The Older Creative mind  

To those that love to pick strum and learn your way through life, from The Brisbane School of Acoustic Guitar 

The guitar is a great way for older people to keep their minds active and have an enjoyable hobby. With an acoustic guitar, you can express your creativity in new ways, while learning tunes. Learning guitar can also help improve hand-eye coordination, strengthen hand muscles, and enhance your emotions. It is also a great way to practice meditation, as playing the guitar can be very calming and therapeutic. Plus, the musical satisfaction of playing the guitar can help boost self-confidence and add a healthy self-image. Whether you want to enjoy leisurely strumming for fun or maybe perform with other musicians, learning the guitar might be just the best thing you've started.

Creating positive musical experiences. 

“ Creating  positive musical experiences."


 I am often asked what advice I share with parents of my music students.

 So here it is ……… “ Nurture their love for music "   

 So how do you nurture musical talent?   

The answer to this is I guess is as individual as each child.  As they don’t come with a musical motivation handbook here are some ideas to help you and them on their musical journey.  

Make music a part of your lives. This may seem a bit obvious but it is important and easily overlooked.
Listen to many different styles of music, I often challenge guitar students to listen to music without a drummer or music that is just instrumental or acoustic.  
Sing together in the car, and dance around the kitchen.
Go to performances. There are so many free and inexpensive concerts in Brisbane featuring many many music styles. It always amazes me that more people don’t take advantage of them. Check around…local music teachers’ recitals, cafes, open mic nights, folk clubs are places to start.

Talk about different instruments when listening to music, see which sounds he/ she likes maybe this might help determine which instrument they might like to play.   

When they start lessons listen to their playing / practice, develop conversations around the arts, if you honestly do love their music making, you and they are rewarded to begin with.   

Focus your attention and energy towards the doing and sharing and of their efforts,

Remember that motivation trumps talent in all aspects of life.  

So what is the gift of music ?

For me and many others performing gives  “ The opportunity to inject a positive and uplifting message into the world .   Share this, you and others will be rewarded. 

So what is the benefit ?

While we’re probably more likely to think of psychologists when it comes to working on feelings and emotions, where do we turn to first if we want to be inspired, relaxed, excited ….. ? music, art, literature,stories, dance, theatre, film. Or some combination or mashup. Maybe playing is not only about us, nor our performance, but the work we have done to identify, cultivate, and highlight ideas we find most compelling and worth spreading. These are summed up by Michelle Obama when she said of the arts ….. The Arts are not just a nice thing or do if there  is free time or if one can afford it. Rather Paintings, poetry, and music define who we are as people.


Closing thoughts

We often wish our  ( musical ) gifts would always be embraced with open arms, bright shiny eyes, and boundless joy and enthusiasm by all who hear us.  Of course. But as any parent who has tried to find the perfect gift, cook the best meal, or buy the right clothes knows, the degree to which others will appreciate our efforts is not something we control… Good thing much of the enjoyment is in the forethought and giving, not the response to the gift

Tim O’Brien guitar teacher Ph 043111 3041

Should I count music while I play ? 

 I think so, and here’s why, as we become great rhythm players, a player with a exceptionally good timing and feel, and for your groove to become a natural ability, counting becomes an essential skill ( especially when playing with others). 

So when you’re playing, either by yourself, or with other musicians, you’ll need to follow the heartbeat of the music ........... the pulse. Counting becomes a great way to help music “sit in the pocket”   Counting in a piece of music is a skill that ensure that you and other performers find that groove quickly and easily.


Just a quick call out the The Brolga Theatre to say thanks guys for making us feel welcome.  Were looking forward to a return visit 

Facetime Guitar Lessons 

I ve taught viva Skpye before, but lately I've been using Apples FaceTime and it's loads of fun.  The video and audio quality are high end and help make writing on the white board demonstrating ideas on the guitar easy to do. If you would like to be part of this classroom shoot me an email on


Although I am still a happy Skyper

Big Blind Blusey 

Now where was i, Can't time slip past quickly. I enjoy the idea of recording a piece a week although sometimes  with in a busy week I not sure how possible this is.  Big Blind Blusey is an instrumental 12 bars blues and is number 4 in the series I'LL be back to write some more about 2 & 3.  It is one of Pat Donahue's guitar pieces. I did makes some changes to I think the 5th Chorus the  (second improv ).  Since posting this I have discovered how to EQ a little better so maybe I'll remix this and add in a high pass filter and have everything a little clearer. I hope you enjoy this and go check out Pat Donahue playing.

Jiffy jam 

Jiffy Jam has been added to project 52.  This is 2 of 52. This piece is one of the first fingerstyle guitar pieces that I started playing.  It was one of the guitar pieces that led me way from playing Classical guitar as I wanted to play more of this lively fun guitar music. It comes from a collection of guitar pieces called Heavy Neckin published by John Knowles on of the few guitarist Chet gave the title C.G.P. 

I hope you enjoy it It can be found on my soundcloud account under my links page