Strings Attached

By Laura Carlo

April 12

When I was a child I asked, no, begged, my parents for piano lessons. They were so pleased at how enthusiastic I was, giving them the strongest assurances that I would practice faithfully, (please please please) that they agreed. I took lessons for 12 years, starting on the rickety old upright that came with the first house my young parents bought and eventually receiving from them the gift of a collector's baby grand.

I still play and I still love my instrument of choice.

But. Learning classical piano does nothing for your "cool" factor when you're 10 or 12 or especially 15. When I was a teenager the only really cool musical instrument was a guitar. My sister, who tired of piano lessons two years in asked to take guitar lessons instead and in almost no time it seemed, she was able to play popular songs.

She and her guitar went everywhere, surrounded by kids who would ask her to play something they all could sing. The piano player in the family practicing Bach's 2-part inventions? Not.

The thing is, I also fell in love with the guitar. Blues to bluegrass, folk to jazz, rock to classical, even the sultry sounds of Spanish flamenco. It didn't matter ... if it was played on guitar I was drawn to it. A noble instrument known to almost every culture in some form or another, the guitar shows no sign of diminishing in popularity despite its ancient heritage.

This month is designated National and International Guitar month, and I'm so pleased at the enthusiastic response I've received from listeners hearing for the first time some of the guitar music I'm highlighting on the radio.

Please join me in the 7 o'clock hour each weekday as April continues for outstanding guitarists, including Andres Segovia, John Williams, Christopher Parkening, Sharon Isbin, Los Romeros and more playing some of classical music's greatest guitar repertoire. And if you have about 3 minutes ... check out these cutie patuties who are insuring that the next generation will honor the guitar, too...

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