Alma Van Duys is currently an adjunct guitar professor at the University of South Carolina where she earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree under the instruction of Christopher Berg.
Alma received her first musical training at the six-year Elementary Music School in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. After graduating from rigorously academic Srednja Umjetnicka Skola (High School of Music and Arts), her career led her to the United States. She earned her bachelors degree from William Carey College and masters degree from Appalachian State University studying with Miroslav Loncar and Douglas James. During her undergraduate years Alma was the recipient of the “Outstanding Musical Performance” and “Artistic Achievement Award.” She was appointed teaching assistant to Douglas James in 2006 along with a music scholarship and was awarded “Diversity Fellowship” from 2007-2008.
During her doctoral studies with Christopher Berg at USC, Alma was recognized for her exceptional teaching abilities in applied lessons, which resulted in an “Honorary Teaching Assistant Award” in 2011. Shorty afterwards, she was nominated for the “USC Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award” by the School of Music.
As a participant in various guitar festivals and competitions Alma received 2nd prize in the solo division at the Alabama Guitar Festival and Competition, and won several 1st prizes in the chamber division at MMTA (Mississippi Music Teacher’s Association) Competition, William Carey College In-House Competition and Bosnian National Competition. In addition to competing, Alma performed in master classes for many renowned guitarists such as Jason Viaux, Lorenzo Micheli, Ivan Rijos, Lily Afshar, Canadian Guitar Quartet, Ana Vidovic, Iliana Matos, Nuccio D’Angello, Rey Guerra, Zarko Ignjatovic, Jeffrey McFaden, Valery Hartzell, Olga Amelkina-Vera, and others.
Besides her performing career, Alma Van Duys is a researcher and educator in the innovative somatic discipline called Body Mapping. Her project “Body Mapping for Guitarists” has been awarded The USC SPARC (Support to Promote Research and Creativity) Fellowship for its potential to provide major contribution to guitar pedagogy and performing practice. This grant has brought Alma closer to her end goal: being certified to teach the course “What Every Musician Needs to Know About The Body," and that way promote the importance of body awareness in playing and teaching. As a body mapping advocate, Alma has been lecturing on this topic at various festivals, most recently at the Southern Guitar Festival and Appalachian Guitar Festival.
Dr. Van Duys is also an instructor at Community Music School at USC where she teaches private guitar lessons and a summer guitar camp.
To learn more about body mapping, check out Alma's upcoming lecture: "What Every Guitarist Needs to Know About the Body."
Schedule a free introductory Skype lesson with Alma.