From Melbourne, Australia, Julian fell in love with music and surfing at a young age, noisy garage jams with neighbourhood friends attempting Hendrix, Nirvana and Zeppelin to frosty mornings learning to surf in the icy waters of Victoria’s surf coast and the legendary – Bells Beach.
Julian completed a BMus (Improvisation) at the acclaimed Victorian College of the Arts in 2001 and was then awarded a grant to study traditional percussion and culture in Guinee, West Africa. Julian has worked as a professional musician for nearly 20 years, being fortunate enough to see most of the world in the process. Not one to pigeonhole himself, Julian has performed in a broad range of styles from Reggae and Bollywood to Brazilian and Hip Hop.
Teaching, sharing and learning is just as important to Julian and over the years he has past on his knowledge to everyone from small children to multinational corporation executives.
Learn more in this interview:
How did you find music?
Music found me! I come from a family where no one played music.. My house wasn’t quiet, mum loved music, the things I remember her listening to that I connected with were Queen and Midnight Oil, my dad Iiked smooth stuff like Lionel Ritchie. When my parents split, my stepdad came along and brought with him a whole other bag, namely Led Zeppelin, that had big impression on me that I didn’t fully realise until recently. It was around this time I started taking drum lessons with one of mums friends, I’m not sure that I had a really strong connection to it from the beginning.. it seemed to just slowly creep up on me and take up more and more of my consciousness and being as I traveled along this road. Now Im fully immersed!
What to you is the most essential quality in a teacher?
The ability to connect and inspire. I’ve learnt that you don’t have to be the greatest musician to be that persons greatest teacher.
As a teacher, what is the core of your message?
To love what you are doing.
What are the biggest benefits music has brought you?
Most of the people that are in my life at this point I’ve met through music, thats something I think about often… I’ve also been extremely fortunate to have been taken around the world through my music.
If you could teach anywhere in the world where would it be?
Siargao!!!! This is literally a dream trip for me.
What is your favorite place on earth?
Siargao Island!! Quite honestly I would say that up to this point in my life, it is by far my favourite place to ever visit and stay. I’ve been so fortunate to have played music all over the globe and seen many beautiful and interesting places but when Im on Siargao my heart sings and I feel a deep sense of peace.
How would you describe your philosophy as a teacher?
To first and foremost convey the fun that playing music is.. Its the reason why its called playing music!
I teach many young students and in the beginning I don’t worry about theory or notes at all, I just try to get them playing, either with myself or other students. To see the look on their faces when they realise that they’re making music with others for the first time is really special.. The hard work of learning an instrument becomes less laborious when you know why your doing it!