Music to our ears
Pestalozzi offers students the opportunity to take part in a variety of extra-curricular activities with our highly skilled volunteers. Our volunteer guitar tutors, Stewart and Louisa Patient, are experienced guitarists. Phil Hudson was Pestalozzi's previous guitar tutor, who was a session guitarists for artists including Blue, Geri Halliwell and Tina Turner. Chris Mujjabi is a Pestalozzi alumni who went from guitar novice to crowd-pleaser in the just one year!
I had never thought of being a musician, but I’ve always been someone who wants to try things out and learn more skills. When I came to Pestalozzi, I embraced an opportunity to learn guitar and was taught by a very skilful and experienced gentleman, Phil Hudson.
This was the first time in my life I’d held a guitar in my hands. It was challenging because I did not know even a single thing about this instrument. I made many mistakes, but they just motivated me to practice more and more. I even started teaching myself using YouTube guitar tutorials during the week. My enthusiasm and passion for guitar was at the maximum and I envied the tutors on YouTube when they played so easily! I started to play guitar with my friends at Pestalozzi. People called me The Guitar Man – and I was proud of it!
I was really inspired by a small kid who played my favourite Beatles song "Twist and Shout”. Within a week I could play it in my room. But that was nothing compared to playing to a huge crowd during the Hastings Beatles Day in April 2012! Over summer, I became a guitar teacher myself, passing my skills on to three Scottish boys at the organisation in Uganda where I was volunteering.
I’m proud of my achievements and my experience has insipired me to explore more skills which I can pass on to others. Thank you Phil Hudson and Pestalozzi!
I found out about Pestalozzi through a colleague and was aware that they needed a guitar teacher. I started volunteering in summer 2011. I wouldn’t normally take on such a large group of teenagers for a class but the Pestalozzi students are very, very respectful, making a big class viable.
Our weekly class runs for one hour, so sometimes progress is slow – but I enjoy the challenge! I want the guitar lessons to be fun and relaxing for the students, to give them a chance to switch off from the pressures of college work.
I didn’t know if I would be qualified to work in this setting with groups of teenagers, but I soon discovered that I can – and that it’s very rewarding. My advice to anyone thinking of volunteering at Pestalozzi would be to go along and try it!