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Pasco Kids Get Famous Guitar To Study Music

Courtesy of Paul Townson

On Thursday, engineers from EnergySolutions donated a Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar they had made from scratch. It will be used to help Pasco students learn to play. The team found instructions online and bought materials in bulk to build seven or eight. The prototype was donated to McLoughlin Middle School because the team leader’s wife, Maxine Townson, is the guitar teacher there.

The remake of the famous instrument will be used to support a program called Real Time, Real Life, she explained.

It’s about creating musical experiences in real life musical situations.

“We teach concepts and skills through a cutting-edge contemporary music. Music that students relate to and can reach out to in their own world,” she explained. “We believe that musical brilliance and excellence can be achieved through a variety of learning tools and not just through teaching notation. Many world class guitarists cannot read a jot of music.”

The students learn to use tools like guitar tablature, chords and auditory learning along with traditional notation.

“Our exploratory classes explore guitar styles and techniques from The Beatles, Heavy Metal, Punk, Jazz, Blues, MoTown, Reggae, Classic rock and alternative rock to name just a few. Then we mix all these skills up by playing classical guitar orchestral arrangements of music by classical composers like Bach, Beethoven, Handel and so on. These students are able to translate their skills into playing as a full classical guitar orchestra,” she said.

The guitar will be used on a daily basis by all the students who come through the guitar program — some 750 last year.

Today, Friday, the students have already begun using the instrument to practice, she said.


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