Who are your greatest musical influences?
On a personal level, my brother, a professional musician, and my father, who had a great passion for music. Musically, there are many including JS Bach, Vivaldi, Chet Baker, Lennon/McCartney, Sting.
Why are you passionate about the cello?
It is a very melodic instrument, and is well suited to both classical and more modern music. At its best, it has a very broad range of emotion (although I am not there yet!) and lends itself to many different styles of music.
What are your musical goals and aspirations?
Personal enjoyment, relaxation, a chance to explore and be creative with something that I love (music).
How does non-classical (new directions) music on the instrument play a roll in your training and your perspective of music and the world of cello?
I love the blending of traditional classical with non-classical to create something new and different. Even playing a well known pop tune on cello presents a marked difference when compared to the original composition. Cello versus guitar or electric bass or piano presents different opportunities and challenges for creativity and expression.
Describe a meaningful moment playing the instrument or an experience through music that changed your life in a positive way.
The first time I heard Allegri’s Misereri Mei (performed by monks) I thought I was listening to the voice of god.
What do you like about taking lessons from Shaun?
He is very open to new and non-traditional exploration of the music but has such a great grounding in the more classical approach as well that it provides a much richer learning opportunity. He is very accepting of the fact that I have decided to learn to play the instrument left-handed (finger with the right hand, bow with the left) and explore the additional musical possibilities of an electric rather than acoustic cello. He is also very supportive of his students playing (even in the strangled cat phase!) and always finds the positive even in a “less than stellar” performance. He is probably one of the few teachers who could take my stated desire to play Daft Punk on the cello in stride.