For Daniel Magnolia, music is a way of life. Daniel is a full-time guitar teacher whose love of listening to and playing music began when he was a child.
“It may be cliche to say that I’ve always enjoyed music, but it’s true. As a kid, we moved around a lot, and I found it hard to make new friends. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but listening to the radio was free! Music was something that I could consider my own,” says Daniel.
Daniel started learning to play guitar as a kid in elementary school. Now, with the help of his wife, who is a fifth grade elementary teacher, he’s taking his love of music back to class. Daniel’s Sound and Science of Guitar class started when his wife mentioned that her students might enjoy a hands-on demonstration during the unit she’d been teaching on sound.
“Many musicians would probably just go into the class and wing it. But as a teacher myself, I went in prepared,” says Daniel. “I designed The Sound and Science of Guitars so it covers the history of where guitars came from, how they’re made, who makes them, how they make sound, and some of the math involved in how they’re made. I begin the 45 minute lesson by singing a song and end the lesson with a hands-on student demonstration on a variety of fretted instruments that include the banjo, mandolin, and of course, the guitar. It never ceases to amaze me, the incredibly smart questions and active participation I get from the kids. Teaching children (and adults for that matter) and seeing their enthusiasm for music (and history, science, math, and art) is the most rewarding part. I’d like to take the program into as many schools as I can.”
Encouraging kids to play guitar is important to Daniel. As part of Magnolia Guitar, he created a community program called SIX for SIX. When a paying student signs up and pays for six guitar lessons from Daniel, Daniel donates a new six-string guitar to an underprivileged kid through the Guitars not Guns (GNG) program. Even though the program just started at the beginning of 2012, 50 kids have received 50 guitars through GNG thanks to SIX for SIX.
“It’s important to note, that it doesn’t cost my students anything extra to participate in SIX for SIX,” says Daniel. “Giving should be easy, not hard. But my students still get to feel good that they’re giving lessons at the same time they’re taking lessons. GNG purchases and distributes the guitars for their after school program. GNG is a national 501(c)(3) all-volunteer organization that provides free guitars and guitar lessons to at-risk and disadvantaged kids throughout the US and Canada. The majority of the time I set aside for volunteering is spent with the GNG class I oversee in Springfield, Virginia. By supporting their efforts, together we can be assured that kids are getting the guitars and the guidance they need. It’s also important to note that these guitars are NOT gifts. The kids must earn them through regular attendance and by passing a basic skills test. When they do that, they can keep their guitar forever (and keep coming to lessons). This is one of the reasons I gravitated towards GNG in the first place, because the program is as much about mentorship as it is about music. We provide a safe environment for kids to go after school and they can feel a real sense of achievement when they earn that guitar to keep. What a great feeling for everyone!
Magnoliaguitar.com is Daniel’s online business card. Even before he created his business’ site, he had a personal WordPress site dedicated to reviewing albums, documentaries, and concert films.
“I had some really good posts starting to accumulate. And then, of course… my site was hacked,” says Daniel. “When something like this happens, you always have that moment where you think to yourself (or perhaps scream out loud): ‘I was JUST going to backup/install antivirus/etc.’ But that’s a lie. It often takes a catastrophe or reading enough stories like this to make you act. Apparently, the easiest way to fix my website was to ditch the whole thing and start fresh. And working with the host provider to restore a backup proved incredibly difficult and even then, I would have lost some of the most recent work I had just done. When I launched the website for my current business, I was certain that I needed some sort of safety net. But it had to be easy. It had to be ‘set it and forget it.’ I had to know that it was doing its job in the background. And VaultPress, which was being introduced by the same people who created WordPress, seemed like a perfect integrated fit. In fact, VaultPress often pushes new updates to your site before you even have a chance to do it yourself,” says Daniel. “Your website is the new business card. Don’t lose business because you lost it and couldn’t get it back. If you are a small business or individual with limited IT resources, then you need all the help you can get. Help like VaultPress.”
We’re proud that Daniel chose VaultPress to protect his labor of love and his living, magnoliaguitar.com. You can learn more about how VaultPress can protect your content, theme, plugin, and site settings and customizations. Contact us with questions, or you could make our day, and sign up to protect your site.