“For almost two years now our daughter, Bek, has been learning guitar with Gary. As well as being an accomplished musician and an experienced performer with a wide repertoire, Gary is an excellent teacher. His lessons have direction, and are well balanced between work and fun. They have given Bek a better understanding of music theory and helped her improve her technique through learning new music and improvising. At the same time Gary has encouraged her love of making music and performing. His teaching, advice and guidance as Bek studies music for the HSC, and begins to do small gigs outside of school, is invaluable and we’re really grateful for it.”

Here is a thank you note from the end of the 2013 HSC exams from Bek’s parentsĀ

Steve and Sheryl”

“My name is Andrew Robson. I began learning drums in 1987, and Mark was my first and only teacher. I learnt theory, how to tune drums, time signatures, traditional grip and of course how to play and apply drums to music. I am now 39 and have been playing in working bands since 1989. It was his teaching that made me the drummer I am. I now teach and apply the same way to my students as he showed me. I have a lot of respect for Mark and recommend him for teaching and playing in any band and any style.”


“Gary has been teaching me singing for about a year now. I used to have trouble singing high and blending my high voice into my low voice on pop songs. Now I can do this easy if I use the tricks that I’ve learned from Gary. He teaches a style that he calls ‘mix’ and it really focuses on mixing high and low singing in a smooth way. I really feel that I can now sing anything I set out to sing. I’ve also learned a lot of music theory from Gary which at first was a bit overwhelming, but now I really am starting to understand how chords and melody work. Lately I’ve been writing a lot of songs too and I’ve found that the harmony lessons are really paying off as I can plonk out the chords on the piano and write them down along with the melody. Last week we recorded one of my songs with me singing and playing piano! Love my lessons and recommend Hills District Music School to anyone!”


“I’ve been getting drum lessons from Mark for 6 years now. In that time I’ve learned so many different styles and have had heaps of fun doing it. I always want my lessons to be longer because I can never get enough. He has inspired me to constantly challenge myself so that one day I can try to be at least half as good as he is. If it wasn’t for Mark I wouldn’t be the drummer am I today. He has also helped me with my performance skills and this has led to me being in several successful bands over the last five years. I couldn’t think of anyone better to teach drums just because he makes it fun and helps you do what you want to do.”


“I’ve been learning guitar from Gary Johns for 2 years now. I had a few basic chords and wanted to play heaps of styles. I really liked reggae, blues, jazz, some pop and rock. Gary taught me what I needed to know to play the music I wanted. I’m now in a couple of bands and performing a few gigs and loving it. My favorite styles are still pretty much the same, but I really like the challenge of jazz and I’ve even started singing some pop songs!”

I tried learning by myself and I got nowhere very quickly compared to how quickly I progressed with lessons. Being shown what and how to practice was a big thing for me!


Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU very much for your high quality teaching and patience. I’ve learned something valuable that I have never imagined I’d be able to do.




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News from our Blog

Our drum teaching god Mark Lucas
Posted by Gary on October 8, 2013

Here is a few interesting words all about drums and playing them… read more