About the Instructor

My name is Katie LeClair and I’ve been playing guitar since I was in middle school: almost 30 years! I took guitar lessons from a lady named Mary, who co-owned a small guitar shop in town, called the Golden Ring Folklore Center. I took up the guitar after my brother became a drummer. There was always music in our home. I remember the first song that I was able to switch chords normally (quickly) was “Puff the Magic Dragon.” ūüôā

Since then, there has not been many weeks when I didn’t have a guitar in my hands. I began writing songs and playing in my church within just a few years of taking lessons. I learned on an acoustic guitar and then took electric (rhythm and blues) lessons from another instructor. At my small high school, I was the guitar player – for everything. Swing choir, choir, jazz band.

I was a song and worship leader at my high school church and then at the church I went to in college. From there, I was always leading junior high and senior high worship teams, developing young musicians in their talents of drums, bass, guitar,  keyboard, and vocals. Music became part of my job and Christian vocation.

In 2008 I began my graduate studies as a seminary student which ate up basically all of my free time. Now that I am graduating, I have time to begin playing again, and also paying off the loans! I work full time at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. There I serve the congregation as Director of Youth and Family Faith Formation (primarily 7-12th grades). I live in the Midway area of Saint Paul with my dog Baxter.

I own several guitars: a Fender Squire Telecaster, a Breedlove acoustic/electric, an Epiphone acoustic/electric, a Fender Squire Stratocaster, as well as an Oscar Schmidt (A-Style) mandolin.

My guitar influences are very diverse. Here’s a list of people I like listening to and playing along with:

Paul Simon     James Taylor     Taylor Swift     Josh Turner     Lady Antebellum     Brad Paisley     Beatles     Switchfoot     Relient K     Nickel Creek     Rascal Flatts     Copeland     Susan Ashton     Amy Grant     Keith Urban     needtobreathe     Hillsong United     Zac Brown Band     Sara Groves     Dave Barnes     Steven Curtis Chapman     Mark Knopfler      Dire Straits     Electric Light Orchestra     77s     Over the Rhine

Some of my songs:

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Performing is a profound experience, at least for me. It’s not as if I sit down and play ‘Fire and Rain’ by myself, just to hear it again. But to offer it up… the energy that it somehow summons live takes me right back, and I do get a reconnection to the emotions. I believe 100 percent in the power and importance of music.
~James Taylor