Note: The latest in a series of stories about classes at the Northumberland County Council for the Arts and Humanities' new arts center.

SHAMOKIN - If you are one of the millions of people worldwide who has dreamed of becoming a rock legend, Jason Dampman's Basic Guitar class can be your first step toward achieving that goal.

The class is one of several summer programs being offered at the new Kallaway Center for the Arts.

Dampman said his class is designed for people who have never strummed a chord before.

During the four-week course, students will learn the various parts of the guitar, how to hold and use a pick and the names of the strings and their corresponding notes.

Dampman said he also might jump into chords if he and the students are feeling ambitious.

A longtime guitarist, Dampman began playing when he was in his early teens. He joined local hard rock/metal band, Dead Leaves, and spent time on the road, traveling down the East Coast to perform shows.

"It was really a good time," said Dampman.

When he was back in Central Pennsylvania, he gave lessons. From age 19, he shared his guitar knowledge with other fledging musicians in both individual and group lessons.

After getting married and having children, he took a few years off from professional music, but picked up teaching.

He's now a part-time music instructor with Kindermusik, which hosts classes at the Mount Carmel Area Public Library and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional school.

His class at the Kallaway Center is geared toward older children and adults.

To take the class, students must be at least six years old, and children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Dampman said he welcomes families to attend his classes, and has even instructed a group class for a family that wanted to learn to play guitar together.

Basic Guitar is limited to six students per session. Currently one session is scheduled, but Dampman is willing to add additional times for interested parties.

Dampman said he believes group instruction is ideal for newcomers.

"It's more fun," he said. "Older kids, they need people to jam with."

Students must bring their own guitars to class, either acoustic or electric. If electric, a student must also bring an amp.

Dampman said child-size guitars are available at local music stores, such as K&S Music Inc. in Paxinos. Students of all ages will also need to bring picks.

Basic Guitar will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, July 9, 16, 23 and 30. The cost is $60.

For more information or to sign up, contact Jeanne Shaffer, executive director of the Northumberland County Council for the Arts, at 570-850-9121 or