3Qs with Quaver: Favorite Instrument

by Abby @ Quaver on October 22, 2012

in 3Qs with Quaver

Quaver’s always on the move and hard to catch!  Once a month, Program Producer Steve Gilreath runs along side Graham Hepburn (aka Quaver) to ask 3 Quick Questions:

This week is all about:

Quaver’s Favorite Instrument!


Q1:  Many teachers have seen you in person at Workshops and at school shows, and of course on video, playing your favorite instrument, the Piano.  When and why did you start playing?


Quaver: I started playing when I was 16! Before that I would play for about 15 minutes per week trying to pick out songs that I heard on the radio, not taking practice or the piano very seriously. My mum was a piano teacher, but she never forced me to play. In fact I was very athletic in school and once tried out for a professional cricket team!

I really started seriously with a keyboard, and then I got completely obsessed with playing and simply wanted to be the best. Fortunately I went to a brilliant school for music that was founded in 1624 called Latymer Grammar School. They recognized I had talent and let me have time off every day to practice. At one point I planned to be a concert performer, but there were even better things in store . . . like Quaver!

Q2:  So, that seems like a late start for most people, especially one as accomplished as you are now.  How did you pursue it early on to get so good?

Quaver: Well when I really caught the piano bug, I would practice 3-5 hours per day EVERY day apart from Sunday. I always wanted to play pieces that were far too hard for me. I’m not suggesting this an approach for everyone, but it worked for me. I do think there is a period from 14-18 in a musician’s life where they either settle for an average standard or they embark on a really serious pursuit of excellence. Often that is simply up to the motivation of the person themselves, although good teaching and inspiration helps.


Q3: What is your favorite piece or composer to play?  Do you find your fingers always going to the same keys every time you sit down? 

Quaver: I’ve always loved Beethoven and Rachmaninov. They were my favorites when I began and still are. Later in my life, I did post-graduate study in jazz where I discovered Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, and Art Tatum. Please check out YouTube clips of these three; they are truly awesome! With jazz it is important to listen and copy, whereas with Classical music you follow the music that is written. So with jazz I spent A LOT of time with my tape player listening, copying, and emulating these greats. This developed my ear and ability to play anything that I hear!



Becoming EXCELLENT at something in whatever field is a very important part of having a fulfilling life. I would encourage anyone that has a talent to get as good at it as possible because you really never know where it will lead you!


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