'I first picked up the guitar aged 7, later I won a music scholarship and went on to develop an international performing career in my late teens, playing with the likes of Jose Carreras, Martin Taylor, John Renbourn, Paul Wright, Clive Carroll, Ramon Ruiz, Tommy Emmanuel and many other notable performers. At the age of 22 I moved permanently to the UK, having completed my BMus (Hons) & Grad Dip Ed UWA (PGCE). That same year I received the prestigious WA Citizen of the Year Award (Cit WA) for my contribution to Arts and Culture.
My teaching career began at the age of 15, teaching children of my parent's friends. My first pupil was 12. I quickly learnt how to explain things really well. By the age of seventeen I was teaching some 8hrs each week, next to being in full time education. Having such an early start meant that by the age of 26 I was asked to establish the guitar department at the Purcell School of Music, UK, which had taken no guitarists for many years. My pupils were the first to reach the high level required for entry. A few years later I succeeded Michael Lewin, Head of Guitar at RAM and teacher of Xuefei Yang and Milos Karadaglic, when he retired from St. Paul’s School London.
I had the best guitar teacher anyone could imagine, my dear and wonderful Dr John Casey. He had a great vision and a wonderful spirit. All his guitar pupils reached Grade 8 and above within a short period of time. He was also a fabulous psychologist and intuitively knew how to inspire and motivate pupils. Here he is in the dark shirt and next to Dr Casey is the greatest classical guitarist of all time John Williams, a great fan of his pedagogy. Everything I do in music links back to this inspirational figure in my life.
In my 20s I pursued my performance career to the max, which was really exciting. Because of my compositions I was able to mix with guitar royalty and had the same agent as Tommy Emmanuel, Clive Carroll and John Renbourn. Subsequently, I signed onto the prestigious label of the legendary guitarist Martin Taylor MBE. I am grateful to have had those years, but playing solo concerts at a professional level requires an athlete-like discipline. The intensity of travelling, practising and being far away from family and friends is a tough lifestyle to sustain longterm. The video below shows some highlights of that time.
It did not take me long to realise I wanted a greater balance to my life. I knew I had an ability and passion or composition, I wanted to do film music and collaborate with people that inspire me. These days I see joy in everything I do, from cooking, to teaching, to spending time with family and friends. Remote teaching has also allowed me to spend more quality time with my children and our joyful Bolonoodle called Clover.