Ervin Szabo guitarist was born in Hungary in 1975, and he started to learn playing on this instrument when he was only 6. However, this early start had not become his advantage later, because his tuition was in a frontal education system with classical music and solfege only, so although his teachers considered him a talented musician, after two years he did not want to continue it, and only because of the paternal austerity he finished the elementary music school when he was 12.
After he left the music school he did not want to play on guitar for years, and only the environment of the high school had changed his mind about it: if someone wanted to be one of the cool guy and popular with girls, the shortest way was to become a member in a school band. So, he formed a band with his friends and played their own songs in plenty of gigs in his teenages.
He realized soon that the music is much more than a tool for reach popularity. It is one of the best resource and a real possibility for the self-expression. Since then the music stayed a very important part of his life, even if he consistently avoided to learn music in any school or from any teacher because of the bad experiences in his childhood. He graduated in a university as a history teacher and journalist, he started to work in newspapers, he got a job as the press chief of Ministry of Youth and Sport in Hungary and after he established his own company where he started to make market and public opinion researches, create and implement marketing strategies and other communication tasks for the costumers.
It was not a bad life to live, but the love remained the music. During these years he formed his own band where he was the lyricist and the songwriter. They had several appearance in TV and radio stations and gave plenty of concerts in Hungarian festivals and other venues. They released an album in 2010.
After these years he decided to become a professional musician once and for all. He moved to Brussels, and in the first time of his history he admitted he has to study with external help and within formal frameworks. He turned to study and play jazz, especially because he always wanted to get to know of the theoretical background of music and to be able to play with the best musicians in his surroundings. So he took jazz improvisation courses from the Berklee, the Rochester and the Edinburgh University and he also took lessons from Belgian jazz guitarists for years. Later, he started to play different formations in various styles, he plays frequently at festivals, in restaurants, hotels and bars and he teaches children and adults almost for a decade.
About his method
Especially because of the experiences of his early age Ervin does not believe in frontal education where every student has to fit in a prefabricated cube and the teacher speaks and asks questions and the student has to answer and cram. He believes it has to be a continuous interaction between them and just as everyone has his own personality, everyone has his own way through which he or she can start to explore the endless world of music without the chance to hate learning about it.
So, it cannot be said there is only one method, but he has as many methods as many students he got and he believes in the teacher's most important task to find the most suitable motivational factors and to find the straightest way for every one of them, which depends on their ages, their experiences, their knowledge, their personalities and their attitudes.
Maria Teodora Iancu
"I felt stuck on a certain level of playing when I first see Ervin about helping me. He supported me in building up a proper practicing method, and what I realized soon that I started to get more closer to music theory and because of that I have not just played the pieces, but understand their structures and logic. Thanks to this I learn much easier new songs and since I have been participating his lessons my stylistic range has been expanded.
During his sessions beside the technical and theoretical parts there is always some "playing for fun" section when we play together and what I always enjoy very much :)
Concerning his stage experiences he could also provide me good practical advices. With the skills I gained in the last three years - I could prepare and play on gigs with much more confidence.
"Ervin is a patient teacher who gives explanations as many times as you need it. He teaches me not only to play the guitar, but we also talk a lot about music in general. Now I understand and enjoy much more the different types of music than before, from Mussorsgky to Grease, the musical. Over the years, we went from teacher and student to good friends."
"He is very kind and funny, and sometimes when I am in a bad mood after the school he makes me laugh. My dad played water polo when he was young, and he always says to me if he could had a teacher like Ervin he would grew webs between his fingers. However, Ervin told me I should not do that otherwise it would be much more complicated to play on the guitar :)"
"I have a typical story about him: I am Romanian girl, but we moved here when I was very young. Before Christmas time Ervin arrived with a Romanian Xmas song what I have never heard before, but my mum knew well. He searched it us in the Internet, he made a notation and he taught me with big patience, so I would had been able to play it at Xmas night in front of my family. My mum said with teardrops in her eyes: it was the best present ever from me to her..."