Learning Guitar at Oakdale High School


Adam Hinkley

Senior Evan Hayek practices his guitar during some spare time in journalism. Putting on a show for his classmates.

Adam Hinkley

Students at Oakdale High School commonly boast a schedule packed chock full of credits needed to graduate. Although, many students at Oakdale, primarily juniors and seniors, have trouble finding classes to fill empty slots and form a complete schedule, leading students to choose non-traditional courses, or courses they may have previously never considered.


It is common for this group of students to select either art or physical education courses. However, one of the lesser known offerings within this sector are the guitar courses. At Oakdale, students are given the opportunity to take two courses on guitar.


In Guitar 1, students are given an introduction to the basics of playing. Students can expect to learn an introduction to music theory as well as develop a gateway of skills that can lead in different directions of more advanced playing. 


Senior Nathan Law was asked what his favorite part of the course was: “I like that I have a block of time allocated strictly towards playing and learning guitar everyday. It’s a great feeling noticing improvements day in and day out.”


In Guitar 2, students can expect to expand on their knowledge and skills that are gained throughout the first course. Playing more difficult music, with concepts that are not quite as easy to grasp. Students will also learn many new and more advanced techniques that the first course does not cover, having more choice to take their skillset in a certain direction and are encouraged to study and learn in a more free and open minded manner. 


Senior Brock Layden was asked how he spends most of his time in class: “Just jamming and learning something new everyday, I really enjoy practicing scales and learning solos.”


Towards the end of the course students are encouraged to participate in the spring recital. Family and friends gather to watch the skills the students have learned over the semester. Currently, there are two guitar recitals planned for this spring. One on the evening of May 5th, and another on the evening of May 21st. Both of which are held at Oakdale High School in the auditorium.


Layden was also asked if he planned to perform in either of these recitals, and if so what he was planning to play. He exclaimed, “Yes, I plan to perform! I want to play Closer to the Heart by Rush.” 


When Law was asked the same question, he too responded, “Oh yeah, of course. I want to play Brain Stew by Green Day.”


Similar to most courses at Oakdale, when the course is offered does not hold much consistency between semesters and years. It is uncertain whether the course will be offered first or second semester, or in which block the course will be held. 


However, for anyone not sure on whether they wish to take the course or not, Law made comments for that mindset, stating, “Go for it, you learn a lot, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s also a great change up to the regular schedule and a really relaxed course atmosphere.”