Guitar Class Helps Students Learn Music and Art


They say music is the language of the soul, able to connect to people of all languages and backgrounds. For Jason Lenz of Lincoln Southwest High School, music - specifically through a guitar - is a way to teach his students how to make life a lot better with art.

"I want to teach the importance of music in our lives and the importance of practice in our lives," Lenz told the Lincoln Journal Star.

Lenz has been a teacher at Lincoln Southwest for three years before he opened the guitar class. He used to substitute at other schools, and discovered that Lincoln Southwest was the only school who didn't offer a music class, and so he started his own guitar class which is offered this semester and the next.

Lincoln Southwest's guitar class is open for all students, including those who don't know how to play, know a little about playing guitar, or are already skilled in the craft. Basically, it's a class that allows those who want to play but don't know how to learn in a fun and engaging way.

"It's my favorite class," Makenna Parker, a ninth-grader who didn't find time to learn guitar on her own, said of Lenz's guitar class.

Lenz limited the class size to a maximum of 20 students, which means he'll have a maximum of 40 students for the two semesters. And it appears that enthusiasm for the guitar class wasn't low: 67 students actually signed up.

For the guitar class, Lenz had 23 acoustic guitars delivered. These guitars, each with its own hard case, will be used for this current semester and the next. Photos of the class in action can be seen (here).

Although Lincoln Southwest isn't the only one that offers music classes in the district, Lenz's curriculum is different compared to other high schools. His is a mix of digital components and music styles that appeal to today's high school students.

Arts classes like these are but some of the efforts in raising up the youth's appreciation for the arts, and also efforts to turn STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) into "STEAM" (which simply adds Arts into the subjects).

"It's the cool class," Lenz said.

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