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Brian Smith

co-founder, guitar teacher

Athens, Georgia has been my home since 1995, when I came here to study guitar at the University of Georgia with my teacher John Sutherland. I have been teaching here since 1996 and have seen so many students grow as people and musicians. I am happy to still be in Athens almost 25 years later along with my wife, Natalie, and our two daughters, Lorelei and Sylvia. I have found that teaching guitar has opened my eyes to how important music lessons are for every person who decides to take the journey. Every day I see the struggles and successes of my students. It is an honor to be a part of that experience. Many times our struggles can teach us so much about ourselves and help us deal with our non-musical struggles in life as well. Our successes help us to keep going down the path and offer encouragement in knowing that we are doing good work. Going through the process of slowing down, looking deeply and being truthful to ourselves about what we need to do is not just limited to learning music, but learning about life and how to live it with clarity and patience. In studying music, we must be patient with ourselves which helps us be patient with others; we must be honest with ourselves, which helps us be honest with others; and we must be kind to ourselves which helps us be kind to others. For me, if I can be a catalyst in which these lessons can be learned, then I feel like I have done service to my students. I am so excited to help start HEART Music to try to help offer music education to as many people as possible. I have seen the positive effects in my students who have done good musical work. I feel that music is a powerful tool for communication and connection to those around us. It is my goal to offer this to the wonderful city I call home so that we can live in a place that is open, warm and welcoming to all people!