Spotlights
Guitar Club popular after school activity at Pikesville Middle
8/10/10

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Music teacher Chantel Yadush said she would go so far as to describe the guitar club as the most popular club at Pikesville Middle School, where 60 to 70 kids sign up to join at the beginning of the year. She calls it the “School of Rock.”

Ms. Yadush said she started the Guitar Club nine years ago because she had always wanted to learn to play the guitar in middle school, so she thought her middle school students would also be interested in learning.

“It’s a really good way to connect with popular music,” she said.

After the first year, she enlisted her husband, John, a guitarist and also a music teacher at Franklin High School, to help with the club.

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“The guitar gets kids into music, and it’s a way to connect them with the school on a different level,” John Yadush said.

Ms. Yadush said the Guitar Club is on a first-come, first-served basis, and she tries to limit the number of students to 50, with another 12-15 who want to be drummers for the band. By the end of the year, the club is down to a few dozen tenacious members.

The students meet once a week after school for two hours. She said the students learn an average of seven to nine songs – an hour’s worth of music – during the year, with the help of her husband, and Pikesville Middle School history teacher Matt Young, who is also a drummer.

Ms. Yadush said the Guitar Club members perform each year at a concert in June, at the Oregon Ridge Park Arts Festival, and for the 8th grade assembly.

This year, they also were invited to perform at the “Dancing in the Streets” music festival and antique car show in Pikesville, the first time that school music performers had been included.

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Pikesville Middle School Principal Mia Talarigo said community members can see and experience what’s going on in the schools during events like Dancing in the Streets.

The principal recalled the pouring rain the day of the festival and how the Guitar Club’s performance had to be interrupted.  But she said after the rain stopped, the club members went right back to performing.

 

Story by Linda L. Linley, consultant, Office of Communications. Photos courtesy of Pikesville Middle School.
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