11-year-old Andrew Gately is in the 5th grade at Cooper Elementary School. He has been playing the guitar since he was 8-years-old and has taken lessons at the Conservatory since January of 2012.
Andrew became interested in the guitar when his Grandpa gave him a guitar for Christmas one year. He enjoyed playing it so much that his mom decided to sign him up for private lessons.
What Andrew enjoys most about his lessons with his instructor, Harry Stoddard, is that Mr. Stoddard always assigns him challenging exercises and pieces to learn.
“I like to work hard in order to master a song. It makes me feel accomplished,” said Andrew.
This sense of accomplishment, however, stems from the time Andrew spends practicing.
“I practice about 45 minutes every day,” said Andrew, “because I want to continue to become better and better at the guitar.”
Moreover, one of Andrew’s goals is to master his Melody Makers recital piece, “Study in D”, composed by Fernando Sor. Andrew has already learned a lot of scales and small pieces, but he plans to learn even more in the upcoming months.
When asked why music is important to him, Andrew said, “because it’s fun to play new music and learn different things.”
We had a chance to talk with Mr. Stoddard and he had nothing but good things to say about his student.
“Andrew comes to every lesson well-prepared and with an unwavering enthusiasm,” said Mr. Stoddard. “He’s made a lot of progress in developing his right hand technique this past year. I’m very proud of him.”
Andrew’s favorite composer is Khachaturian. Hw is currently working on one of Khachaturian’s pieces titled “Melody” in addition to his recital piece.
Outside of the Conservatory, Andrew loves to eat different types of soup! His favorite restaurant is Chin Hua Mongolian BBQ. His hobbies include playing computer games and fixing computers. His all-time favorite movie is Marvel’s The Avengers. In addition to classical guitar music, Andrew also enjoys listening to alternative rock, particularly John Mayer and Jason Mraz.
Finally, when asked about his musical aptitude, Andrew said, “I feel proud of my ability to learn new skills and techniques quickly.”