Meet the teacher. Talking with..... Greg Monk

While we're in lockdown and learning remotely we'll be catching up with some of the DaCapo teachers and so you can get to know them a little better. 

This week we talk to Greg Monk - DaCapo teacher of nine years and currently leader of the Adult Choir:

What’s your role at DaCapo? I teach Adult Musicianship and take the weekly Adult Choir rehearsals.

What instruments do you play? Formally speaking, I trained as a Clarinettist and Singer but in my work have also played Saxophone and Piano

Favourite piece of music? Favourite composer? I always find these questions so hard, so I’ll categorise. Favourite because it inspired me as a child: Bizet’s Carmen for its grandeur and pomp contrasted with moments of complete vulnerability. 
Favourite as it brings back happy memories: Gabriel Grovlez - Sarabande et Allegro. There’s a beautiful Oboe and Cor Anglais version but I played this piece for my Grade 8 Clarinet and listening to it brings back many fun memories learning with my teacher. 
Favourite now: I recently rediscovered Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. 
Favourite non classical genre: Any Soul or Motown! 
Composer: Puccini never fails to amaze me with his wondrous melodies and orchestrations. I recently saw a Royal Opera performance of La Boheme in the cinema and although I’ve seen it loads of times, I kept hearing sections of the music anew!

Can you share a recommendation: YouTube video, book, movie, TV show… I really loved watching The Crown on Netflix. I’m sure there are moments of artistic license but I think it portrayed the differing relationships the Royal Family have with different sections of society (both public and private) in an interesting and thought provoking way.

How are you spending lockdown Saturdays? Taking some live zoom sessions for the DaCapo Choir, learning some new card games (Gin Rummy being a favourite) and exploring my local area a little more! Learning Chopin’s Waltz in B minor on Piano.

What pastimes have you rediscovered or taken up in lockdown? I recently set myself the challenge of learning Japanese and am rediscovering my love for learning languages. I’m trying to do a little each day to solidify my knowledge of the characters - Hiragana.

What are you looking forward to most when lockdown is over? Spending time with family and friends!

What’s the first place you’d like to visit, when it’s possible to travel again? I am due to go to Israel this summer and have not been for 16 years. I doubt summer travel is likely so hope I can go there soon.

What’s your favourite DaCapo memory? Conducting an orchestra of professionals and chorus of DaCapo pupils at the annual summer school concert. That, as well as at annual conventions having fun pretending to be five years old!

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