We pay tribute to some friends of AMEB (NSW)
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John Couch holds two master’s degrees from the Australian National University. He is the winner of many international music competitions, including the Australian International Classical Guitar Competition and the Gisborne International Music Competition for Orchestral Instruments. He was a finalist and prize winner in many other international competitions.
As a performer, Mr Couch has toured extensively in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as both a soloist and a chamber musician. Highlights include a solo appearance at the Guitarromania Festival in Mexico, a performance with the New Zealand Guitar Quartet at the 2018 Guitar Foundation of America Convention, and a concert recital at Uppsala Conservatorium in Sweden with Duo Downunder.
Mr Couch has taught at the Australian National University and at Waikato University in New Zealand, including at the pre-tertiary, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has also taught at the Canberra Grammar School and the Canberra Girls Grammar School. As a private teacher for 25 years, he has assisted students with their AMEB exams and university entrance.
As part of his master’s thesis, Mr Couch developed his own method of teaching young guitarists. He has published two books, Note Builder (with a play-along CD) and Note Grower. In addition to composing beginner guitar solos and studies, he has created arrangements for guitar duos, trios, quartets and orchestras that are played throughout Australian and New Zealand schools.
Mr Couch is the Director of New Zealand’s premiere classical guitar festival, the Taranaki Classical Guitar Summer School. The six-day biannual event brings professional and vocational classical guitarists together in a relaxed and friendly environment.