There are many great opportunities at Carroll, but most valuable for music enthusiasts and music majors are the various free guitar workshops and other musical events and activities that happen on campus.
For the guitar workshops, talented guest musicians chosen by Guitar Department Coordinator, Patrick Kisicki, teach the students different techniques and styles of playing guitar.
“My main goal in choosing a guitarist for a workshop is finding musicians who are experts in a specific genre or style of guitar playing,” said Kisicki, “The musicians are chosen by myself with input and final approval from Eli Wirth, the director of the music department.”
The first guitar workshop was in the fall of 2013. According to Kisicki, the music department has consistently done two per semester since then. The first workshop featured Marija Temo, a flamenco guitarist.
“Flamenco is a very specific style of music (and guitar playing) that not a lot of people play,” said Kisicki. “This makes for a unique and educational experience for anyone who attends the workshop.”
The educational experience is put in a place of importance by all of the music faculty members, including the Director of the Music Department, Elijah Wirth. “We try to diversify the topics,” said Wirth, “We think it’s important for students to have diverse playing abilities.”
The workshops aren’t just for music majors. Anyone can come to a workshop and learn something new about playing the guitar. The workshops are interactive, and the workshop teachers are always incredibly enthusiastic about teaching. “I would just like the students to know, if they don’t already realize it, that we have an amazing fine arts program here at the college,” says Kisicki. “It is a great place to get involved and try out something new.”
One of the recent guitar workshops featured guitarist and composer Caleb Stine. Stine gave ideas about composing lyrics and writing songs to the guitarists in the workshop.
“Songs are just poems that are put to music, really,” said Stine, “If you can write a poem, you can write music. And even if you don’t play guitar, you can always sing.” Stine walked his audience through the dos and don’ts of songwriting, from the lyrics to the music itself. Everyone walked out of the workshop with new ideas and inspirations.”
The workshops are meant to strengthen the playing abilities of guitarists. Kisicki’s hope is to expose students to new musical experiences.
“Learning how to play an instrument like guitar is difficult.” said Kisicki, “It takes hard work, dedication, and commitment. These workshops are designed to make you a better player, and expose you to techniques and styles that you can incorporate into your own playing!”
If you haven’t had the opportunity to sit in on one of these informative workshops, you’ll have the opportunity to do so this fall. “We’ll be having a heavy metal guitar workshop and a classical guitar workshop,” said Kisicki, “It’s going to be a great semester for guitar players!”