How did you come to start playing guitar, and were there any musicians/bands that inspired you?
I started playing guitar when I was five. I was driven with an urge to become Slash. Silly, I know, but it still drove me to become the grade eight guitarist I am today and that urge still remains.. Even though Slash was my main inspiration to start, I have had many artists over the years inspire me even more so. People like; Foo Fighters, Muse, Biffy Clyro, My Chemical Romance, Queens Of The Stone Age and even my old private guitar tutor from Riverside who truly inspired me to become the guitarist I am today.
What are some of your favourite teaching techniques?
Letting the students figure out how to read sheet music or chord charts with my guidance as I feel students understand what they are learning more than just telling them flat out the answer. Coming up with the answer themselves with only minor interference from me increases the student’s confidence while they are learning and allows them to grasp what I’m teaching better. This is very prominent in the first stage of teaching the basics.
I try to make sure that lessons are fun and that the student enjoys the music being taught. Encouraging students to try their best and enjoy the experience is important to me.
What advice would you have for someone learning piano for the first time?
Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t play a chord or a melody one hundred percent right on the first couple of tries. Making mistakes in life is the first step at understanding how you move on and learn. A world without mistakes would crumble to pieces. If you think for one second that people like Angus Young from AC/DC or Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters never make mistakes, you’re wrong. If rock gods can make mistakes, why can’t you?
What do you usually cover in your lessons?
I mainly cover songs that my students are either a fan of or like the genre the song is in. I try to teach them something, whether it’s a technique melodically, rhythmically or harmonically. I also like to teach composing techniques but these are normally reserved for students that have passed the intermediate stage.
How have you found your experience at Riverside – from learning guitar and moving up to teaching at the Riverside Academy?
It’s been awesome so far. I loved being taught privately for 6 years and then coming to RMC to enrol in the HND Music Performance course. Now to be able to teach kids and adults alike about the guitar is truly a dream come true. Teaching is so much fun, you are shaping the next world of guitarists and passing on all the wisdom you have to ensure they get the best out of the instrument.