The best way to understand what it’s like to participate as a Guitars Not Guns volunteer is to hear it straight from those who have done it. This post is part of an interview series where we try to share the experiences of our volunteers.

Meet Brian Cerney, who teaches classes and plays a leadership role in our curriculum development…

Why did you decide to volunteer for GNG?

Brian: Back in 2013 when I lived in my hometown of Salinas, CA, I ran a Guitars Not Guns class with the Monterey County chapter. When I heard Ryan Lunka was starting a Guitars Not Guns chapter here in Central Ohio, I wanted to contribute however I could.

What has the experience been like for you so far?

Brian: The GNG Ohio team is fantastic and doing amazing things, and I’m glad to be a part of it. Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus is a great partner, and has provided excellent facilities and support. The students have been awesome, they’re always enthusiastic and working hard.

Why do you believe helping to execute GNG’s mission is a worthwhile use of your free time?

Brian: I’ve loved the guitar since I was a little boy, and I’m always excited to share my knowledge and appreciation with the next generation of guitarists. To be able to share it with someone who might not otherwise have had that opportunity is an even greater blessing. So I’m a big believer in GNG’s mission and I’m glad I can help.

What’s one moment during your volunteer time that stands out to you

Brian: I always enjoy the first time I get to jam with a student. They get to play and hear the beauty of melody over harmony, and see that they can already contribute to a true musical conversation. Playing with my teachers was always a revelation for me, so it’s exciting to be on the other side of that experience.

What do you hope for in the future for GNG and/or for you as a volunteer?

Brian: My hope is that we can continue to add quality volunteer teachers, allowing us to offer classes at more locations.

If this sounds like the kind of volunteer experience that you are looking for. Let us know you’re interested, so we can talk about getting you involved.

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