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Faculty Spotlight: Brendan Burns

Category: BMS NEWS Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 Burns-photo-230x300

BMS Guitar Faculty Brendan Burns is the mastermind behind the BMS month-long celebration of guitar. Guitober was created six years ago, when Brendan assumed the role of Guitar  Coordinator. Brendan has been teaching guitar at BMS for seven years with students of all ages.
Brendan described Guitober as the celebration of guitar during the 10th month of year. “Sometimes I call it “Guitar Awareness Month” because it’s a great way to have fun and generate excitement for the instrument,” Brendan proclaimed. This year’s big addition to the lobby is a monitor running an epic YouTube playlist curated by our GuiFaculty. “The playlist showcases some of the best guitar performances we could find online,” Brendan added, “and it’s so inspiring to watch.”
Brendan’s teaching philosophy involves developing and realizing expressions through study and practice. “For me, the study of guitar is a lifelong discipline that is deeply intertwined with education,” explained Brendan, “My goal as an educator is to help students cultivate good habits in learning. With music, we exercise our senses of creativity, perception and imagination. I’m here to help keep focus and provide direction while offering support, clarity and encouragement.”
The two main guitars Brendan uses are an Asher Ultra Tone T-Deluxe and a Klein Electric Guitar. “They are both amazing and well built instruments that have very different characters,” continued Brendan, “Usually I spend a few months on one, and then switch to the other. I play them through either an Allston Tremulator or a Carr Rambler – two excellent tube combo amps.” Brendan teaches and plays a variety of musical styles and admits he does not have a favorite style of music, but loves creativity and exploration. “I can find inspiration from most styles of music and art,” remarked Brendan.  
The influences in Brendan’s career include other guitar colleagues and teachers. “I feel very lucky to be inspired by my colleagues,” remarked Brendan, “The teachers here at Brookline Music School are amazing.” Charlie Banacos, famous Jazz educator was one of the most inspirational and influential teachers Brendan has ever had the chance to study with. “There is no doubt he changed my life and is a constant influence on my teachings,” Brendan concluded.
Brendan is currently hosting a residency at the LilyPad the fourth Sunday of every month where his favorite Boston musicians play a variety of his tunes, as well as their own. “It’s a great way to spend time with the musicians that I love and develop/create new musical sounds together,” explained Brendan. His creativity has led him into several ventures to include working with puppeteers and creating films such as TimeStamp, performed and filmed in February 2012 with fellow BMS colleagues Nick Grondin on guitar, Michelle Rush on violin, and Chris Veilleux on woodwinds, plus several guest artists. Brendan
considers himself to be very lucky to be playing in several
bands that inspire and challenge him, including the Kristen Ford Band, Schooltree
and with Karin Webb.
Be sure to check out the GuiFaculty at Scott Pittman’s Open Mic Night at Cafe Nicholas – Every Sunday night from 6-8pm, featuring GuiPizza!