Who is Thom Zolghadr?
Thom Zolghadr is a twenty-one year old with a deep passion for violin. He began playing at age nine through his elementary school’s music program. He excelled a little bit beyond the other students and later was started in private lessons. By age twelve he had lost interest in lessons but kept the instrument and still played in orchestra at school. (Many teachers would look at this as student on his way out!)
Thom was different in the way that rather than letting his violin case collect dust in the closet, he memorized the music for orchestra and started looking for other means. It wasn’t long before he was playing his violin along to Rammstein CDs and teaching himself the riffs and melodies! By the time Thom had reached high school he was playing alongside anything he found remotely interesting. Whether it was Busta Rhymes or Estradasphere, it didn’t matter! It was no surprise that he was able to figure out melodies very quickly by ear! Soon, Thom had local guitarists seeking him out and wanting to play.
Thom had realized through his director, however, that his technique was lacking. It was at that time a violin teacher had set up shop right next to where he worked. Between the private lessons, playing in a band, and the lessons from his orchestra director, he soaked up all sorts of information about tone, technique, musicianship, interpretation, and stage presence. Before long, he was looking back and found that the local violinists he had once admired, he was now either on par or even ahead of in some areas.
I have been teaching since I was sixteen, and my philosophy has always been to give my students the tools I wish I had when I was their age, so hopefully by the time THEY were sixteen, they would be better than I was at sixteen, seventeen, etc.”
I like to believe that it is this thought process that has helped some of my young students skip into advanced orchestras, write songs, and even perform solos. It is great having a compliment from the directors about the students, but nothing brings more joy than watching your dedicated student grow and perform!
What am I doing right now?
Right now I play in a group known as the 8-Bit Trio, whose sound ranges from jazz to video game music. I am also a founding teacher in a program called Access To Music that provides musical instruments, books, and instruction to young children from underprivileged backgrounds, as well as providing my own private lessons. I am currently studying with Drew Lecher.
I am also a full time college student, as well as a waiter at TGIFridays, and a wedding DJ on the weekends. Have to pay the bills!