Ashton Lutenegger

I have a long list of reasons why I love the Music Department at GCC.  My situation was that I didn’t feel very confident as a musician or in trying to major in music.  When I first came here, right away I felt welcomed and encouraged by the supportive department atmosphere and teachers even though I wasn’t experienced.  It made me think “I can do this.”  I would have described myself as a rock guitarist back then, but being at GCC quickly taught me what it means to be a full-on musician.  I’ve been exposed to so many styles of music, theory, and creative ways of approaching my playing … it has completely opened my mind and has helped me to appreciate music of all styles and levels.

I feel lucky to have had these teachers because, along with all they’ve taught me, they are also great role models for me. The diversity of what they do and what they have us students do means that everyone in the department is exploring different and individual directions in music.  But it’s not in a competitive way like at some music schools.  The focus here is on working hard and learning how to be “honest with yourself” as a musician and student.  They teach us to be self-driven, self-disciplined, and to complete our goals for higher reasons than competition or even grades.

I play in a professional gigging band now, and I feel confident in my musicianship. I will always play music. I think this place is great because music becomes a bigger and bigger opportunity as you go along.  If I hadn’t come here, I wouldn’t have been able to have all this diverse musical exposure and depth. I would probably still be only playing rock music.

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