"I can't remember a time in my life when music wasn't a major part of it." - Russell Nollen
I began learning music on a formal basis when I was only five years old. About the time I was eight, I fell in love with the guitar, listening to many of the folk artists & rock bands of the '70's. When I turned nine, my parents got a piano and began formal piano lessons for me. I was involved with learning and performing music on every level available through the school programs, such as singing in the chorus/choir, playing French horn in the concert band, mellophone (and sometimes drums) in the marching band, piano in the swing choir and guitar in the jazz band. During that time of only being able to play on borrowed guitars, I finally got a start with formal lessons at the age of fifteen. and my first electric guitar on my sixteenth birthday. I still continue to practice and learn.
At the age of 17, I began teaching guitar lessons professionally and have continued ever since - until September 2015. I have taught thousands of private guitar lessons over the years to students of a wide variety of ages (from 5 to 85), levels (from beginners to seasoned pros - even other professional guitar teachers!), styles, from all over the world. Several students have gone on to various facets of the music business, several to noteworthy acclaim. I currently teach guitar students out of my Studio. I have published in print my own guitar method book, along with video lessons and audio tracks. After having taught for over thirty years now, I have since retired from conducting private music lessons.
Regarding my performance experiences; I have done so many performances in so many venues in so many styles in so many formats that it's almost too lengthy to mention here. From all of my childhood performances singing, piano recitals, school concert band performances, marching band in football games and parades, jazz band and swing choir performances and competitions to professional gigs with rock bands in taverns, traveling with touring bands, variety bands for corporate occassions, solo performances in cafe's, coffee houses, weddings, funerals to collaborating with various artists in a wide variety of sessions. such as theatre musicals, live radio, festivals, charities, talent competitions, street performing, street markets, sporting events, fund raisers, charity events, private parties, pageants, ceremonies, fairs, amusement parks, TV, webcasts, and many more... Although I am currently taking a hiatus from live performances, I continue to make myself available as a session musician for studio recordings.
As a solo artist, I've collaborated with many artists in the past on a wide variety of recording projects, stage performances, and I continue to do so. I've had music published, performed, sold, licensed, downloaded, streamed and broadcast all over the world from many stations and sources. Wearing a variety of hats - guitarist (primarily), keyboardist, bassist, composer and producer, I currently compose, record and produce music not only for myself and fans, but for other artists, film, TV, publishers, music libraries, commercial usage and various other media.
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