Paul Gagen was born into music. Coming from a musical family (his Dad was a drummer and pretty mean harmonica player), by the tender age of three, he was found sitting on the amplifier owned by the guitarist in the band of his older brother, Brian. He was their smallest groupie. That band (The Planets) went on to play support to The Beatles on the Brisbane leg of their Australian tour in 1964.
It was from this time that his love and fascination for music grew, particularly for the guitar. His older sister bought him a tired, steel-stringed ¾ size Tempo acoustic guitar from a local Brisbane pawnshop when he was 13. It was the hardest instrument to learn on, however in his own words, he became “obsessive” about playing and since then, over many years, he has honed his skills to become an accomplished and talented musician. It may be for this reason that when young students or parents come to him for advice on selecting a guitar, he encourages them to buy a quality instrument from the beginning.
Paul sings and plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, mandolin and piano. His music tastes are eclectic and he listens to and plays any and every kind of music imaginable. This makes him able to tailor his lessons to every budding musician’s style and taste.
Paul has 30 years experience as a private instrumental teacher and over 20 years of experience as a primary school classroom music teacher. He first started teaching as a guitar teacher at the Australian Academy of Music from 1983 – 1988. He holds a Diploma of Education (Primary Music) from QUT and a Bachelor of Education from James Cook University. His first state school teaching post was in Bowen in 1988 and he has since taught in Maryborough and various schools throughout Brisbane. At the same time, he further developed the private teaching practice that became Stringz Guitar Studio and created his successful, original guitar-based music education program for children: Stringz Kidz.
When it comes to teaching music to children, Paul has a special gift. He reaches out to kids through his lively music teaching style and genuine kindness. He has a vey simple philosophy when it comes to music: immerse children in the right environment, and their fascination with music will grow. From that fascination, the skills will follow.
Leading by example, Paul teaches kids that it’s more than OK to love music, and his contagious love for music affects everyone. Paul was personally awarded as Australia Day Council Cultural Award in 1994 for his exceptional music teaching work in Bowen, North Queensland.