What do you teach at the Con?
What genres do you teach?
I primarily teach classical guitar, although my interests and experience cover a far broader range of what the guitar can do.
What is it that you love about teaching music – particularly at Wollongong Conservatorium?
Music brings a lot of joy to my life – whether it’s playing the guitar (or my current amateur pursuits on double bass and percussion), attending live concerts, or listening to dozens of albums every week. As a teacher, I get to help others to find joy in music in their own lives. Hopefully, my students will develop a strong love of music that will last a lifetime. Very occasionally, my students love music so much that they choose to commit their lives to a career in music.
Wollongong Conservatorium of Music provides the community with an extraordinary breadth and depth of music programs. As a teacher, this makes my role easier as I can encourage students to take up the opportunities in ensembles, classes or performances that are in alignment with their own learning goals.
Please share a particular career highlight and why it’s special to you.
Every student comes to me with a remarkable potential to create and enjoy music. The highlights for me as a teacher come when students choose to engage with music in a way that realises that potential. In decades of teaching I’ve seen hundreds of students with the potential to make a name for themselves in the Australian music scene, but only one (so far) who has done so. As an added bonus, we are working together again, this time with me focusing on all the work that needs to be done outside of the practice room in order to build a successful career as a performer.
What’s one piece of music that you’d recommend people listen to?
The guitar repertoire has many wonderful pieces. I’ll share this recent performance by one of my former students (a piece that we played together – not this well – as part of his HSC assessment over a decade ago).