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Music can change the world because it can change people - Bono

Ric Galvez Guitar Teacher

One Of HNA's Guitar Teachers

Ric Galvez understands anyone who ‘marches to the beat of their own drum’. He has been doing just that since he first discovered music and the same rock influences that his Dad enjoyed.
 
When Ric took to guitar seriously in middle school, he saw his passion, but his parents saw an unsafe choice, and worried that guitar would distract him from his studies.
 
“They wanted me to get a “good job” and play it safe,” says Ric.
 
Ric, however, was determined to succeed. He attended York University to pursue his degree in music. In order to better promote his art, Ric is also about to graduate with a postgraduate diploma in digital media marketing from George Brown College.
 
Ric plays with the band Malice Devine, and has already released two albums with the group.
 
Ric is also thoroughly committed to giving back to his community through music, including teaching in the High Notes Free Music Lessons Program.
 
“Music has had a tremendous impact on my own mental health,” says Ric. “It’s helped me to become more confident, more self-assured, and more resilient and grounded.”
 
Ric’s teaching is an attempt to pay that forward, and to imbue others with the gift of improved mental health while helping to foster their own creativity.
 
While he’s taught drums and ukelele, his focus with High Notes Avante is on offering guitar lessons for students from ages 8 all the way through to 80.
 
“It gives the students something to look forward to,” says Ric, adding that the consistency has helped many students create some sense of stability. “No matter what else is going on in their life, there’s always going to be a lesson to look forward to every week.” 
 
Despite being a professionally trained musician himself, Ric knows that his students are looking for a more relaxed experience. The program gives them a fun, casual opportunity to learn something new which helps them feel good about themselves.
 
For his part, Ric sees the lessons as an opportunity to give back to the mental health system, even though he adds that you do not need to be personally touched by mental illness to enjoy the benefits of music.
 
In his view, the opportunity to teach in this program allows him to have a far greater impact than he might have had if he had become a psychiatrist or psychologist or counsellor.
 
Rather, teaching guitar allows him the opportunity to live High Notes Avante’s mission statement – to inspire, give hope, and connect those touched by mental illness through artistic expression. As Ric will attest, music has certainly done that for him.
Ric Galvez One Of HNA's Guitar Teachers

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