Gareth Cary Hargreaves
a brief autobiography

I was born in Manchester in 1963. I took an interest in music at a very early age and started playing the violin, shortly followed by the viola. However even as a child I experimented with sound using household items to make music, for example bottles filled to various levels with water. In my early years I was greatly influenced by the time I spent at The High School of Art in Manchester, where I discovered making instruments, steel drums and electronic music.

I only started playing the guitar when I was 15 years old when I got a second hand ‘Sakai’ semi-acoustic guitar as a birthday present from my mum. I so loved playing the guitar that within six months of getting my first guitar I played my first live concert, and this was achieved without a guitar lesson. By the time I left college I was an established guitarist and within a few years I was a professional guitarist and composer, writing sound tracks for computer games and exhibitions.

I then worked for a short time with a guitar studio, that specialized in teaching guitar to private students. However after seeing the unprofessional way guitar was taught I left the studio and set on my own, teaching private students and writing my own guitar course. After a short period I had a full timetable and a waiting list of students as well as teaching a group of students in a church and lessons in a local private school.

Later in my professional career I became an audiovisual/multimedia designer. This job involved creating visuals and soundtracks for everything from advertisements to CD-roms and computer games. During this time I acquired the skills necessary to design, create visuals and program multimedia applications. Whilst working in design and recording studios I continued to work evenings teaching students, and writing and maintaining the ever growing guitar course.

For a period around 2003 I lived in Pamplona, Spain where I worked as an audiovisual/multimedia designer and extended my teaching experience as a TEFL teacher, teaching English language to Spanish speaking students. I also spent this time learning to speak Spanish and play traditional Spanish guitar as well as learning more about European culture.

Upon returning from Spain and after having no success finding work I my knowledge of educational psychology, guitar and multimedia design to the development of the GCH Guitar Academy Multimedia course. Originally the idea was to sell the course to a publisher. However things didn’t turn out as I expected, and I found myself setting up GCH Guitar Academy and selling the course myself. Which soon started providing a small income. Since then the course has continued to evolve and improve.

Demonstrating ethnic instruments to primary kids

Flemenco night in Pamplona

Class of Spanish kids

photo taken 2009 in the studio for the BBC

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