You might recognize local musician Ron Pulcer from anywhere from Giorgetti Park to the Chaffee Art Center — he’s been playing venues around Rutland for years — or from one of his many teaching gigs.
He’s a familiar face in the community, and he’s offering a series of guitar classes through the Rutland Recreation Department, starting this week.
“Music is a powerful force,” Pulcer says on his website. “I hope to use my talents and interests in music in positive ways.”
The Rutland musician and graduate of Marlboro Graduate Center has “taught people of all ages to play guitar, children through senior citizens.”
Beginner and intermediate classes on guitar notes run 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Feb. 13 at the Godnick Center. And beginner and intermediate classes on guitar chords will run 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 27 through April 3, also at the Godnick Center.
Pulcer credits good music teachers for his own skill; he started playing guitar at age 14.
“One teacher in particular taught me the importance of learning music theory and applying it to the guitar, (so) I could continue to teach myself chords and songs. This was quite empowering for me, especially for the ability to arrange music for the guitar,” he said.
He tries to do the same with his own students, encouraging them to venture out into their own directions and figure out chords and melodies for themselves.
“I play a variety of styles, but mostly fingerstyle acoustic guitar,” Pulcer says, “including instrumental arrangements of popular tunes, blues, jazz and classical guitar. In many cases, I work up my own arrangements for these pieces.”
Pulcer’s main focus is teaching guitar and harmonica, in both group and private lessons, in what he calls a hybrid fashion — a somewhat traditional approach (method books, learning the basics), and a customized approach to the student’s interest and ability.
“While I have played guitar for over 35 years, I understand that we all have to start somewhere,” he says. “At first, I learned in a more traditional way, with the Mel Bay method books, learning to read music and playing some classical guitar pieces. But I also have fond memories of playing rock ’n’ roll with neighborhood friends in a garage band while in high school.
“I would like to pass on my enthusiasm and interest in music to other people who would like to learn to play guitar,” Pulcer says. “There’s always something new to learn.”