We are so excited that the Guitarwaze platform is live. We can now invite the world to join the new and revolutionary way of learning how to play the guitar, online, from the comfort of your own home, during Covid-19 lockdowns, and for a long time after that.
For the occasion, we have had a short conversation with Hussein Dickie, the person behind the musical aspect of the platform. His 40+ years of experience with teaching and expertise on the guitar are what is behind the Guitarwaze curriculum and his own hands are the ones that have been captured onto the screen, for your learning pleasure.
1) Can you tell us a bit about how you starting playing the guitar and your musical journey from then on?
I was born into a musical family, my parents both having been opera singers, so music was a way of life and was around me all the time. I started playing the piano when I was 8, but after 4 years I lost interest. My older brother introduced me to the popular music of the 60s, which is when I imaged playing in a band myself.
It was an exciting time for the guitar as an instrument as it had become one of the most popular instruments of music groups of the time. I soon fell in love with guitar and the one place you could be sure to find me, was locked up in my room practicing. The big guys of the classical guitar scene, such as Andres Segovia, Julian Bream, Baden Powell and Egberto Gismonti among others, were the musicians who inspired me to focus on the classical guitar. I was in awe when I saw the incredible things these guys could do with their fingers and was determined to master the guitar in this way as well.
Up until the age of 18, I was largely self-taught and was then accepted to the Vienna University of Music and Drama where I studied with Prof. Karl Scheit, the leading Austrian guitarists, lutenists and music educators of the 20th century. After graduating, I attended Master classes at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I did CD recordings, teaching and performing in many different places over the years. Later on I began to write music for the Guitar and as you do these days, created an online presence and simply continue learning, because that journey never really ends, which is one of the beautiful things of this art.
2) How did you end up being involved with Guitarwaze?
My friend Ali became a student of mine for 2 years. During this time he wanted to find ways to be able to continue learning, even though he was travelling for work regularly. He is an expert in motion capture technology and so he merged his profession and passion into the idea to develop the Guitarwaze app, to enable a unique and effective learning experience. His company would be providing tech and I would be in charge of content, including teaching curriculum and tutorials.
3) How did you come up with the curriculum?
I went through a number of iterations until I decided to make it for beginners to early intermediate level, to begin with. It had to focus on the essential techniques that have to be mastered in order to proceed. Based on my extensive education, combined with teaching experience, I put it together. There are a number of ways that this can be done, but the one I settled on has a good logic behind it and if done slowly, with patience and accuracy will yield excellent results.
4) Do you use this curriculum with your in person students? Do you incorporate the platform into your teaching?
I may not use the exact same curriculum, for the simple reason that each student I have is a little different. But in essence it focuses on the same techniques that need to be mastered at this level. I have only recently introduced the idea to some students and we use the platform to compliment the learning process. My students seem to be enjoying it so far. It is a great tool for teachers to use as a learning aid and has great potential to support the students in their practice.
5) Anything you'd like to say to our readers about Guitarwaze?
The tool is revolutionary. I have spent almost half a century with this instrument and seeing this platform materialise is simply amazing. Of course, the age of online learning, offers a vast new world of learning possibilities and learning instruments is no exception. But coming from a very traditional background in musical education, I must say that the technology that Guitarwaze offers, allows for a high quality distant learning experience, that I haven't seen before.
We have so much planned for the platform when it comes to content and I have no doubt it will grow into something incredible. The development of the music library and expansion of the curriculum will take time, so bear with us!
Watch him play one of his compositions