Meet our fantastic Holiday Camp teacher Russell! RVT-1866

This week we introduce you to our wonderful teacher Russell. Find out all about his musical journey, from learning his instrument to performing in front of 7000 people. Reading Russell’s interview might even inspire your child to start learning an instrument with our Term-Time Lessons!

Where did you study music?

I studied music at Goldsmiths, University of London where I specialised in film music and arranging for jazz & big bands. I was also a private student of bass guitarist Tom Herbert who was nominated for a Mercury Prize.

Tell us about your musical experience?

I currently play bass for The Film Orchestra where we play music from TV, Film and Video Games. I also play bass annually for the Norbury musical theatre adult group in Droitwich.

My previous experiences also include playing bass for pop artist Lauren Wright (BBC Introducing Regional Champion 2012), bass and vocals for soul artist Moko (Chase & Status) and bass for hip-hop collective Cantaloop.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I enjoy being able to take musical ideas, breaking them down and reconstructing them into fun and engaging activities for learner enjoyment and processing. I really get a kick out of a learner who excels when they have previously been dubious about their initial musical talents.

Your biggest achievement/ most enjoyable musical experience so far?

My biggest achievement would be supporting Union J in 2013 in front of 7000 people. It was amazing!

Who is your favourite musician and why?

My favourite musician of all time has to be Prince. I’m astounded and inspired that one person can write, record, direct and play all instruments for multiple songs and albums that constantly grab your attention, no matter how many times they are played. I was lucky to see him live two years ago and it was the greatest live show I had ever been to, I teared up at Purple Rain at the end.

How did you start learning your instrument? Russell

The first time I picked up the bass guitar was when I was 19. At the time I was a failing actor working odd-jobs and wasn’t happy. I made a pledge to myself that I would obtain a music degree within five years and within ten years, be able to earn all of my income through music. I was criticised by many saying that I was too late or too old to learn music from scratch; however I proved them wrong! I had two lessons a week and practised the bass every day for at least four hours. I’m now 29 and I have my music degree, I earn all of my income through music and I have had some incredible live experiences on stage. Hard work really does pay off!

Top practice tip for our Strings Club children?

Practise all new exercises and songs at half speed until you are confident. Most importantly, don’t get impatient! This will give your brain time to learn properly and you won’t cause yourself unnecessary frustration or injury.

Thank you Russell – meet another member of our Strings Club team on our blog soon!

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