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Rowan Public Library resources for the musically inclined

By Emma Rose

Rowan Public Library

Rowan County is rich with musical talent. One only has to visit any of the many open mic nights that take place in and around the downtown Salisbury area to know this to be true.

Although we have many local professionals and celebrity musicians who are celebrated throughout North Carolina, I am especially fond of listening to the amateur and up-and-coming musicians that explore their abilities and express their talents for free.

I am a long-time lover of live music but have only recently taken the time to explore my own capabilities. My father and brothers have always played an array of instruments including, but not limited, to keyboard, drums and guitar. I have collected many instruments over the years and have a music room equipped with three guitars, two keyboards, a microphone and even a digeridoo, yet my instrument of choice has become the harmonica.

In November 2017, I participated in a six-week beginner’s harmonica workshop taught in Concord by professional musician Todd Parrott. I was blown away by his overblows and drawn in by his draws. Parrott has been playing for nearly 30 years and has been called “One of the Tastiest & Most Accomplished Overblow Players Around Today” by Brendan Power, professional harmonica player and inventor of various harmonicas and tunings. For more information about Parrott, visit his website at www.ToddParrott.com, or better yet, take one of his workshops.

I received my first true tin sandwich, a diatonic Hohner Special 20 in the key of C and I have been practicing any and every chance I get. To supplement my budding fascination for the mouth harp, I was able to find, not one, not two, but three harmonica guides in the non-fiction collection of Rowan Public Library. The items I’d found seemed to have my name written all over them:

  • “Country & Blues Harmonica for the musically Hopeless” by Jon Gindick (non-fiction – 788.82 GIN(
  • “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Playing the Harmonica,” by William Melton (non-fiction – 788.8219 MEL)
  • “Mel Bay’s Fun with Harmonica: An Instruction Method for Diatonic, Chromatic, and Blues Styling,” by William Bay (non-fiction – 788.8216 BAY)

I can’t think of a better New Year’s resolution than to bring more music into your life and into our community and Rowan Public Library can help. Rowan Public Library is home to thousands of items (Books, CDs, DVDs, oh, my!) to educate, engage, excite and encourage the musical entrepreneur.

Another way Rowan Public Library offers patrons the opportunity meet their personal development goals that come along with the New Year are Gale Course. Gale courses are online classes which are instructor led, highly interactive and structured enough to keep you learning and growing yet allow you the freedom to work at your own pace and comfort-level. As a library card holder in good standing, you are entitled to these courses at no cost. Courses run for six weeks and new sessions begin every month.

A couple of the wonderful Gale Courses which may inspire a deeper knowledge and appreciation of music include:

  • Music Made Easy: Learn the fundamentals of music theory. Be able to read, write and play simple music.
  • Introduction to Guitar: Master basic guitar skills and become the musician you’ve always wanted to be.

To explore Gale Courses for yourself, visit Rowan Public Library’s website at www.rowanpubliclibrary.org, click or hover over the Services & Support tab and then simply click Gale Courses.

Just want to listen and enjoy some great music? Then keep an eye out for the next free concert held at the main branch of Rowan Public Library in downtown Salisbury sponsored by Cheerwine and the Friends of Rowan Public Library.

Rowan Public Library headquarters and branches will be closed Jan. 1, with regular hours resuming Jan. 2.

“Oh, look at that …” scavenger hunt: Jan. 2-Feb. 28, East branch. Olaf’s body has come apart yet again. Can you put all nine pieces back together again before he melts? Find the pieces and be entered into a raffle contest for a literary-themed prize. For more information, contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842.

Chapter Chats: Weekly book club for teens 14-17, primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, though all are welcome. Mondays, 5 p.m. at East Branch, Rockwell. Contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842. Next meeting, Monday, Jan. 8.

Random Fandom: Anime and Manga, headquarters, Jan. 9, 4:30 p.m. Celebrate your favorite fandoms with a mix of games, crafts, snacks and screenings. For more information, contact Hope at 704-216-8258. Also Jan. 10, 6 p.m., at headquarters.

Bullet Journaling: Jan. 9, 6 p.m. headquarters. Bullet journaling is a free, fun and simple organizational system to turn any blank book into your ideal planner, journal, tracker and diary. Want to start 2018 off right? Bring a blank book to our free event and we’ll share the tools and the tricks to help you stay on top of all the things you’ve got going on in your life, from your job, to your family, your health, your finances and more.

Displays: Headquarters, student art from West Rowan High School art classes and Salisbury Symphony exhibit. East, music boxes by Michelle Earnhardt; South, student art from South Rowan High School art classes.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.



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