Student Pathways: As I have taught many school aged students during my years of experience in San Francisco, I have observed from a distance their apparent academic progress outside guitar study. The majority of my guitar students that have taken lessons from me for two or more years, have been accepted to the top high schools in San Francisco. In the last three years I have had eighth grade students accepted to Lick, Lowell, Saint Ignatius and School of the Arts.
My guitar students have mentioned that they observed in themselves an enhanced ability to learn and understand math, science and other related disciplines of study because they have learned music on the guitar from me. This fact of expanded thinking has been prevalent regardless of the style of guitar that has been learned from me by the student.
The best reason that I can predict for the new ability of my students to think more creatively in other modes of study outside of music, is that the cause of their enhanced thinking is that we do not confine the paradigm of learning the guitar to only learning the technique of the guitar. In our lessons we also include the entire musical experience. When I teach a student they also learn music on their guitar rather than only learning the mechanics of playing the guitar. Therefore, the student learns a new way of thinking. The process of learning music is an alternative form of thinking because when a student is asked to differentiate between only playing notes in a way to mimic another player and that student only learns that process then the student is limited as to the scope of their new knowledge. However, if the student is taught the technique of performing all the physical coordination required to play the guitar, but in addition learns the intellectual and creative discipline in order to duplicate the subtle attributes of the music being learned, then the student is empowered to not only play like their role model but to think in a similar manner as their hero.
The result of the new way of thinking is very encouraging when I have observed students not only getting accepted to the top high schools but beyond high school as well. Last year one of my students who studied with me for four years through high school was accepted to both USC and UCLA.