Guitar Professor's First CD Released
Aiken, SC (12/15/2018) — A University of South Carolina Aiken professor received a special gift this season when his first CD was released Dec. 14.
Steve Sloan, who has taught guitar at the university since 2012, compiled an eclectic selection of contemporary classical songs for A Peaceful Escape.
"Over the years, I have come across new music for the guitar that really speaks to me," he said.
"This album is a collection of pieces that has given me feelings of peace and joy, and I really think you can listen to this music and have a peaceful escape."
All of the composers featured on the album are living, with one exception. On the CD, Sloan performs an original score composed by Dr. Richard Maltz, a USC Aiken professor emeritus.
"This music is very listenable tonal music and is, in my opinion, quite peaceful sounding," Sloan said.
Listeners can order the CD from Sloan's website: www.stevesloanguitar.com
Although, he grew up learning Metallica songs on the guitar as a teenager, he now plays classical music. He shares his experience and insight with his students.
"I am currently studying the techniques and repertoire of the classical style of guitar as well as learning to recognize and analyze technical issues as they arise during practice and to formulate workable solutions for them," said David Roberts, a retired nuclear engineer who has taken guitar lessons from Sloan for the last two years.
"[He] is an accomplished artist in a variety of different styles of guitar, with a deep commitment to the performance and techniques required to play the traditional classic style."
Roberts credits the professor with bringing many critical elements needed for students to be successful to the classroom.
"He creates a 'safe' classroom where you are free to express ideas and to perform knowing that you will be corrected when needed but never criticized," said Roberts.
"Students can be assured they will be encouraged and not belittled, that alternative methods and music will be provided so they can be successful. Perhaps his best attribute during guitar lessons is patience, patience, patience."
In addition to teaching at USC Aiken, Sloan also teaches young children at the Suzuki Academy of Columbia. Regardless of their skill level - or their age -- Sloan says he encourages his students to learn as much music as they can and to play what makes them happy. He wants to inspire them to become lifelong self-learners and music lovers.
"Professor Sloan is helping me reach my goals, and I am very excited about my future musical career, partly due to his influence," said Sophie King, a USC Aiken nursing student minoring in music.
King has played the violin since she was five. Since then, she's taken up several other instruments. She started learning guitar two years ago.
"I had learned how to accompany soloists as background, but I really wanted to excel and learn how to play melody on the guitar," the freshman said.
"I knew Professor Sloan was exactly what I was looking for when he started off the class by asking me what my goals were for guitar. He is teaching me how to finger pick and play the melody and a background harmony at the same time."
At USC Aiken, he currently teaches applied guitar, introduction to music, world music, and music technology.
Editor's note: Sloan will perform a concert Jan. 22, at 7 p.m., in the Etherredge Center to celebrate the release of A Peaceful Escape. The concert is free and open to the public.