This month, we are spotlighting Brian Green, one of our most successful Guitar Teachers. We’re fortunate for having Brian on board, and can’t wait to share with you the interview we had with him.
When did you start playing music and what inspired you to get started? My parents always had music playing, many different genres. I’ve always felt deeply about sounds that I would hear in music, and lyrical meaning through melody impacted me a lot. I began playing music around age 10 when my parents had me take piano lessons. I remember doing well but not being very interested in practicing at the time. I think the lessons only lasted a couple of years. I did much better when, as a teenager, I joined bands and was learning on my own. It was later in my adulthood that I really began to take music seriously enough to formally study it and try to better my understanding of music. I’ve always been inspired by the creative element of music and music’s ability to change us.
Why did you choose guitar as your instrument, and what is special about it (in your opinion)? I love the diversity of sound that guitars can produce, from the intimacy of playing solo arrangements and chordal melodies to playing electric guitar through a pedal board and creating interesting effects. I like the challenge that it has to offer, particularly in terms of blending chord harmonies and single note melodies.
You have your own band. Can you tell our readers more about it? I’ve recently been performing in two bands, The Poet, Ebenezer and Sourland. Both of these bands fall into the indy rock genre. Currently, Sourland is the band I am performing more consistently with, playing gigs in Lambertville, New Hope, and various other Hunterdon County venues.
You are very successful as a guitar teacher and you have a very high student retention rate. What is your secret? Every student is different and learns differently. My goal as a teacher is to help my guitar students become the best musicians they can be and to be sensitive to each student’s needs. I seek to foster a positive experience in the classroom and help to guide them in their own personal, musical journey. I also feel that vulnerability as a teacher is important, and also to allow myself to be taught by my students. There are so many things that students are trying to understand that they inevitably ask questions, or bring up certain ideas that really cause me to think hard and learn. A bass guitar teacher that I had for a while told me that “if you teach once, you learn twice…” As a teacher I also have to remain a student and I think that is reflected onto my students and hopefully inspires them to continue studying and learning, and most importantly to enjoy playing music, because that is what it is all about.
What do you enjoy about being part of the Hunterdon Academy of the Arts community? Hunterdon Academy of the Arts has been a fantastic community to be part of. Everyone is friendly and attentive to both students and teachers.
Other than music, what are your interests and hobbies? I love surfing, reading, riding my bike, walking in cities, drawing and painting, and going to art galleries, and hanging out with artists and musicians.