When he senses a dip in their interest level, Dunn has a surefire enticement for the students — a chance to solo using a guitar he sets up with a reverb amp.
That can bring out the inner, would-be heavy-metal rocker in the quietest of them, if only in gestures and facial expressions — the kids' repertoire is pretty tame at this point. A few, though, are apt to try their hand at improvising when prompted, while the rest of the class lays down a chord and a beat.
Dunn followed a pretty strong beat in his youth.
"For me, joining a rock band in Columbia at 11 was amazing," he said. "I was so excited about 'Purple Haze,' but I ended up choosing Bach."
Now that he's also chosen an extra profession as after-school teacher, Dunn has lots of ideas about developing Face to Face Guitar. He envisions teaming his class up with students studying the recorder, for example.
He'd also like to showcase talent, creating a guitar quartet from the four best in a class and, eventually, a city-wide guitar orchestra.
"If I can pull together a few more schools and get more parental support, I can do a lot more with this," Dunn said. "And if someone from a Baltimore school becomes a great musician because of the class, that would be icing on the cake."