Here is the first in our new Meet The Teacher blog posts. Here, we introduce you to some of our fantastic Teachers. At Sweet Symphony we only hire the best, so we’re confident that we have the perfect Teacher waiting to welcome you for your first lesson. Our first Teacher in the spotlight is our Guitar & Ukulele Teacher John Wallace.
John has just celebrated his 3rd work anniversary with us and we must say, the time has flown by (doesn’t it just, when you’re having fun?!)
We asked John to give us a little bit of an insight into himself. We asked him how he came to be interested in music, his favourite styles of music and what he enjoys most about teaching, and this is what he had to say…
Hi, I’m John and I’ve been teaching music to people of all ages and abilities for 10 years. I’ve worked here at Sweet Symphony for the last 3 years teaching Guitar and Ukulele, and I enjoy every minute of it!
I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember. I was given my first Ukulele at the age of 3. I would sit in front of our family record player for hours on end listening to George Formby records, and pretend to play along, even though I had no idea what I was doing.
At the age of 10 I got my first acoustic Guitar. It was a 50 year-old hand-me-down from a family member. The bridge was on the border of snapping and the body was warped with age, but it was perfect! I am self-taught, and started off by strumming chords to the music I was into at the time. This was anything from The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly through to Stereophonics and Oasis. As my Guitar skills progressed and my musical curiosity got the better of me, I discovered Blues and fingerstyle Guitar techniques. This would eventually lead me to playing Ragtime music on Guitar, a particular favourite of mine even to this day. I’ve really loved learning to play anything and everything over the years. This has included Classical, Blues, Jazz, Rock, Country, Metal, and Folk to name a few.
20 years of playing later, plus an Extended Diploma, an A Level and an Honours Degree in Music, here I am teaching music for a living!
The thing I like the most about my job as a music teacher is to see people of all ages getting excited and inspired by music. This can be discovering a new band, artist or genre of music, getting a good result in an exam or just simply managing to play a tricky chord correctly after weeks of practice! No matter how long you’ve been playing or what style you play in, playing an instrument should make you feel good. As long as my students are enjoying what they’re doing, I’m happy!
Fun facts about myself? As well as playing Guitar, Bass Guitar and Ukulele, I can also play Mandolin, Banjo, Harmonica and a bit of Piano. I used to work as a leisure attendant at a fitness centre. Often, the shift was so quiet on a weekend that I used to bring my Ukulele to work and play in the back office. My boss was completely unaware of this, of course! I love reading and writing. I actually wrote a full-length book on Fingerstyle Country-Blues Guitar playing back in my Uni days. Also, I once jammed with Madonna’s drummer and the lead guitarist from Steely Dan at the same time!
Would you like lessons with John?
We’re thrilled to have John as part of our Teaching team. He’s reliable, patient and a generally all-round lovely guy!
John teaches Guitar and Ukulele Lessons at the Sweet Symphony Studio Monday-Saturday. His schedule is always fairly full, but spaces do sometimes open up.
If you’d like to take lessons with John, get in touch with us on 0191 908 8441. Alternatively, take a look on our booking page and see which spaces are available to book today.