In this episode of the Kanawha Valley Hustlers podcast, Joe Justice had the pleasure of hosting Neil Curry, a talented musician and guitar instructor. During the lively conversation, Neil shared his experiences as a multi-instrumentalist and discussed the transformative power of music education.
Neil shared his journey from traditional, in-person music lessons to virtual instruction. With the help of Dale Harper from Advantage Technology, he seamlessly transitioned to online teaching, expanding his reach nationwide. Neil expressed gratitude for Dale’s pro-bono assistance in enhancing his Zoom sound and navigating the intricacies of sharing files and screens. The shift to virtual lessons not only saved Neil from financial hardship but also allowed him to save parents thousands of dollars in commuting costs.
Neil firmly believes that music education is not just a pastime but a vital component of personal growth and academic success. Scientific studies have demonstrated that studying music as a child correlates with improved SAT scores. Learning an instrument instills the values of hard work, problem-solving, and perseverance, molding individuals into well-rounded, resilient human beings. As Neil aptly puts it, “Music education teaches you how to use your mind to figure things out, just like in life, and it really makes you a better human being.”
Neil’s passion for music extends beyond teaching. He is involved in multiple musical projects that showcase his versatility and dedication to his craft. From playing with Thump Daddy, an incredible funk band, to collaborating with The Unit, Neil’s skills as a guitar player have made him the go-to musician in the area. He has even formed his own blues funk band called Area 304 Blues and performs solo using a loop station, creating the illusion of a full band. Neil’s packed schedule of gigs proves his unwavering commitment to his musical pursuits.
Neil’s teaching process is comprehensive, ensuring that his students receive a strong foundation in music theory and technique. He begins with tuning the guitar and familiarizing students with notes and their placement on the fretboard. From there, he introduces them to various note values, gradually progressing to advanced concepts like 16th notes and chord formations. Neil’s method emphasizes finger strength development, accurate strumming, and the use of metronomes to enhance rhythm and timing.
Neil Curry’s journey as a musician and educator is a testament to the profound impact music can have on individuals. Through virtual lessons, he has reached students across the country, offering them the opportunity to learn and grow through music. Neil’s dedication to his craft is reflected in his various musical projects and performances. Moreover, his teaching approach ensures that his students receive a comprehensive education, equipping them with the necessary skills to excel on their chosen instrument. As Neil continues to make a difference through his music, his commitment to helping others discover the joy of playing and learning remains unwavering.