by Erik Mann, July 14th, 2015
I’m a music fan. A huge music fan. There’s a thrill to playing an instrument or to experiencing a master musician play live that is impossible to put into words. In the classical guitar world, true artists such as the L.A. Guitar Quartet, Edel Muñoz, Jason Vieaux, Ana Vidovic and so many others have sent chills down my spine and added depth to my life.
Yet in spite of the joy that music itself brings I have long felt the need to be a part of something that brings a different sort of meaning. When I was asked to head the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society in 2009 I realized that it could be a tremendous resource for making a bigger impact in the lives of people in the city that I had fallen in love with. Soon an idea presented itself, modeled on a program run by Austin Classical Guitar and now in 50 schools in Austin Texas: classical guitar classes as a vehicle for change. The idea was appealing. I have no doubt that music saved me when I was a teenager, and I know many others who feel the same way.