
 

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Guiterrorizer
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15,696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Leon!

I posted this at guitarscanada as well, and one of the guys there gave me a great link as well.

Aaron, I do want to have a "lounge room" where people can hang out, cool down, talk to a counsellor in a safe room if need be, and just relax. I figure it's kind of like an after-school program in that regard; you know your child isn't off stealing a $1000 bike or trying 'shrooms for the first time, he's hanging out with friends and learning how to make music.

My dad met an executive director for http://www.musagetes.ca/, who he put me in touch with; I'm waiting for a response. It might grab me a job for when I'm done school this spring.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Just some thoughts...

I wonder if it's worth talking to a big company like Long & McQuade to see what they might already be doing in this area, and if they're not doing much, perhaps see if they would be interested in supporting some sort of a youth outreach program as a part of their music school activities.

They already have lots of music teachers... perhaps getting the formal musical background isn't something you need to have yourself. I see your potential role as being the counselor/outreach worker who can be that bridge between the kids and the instructors who know the music side, but don't necessarily know how to interact with disadvantaged youth.

Your education in social work and your passion for music is what i think that kind of program needs... you just need to give them the spark and have an organization like L&M that can donate instruments and instructors to donate their time. Every student brought into a program like this is a potential new customer, and a company that extends some goodwill early in a student's relationship with music could earn a very loyal clientele.
 

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Premium Member
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You should research the W.O. Smith school in Nashville. I volunteered there some in college, and it seems like the type of organization you're describing. It's a fantastic project.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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15,696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Darren, I've had and heard some of your thoughts - I like 'em!

I should have probably put this in the OP, and just wrote out a similar thing on GC;

I am toying with the idea of trying to start this now. I would like the music education so that I can teach properly as well, not necessarily the teacher's college and school job though.

I do plan on having professional instructors on board so that the youth get a really high level of education. I want to have another SSW worker involved as well, for the counseling/behaviours side of things.

Last winter I did type up a one page overview of how I want the business to look, I should re-read it (maybe post here for you guys to go over?).

I also want to approach stores and instrument companies like Selmer, Yamaha etc to get gear and get them exposure to possible customers.
 

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Premium Member
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8,927 Posts
As for your own musical goals, you've already got the positive attitude. To me, that's a huge percentage of the ballgame. Combine that with chops and knowledge, and you'll go a long way towards meeting like-minded people, which always seems to be the toughest part of these things.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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15,696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Chris!

I'm now wondering about school for guitar then trying to start it, or trying to start it as soon as possible, or what.
 
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