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Morris high school industrial arts class gives away guitar

Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:23 p.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
Ethan Meier, a junior at Morris Community High School, is one of several students in the Manufacturing 1 class that crafted a guitar which students will be giving away.

MORRIS – Acoustic guitars have been around for centuries. They don’t just create music, and often are considered works of art.

Students in Mark Smith’s Manufacturing 1 class at Morris Community High School have the opportunity to create their own guitar as part of their semester journey in class, thanks in part to Taylor Guitars of California, which has donated the materials for building the guitars to the program for the past two years.

Each student creates a guitar of his or her own, and those who are ahead on their projects have helped Smith create a guitar to give away.

“We would like to give one of these guitars away to someone in our school district,” Smith said. “We are asking people to like our Facebook page, and names will be drawn from those likes and the guitar will be given away during our awards ceremony on Thursday.”

The goal of the Facebook page is to share the students’ projects to the community, those interested in taking the class, and to donors who make projects such as the guitar possible.

Smith said his class prepares students for a job in manufacturing, which are predominant in the suburban Chicago area, which most people don’t realize.

“One of the top eight manufacturing areas is outside of Chicago,” Smith said. “Millwork and cabinet makers make up a lot of that manufacturing.”

Smith said students looking to create a dynamic project, such as an acoustic guitar, should take the class.

“It’s a beautiful work of art, as well as the fact it generates music,” Smith said. “A lot of people like to learn how to do it.”

He said what sets his program apart from others in the state is his students create the guitar in one semester, while other schools typically require a year to teach the skills needed to end with a finished guitar.

They are making strides to include advanced manufacturing classes to help prepare the students further for these jobs.

The acoustic guitar being given away is made from sitka spruce, ebony, and mahogany.

Smith said the retail cost of a full working guitar such as the one being given away is in the $1,550 - $2,000 range.


To enter to win a handmade acoustic guitar:

Anyone associated with Morris High School can like the MCHS Ind. Tech. Program Facebook page and automatically get entered into the Guitar giveaway.

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