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music The guitar and its many gifts


In ancient times, from the first archer to draw his bow, came the sound from the vibration of a string when stretched taught. Perhaps then was he inspired to put down his weapon of war to create an instrument that indeed brings a sense of peace, calm and enjoyment to its listener. Nobody really knows the earliest origins of the


guitar, but we do know that the ancient Greeks, in the 6th century BC, played an instrument called a Kithara, which looked like a lyre. During the 15th century, a guitar-like instrument was developed in Spain called the Vihuela (Spanish Lute) with four and later five double strings. I was lucky enough to play one of these beautiful instruments during my time as part of a medieval lute ensemble. The Guitar was then developed in Spain by Antonio de Torres into what we recognise today as a six-stringed instrument.


And so it came to be that one of these magical


instruments happened to be propped up against a wall in my childhood home, covered in dust and left abandoned with nobody playing it. It was bigger than me - I was six year's old. I remember the joy and fascination I felt when I first plucked the strings; from then on I would secretly visit this instrument and try to teach myself to play. I already understood sound and music, having already played the recorder from the age


modern-day sounds like pop or rock music but can also transport you back to ancient times with the sounds of the Renaissance. Much research has gone into the benefits of playing and learning a musical instrument. It can strengthen the mind, having a positive effect on the brain cells, improving memory, co-ordination and other life skills such as maths, languages and reading. Listening to ambient music can improve the concentration and can be used as an aid to study. Used throughout the ages in dance, theatre, exercise and meditation, it is a language for all and has a genre for all to enjoy. Music is a gift for which all can be thankful.


Hayley Miller


of four. This, however, was a very different sound and I was captivated! My mum caught me one day; I thought that I was in trouble for playing with it. To my surprise, that Christmas my Mum, with great instinct, bought me my first guitar and from that moment on it has brought me many gifts and taught me many valuable lessons. The guitar is a very diverse instrument. It can be


very meditative, sending the listener into deep relaxation and on the opposite side can be very fiery, giving energy to the vibrant flamenco dancers of Spain. It can produce


Hayley Miller has been playing the guitar for over 30 years, with over 15 year’s experience in tutoring pupils of all ages and abilities, from beginners


to diploma level. To book a lesson or for further information please contact her by email: hayley.miller@live.co.uk. To find out more visit: www.hayleyguitar.com


19 – 21 June 2015


Artistic Directors Paul Lewis and Bjørg Lewis Special Guest Speaker Alfred Brendel


Other Musicians


Andrej Bielow• James Boyd • Veronika Eberle Michail Lifits • Clara Mouriz • Kathryn Stott


St Mary Magdalene, Latimer, Bucks. Tickets: 01494 783643 Programme Details: www.midsummermusic.org.uk


JAMES RAND copy-editor & proofreader


Mobile: 07739 985079 Email: james.rand@me.com


Accurate and professional copy-editing to deadlines Marking up of proofs with British Standard symbols


Available for projects large and small, digital or on paper Freelance or occasional in-house Based in Amersham, Bucks


Associate of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders 19


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