So, what’s been happening in your life? Well, considering you asked, quite a lot. As with any blog that I write, I’ll start with apologising for not keeping these pages up to date as often as I would have liked. On a positive side, that means I’m very busy!
Teaching in schools and my private lessons are a huge part of my income, but I can honestly say that money is not the only reason I got into education. Seeing students grow and get passionate about the drum kit and music excites me. You know that feeling when you arrive home after a busy day? I’m tired, but you ask yourself, “What have I achieved today?” Knowing, that your students have gone home feeling excited to practise and have been inspired to achieve their goals, is the best reward any of us could ever have.
I only say this because it is often mentioned that any musician can supplement their income by doing this very thing. In fact, it is suggested through many blogs and websites when thinking about becoming a full time musician. The problem being, not all musicians make great teachers. Communication is key here, not whether you are the best at playing the lead break from Back in Black. I’ve always said, my job is to inspire. I’m not about to start dishing out the do’s and don’t about becoming a teacher, heaven knows, there are more than enough educational establishments doing that, but work on your craft, see the bigger picture, rather than “I need an income” scenario.
Yep, the teaching is busy. I’m still working across Northamptonshire visiting schools for peripatetic lessons and with almost forty private students; I’m living the dream.
Even though this is the case, my love for playing live shows never goes away. The pleasure I get from watching people dance excites me. It’s often said that it’s the drummer that makes people want to dance. Considering I’m writing about myself here, it would be wrong for me to take all the responsibility from my band members, but I am certainly aware a lot of this responsibility lies within my drumsticks.
After all these years I’m still surprised how well ‘Wild’ are doing. I have now been in the band for just over fifteen years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that we are still going, but I do understand most things have a shelf life. The reason for our success I think has to be the fact we believe in ourselves and what we do. It is true that we are getting older, but we are still asked to play Rock n Roll events which makes me very happy.
It’s now coming to the end of August 2015 and we have enjoyed a very busy run of gigs since the beginning of the year. As I write we have had a few weeks off from playing which has given me chance to prepare for school starting in September. I’ll also be heading to the studio in November for a clinic filming session. I’m currently working on a set of tracks I’ll be doing and this will be in support of my App which has finally been released with Apps for music.
Follow the link on my website and it’ll take you to the download page where you can purchase it. The App is based around Rock n Roll grooves and fills I use during my playing. I am also planning on having the play-along tracks available on iTunes and Spotify from Cruisin’ ready for you to try out, which will complement the whole experience. I shall be taking the clinic set on tour in February next year during the half term break, so please keep an eye out through my Twitter pages for updated information.
On closing, I must really give you a brief account of an event in my life that is about to happen. I’m already a father of two great kids. My eldest son lives in Portland, OR and has settled down to a successful music career and recently graduated in Jazz performance from Portland State University. My daughter is currently about to start her third year at The University of Hertfordshire studying Sport and Exercise Science. To say that I’m proud father would be an understatement, but it is to happen one more time in my life.
For a couple of years me and Barbara have wanted to have children of our own. Barbara is the most amazing Stepmother I could ever have for my children and I doubt that will change, but she will now become an outright mother of her own. In October we are due another little life into our world, very excited to say the least.
With all this happening in my life, it makes me want to work harder. A work colleague asked me a few week
s back, “What will you do about gigs?” “Do more!” I replied.
Without the support of my family, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Life is busy, but life is good!
Catch you next time!