Artist Spotlight – Doug Wood

Doug Wood knows how transformative music can be to young people. He was exposed to music himself early in his childhood, and as early as age 12, was practicing on his own guitar. This transitioned into playing music in high school and then in college, where he started writing his own music.

It’s probably no surprise, then, that Doug is devoting time and energy toward brining the gift of music to the children of Collinwood. He has leveraged Artists in Residence grant funding to launch the Music Education Series program, a series of five one-hour classes geared toward children ages 6 – 9. Doug launched the program in summer 2012 and is continuing classes on weekends this winter, each with different guest performers from different genres of music. As curator of the class, Doug will help the artists share their music and engage in a question-and-answer session with the children.

The Collinwood-based musician has been approached many times by fans who pitched the idea of him playing guitar for children and teaching them music appreciation. That work has come to life through the Music Education Series, which has already reached dozens of Collinwood youth.

Doug is more than just a teaching artist, however. He’s performing music professionally, as well as traveling and touring all over the country. Like most musicians, Doug began by playing in bands. He then started performing solo in the late 1990s. He has three CD releases under his belt (two of which have sold out), and he’s currently working on a new album. His music enjoys extensive national radio air play, and his music was featured on the David Letterman show in May of this year during a commercial break.

The well-traveled musician was born and raised in Colorado and lived in Boston and Germany before landing in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood in the 1990s.  Doug describes Collinwood as “arts-friendly, nice and affordable.” Knowing that there was a base of support for artists in Collinwood and Cleveland prompted Doug to consider moving to the area.

Today, Doug is passionate about helping advance the next generation of professional musicians in Cleveland. His advice to aspiring artists? Be persistent and practice.

“Be patient and be true to your art as much as you can,” he shares, “and bend once in a while when you have to.”

“If you really truly are an artist and want to make a living at it, consider yourself as a business first.  Art always comes first, but when you’re really doing the business, you have to think like a business.”

To find out more and to see samples of Doug’s work, you can visit his website at www.DougWoodmusic.com.  You can also access his Facebook page at  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Doug-Wood-Guitarist/102166939822310.