Peter & Andrew Hughes Bring Guitar Academy to Kids at Boys & Gir - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Peter & Andrew Hughes Bring Guitar Academy to Kids at Boys & Girls Club

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Guitar Academy at the Boys & Girls Club, Mathy Center is about much more than music. 

The program teaches kids accountability, allows them to make friends more easily and teaches discipline.

Jefferson Award winner Peter Hughes started the program with his son, musician Andrew Hughes from the band Tug.

"Every kid needs an adult they can trust.  I'm paying it forward. Somebody did that for me. I learned from my father that it's the right thing to do," said Peter.  

"You see it week to week. The kids putting in the work. One of the kids...I could tell that he had not put that guitar down and it wasn't like one of these things where you could sort of tell...you could tell. His parents came up to me and said how he smiles when he has that guitar in his hand," said Andrew.

While the father/son duo might be credited with starting the program, their biggest accomplishment is getting 13 established musicians to share their knowledge.

"Everybody's got a different way of teaching. I'm probably the least by the book guy in all this. Everybody here has something to put into it that is diverse and different so the kids benefit from a lot more by us all being different kind of teachers," said Jim "Jimbo" Zill.

"Just to see them light up when they figure something out and the cord rings out for them.  That's what its all about for me," said volunteer Stacy Hanson.  

"I teach kids from seven to 75 and it's all the same.  It's medicine for a frowning world," said volunteer Bill Ebert.

"Being able to give them that other coping mechanism or just being able to give them something  to be able to take their mind off the daily struggle
they have going on just being youth in this day and age," said Gregory Stanton, club staff and Hip Hop Artist.

"Instantly you have  a whole group of friends. cause we speak the same language and the kids pick up on that.  It's a connection they have now too whether or not they knew each other when they started class. They get to see how music just brings us all together," said volunteer Eric Erickson.

"It's probably the best thrill of my life, to do something with my son like this and to have people recognize you for it is just the icing on the cake. I am very proud that I get an opportunity to volunteer and maybe make a difference in somebody's life," said Peter Hughes. 

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