Check out our ukulele teachers!
Other Instruments: Guitar, Bass
William Curtis began his musical career in the middle of 2008, when, after hearing heavy metal for the first time, he snuck into his sister’s room and “borrowed” her long-disused electric guitar, dead set on writing his own music and being in a band. Self-taught throughout high school, he was soon recruited to join a hardcore punk band, and has been with that same band ever since, writing, recording and performing at a variety of venues across New England. Beginning in 2010, he attended the University of New Hampshire as a music major, studying under world class musicians and composers like David Newsam and Ryan Vigil. There he was exposed to jazz, classical, and experimental music, particularly the music of Django Reinhardt and Grant Green. He was the leader of UNH’s first ever Gypsy Jazz group, the Hot Quartette du Durham, performing the first ever all-acoustic set at the annual UNH Jazz Combo concert. After teaching sporadically during his college years, he graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Music Performance and began teaching regularly. He joined the North Main Music team in 2016.
“Music is a language. Just like with written words, there is an unbelievable number of ways you can express yourself with it. Both have basic rules that can be followed or ignored, bent or broken to say what you need to. I help my students figure out what they want to express with their music and how. I teach them the rules of technique and music theory, plus how and why to break them. I try to cultivate awareness of the physical aspects of playing, plus critical music listening skills, to show students how and why other musicians create the sounds they do, and how to incorporate and expand upon those influences. Ultimately though, music should be fun and cathartic, so the student drives the overall direction of the lessons towards what they want to play. I’m just here to help them achieve those goals.”
Other Instruments: Guitar, Bass
Randy McGravey has been playing guitar since 2002 and has been teaching since 2011. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Business. Randy has been in the New England performing/recording scene for years and currently plays in multiple projects. He has studied and performed many styles of music including rock, blues, jazz, classical, funk, country, alternative, reggae and pop. In 2013 Randy and his former band Tallboys released a full length album titled “Thirsty Thursday” in which he was the primary songwriter. He also recorded in Nashville in early 2016 with singer Lexi James and grammy award winning producer James Stroud. Randy is passionate about teaching and customizes his lessons to meet each individual student’s needs.
“I believe that every student has his/her own way of learning. I put an emphasis on making the lessons fun. When students are engaged, they will desire to practice, learn more and ask questions. Lessons can vary and focus on technique, songs, theory, chords, scales, musical styles, soloing, and anything in between. We are on this musical journey to have fun and to continue to learn. Whatever your goals are, I will work with you to achieve them one step at a time.”
Other Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Bass
Andrew Cass has been a musician since 2004, a composer since 2007 and a music teacher since 2008. He wrote three full-length musicals in high school and during college wrote the music for Princess K.I.M. The Musical, which went on to win the Ronald M. Ruble National Playwriting Festival, beating 272 other original plays. Andrew has had the opportunity to learn from and work with high-caliber musicians including New York multi-instrumentalist Premik Russell Tubbs of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He writes and performs in a number of different genres, including musical theater, pop, alternative, metal, blues, and progressive rock. Andrew had the pleasure of joining the North Main Music team in the fall of 2013.
“When you teach students of different ages and backgrounds, certain things are always true. The first is that students learn best in the long term if they learn not only what to do, but why doing it matters. The second is that people always perform better at something when they have a personal goal they can connect it with. Whether is it becoming a recording artist or learning the chords to their favorite song, playing with purpose always makes a difference. Finally, my most rewarding moments as a teacher happen when I learn alongside my students – when we take on an especially daunting challenge and reach a new musical milestone together.”
Other Instruments: Guitar, Piano, Voice
Danielle Arena is a music educator currently enrolled at the Berklee College of Music. She has played guitar since the age of eleven and piano since the age of five. She has also had training as a classical vocalist and later studied jazz and pop voice. Danielle has composed in many styles of music, and written contemporary songs as well. She has been performing for nearly all of her life. She wrote her first guitar orchestra piece in high school and conducted the same class at fifteen. Danielle has been a member of the Boston Guitar Orchestra, an employee and volunteer for the Kithara Project Boston, tutors core music curriculum students at Berklee College of Music and arranges and transcribes charts for fun.
Other Instruments: Bass, Guitar
Travis Shelby was born and raised in New Hampshire. He began playing guitar at age 14 and he was initially inspired by bands like Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Radiohead. In high school Travis was exposed to various kinds of music including jazz, blues and funk. This exposure would contribute significantly to his future development as a musician and also led him to study with well known jazz piano player Art Matthews. While attending Berklee College of Music, Travis was able to study with master musicians such as Richie Hart, David Newsam, John Baboian. Travis was able to gain further experience playing a wide variety of styles and also has experience in playing in musical pit orchestras and backing bands. Travis recently graduated from Berklee with a BA in music.
“I believe first and foremost that music should be fun. The study of music teaches us to be creative, disciplined and passionate people. It involves a lifetime of learning and growing. The most important elements of music are melody, rhythm and harmony. I teach students these subjects by showing them how they are used in songs, both contemporary and older. I also want to expose students to the history of music so they have a deeper understanding of how it evolved over time. I want my students to leave their lessons feeling inspired to practice and create. I want to see them go out and play with other people and share their music with the world.”