Instruments were provided for the "Guitar Heroes" program, which covers music history, innovators of the instrument, and music theory.
As chief executive officer of Cordoba Music Group, Tim Miklaucic knows the value of a musical education. He says that appreciating music is “one of the things we do naturally.”
“We do things for joy and for fun,” says the avid classical guitarist. “Music and dance are a given. Everyone, if given the chance, would carry an iPod. If they are not music creators, they are music listeners.”
Cordoba Music Group has donated 50 Cordoba acoustic guitars and cases in support of UCLA Community School’s Creative Expression Seminar Series. Led by 7th grade math teacher Andre Feng, the semester-long “Guitar Heroes” program is currently in progress and will continue next spring. Beginning in middle school, students have the opportunity to learn everything from the anatomy of a guitar, the work of innovators of the instrument like Bob Dylan and the Beatles, and an introduction to music theory. For those students who wish to continue their musical training, further levels of music theory will be offered as a separate upper division course.
UCLA Community School is a UCLA-supported school located in one of California’s most underserved neighborhoods in the mid-Wilshire/Pico Union area of central Los Angeles. Students actively participate in guiding their own education, and the Seminar Program provides the opportunity for students to explore new interests. Miklaucic, who did graduate studies in philosophy at UCLA, commends the school’s alternative methods of teaching and “letting kids learn at their own rate, and learn what interests them.”
Cordoba Music Group has supported music at numerous schools and nonprofits throughout the United States, with gifts of guitars for Canyon Charter School, the LAPD Music Appreciation Program, Billabong’s Design for Humanity, the Love Hope Strength Foundation, the Carolina Uke Ensemble at the University of North Carolina, Cal State University Performing Arts Center Fund, Goethe International Charter School, and Riverside Central Music School. In addition, Cordoba has donated violins to the Harmony Project in Los Angeles.
“We’d like to see musical education with instruments come back into the public schools,” says Miklaucic. “Our goal is giving a gift to help schools in need to provide music education.”
Miklaucic, whose two daughters were both in the LAUSD Honors Orchestra, underscores the importance of music and arts education in his own schooling.
“Music enhanced my life experiences,” he says. “If you play an instrument, it makes it impossible to be bored.”
The Cordoba gift is a continuation of the Miklaucic family’s ongoing generosity to UCLA. In 1987, the Sonia and Arwayne Miklaucic Fellowship was established in honor of Tim Miklaucic’s parents, in support of secondary education students in the UCLA Teacher Education Program with an interest in foreign languages. Sonia Miklaucic was a secondary school teacher who spoke Polish, Hebrew, French, English, Ukrainian, Italian, and Spanish.
“My mother was an immigrant from Poland who taught in her fourth language,” says Tim Miklaucic. “My family believes that multilingual children are better prepared for a multicultural world. And music is another language.”
Above: Tim Miklaucic and daughter Sonia in 2007, entertaining family and friends. Photo by Maria Chiappa Pappone