My journey with the guitar began many years ago with a cheap rental instrument. I can still picture it now: a banged-up acoustic, spray painted Candy-apple Red, with strings so high my fingertips ached whenever I played it. The sound — as if trying to outdo the bad color — was horrible. And yet there was something about the guitar that captivated me, so I stuck with it.
In high school I bought my first good guitar — a Martin D-28 acoustic. It was at this point that my life began to revolve around practicing and jamming with friends and after high school I took my most-prized possession with me when I went to college in Athens, Ohio.
The music scene at Ohio University in the mid-70s was vibrant. There were lots of musicians and an equally large number of places to perform. I was so captivated by what was going on that the following year I dropped out and began performing in local bars and restaurants. The life of a struggling musician in a small college town, however, wasn’t quite as easy — or as glamorous — as I imagined and after a couple of years of just getting by I decided to look for a job with a better income.
Upon completing a training program for wallpapering on the East coast, I returned to Ohio and established my own home decorating business. Feeling restless, I moved to California where I operated my home decorating business and played guitar in local restaurants and other venues. In the late 80s, I moved back to NW Ohio and enrolled at BGSU, eventually earning my degree in 1992.
Throughout the 90s I worked in a number of teaching-related jobs and soon discovered how much I enjoyed helping people grow. I’ve worked as an instructor in adult education at both BGSU and the Whitmer Technical Training Center in Toledo. I’ve also worked as a math tutor in an after-school program called Champions for Children in Port Clinton and have tutored junior high and high school students in math. I practice Tai Chi and have taught classes in Bowling Green, Perrysburg, and Port Clinton.
In 2003, I opened my music instruction business and since then, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching many hundreds of students — old and young — the joys of singing and playing the guitar. You can see the results of those efforts by viewing the student recital videos here: http://john-bernard.com/toledo-guitar-recitals/