At Havant & South Downs College, we have a number of highly skilled, dedicated and passionate teaching staff.
These lecturers go above and beyond to help our students reach their full potential.
We want to shout about these integral members of our HSDC community, so every month we will be finding out about the people behind our teaching excellence with our ‘Staff in the Spotlight’ feature.
This month we are recognising Gary Wood who is a Senior Music IT Technician, HND Music Production Lecturer and Native Instruments Education Partnership Manager.
How long have you worked at the College?
Why did you choose the subject that you teach?
I started off DJing and then wanted to make my own music so I went back as a mature student to study a degree in music production. Whilst I was at university I was really inspired by some of my teachers and decided that this is what I wanted to do – inspire people.
What was your journey/training before coming to HSDC?
I owned a contemporary furniture store in Southsea for about six years that I took over from my father, but I wasn’t really enjoying it so I decided to return to study music production. After my degree I completed my PGCE and then got a job as a software trainer for Apple. After a few years I went part time at Apple and then got my first teaching job at HSDC, then after a couple of years took over the technician role.
Do you practice the subject you teach outside of work?
I am currently working on creating some new music that I will be performing live. I will be integrating some new music production equipment that we are using on the HND Music Production Course at HSDC. Watch this space… I am also signed to a couple of record labels and have several releases on iTunes etc, I have set up and managed my own record label, run my own music events for eight years, performed at the Isle of Wight Festival with my electronic band Pura Luz and I won best DJ in a Radio 1 DJ competition hosted by Pete Tong and MR C. This resulted in getting lots of gigs at reputable clubs and events across the country such as The Ministry of Sound.
What is the highlight of your role at HSDC?
My highlight has been managing the Native Instruments Education Partnership because it has brought in lots of new equipment and software to the College. I am really enjoying learning the new kit and implementing it into my lessons.
What kind of careers have your students gone on to do?
Film TV and Computer Games Composers, DJ, Events Management, Sound Designers and professional music artists.
What is something about your job that people don’t know?
I teach the software side of things so it is constantly changing and challenging to keep up to date with. I am currently teaching two new music production software packages that both use separate hardware controllers that I am having to learn extremely quickly and then implement what I have learnt into my lessons. It’s the sort of stuff that melts your brain!
What three words would your students use to describe you?
Enthusiastic, fun, helpful.