A senior art project allowed a few students to create guitars. One of them decided she should learn to play her newly-designed musical instrument.
Abby Warner, 18, had recently graduated from Parkwood High School. Her art teacher, Frank Meier, assigned an art project to the class at the beginning of the school year. One of the options was to build a guitar.
“Mr. Meier asked the class if they were interested in building a guitar,” said Dawn Hunt, Abby’s mother. “She and the others who did, had to complete a contract to show they were committed.”
The guitar building project would take the whole school year to complete. Meier did the guitar wiring, but the three students who chose to take on this project did the rest of the construction themselves.
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“I designed my guitar; I crafted it,” said Abby Warner. “It’s like my baby.” The project started last September and other than a final polish, was finished the week of graduation.
“Building a guitar is only a bit harder than learning to play one, from my first day’s experience,” she said. “It’s a ton of work, a lot of practice, and a lot of listening to those who came before you in reference to both building and learning to play guitar.”
Music is certainly part of the arts and the two can often overlap, like it did in this class.
“I thought lutherie or the art of building stringed instruments was an excellent way to enter into the world of design, where the artist’s creative vision is guided by pre-existing factors,” said Meier. “I feel a lot of the time students miss out on what it means to actualize their ideas. It seems a lot of today’s learning is sadly isolated to the conceptual. As a teacher I wanted to get the kids off that road and make them realize what they imagine.”
Abby’s guitar inspired her to take lessons. She had played the flute in middle school and had taken some piano lessons, but had never tried the guitar.
“Abby just started group lessons. The guitar is cool,” said Steve Hicks, owner and instructor at Dockwood Music Studio in Monroe. “And to think it was made in an art class is really cool.”
As a newly-graduated student, Abby has lots planned ahead.
She has enrolled at South Piedmont Community College and, according to her mom, has a long-term goal to own a dog grooming business.
For now, she is learning to play the guitar.
“If I hadn’t been given this opportunity, I would never have progressed so far as an artist or a musician,” Abby Warner said.
Kim Becknell Williams is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.