Study with Paddy
Paddy is a qualified teacher with over 20 years' experience. As a self-taught guitarist who started learning flamenco guitar as an adult, Paddy is especially interested in helping other adults in their musical development.
The majority of professional flamenco guitarists start learning as children under a strict teacher/guru-student dynamic. As a result, it is, in my experience, difficult to find an effective teacher for adults in Spain.
The ‘watch, listen and copy’ method, although great for kids, has serious limitations when it comes to learning as an adult. Adults learn very differently. We are conditioned psychologically and physiologically by many ideas, notions and habits. Our muscles, nerves and tendons are already fully formed and set in their ways and our minds and ears often are as well.
Here are some key aspects of my approach:
Be present, be curious, be aware
Playing an instrument is a sensual experience. We use focus and awareness of sensation (touch and hearing) to find a path forwards for ourselves. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another, so we use an experimental approach to seek out a good path. What sound do we want to produce on our instrument? How can we best produce that sound?
Be a light onto yourself
We engage with the community in our learning - teachers, colleagues, recordings, videos etc. However, ultimately we find what works for us and do not fully embrace any advice unless we have tried it and found it helpful. We cannot develop without community, but we take responsibility for ourselves.
Enjoy the journey!
Some days we’ll feel we’re making great progress and others that we’re getting worse. We make a leap forward with our playing - we feel great - there’s no stopping us now! The next day it sounds terrible, we break a nail, nothing comes out right. We become attached to achieving a certain goal, but once achieved our satisfaction quickly fades as another goal takes its place! Isn’t it a pain being human? So we commit to cultivating a joyful, humorous and philosophical approach and enjoying the whole journey.
For flamenco focussed students there could be no better teacher….for the more generalist guitar student, Paddy can also be infinitely patient in having a go at everything from Frank Sinatra to Jimmy Hendrix via Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and miscellaneous 60s one hit wonders etc. In addition to the face to face and/or Zoom guitar tuition, Paddy provides an invaluable summary recording of each lesson for constant reference between lessons and preparation for the next lesson. Oh, and Paddy is most personable and good fun….! Murdo Murray, 2021
Paddy has taught me a variety of different flamenco styles in our time together, each one carefully selected to reinforce a particular technique I have been struggling with. Further to the practical aspects of guitar, Paddy always takes the time to paint a broader picture of flamenco in general. This includes both history and personal accounts of his time in Spain, as well providing me with a broad range of recommended listening. Lessons are tailored to my needs and learning speed, and above all else are thoroughly enjoyable and something I look forward to every time we meet. Sevan Houston, 2021