Niall Kavanaugh: My Musical Journey

To meet a pupil who’s interested in music, works hard at music and gets to where they want to in a few years? That’s amazing. It’s like bringing up your own child.

Music is a mindset, something guitarist, composer and teacher Niall Kavanagh knows well. A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, Niall’s time is split between performing and teaching guitar in primary schools across his native Merseyside. He approaches teaching with a refreshingly creative attitude, one which he aims to inspire in his own students. Watching as they progress from basic guitar pieces – “lots of ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ‘Seven Nation Army’” he laughs – into composing their own music, is something that gives him real rewards. “Kids are creative anyway and I like to get them to write their own music. Some come up with crazy ideas like screaming while playing guitar, but there’s always something that you can work with.”

This organic and creative approach can be traced back to how it all started for Niall. “I was three when my Dad taught me some basic 12 bar blues on the guitar.” Like a sponge he soaked everything in and a competitive spirit helped him progress quickly. “I just wanted to be better than my Dad to be honest!”

Part of our 20th anniversary project: My Musical Journey

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