May 28, 2013 > Mission San Jose School of Guitar a Fremont gem
Mission San Jose School of Guitar a Fremont gem
By Sara Giusti
A virtuoso performance awaits fans of stringed instruments this weekend under the stars at Ohlone College. Local teacher and guitar performer Richard Kendrick, Jr. will welcome the audience to summer nights with an evening of music. He follows a long history of performers who have captivated audiences with the sounds of guitars and strings.
The idea of a stringed instrument isn't new. Before Taylor Swift, Jimi Hendrix, and even before The Rolling Stones, guitars were defined by a broad spectrum of instruments. According to guitar researcher Dr. Michael Kasha, guitars were instruments with "a long, fretted neck, flat wooden soundboard, ribs, and a flat back, most often with incurved sides." The specific origination of the modern guitar is subject to debate. Many ancient civilizations played stringed instruments, but one commonly accepted and likely ancestor of the guitar was the four-stringed, pear-shaped, oud, introduced by Moors in the 8th century. What we call a guitar today likely originated from Spain in the 15th or 16th century. It's no coincidence that the popular classical guitar hails from Spanish musicians.
Despite a murky history, the allure and attraction of the instrument is undeniable; its versatility is incredible. Guitars have the flexibility to produce a variety of music and are are wonderfully practical as portable sound machines. Moreover, guitars range from steel-string acoustic, classical acoustic, electric, twelve string, bass neck, and archtop guitars among many options. Finding someone skilled in playing the wide range of instruments played under the label "guitar" is not an easy task.
Fremont is fortunate to be the home of Richard Kendrick Jr. who has been teaching music, especially guitar, for the last thirty years. His track record includes a Masters in Classical Music with a Concentration in Performance from Cal State East Bay, years of training under some of the greatest jazz musicians of the last thirty years, publication of two guitar how-to books, and his own CD compilation. In addition, Kendrick has been an adjunct music teacher at Ohlone College for the last 15 years. His lifelong dedication to music makes him one of the most uniquely qualified and experienced instructors of the Tri-City area. He also gives vocal lessons, as well as keyboard lessons and instruction in music theory.
Kendrick helps students learn a wide range of guitar styles including classical, jazz, rock, blues and pop. He explains that his instruction style extends beyond musical skills. "It's not just music, it's about taking things away for the rest of your life to be successful," says Kendrick. "Besides the fact that music improves academics, especially math, music is a gift you share with other people. Good playing is no accident," says Kendrick. "It's hard to replace the relationship of teacher and student online. A teacher is like a musical GPS. You end up going where you need to go. Online can't do that. It can't deliver direct feedback for students' needs. And it's not just about teaching guitar, but those important life lessons we all learn to become a better person."
You can hear Richard Kendrick and his students in concert at Ohlone College on Saturday, June 1 at 8 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater.
Richard Kendrick and Friends
Saturday, June 1
Smith Center Amphitheatre
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
Tickets: $12 general, $2 parking
Mission San Jose School of Guitar
152 Anza St., Fremont