RPL Summer Reading features guitar instruction with Eric Upton

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 19, 2018

Rowan Public Library

SALISBURY – Have you always wanted to learn to play guitar? Do you already play but want some tips from a professional musician? Either way, you’ll have your chance to receive guitar instruction on Monday, July 23, at Rowan Public Library’s headquarters branch, 201 W. Fisher St.

The free class, led by Eric Upton of the Oasis School of Music, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Open to all ages and skill levels, all you need to participate is a guitar, a pick and a willingness to learn. There is no limit to the number of participants.

Upton, who was born in Rutherfordton and now lives in China Grove, has been a professional musician since 1989. It was a natural evolution in his career path. “To have not been a musician would have been a choice,” he says.

Before opening Oasis School of Music in China Grove in 1995, Upton worked for Coleman Music in China Grove, Statesville and Salisbury, providing private lessons for six years.

Teaching has always been important to Upton’s own musical training. “Teaching is a cathartic process for me. I grow as much as the student,” he says. It also positively impacts his playing and practice schedule. “The dynamics of music theory are always (at) the front of my thought process.”

He appreciates the learning relationships that he’s cultivated, too. “I’ve taught long enough that I’m now teaching grandchildren of former students. The idea that I impacted someone’s life and that they trust me to guide their children and grandchildren is very fulfilling.”

As both performer and instructor, he enjoys the close ties of the music community. “The area music community is very diverse,” he says. “Locally, it’s always great to make new musical friends and support one another. Being a performer has allowed me to make musical connections all over the country. The sense of family is what I enjoy most; I have friends (everywhere) I travel.”

In addition to performing and providing musical education, Upton is also involved in various fundraising campaigns, charities and causes. “The (reputation) that I’ve gained over the years as a performer and instructor allows me to reach out into the community and make difference,” he says. One of his outreach efforts pairs underprivileged children with musical instruments, for instance.

As part of “Libraries Rock,” the 2018 Summer Reading theme, guitar instruction celebrates a love of music and learning. While the special program is part of the Adult Summer Reading programming, Upton specifically requested that his class be open to all ages. “It’s an accommodation we were happy to make,” said RPL Reference Librarian Amber Covington. “Upton will bring a great learning opportunity for our community, and we hope to have the library rocking with music created by everyone who comes to the program.”

Registration for the program is encouraged. Interested participants can register via Facebook at http://bit.ly/RPLGuitar or by contacting Covington at Amber.Covington@rowancountync.gov or 704-216-8242.

After “Guitar Instruction,” one program remains on RPL’s Adult Summer Reading itinerary: “Name that Tune,” held Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Headquarters. Designed for adults and families, the featured game’s music will represent several genres, including Disney tunes, sixties rock & roll, and contemporary favorites. This program also serves as the Adult Summer Reading Finale, and grand prizes for the adult reader categories will be awarded.

To learn more about Oasis School of Music, find them on Facebook or call 704-857-4422. Visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org to learn more about RPL programs and events.