As well as an avid performer of the ukulele, my main love is music, especially the sharing of music. My background was influenced by both high school academia and self-teaching by ear, and my goal is to share my experiences and lessons with students. As such I am available to teach in a variety of platforms!
My Journey in Music
I started in music in unorthodox fashion, working out the Crazy Frog theme by ear. Formal piano lessons were ran in tandem with my high school music teachers showing me chords. Through understanding harmony and how to accompany myself as a singer, I went down the Pop route of piano playing. Upon discovering I had perfect pitch, I joined numerous clubs and learned songs at remarkable speed, with a current covers repertoire of over 700 songs off-book.
I learned guitar through a combination of reading chord books and taking Rockschool exams with the guidance of guitar tutors. All my other instruments, from bass to saxophone to ukulele were self-taught using the ideas I had learned through piano and guitar.
Academically I achieved an AS Level in Music from Malbank Sixth Form College, before completing my degree in Music Production from the University of Central Lancashire.
Current Teaching Experiences
As a player I have made a living out of music for 4 years, touring and performing in 11 countries including supporting Jake Shimabukuro. My musical journey has taken me to theatres, festivals, and a New Performers Award in Northern Ireland. I have taught workshops at multiple festivals, including Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, Galway Uke Festival, Vienna Ukulele Night, Berlin Ukulele Festival and many more, as well as self-promoting workshops online.
Accompanying my twice-weekly cover videos I also share tutorials on Patreon. I don’t cover just the chords, but the subtle touches-the salt and pepper-that make my renditions ‘pop’. You can unlock all of these videos on patreon.com/marcgallaghermusic
I can teach one-to-one lessons in person (based in Manchester), or online via Zoom or Skype (or whatever preferred video calling platform). My students have ranged in ages from 8-50, from beginner level teaching how to strum the first four chords, up to intermediate fingerpicking and chord melody. In some cases I have used the James Hill Ukulele Institute Teacher Prerequisites as a syllabus.
In addition to regular students, I have also given one-off music theory lessons to help iron out the creases in one’s musicality. Such lessons have covered topics like finding the chords to a certain key, chord structure, chord melody arrangement and understanding which chords work together and why.
I’ve had the pleasure of teaching workshops in 5 different countries, and on multiple occasions I have been commissioned to write a new workshop for a festival. These workshops can be delivered in person or on zoom, in festivals or in uke clubs. Such workshops include:
Musical Multitasking: An Introduction to Chord Melody- In this hour we look at the key concepts when playing our chords and melody simultaneously, such where to place our melody, the way music messes with our mind, and chord inversions to help your ukulele sing. We will look at how to play ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ and/or ‘Bad Moon Rising’ in a Chord-Melody style. Intermediate workshop for those confident with their strumming. The ability to play barre chords is essential for the maximum results of this workshop.
Songwriting Basics-Swap out the practice room for the writing room! I will share my 14 years of songwriting experience to teach everything you need to write your first song. From classic song structures like the Blues, we will go through Pop, Country and more looking at melody, structure, harmony and of course lyrics. This can be given as a single session, or a two part workshop including a recital from students sharing what they have learned.
Syncopation Station-Polish your strum patterns! We will explore the intricacies of off-beat strumming, looking at the theory behind your inner groove. Together we will learn strum patterns for Reggae, Samba and Rock, and you shall be able to work out and create whatever strumming patterns you wish!
Finger Pickin’ Good-During this hour Marc will lay the foundations of fingerpicking, giving an insight into beginners fingerpicking technique in pop, blues and folk styles. We will incorporate musical ideas, motifs and syncopation complete with a couple of songs to take away.
Avril to Ziggy: Mastering Musical Memory-Get your head out of the songbook and engaging with the players around you! Marc Gallagher shares his tips and tricks that helped him memorise over 700 songs, breaking 3 popular tunes down to their bare bones from a musical and lyrical standpoint to help you learn how to learn songs.