Free guitars for Falkirk youngsters and lessons on how to play them

A guitar teacher is doing her bit to make sure youngsters’ talents are given a chance to grow and shine regardless of their financial situation.

By James Trimble
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 12:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 12:04 pm

Larbert based music teacher Karen Blackwood has years of experience teaching youngsters the rudiments and intricacies of the six stringed instrument and, inspired by her own guitar teacher and the success of her son Lewis, wants to give a chance to young people who might otherwise miss out on the joys of learning and mastering the guitar.

Karen said: “I know my son Lewis has managed to get funding help and without that funding he wouldn’t have made it to the Royal College of Music in London. There are plenty of kids who have the talent but just need a bit of extra help.”

Now, with help from Families in Need Falkirk, who have been receiving donations of unwanted acoustic guitars, Karen is able to offer young people a guitar of their very own for free and low price lessons to get them started off on their musical journey.

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"They can have a loan of the guitar for as long as they need it,” said Karen. “They can practice with it and bring it along to the hall for our group lessons. Learning an instrument like the guitar is good way of boosting a young person’s confidence.

"Maybe a youngster who is not so good at maths or science has a creative side to them they would not normally be allowed to explore.”

And through Karen's teaching the young guitarists will have the skills they need to apply for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Transitions initiative.

Since 2013, Transitions has been giving young people who live in Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) areas funding to train with the very best musicians and tutors in the country to hone their skills.

Not only does Karen want the youngsters to have fun learning the guitar and perhaps go on to have a successful career in music, she also wants to pay tribute to her own teacher Kay Burnet, the former St Mungo’s High School music teacher who sadly died last November, and perhaps inspire the next generation of classical guitar teachers to keep Kay’s legacy alive.

Visit the Blackwood Guitar Academy Facebook page for more information.

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