Music department offers classical guitar lessons for children

College students may dominate Bradley’s campus, but the recent expansion of a Bradley music program is focused on Peoria area youth.

For more than 25 years, Bradley’s Division of Continuing Education and Professional Development, in conjunction with Music Department Chair David Vroman, had coordinated the Piano Preparatory School. Starting this fall, the program has been renamed the Music Preparatory School to reflect the addition of guitar instruction.

“Bradley has a great reputation for musical excellence in the Peoria area and beyond,” Sue Manley, Continuing Education conference services director, said. “By offering classical guitar lessons on campus, we can reach more young people who are interested in learning to play an instrument.”

Plans to expand the program began one year ago when Vroman indicated the interest of Michael Hull, a Bradley music professor and classical guitar performer, to teach children guitar as a part of the already established program.

Hull is the only Childbloom certified instructor in Illinois. Through Childbloom licensing, he has access to music books and instructional materials specialized for teaching children guitar, instruction on how to market and run a business and understanding of the developmental stages and cognitive abilities of children.

There are approximately 40 Childbloom instructors in the U.S.

“I am looking forward to educating young students on specifically how the guitar can be approached and learned classically,” Hull said. “I am looking to enrich the lives of all while also equipping the performer and educator of tomorrow.”

Hull joins piano instructors Mandi Dyke and Asako Shimasaki at the Music Preparatory School.

With the expansion of the Music Preparatory Program, more students have the opportunity to musically develop on both the piano and the guitar.

“I really enjoy seeing students overcome challenges they have been working on for a while,” Shimasaki said. “Seeing that shining look of satisfaction on their faces assures me I am in the right profession.”