“It’s certainly better than the places I used to take lessons at,” says Gables Guitar owner Brian Hunker about his guitar studio. “When I first started learning guitar, we had our lessons in the back of a local music shop. Those lesson rooms were really just closets. Talk about an intimate setting. You had to stand up before you could open or close the door!”
At the age of 7 Brian’s parents gave him a small acoustic guitar and enrolled him in weekly lessons. “I remember the way the wood smelled and how strange the strings felt. I remember my first teacher writing out the notes to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. It wasn’t easy for me and I wasn’t good at it.” But Brian kept going to lessons and eventually realized that talent wasn’t a fixed quantity and if he worked on his guitar playing it would get better.
By the time he was 14 Brian began playing in local rock bands. “It was the most fun thing I’d ever experienced. I knew then that I was going to play music for the rest of my life.”
While studying Audio Engineering at the University of Miami, Brian got a part time job at a local guitar shop. He was hired to sell and repair guitars as well as teach lessons. “It was the first time I had ever taught guitar lessons. I definitely tried as hard as I could to target what each student liked about the guitar, and I’d follow their path instead of trying to get them to like the music I like. I kept track of what each student listened to and I transcribed songs they liked so we could work on their favorite songs.”
Students responded to Brian’s teaching methods right away and soon his teaching schedule was full. “It was very unexpected to find this job that I loved doing and all my students were excited about what they were learning and they all kept coming back week after week.”
So far Brian’s carefree and personable take on guitar teaching seems to be winning. Gables Guitar Studio has continued to grow and Brian’s teaching schedule now remains full year-round.
“When I think back on all of my early guitar teachers, they were very different, but they were all very encouraging towards me. I didn’t realize until years later how important that was. Good teachers believed in me before I showed any signs of promise. Now that I am a teacher, I try to pass that kind of encouragement on to every new guitarist I see.”
To schedule an introductory lesson at Gables Guitar Studio, call Brian at 305-582-6881 or visit gablesguitar.com.