Guitars, Music Lessons and Photography at Harmonics, Crosby, Liverpool
My 10 year old daughter Roshini was desperate to learn to play the guitar, we knew of Harmonics from my mother Ranee Seneviratne who’s a classical singing teacher. She had often gone in to collect music. So I thought I would take Roshini in to sort out some lessons, Andy and Ian were brilliant with her and let her try out any guitar she wanted to, she became attached to a Fender Loyalty Acoustic which we bought and also became very attached to the shop and the guys! “Its a great place to hang out and Andy is so laid back and friendly”
Roshini was made to feel at home straight away she’s usually quite shy but came to life in the shop. We met Tim Cunningham her teacher who has now become a great inspiration and mentor to Roshini, Tims friendly and enthusiastic manner coupled with his fantastic musical ability has given her the encouragement and confidence to believe she can accomplish great things. Roshini says Tim is the coolest teacher she has had so far.
I thought it would be a nice idea to document a couple of the lessons and interview Andy and Tim to give you an insight into what goes on at Harmonics.
So I asked Andy,
When did the shop open?
06/11/2010 right in the middle of the recession!
Has it always been a passion to open a shop?
Yes. I Taught guitar from the age of 16. I had around 20 students and a few of them suggested to me that I should open a shop. I eventually decided to go for it in January 2010, and opened 10 months later when I was 21.
How many instruments do you play?
I’m a grade 8 trumpet player and also play the guitar, piano, mandolin, ukulele, bass guitar and most other brass instruments. I suppose in all that comes to around 15 or so.
My favourite guitar in the shop is the Martin D-28. It’s without a doubt the most influential guitar design in history. I love it for its resonance and the purity of its sound. NOTHING sounds like a Martin, except a Martin!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see there being a chain of Harmonics Music Stores in and around the Northwest.
Tell us about the shop
Harmonics Music is more than a guitar shop. Not only do we sell guitars, keyboard, drum kits, sheet music, orchestral instruments and supplies, but we’re also a repair centre and have a music school upstairs. Our repair centre services, modifies and repairs over 100 guitars and amps per month on average, and we teach over 1000 lessons a month in our music school, where we teach instruments including Guitar, Piano, Drums, orchestral strings, brass and woodwind.
One of my all time favourite guitarists is John Squire from the Stone Roses who was one of the defining guitarists of the 1980’s and helped shape the sound of 90’s guitar bands.
Meet the Team
I am responsible for most of the admin work. Accounts, paying bills etc. All the boring stuff! Ian Ruddock is the general manager and is in overall charge of the school and shop, and oversees all the ordering, sales and tuition. Brendan O’Rourke, is the assistant manager and as well as gigging 4 nights a week with his band, Rodimus, helps Ian run the school and shop and helps out with website content too. Our repair bay is run by Ken and David our resident guitar and amp technicians. We have 8 teachers teaching in our music school with a variety of backgrounds. Including Tim!
Which brings me to Tim
” I started to attempt to strum the guitar at the age of 15, but it wasn’t until a year later that I really started to learn how to play. I was fortunate enough to come across an advert in a corner shop for guitar lessons from a teacher called Nick Lacey. Nick was, and still is, the biggest inspiration to my playing. I still find myself referencing techniques, ideas, and philosophies that he taught me even to this day, 22 years later. Nick taught me a lesson that has remained paramount in my everyday playing, teaching, and overall approach to the guitar. He taught me to try and sound like ME, not to be a facsimile of another player, but rather use the lessons available from listening to the best players in the world and adapting playing styles to form my own personal musical idiom.
Indeed it was Nick’s influence that spurred me on to become a teacher, as I felt that his approach is something that should be developed and nurtured. I still have a long way to go, as I feel I am still at the start of the journey, but I’m going to enjoy the ride!
Having played on stages all around the world, from New York, to all over Europe and the United Kingdom, I would like my band, Rain May Fall, to achieve at least a moderate level of success. More importantly it would be an honour for my playing in Rain May Fall to attain the commendation of my peers and the higher echelons of the guitar fraternity.
I am currently studying to complete my degree in music, and have plans to complete a PGCE and become a music teacher in a school or college.
As well as the original band I play in and write for, Rain May Fall, I am also an active member of a charity group who perform concerts to raise money for different charities.”
For the photography we used a couple of speed lights, one through a 60cm soft box, and the other gelled to give the visual effects. Both were controlled by our pocket wizard TT1/TT5 system in manual. The camera was a Nikon D800 and the oh so beautiful Nikon 85mm F1.4.
For further details about our work please visit our website: www.samanthabrownphotography.co.uk