Classical guitar champ
Neil Shukla, a senior at Marquette High School, recently placed first in the 10th Annual National Youth Solo Guitar Competition. Sponsored by Webster University, the competition was part of the 2012 Mid America Guitar Camp. Young musicians from across the United States showcased their talents at the camp.
Shukla said he began playing classical guitar when he was 6 years old. But he admits that he wasn’t a chid protege and that he didn’t practice two to three hours a day.
“My dad and (guitar instructor) Kirk (Hanser) told me to practice 30 minutes a day, every day,” Shukla said.
The dedication in moderation formula was enough to keep Shukla engaged with the music and having fun, which he says is key in sticking with any instrument.
“I would tell someone whose interested in playing to keep at it – really dedicate yourself and love what you do.”
Although Shukla loves making music (he plays all types of guitars as well as tuba in the Marquette symphonic band), he says he won’t pursue a music degree in college.
“It can be hard to make a living in music unless you’re 100 percent dedicated to performance or teaching,” Shukla said. “I don’t think that would be a good fit for me.”
So Shukla said he plans to study applied mathematics, but also “continue learning on the guitar” and having fun.