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I have been playing guitar for over eight years. My knowledge spans many different styles but has focused on the classical style for the last three years. I am currently a music major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha studying classical guitar performance under Hadley Heavin. I believe the guitar is one of the most expressive and beautiful instruments and love to share my knowledge with others who are interested. I have taught students of many ages in the classroom and privately. In my mind, the best musicians play with deep musical understanding and are driven by passion to communicate with the audience. This is what I strive for in my own performances and it is also how I teach.
Instructor Spotlight, by Tamsen Butler
Some musicians like to talk about all the music classes they endured when they were younger. A few musicians, however, can boast that they were so passionate about music that they taught themselves without formal training in the beginning.
Such is the case with AFA guitar instructor Zac Larson. He’s been playing since he picked up a guitar book at age 12. “I was self taught and learned using the same books that I now teach out of at Arts For All.” he says. He played in bands and started taking lessons, but it was when he saw a video of classical guitarist John Williams that his fate was sealed. “I became absolutely infatuated with the classical guitar.”
He was 17 when he decided that he would make music his profession. He began taking classical guitar lessons from Hadley Heavin at UNO. “I have been studying at UNO since then, practicing guitar 4-6 hours a day, and will complete my Bachelors of Music Degree this next Spring.”
Now 21, Zac is a busy performer and enthusiastic guitar instructor. “I enjoy teaching for AFA because this organization offers something that unfortunately is often not viewed as important: arts education,” he says. “AFA offers lessons for every type of artistic expression that I can think of. The students have the opportunity to learn from teachers who actually pursue their art as a career. Not many fields of study offer that, especially for children and for such a low cost.”
You might worry that an accomplished musician would have a difficult time connecting with beginning students, but this is not the case with Zac. Scott, an adult beginning guitar student, has this to say about Zac: “He does a great job of bringing his level of qualifications down to where we’re at. I think it’s great that he can tell us stuff that isn’t even in the book.”
To learn more about this talented musician, or to find out about his upcoming performances, visit his Facebook page.