It’s not every day that you get to brag about one of your students being accepted to Berklee College of Music. But today is that day for me.
One of my hardest-working pupils, Jeff Gover, was accepted to the prestigious music school in Boston, MA. He couldn’t be more excited and I couldn’t be prouder or more excited for him. He’s put in a tremendous amount of time and effort working toward this goal and it’s paid off big time!
Jeff’s musical journey has been an interesting one. I first met him when he auditioned for the vacant guitar spot in the teen band I directed, Cryin’ Out Loud. It was clear that Jeff’s fingers could move – he has natural lead guitar chops – but he didn’t really understand what he was doing! And his rhythm guitar playing needed a lot of work.
Long story short, he didn’t get the gig.
But Jeff exhibited a ton of raw potential in that audition. He was also a very friendly and humble kid, so I requested of his parents that they allow me to teach him. (That’s the opposite of what usually happens.) They agreed and so we’ve been working together for the last few years. We certainly have fun in lessons, but Jeff’s got a lot of musical ambition, so we set the bar high. He likes to be pushed, whether it’s in music theory, songwriting or technical skills. And having a clearly defined goal, such as excelling at the Berklee audition, really helped him tighten up his focus.
Jeff currently fronts an original/cover band called Bandicoot. He has also taken every opportunity to jam with other musicians and has even taken some voice lessons in order to be a better, all-around musician. I’m happy to see that all of his musical work is paying off!
And his rhythm playing has tightened up considerably, as well. 🙂
Proud and Humbled
As I reflected on Jeff’s accomplishments, I couldn’t help but be proud and humbled at the number of great musicians that I’ve had the pleasure and honor of coaching.
Jeff is actually the second student from my studio to be accepted to Berklee – the first was Harry Foard. He was featured in a Student Success story with Alex Fang, another long-time student who went on to major in music at Rollins College.
Former members of Cryin’ Out Loud are continuing to study music in college and also share their skills in local bands, such as Austin Haberkam in The Karma Sharkz and Walsh Kunkel in The Slanted Sound. Former lead vocalist Piper Bateman continues to perform solo acoustic shows around Harford County.
Other students, both teen and adult, play in a variety of pop/rock club bands – such as Johnny Biondo and his band Listen for the Light (see rock star pose in above pic) – high school jazz ensembles, School of Rock bands, community theater pit orchestras, and church worship groups.
And of course many of my guitarists simply play for their own education and enjoyment – which is how it all begins. 🙂
I thank each and every one of my students for giving me the opportunity to work with them and spread the gospel of great guitar music. And congrats to Jeff!
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