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Wrong Don Hicks?

Mr. Don Hicks

Associate Director

Bryan Station High School

HQ Phone: (859) 381-4100

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Bryan Station High School

701 East Main Street

Lexington, Kentucky 40502

United States

Company Description

FCPS provides web space for each teacher in the district. To have a website set up for your classroom web pages, email Please Note: All teacher websites MUST be located on a FCPS server. Schools cannot link to any teacher ... more

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Background Information

Employment History

Guitar and AP Music Theory Classes Teacher

Bands for Bryan Station High School

Director of Bands

Southern Middle School

Director of Bands

Tates Creek High School


Board Member
Assistant Band


Bachelor of Music Education

Western Kentucky University

Jedi Master

Masters Degree

Georgetown College

Web References (19 Total References)

2006-07 [cached]

In 2006 Associate Director Don Hicks came to Bryan Station from Southern Middle School.

Bryan Station Band Staff [cached]

Don Hicks, Jedi Master, Director of Guitar Studies

Don Hicks spent four years as Associate Director of Bands for Bryan Station High School. He currently teaches Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Guitar. Mr. Hicks is in his twentyth year of teaching. Prior to this assignment, he was Director of Bands at Southern Middle School and Tates Creek High School. Mr. Hicks received his Bachelor of Music Education from Western Kentucky University and completed his Masters Degree at Georgetown College. He is an avid guitarist, teaching and performing in the Lexington area.

Don Hicks, Bryan Station High School, Lexington, KY - THE GUITAR ASSOCIATION [cached]

Don Hicks, Bryan Station High School, Lexington, KY

Don Hicks, Bryan Station High School, Lexington, KY
Don Hicks: I was a Guitarist and Trumpet player growing up.
Don Hicks:Administration was extremely supportive.
Don Hicks:There is no typical guitar class! We have everything: complete beginners to shredders, and everything in between. We have a good mix of gender/SES/ethnicity in the guitar classes. The kids get a lot of basic skills in the beginning, then chords, reading, single note technique, solo classical, small & large ensemble.
GAMA: What is the most fun or rewarding element of teaching classroom guitar? Don Hicks:I love being a part of kids going from absolutely no exposure to a musical instrument, to becoming proficient performers in such a short span of time. When kids come in with a piece of music they want to learn and I can help them get to an acceptable level of performance on that piece. And on a personal level, just getting paid to play guitar every day!
GAMA: What is the most challenging element of teaching classroom guitar? Don Hicks:Sometimes, getting kids to believe in themselves enough to 'see it through', can be difficult. Also, trying to keep everyone challenged when there are so many different ability levels in every class can be a big challenge.
GAMA: What products or services would help you to teach classroom guitar? Don Hicks:My Band colleagues use SmartMusic to great success.
Don Hicks:I think that like any other music discipline, teachers should have a passion about teaching the guitar. The students deserve for guitar to be a true option for music education and not just a class that you teach to fill out your schedule. You don't have to have a ton of skills to get started, but you have to be willing to seriously learn the instrument, or the kids will see right through you pretty quickly.
GAMA: What do you think would help you teach guitar in the future? Don Hicks:If we had better funding for guitar programs in our district, and if our district would be willing to take a bit of a gamble on expanding guitar to the other schools within. Also, for guitar education….finding our 'niche' in the KMEA: organizing for curriculum standards, assessment opportunities, and generally being able to promote guitar through KMEA.
GAMA: Any other thoughts for manufacturers of guitar products? Don Hicks: Just remember that quality of the guitar, amp, or accessory is incredibly important to student that is just starting out. If we want them to maintain guitar playing as a life-long skill, make sure that the "starter" instruments and accessories are of the best quality and playability as possible. If a kid keeps playing, they're going to buy more instruments and accessories. But if the first instrument isn't good enough to keep them playing, then we all lose out in the long run.
GAMA: Aside from guitars, what other products do use during your class? Don Hicks:Music stands, straps, picks, capos, guitar stands/hangers, electric guitars & mini- amps (roland microcube), footrests, BSHS Guitar Ensemble T-shirts
GAMA: What products do your students bring to your class (include Phones,mp3 players if they are used toward the end goal of making music)? Don Hicks:We use all the electronic media, as well as sometimes using their own home guitars, amps, etc.
GAMA: Does the school supply the instruments? Don Hicks:Yes- a classroom set of classical guitars as well as a set of electrics and amps that we use sparingly.
GAMA: If so how often do you buy guitars and guitar products? Don Hicks:We are constantly upgrading our guitar 'arsenal', adding a few nicer acoustic/electric classical for advanced students, replacing guitars that just get worn out being played 6-7 hours every day. And this year we are trying to build an inventory of rental instruments for students to use at home.
GAMA: Do you supply any accessories in class? (picks, capos, etc.) Don Hicks:Only if it is essential to a piece of music that we are performing. I have a class set of capos that can be used. We once bought PVC Pipe connectors for students to use as slides on a piece called Carpenter Ants…… Otherwise, I encourage students to visit local music stores for accessories.
GAMA: Approximately how much were the equipment costs for your program? Don Hicks:Our budget is based on our income from Student Class fees, Free/Reduced Lunch & Fee Waiver reimbursements, and fundraising. We typically spend about $1500.oo per year on strings, replacing guitars, or adding to our inventory. We have begun renting guitars this year (our district has a band/orchestra instrument rental policy- we just tapped onto that) because so many of my students are low SES and don't have access to a guitar at home. My gut feeling is that these kids will go on to purchase their own guitar at some point during the year (holiday/birthday/etc).
GAMA: Did (or do) you work with a particular music products dealer when making purchases for your classroom guitar program? Don Hicks:We worked with Wilcutt Guitars when we got our electrics- they were donated by a local musician's family- Wilcutt helped us to get enough for a classroom set. We do a lot of online purchases, simply because money in education is so tight.
GAMA: Do your students tend to play informally? - start bands, play guitar together outside of class, etc? Don Hicks:Yes. We've had several "bands" crop up. The Guitar classes are an excellent opportunity for kids to meet up with other kids that play, that they might not otherwise associate with in school.
GAMA: What percentage of your students own smartphones (iPhones, Android) with apps? Don Hicks:I don't have exact figures, but the majority of my students use their smartphones for some guitar-related activities. When we're working on individual projects, I'd say that over half are using a smartphone or computer device. I am also starting to see some students using the I-rig interface and software….
GAMA: What websites do your students talk about? (Not necessarily guitar related - eg. Facebook, Twitter, Ultimate Don Hicks:Yes to those listed…. They also talk about artist websites/facebooks, some TAB/Music oriented sites that I'm not that familiar with, and online retailers like Musicians Friend, Guitar Center Etc.
GAMA: What percentage of your students receive guitar products as presents during the holidays? Don Hicks:I'm not sure. But at this age (HS), kids showing an interest in a new hobby gives parents something to buy for at birthday/holiday times. I get a lot of emails/calls from parents asking what to get for their teenager who has just started on guitar.
GAMA: What percentage of your students purchase guitar products online? Don Hicks:I think the majority of purchases are done in local shops, although proximity to those shops is difficult for our particular school.

Clubs & Activities [cached]

Guitar Ensemble - Don Hicks

Discover Guitar » Testimonials [cached]

Don Hicks, Bryan Station High School, Lexington, KY

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