Tom McLean – Guitar and Electric Bass – Head of Guitar
Tom began playing the electric guitar aged 11, and was performing in bands and orchestras by the age of 12. He continued to play in various bands throughout his teenage years, until at the age of 17 he attended ‘The Guitar Institute’ in Acton, London, where he studied modern electric guitar with renowned teacher Shaun Baxter (Guitar Techniques magazine). He was offered at this time to be the first person ever to sit the grade 8 electric guitar exam.
In 1999, as part of his BA Hons degree at Exeter University, Tom moved to Granada in Spain and studied flamenco guitar with Emilio Maya. There he learnt the rhythms and techniques of this challenging style of music, which he would later incorporate into his playing.
In 2001, Tom moved to London, where he began working as a session guitarist and teacher, working for the likes of the BBC and a variety of London based music management companies and artists. He has played in some of the best known venues in London, including The Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, and The Roadhouse Covent Garden, and worked with a wide variety of recording artists ranging in styles from blues and rock, to acoustic and pop. In 2014 he also trained and qualified as an examiner for ‘Rockschool’ exam board.
Tom has been the director of Cherry Pie Music since 2005, during which time it has grown to become the largest and most popular music school in the London borough of Merton. He has a passion for teaching and passing on his knowledge and enthusiasm for the instrument.