Let’s Get to Know Sam
Having played guitar since age 7, Sam Irvin IV began his musical career with the hits: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and the like. Soon enough though, he dived into his teenage years playing rock and metal in various cover bands. As college approached, Sam studied jazz in hopes of being accepted to UNC Asheville’s music program. (He was.) There, he studied a broad musical curriculum including music history, physics of sound, aural skills, music theory, etc. He diversified his approach to guitar, too, receiving training in both jazz and classical guitar and in both solo and ensemble settings. Not too long after having obtained degrees in both music and philosophy from UNC Asheville in 2013, Sam began teaching lessons and classes for organizations like Asheville Music School and LEAF’s Schools & Streets program (the latter offering arts opportunities for at-risk youths). Alongside his teaching, he also worked at Moog Music Inc. building synthesizers as he built up enough students & gigs to become a teaching-artist full-time. In 2018, Sam and his wife Kylie launched Irvin Music Studio, a hub for their musical endeavors: performance, lessons and production. Through IMS they teach in their home studio and virtually, they record/engineer various projects and they manage their own entertainment for special events, currently Sam’s solo guitar for weddings for the most part but also guitar/violin duets, a jazz ensemble and a rock duo.
Sam utilizes an “outside-in” approach to teaching, using both traditional and contemporary methods that honor the individual interests of each musician. Sam is a passionate music theorist and he uses his background in classical and jazz to inform his approach to genres such as rock, metal, folk, etc.. Sam assists his students in the cultivation of musical essentials while holding the broader implications of music making at the core of each lesson. Learners will receive instruction in progressive and refined technique studies, music theory, reading standard music notation and tablature, how to use scales for improvisation, and ways to optimize efficacy of practice time. Additionally, students will be encouraged to develop their own repertoire to build a base of songs to perform. Sam aspires to be a teacher that imparts to his students a sense of self-awareness and self-actualization from the study of music.