Da Capo playing at Wren Academy

Photo courtesy of Wren Academy

On Friday 15th September I and a few colleagues from the Da Capo Music Foundation played for our future students in the primary school at Wren Academy. Each of us showed our instruments to them and played a little bit. As an ensemble, we played a selection of 3 pieces, one of which was Rossini’s overture to William Tell. When they heard the jumpy theme they all spontaneously started clapping. At this moment we all started smiling and this reminded me why I love working with young children – their communication is always pure, emotional and transparent. Their minds are not yet tarnished by the prejudices of the world or misinterpreted terminology. I also teach music to whole Nursery and Reception classes at another school, and along with the little guitarists, these are a few of my favorite hours of the week.

It has been half a term since Da Capo took over the instrumental teaching at both the primary and secondary school at Wren Academy, and we, teachers and students, have had lots of fun. Looking forward to seeing music blossom there!

The Golden Collection

I highly recommend this excellent collection of pieces of varying difficulty from Grade 1 to Grade 5, consisting of 42 famous pieces arranged and compiled by my friend Stanislav Hvartchilkov.

This book is a welcome new addition to the repertoire for this level and a great tool for teachers. It contains music that Millennials hardly ever hear but is an absolute must! It is indeed a high-quality publication which, I believe, will become a staple for guitar teachers. To buy it head to Stani’s website hvartchilkov.com or listen to some of the audio here

I am very proud to say that my wife Alex designed the wonderful covers and everything else a graphic designer does (and this website too!) – it is truly beautiful to look at. Ilyana Boshikyova, also a very talented young lady, created the lovely watercolour guitar illustration. Have a look at her other paintings here.  Kiril Boshikyov, yet another Bulgarian guitarist, and friend of ours did the music engraving and editing. I stayed on the side, drank beer and cheered loudly.

Teeny Proms

A child at the Tiddly Prom. Picture by Sylvia Coury

On 27th July 2017, I and fantastic saxophonist Joe Wright had the pleasure to accompany Rachel Groves in a family oriented Teeny Prom as part of the St. Jude’s Proms in Hampstead. The children enjoyed a mix of accompanied singing, movement, and percussion – part of the toddler program Rachel developed together with the Da Capo Music Foundation. In the breaks, me and Joe performed some Scottish reels he had arranged and a humble Teeny Bossa Nova I composed for the event. The children enjoyed the session very much. In fact, the boy in the picture came behind the music stand and fell on top of us trying to reach our instruments. Joe kindly let him put his hand down his saxophone while he was playing low notes, much to the boy’s satisfaction.

Thanks to Michelle Groves, CEO at DaCapo, for inviting us, Rachel Groves for the super fun and energetic class, and the staff at St. Jude’s for taking care of all of us.