Music students hear many instruments throughout the practice rooms at Belmont University, but the once-distinctive strum of the guitar has become silent.
With the size of the guitar department at Belmont expanding and Belmont Heights Baptist Church under renovation, guitar students and faculty have been relocated to a house on Compton Ave.
“We, the entire guitar and bass faculty, moved in at the start of the Fall 2011 semester,” said John Pell, coordinator of guitar studies at Belmont. “As you can imagine, we were all taken with this funky but charming old house, and the fact that all the rooms have windows is a major plus after spending years in a basement.”
The Guitar House, although technically known as the Max Kade House, is located on the intersection of 15th and Compton avenues, just up the hill past Maddox Hall. It was previously “the German house.”
“I am learning everything about my instrument in that house, which is both commercial and classical guitar, and it’s definitely benefiting me as I pursue my degree,” said Luke Enyeart, freshman commercial guitar major.
The house provides space for faculty members who teach guitar, including jazz, classical and commercial. It also houses classes and small lessons.
“There is enough room for all of the guitar and bass faculty here, and for the first time, we are all under one roof,” Pell said. “Because we greatly enjoy each others company, the atmosphere here is upbeat and exciting and the students have expressed many positive comments regarding this place.”
Students were told about the Guitar House on the first day of classes and made plans accordingly.
“I utilize the space at least twice a week, and last semester I was there five times a week,” Eneyart said. “I feel the space is used well and often for the limited amount of space it provides.”
The house is open for small classes, rehearsals, practice time and private lessons. Currently, the facility is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
While guitar students and faculty seem pleased with their current placement at the Guitar House, plans for a permanent residence are up in the air.
“Although this is a temporary residence, the faculty working here would be quite happy to stay should that be the administration’s decision,” Pell said.
However, both Pell and Enyeart agree on one downside to Guitar House.
“The hike up there is a pain,” Enyeart said.
“Walking up the hill is another matter unless you adopt the attitude that it makes for a healthful workout,” he said.