Meet Gabe Pietrzak, Guitar instructor at South Island Studio

Gabe Pietrzak - Guitar

“I strive to create an enriching learning experience for each student that walks through the door, and help them develop their talent and passion for music, while also keeping their various skill levels and personalities in mind.”

During my younger years, I had started developing an interest in the guitar from my brother who had purchased his own. I started picking out melodies by ear from some of my favourite songs. Over time, I became attached to it, which my parents had started to see. They eventually had to buy me my first guitar because I would not stop bothering them about how much I wanted one. Once I had gotten my hands on it, I locked my self in my room everyday to practice as much as possible, It was from all those moments playing, that it became my dream to perform and teach music for a living.

I have completed the Jazz/Contemporary Guitar Diploma Program at Vancouver Community College (VCC), as well as the Bachelors of Applied Music Program. I have also completed Guitar Workshops with distinguished artists such as Dave Martone, Steve Vai and Mike Stern, Summer Jazz Intensive Workshops with Bob Rebagliati and Ihor Kukurudza, Rock School Workshops with Steve Gendron. I took private lessons for many years to further my musical skills with artists like Greg Howe and Paul Lambert. I am proficient in teaching various genres of music, from Jazz to Progressive metal/ fusion. In addition, I am an excellent and confident improviser. I have performed live in front of hundreds of people during concerts, performing various styles of music. I am highly engaged in the process of composing, recording and arranging music, while working with other professional producers and musicians such as David Spidel and Paul Lambert. In addition, on July 11, 2012, I was featured in Bright Young Things summer series, which highlighted graduates who were pursing performing or visual arts careers. I have recently released my own EP album on Youtube and Band camp titled “Triangulum”, which is labelled under the genre 'Progressive Rock'.

Teaching and Mentoring has always been a passion of mine. I think there is a fine line between those words. To me, the focus of teaching is to impart knowledge and information through instruction and explanation, while the role of a mentor is to build capability. The mentor helps the learner discover their own wisdom by encouragement and helping them work towards their goals, consecutively developing self-reliance. I think the most successful kind of instructor, is one who is both a mentor and a teacher. Through being a recent student myself, I have realized the importance of a caring and compassionate teacher/mentor. I believe they are there to guide the student with proper technique, but also to maintain an entertaining environment so the student does not feel like playing the guitar, or making music, is a task. I strongly believe that it is vital to give the student material that he or she wants to learn. If the student does not know where to start, or does not have a preference, It is the teacher/mentors responsibility to inspire them, through showing how much music and cool stuff there actually is out in the world! My inspiration has started through my teachers/mentors and also, through the exploration of various styles of music. I discovered that my success has been through the development of my own self-reliance. I encourage all my students to try things themselves and be hands on learners, to not be afraid of exploration because I will be there with guidance. I believe that everyone has the ability to enjoy music and that there is no limit of potential if they put in the time and effort. It makes me happy to know I can make a difference in someones life, through sharing my knowledge and in turn, helping them become great players!

Gabe

Check out the videos on my youtube channel


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