Dave grew up in Southport in the North of England where he lived a life of mischief and imaginary adventures until he went to Nottingham University. There he studied Chemistry & Molecular Physics, learnt to play guitar and found out that the world was bigger than he had previously thought. After a stint of working in London he departed for the East and, following a chance encounter with a grumpy guitar-genius, he set off on an adventure that would turn into Music of Maninjau, his first novel, published in 2007. More scribbles followed, as well of lots of songwriting, gigs, some web-design and eventually the beginning of his teaching career and the first practical steps towards getting him to Bhutan. Dave has taught Science at Chepstow School for three fantastic years, specialising in Physics at 16-18yrs. In 2012, Dave taught physics to grade 9 and 10 students at Pakshikha Middle Secondary School in Chukha.
story from the field
The sound of music
We have a music club! When the funds came through some teachers and I travelled down to Phuentsholing on a mission to get as many instruments as we could for the students of my school, Pakshikha MSS.
The school is only 1 year old, so the resources are still very limited, and the only instruments we had were traditional ones – great to have, but some of the kids really wanted to form bands and play guitars. I’m cut from the same cloth, so I was eager to give them the opportunity.
I managed to match-fund the BCF grant with funds from my old school in the UK, and with the total we got an electric guitar, an acoustic, a bass, a fancy keyboard, an amp, a few microphones and all the extra bits – leads, strings, tuners etc. The only disappointment was that our budget couldn’t stretch to drums, so the dream of full bands is still unrealised. Back in school, we had the difficult job of selecting students to be in the music club, which meant disappointing lots of kids, but in the end we had about 30 students and off we went.
It was bedlam! Nobody could play the keyboard, but they loved tapping away at it. In the first session, I had 3 players on at any one time, all trying to master a D-Chord. I rotated them every 5 mins and everyone had a go. Events so far have included performances at the club exhibition day and jam sessions with students and teachers from Gedu College. The bands are slowly improving and we’re building towards the School Concert. It’s great seeing them singing and playing and enjoying music.