Learning to play an instrument

‘Guitar found me’: Teenage virtuoso Damian Goggans’ journey to Oberlin – ideastream

Summary

It’s been five years since Damian Goggans first picked up a guitar during a lesson with the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society at Citizens Leadership Academy.

After less than a year of playing, Goggans became one of only two students accepted into the Musical Pathways Fellowship at Cleveland Institute of Music.

The organization provides free instruction through senior year of high school for talented young Black and Latinx students.

“When I first walked into the class…….

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It’s been five years since Damian Goggans first picked up a guitar during a lesson with the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society at Citizens Leadership Academy.

After less than a year of playing, Goggans became one of only two students accepted into the Musical Pathways Fellowship at Cleveland Institute of Music.

The organization provides free instruction through senior year of high school for talented young Black and Latinx students.

“When I first walked into the class, I didn’t think I was going to even enjoy playing the guitar, let alone continue to play it and play it in high school and end up going to college for it,” Goggans said. “It’s already been five years of playing and graduating from high school and from the Musical Pathways Fellowship, so a lot has happened.”

Goggins graduated from high school at Cleveland School for the Arts this past spring.

Now, he’s enrolled at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship.

He will also tour New York and Spain in summer 2022 with the U.S. Guitar Orchestra.

Gaining new opportunities as a guitar player

Goggans’ journey from classical guitar novice to virtuoso began as a participant in an after-school program for inner-city students and has led to multiple opportunities to advance his music career.

Goggans and cellist Evan Rowland-Seymore were chosen as the first recipients of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Minority Artist Fellowship in 2017.

The program provided opportunities for young musicians to perform and participate in mentorships, private instructions, workshops and masterclasses.

Three years later, while Goggans was still in high school, he was among 14 students chosen from seven countries for the Guitar Foundation of America’s 2020 mentorship program.

He participated in virtual lessons with French guitarist Raphaël Feuillâtre and U.S. guitarist Chris Mallett.

On Nov. 13 of this year, Gifted Guitars, a new non-profit from California, flew to Cleveland to present Goggans with a free guitar.

The organization gifts professional-level instruments to young, talented players, and Goggans was chosen as their first recipient.

Goggans said he fell in love with the guitar the first time he played it in 2016, but it took some convincing for him to even get started.

“So, first off, I didn’t even know what a classical guitar was,” Goggans said. “And I definitely didn’t want to play it. The Guitar Society had brought the program to my old middle school, and my arts director was like, ‘You know, you should do the program. It’s after school, and it’s classical guitar.’ And I said, ‘no.’”

Worried that he would receive a lower grade in his middle-school arts class if he didn’t sign up, Goggans decided to enroll in the after-school program.</…….

Source: https://www.ideastream.org/news/guitar-found-me-teenage-virtuoso-damian-goggans-journey-to-oberlin