Bring your own guitar
January 15, 2015 at 10:55 am #43805
I teach in West Virgina at the high school level and I require my guitar students to bring their own guitar to
guitar class. I inform the students when they register, the previous semester of this requirement. Are
their any legal issues to this requirement?January 19, 2015 at 4:01 pm #43867
I seriously doubt if there are any legal issues. Many schools across the country have had to depend on students owning their own guitars in order to offer a guitar class due to the lack of funds for purchasing a class sets of guitars. There are actually more issues tied to having a set of class guitars and then allowing students to take a guitar home. That often leads to issues with some ending in litigation. One thing you may want to check on and make sure everyone understands is if your school district’s insurance covers these instruments. In most school districts, the school insurance does not cover theft or damage and that starts from the time a student gets on a school bus. Parents and students should be made aware that there is no insurance coverage for individually owned instruments.February 17, 2015 at 10:54 am #45030
Teaching class guitar where students bring in their own instruments can open a can of worms. Grandpa’s guitar that’s been in the attic and the neck is warped to the point that it’s impossible to play on, a neighbor’s guitar that is a a priceless instrument that has no place in a HS guitar class are examples of what will happen. It is so interesting how in band the director can be so specific about what instrument the student is to bring to class. Guitar class is not viewed in the same way. I recommend nylon string (classic) guitars. An entry level nylon string guitar should cost no more than $150.February 20, 2015 at 4:49 pm #45349
I’m also not aware of any legal issues with the “bring your own guitar” requirement. I run my classes that way. I do specify that the instrument has to be an acoustic and that it has to be playable. I inspect each student’s guitar before they start to make sure the instrument is in workable shape. If it isn’t in playable workable condition I recommend they either get it fixed or buy a new one. My admin backs this policy.
I have also had a couple of guitars come in that were vintage instruments, to which I told the student that “if you drop I’m going to buy your guitar”…actually I send word home on these that they should reconsider having that instrument at school due to the potential value of the instrument.March 11, 2015 at 5:48 pm #48171
I agree with Glen that having students bring guitars can be quite problematic do to the range in type and quality of instrument available to them. I don’t know what your district is like, but in my working class city, making such a requirement would scare away many students and families from participating. To avoid this social justice issue, perhaps consider asking community members to donate guitars – there are so many instruments of decent quality lying around homes and in closets, etc.
Also, it is incredibly inexpensive to purchase a decent set of classroom guitars – a few thousand dollars can outfit an entire classroom.April 2, 2015 at 11:06 am #50547
I must confess I get a little annoyed about the cost of a set of guitars for a classroom. How much does it cost the band for a baritone saxophone? Not to say the band doesn’t need one but that’s the rub….. one. One bari sax versus 20 guitars. How many students would get to experience the gift of music in this comparison?April 2, 2015 at 9:09 pm #50637
There may not be a legal issue in your state yet, but here in Southern California where it’s one of our local districts that got hit by the lawsuit the other year from the ACLU, we cannot require students to buy/rent/provide ANYTHING for school – instruments, reeds, pencils, notebooks – you name it. I teach band and guitar, and we encourage our band students to rent an instrument, but they are not required to. They can use a district-owned instrument for their entire band career. Likewise with guitar. I have a classroom set of guitars for them. We also provide picks, reeds, oil, etc. The district provides some money for these items, the rest is raised by our music boosters. Unfortunately for us, the lawsuit – in which parents sued regarding fees for sports – have made requiring parents to spend any money for anything required for school basically impossible. The reasoning given by the ACLU is that public schools exist to give free education for all, and that has turned in to providing all the tools necessary for learning.October 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm #69327
@itwoods. How’s your guitar class going?
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