(CONTRIBUTED/ Andrew Williamson)
Sophie Lyle, a previous Troy student from Signal Mountain, Tennessee and Andrew Williamson, the coordinator of the Troy University Institutional Effectiveness Committee and instructor of the guitar class, worked together last year to create an individualized lesson plan specialized for Lyle’s needs.
Troy University students looking to learn to play the guitar can do so through a one credit hour introductory guitar class for non-music majors interested in playing the instrument.
“The objective of the class is for it to be fun, but of course we want to teach thoroughly,” said Andrew Williamson, the instructor for the class and the coordinator of the Troy University Institutional Effectiveness Committee.
According to Williamson, the lessons are offered in a one-on-one atmosphere where the student and the instructor are directly involved in setting both the pace and the direction of the class.
“We customize the class according to the need of the student,” Williamson said. “I engage with them and make sure that they get what they need.
“Like, one of my students this semester has told me that she is interested in worship music and playing in large churches. She is going to get the same material that every other student is going to get, but there will still be some material that is geared in the direction she is aiming for.”
Although the class is tailored to the needs and musical goals of the student, the class does involve a course framework where the student is assessed on their skills. The students get started on new material during the class time by the instructor and are expected to work further on it individually during the course of the week.
“During the next class I see how they are doing and what they are doing wrong, and they address questions to me and I correct them,” Williamson said. “If the correction is minor, we go on to add more material and then we repeat the process. If they are having a major problem, then we stop and work on it.”
For Annie Towers, a junior biomedical sciences major from Roanoke, Virginia, the guitar classes were a comforting step toward exploring her interest in the musical instrument.
“I am not a music major, so I haven’t taken any other music class,” Towers said. “I took the guitar class because I wanted to learn how to play. Despite being a beginner, this was the perfect opportunity to start that.”
Williamson believes that music can change how people perceive things in their lives and aims to use the class as a means of introducing the influence of music into lives of both music and non-music majors.
For more details on the class, students can contact Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the Troy University Music Department.