Every month we focus on particular music groups or events in the area and finding out more about our local musicians. This month we talk to John Reid-Hansen, a local musician, tutor and community supporter.
Q: How did your interest in music start?
A: My Father was a sea cadet officer and ran a very successful marching band so our house was often full of drums and bugles being played very loudly and with varying amounts of success, I also sang in the local church choir and became head choir boy. All of that gave me an understanding of the structure and discipline of music but it was when I was 11 and my sister had a boyfriend (Called Dave Hunt) that my love of the guitar started. He was a mod with a Lambretta scooter and he gave me a “lesson” on his guitar. My first tunes were “Pictures of matchstick men” by Status Quo and “I can’t get no satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones.
Q: Who influenced you musically?
A: By the time I was 15 I was in a rock-n-roll band called “Pegasus” and we did all the favorites from the 1950’s and 60’s. I love writing music and Paul Simon, Don McLean and Lennon & McCartney had a huge influence on me. I revel in the way that music can create atmosphere and emotion and how playing music can bring so much pleasure to so many people. I guess I’m influenced by any bands, orchestras and songwriters that have the ability to touch the emotions.
Q: How did you get into teaching?
A: By the time I was 16 I had several “pupils”. My own education wasn’t great as I’m dyslexic and in those days it wasn’t commonly recognised or even known about so I experienced dreadful teasing and bullying. Because of that I have a lot of patience with pupils of all ages, especially when they are struggling to grasp a new concept. I can’t remember how I first started to teach guitar in a serious way as it’s so long ago but I think it was born on the desire to help people to succeed and fulfill their dreams and I would say that is still my main motivation.
Q:What are you involved in locally?
A: I teach Guitar and Drum Kit at Griffin House School and Guitar in John Hampden and Testworth Schools as well as owning my own studio in which I teach guitar and drums to pupils of all ages. I’m in a function band called Tay O’Lay and we perform at wedding receptions, parties and local events. I’m also learning to be a bell ringer (which, I have discovered, is more difficult than it looks!).
Q: How did your band start and what are the plans for the future?
A: I had always wanted to be in a high quality function band and about five years ago I started to try out some ideas with some friends and gradually Tay O’Lay came into being. Several people have joined and moved on over the years but we now seem to have settled into a pretty solid band. We do a lot of vocal harmony as well as playing a wide variety of songs. Combined with a slightly off the wall sense of humour we usually enjoy our gigs as much as the people who employ us!
Q: How can you be contacted for lessons?
A: If you Google John Reid-Hansen my name should come up straight away and you will be directed to www.noddingsnail.com – the name of my studio. You will also be able to find a link page to Tay O’Lay.