Welcome to GatSong  

GatSong is an Auckland-based music teaching business which blends guitar introduction, development, songwriting and performance skills, depending on the ability and genre-interest of the student.   Holly Christina offers instruction to players of all ages and stages, and endeavours to bring the best out of each student with her passion and enthusiasm to inspire creativity and musical enjoyment, especially with the guitar.        

The following programmes are offered:

GUITAR INTRODUCTION/DEVELOPMENT 

The essential skills for the guitar, including open chords, bar chords, strumming, double-stopping (plucking) and finger-picking.  Instruction can include learning to use equipment such as capos, leads, amplifiers, tuners, etc.  By the end of the year, students should be ready to focus on a genre of music they enjoy, be able to join a simple band, play solo, and be ready to learn (or already have gained) some performance skills.  Singing skills will be covered throughout the course to encourage the GatSong package.  Students could also continue to further their guitar knowledge by seeking out electric, jazz or classical teachers if that is a style they choose to develop, and/or learn more about the theory of music in those lessons.

SONGWRITING INTRODUCTION/DEVELOPMENT 

The basic skills are taught to encourage writing of simple pop songs.  We usually focus first on the melodic side of writing music, then discuss ideas for lyrics, and begin merging the two together (or vice versa if that is the student's choice, and sometimes it all happens together!).  In the later stages of this part of GatSong instruction, we may introduce hints of other genres - rock, jazz, classical, etc., depending on the preference of each student.  By the end of the year, students should show confidence in being able to write songs that are catchy, easy to listen to, and have that originality that makes a song special.  They should have mastered the skills needed to be ready to perform their music/songs to a small audience.  (This songwriting course is usually blended with the guitar course as part of the GatSong programme according to student interest and ability during the year).


The giant guitar outside the famous Studio-B in Nashville.

PERFORMANCE SKILLS

Learn how to perform confidently to a crowd: through practice, my shared experience and knowledge of required equipment, particular venues, voice production, acting techniques/involving the crowd, instruction on use of microphone, etc.  We look at how other artists create a great performance, and the small details that make the difference.  This extension course is for musicians and/or songwriters who want to learn more about feeling really comfortable on stage. The students should have the self-belief that they can perform music well, precisely and from memory, and hopefully enjoy themselves as well as entertain an audience!  There is also a higher level option which gives students an insight into the music industry - how to enter competitions, promote their music, networking, joining relevant music associations, tertiary education options, etc., although some of these are looked at in the earlier development options.  Most students will cover elements of this performance skills course as part of the GatSong package if they choose to participate in a GatSong Concert, performing their skills in front of family and friends and other musicians! 

If you're interested in lessons or need more information, please contact Holly Christina:  gatsong@xtra.co.nz

Check out the latest GatSong Concert video, August 2015:  GatSong Concert Highlights Showreel

GatSong Concert, August 2014:  GatSong Concert Highlights Showreel 

Some of the GatSong guitarists at the Auckland Council Carols on the Green, December 2013:  Best Christmas Song Ever

 

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