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Putting the ‘Gibson’ in Gibson Memorial

Dustin Baird to offer free guitar lessons at library starting Feb. 17

Guitarist and instructor Dustin Baird has been playing guitar since he was a high schooler in Creston. Baird has recently partnered with the Gibson Memorial Library to provide the community with three free one-hour group lessons beginning Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.
Guitarist and instructor Dustin Baird has been playing guitar since he was a high schooler in Creston. Baird has recently partnered with the Gibson Memorial Library to provide the community with three free one-hour group lessons beginning Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.

Gibson Memorial Library will host “Beginning Guitar” with Dustin Baird 6 p.m. Feb. 17.

“Libraries rock!” said David Hargrove, library director at Gibson Memorial. “That was last year’s summer reading theme. Our goal is to increase the amount of movement and music here in the library.”

The lessons will be offered free to people of all ages and is hosted by Baird, guitar and drums instructor for SWCC’s School for Music Vocations.

“I just started playing as a young person and knew that was something I wanted to do at some point or another,” said Baird. “I just never gave up on that idea and I ended up where I was at.”

“I knew Dustin was a very accomplished performer and instructor,” said Hargrove. “So I thought he would be a natural person to reach out to for this kind of program.”

Baird said he began playing guitar in high school and has kept strumming since.

“My dad had a guitar,” said Baird. “And that was back before the internet so I learned out of magazines and would rewind the tape I recorded off the radio and listened to it to learn by ear.”

Hargrove said he also enjoys practicing stringed instruments, which helped him in making the decision to offer the lessons at the library.

“I myself am a guitar player,” said Hargrove. “I had a sense of what these lessons might consist of in teaching basic techniques and I think this is a wonderful resource that we can make available here in the community.”

Both men said there are more things to gain from learning an instrument than the ability to make music.

“I think it gives them dexterity and a better sense of timing,” said Hargrove. “Any time you have to learn anything new or train your brain to do something, it makes you more adaptive as a person.”

“It’s a way to relax and do something you enjoy,” said Baird. “It’s a healthy constructive hobby that gives you something to do. People get bored but I never have that feeling because I feel like I always have something I can do. I have that passion.”

Hargrove said he has felt these benefits and wishes to provide others the chance to learn.

“Music in particular is something a lot of people go through their whole lives enjoying and never develop a facility for it that they might like,” said Hargrove. “I thought library programming would be a perfect medium to provide that opportunity for people to make that connection.”

Despite this being a beginner’s class, Baird said that anyone from any level of experience or age group is welcome.

“I have had young students and I have had people who are retired who want to get into the hobby and get a hold of me thinking they’re too old, but they’re not,” said Baird. “The way I teach lessons, I tailor them to the students. I try to teach them the fundamentals but at the same time I help them create their own path and help them with that.”

As for the future of musical programming, Hargrove said he wants these lessons to open a new door for the library.

“My hope is this will take us into a new area here at the library,” said Hargrove. “I want it to be widely utilized by folks in the area.”

Lessons will be offered Feb. 17, March 2 and March 16. All three times begin at 6 p.m. Anyone interested will need to register at the library before hand and bring their own guitar.

“If you are anxious about it’s condition, bring it to me here in the library and I can help you with the set up and change the strings,” said Hargrove. “I can help perform that basic maintenance your guitar needs to be ready to go for your first guitar lesson.”

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