Mr Josh McGuffie


Joshua MCGUFFIELife before Girton

I have played guitar since my teenage years and studied at the Victorian College of the Arts under the ARIA winning classical guitar Tonie Field. I received my Bachelor of Music majoring in classical guitar in 2010 and am currently studying a Masters of Teaching through the University of New England. I have previously taught at Sacred Heart College in Kyneton and at Bendigo South East Secondary as well as in my own private studio for over a decade.

What I Love about Teaching

I love being able to share a life in music with my students and being able to immerse myself in the music of the great composers every day. I love helping my students to actualise their potential through music making and to see them build self-worth and an ability to express themselves through hard work and diligent study.

What do you like best about the subject/s you teach?

Students should choose to study with me to become complete musicians with an appreciation for technique, theory, tone, rhythm and musicianship. Studying classical music allows students to build problem solving strategies that can apply to all walks of life. Great music does not exist in and of itself but connects to all great art and human expression. The study of classical music can demonstrate to students that they can become part of tradition that stretches back hundreds of years. When a student and I are studying great works by a composer such as Bach then he is as alive in the room with us as he was in 18th century!

What difference can good teaching make?

A successful student of mine will be able to integrate into the wider musical community of Girton not just interact with other guitarists. They will be a fluent sight reader, have excellent stylistic knowledge of all genres of music and be able to express their inner life through a technique borne from hard work and mindful study. They will have the skills and knowledge in place to undertake VCE Music Performance and to achieve at the highest level in this subject.
I would hope that my students would benefit from my enthusiasm towards my instrument and my love of great music stretching from the middle ages to the present day. I hope they would constantly challenge themselves to listen more closely and to push themselves beyond what they think possible of themselves.

Other Hats

I am responsible for leading the Junior School Guitar Quartet, The Senior Guitar Trio and I work with Mrs. Anne Begg in leading the Combined Senior Guitar Ensemble. I see the ensemble program as being crucial to the musical life of the school and many students will make lasting memories from their performances and collaboration with other students. Ensemble playing teachers students to listen, to take responsibility for their own practice and to work as a team in creating a moving and musical performance.

Outside of school I am devoted to my wife and 2 year old daughter and at the minute spend the majority of my time studying for my Masters Degree. I am a certified musical nerd and I listen to as much great classical music as I possibly can. Current favourites include the symphonies of Bruckner, Mahler, Brahms and many others.