The IMC Magazine Issue 14/April 2016 - Page 54

Greg is originally from Lebanon, Ohio where he grew up in a family that he credits for his love of a wide variety of music. His father enjoyed old school country: Hank Williams Sr. and Willie Nelson but his mother tended to listen to artists such as James Taylor, John Denver and other popular 70’s musicians. His sister favored music from the 90’s, alternative rock and current country singers, and as a boy Greg enjoyed the Beach Boys, Eagles and Billy Joel. If you have the opportunity to see Greg perform you can hear all these influences in his own music.

Greg began taking piano lessons at the age of 10, with a teacher who encouraged all her students to write their own songs. During this time, he joined his mother singing in the church choir, which he continued to do through high school. He also expanded his knowledge of musical instruments by learning how to play the guitar, mandolin and harmonica.

His love of music and songwriting lead Greg to Berklee College of Music, and in 2008 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree. It was during his years at Berklee College he met Liberal Arts Professor C. Pat Pattison whose innovative teaching style gave Greg a new perspective on songwriting.

Professor Pattison states: "Our curriculum takes what I call the Nautilus approach to songwriting. You isolate the muscle and work on it. Everything about the major, at least at the beginning, is about isolation.

The first step is to separate the lyric component from the music component, which isn't to say that we talk about melody without talking about lyric, or lyric without melody, because often you can't separate them. Of course, we try not to lose the focus that this is about creativity.

We try to emphasize as strongly as possible that all these technical tools we teach are simply in the service of the ideas and emotions that you're trying to convey."

Professor Pattison’s songwriting philosophy was not the typical approach used by Professors teaching music at that time, but his methods have since become popular. Greg credits him with