In classical guitar, where skill and artistry harmonize, one name stands out with resounding clarity: Andrew Keeping. A British concert classical guitarist of international acclaim, Keeping’s musical journey has traversed global stages, radio waves, and television broadcasts. However, his impact extends far beyond the strings of his guitar. With a career that spans decades, he has established himself as a performer and revered educator, advocate, and collaborator within music education.
With a guitar in hand and a passion that knows no bounds, Keeping has been sharing his instrument mastery with eager learners since 1990. His versatility sets him apart, offering instruction across an array of styles – from the intricacies of classical compositions to the soulful rhythms of jazz, the electrifying energy of rock, and the soothing melodies of acoustic guitar. The breadth of his influence is reflected in the success stories of his students, who have not only taken the stage as recitalists and teachers but also as integral members of bands, accomplished session musicians, and renowned recording artists.
Beyond the classroom and studio, Keeping’s commitment to nurturing musical excellence remains unwavering. He imparts his wisdom through captivating lectures/recitals and masterclasses, leaving an indelible mark on institutions such as Melbourne University in Australia, Columbia University in New York, and prestigious British establishments like Harrow & Eton Schools. Festivals, schools, and educational institutions across Europe and the UK have witnessed his masterful guidance, inspiring countless aspiring musicians.
Throughout his career, Keeping has embraced the role of an educator with profound dedication. His journey has seen him occupy esteemed positions at renowned educational institutions, including Orley Farm Preparatory School, Merchant Taylors’ School for Boys, Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, Bethany School, Invicta Grammar School for Girls and Trinity School in Croydon. He proudly oversees the guitar department at Sutton Valence Independent School, championing musical education in his home county of Kent. His influence extends beyond individual classrooms; he actively supports music teaching within the broader educational landscape, frequently lending his expertise as a consultant to state schools throughout London and the South East. Moreover, he has been a distinguished professor and visiting lecturer at the esteemed London College of Music, affiliated with the University of West London.
Through meticulously crafted guitar and band workshops, he ignites enthusiasm, cultivates technical excellence, and fosters team spirit. These workshops culminate in creating original compositions, serving as a testament to the collaborative teamwork he nurtures within his students.
Amid his artistic pursuits, Keeping embraced a new dimension of his journey when he and his wife ventured into foster care in 2004. This experience deepened his connection with children, particularly those grappling with learning disabilities, emotional challenges, behavioral complexities, and communication difficulties. Music emerged as a powerful medium, offering solace and life-affirming experiences to these young minds.
Beyond the classroom and stage, Keeping has shared his insights as an adjudicator for music festivals and competitions, enriching the musical landscape by recognizing excellence. His involvement in international music committees, including his recent tenure as a director and council member for the Independent Society of Musicians, underscores his dedication to contributing to the advancement of music at large. In 2021, the Royal Academy of Music acknowledged his achievements and rewarded him with an Honorary Associate of that institution.
In conclusion, every note of Andrew Keeping resonates with a commitment to education, mentorship, and the transformative power of music. As the virtuoso continues to create harmonious ripples, his journey serves as a source of inspiration for all those who believe in the transcendent ability of music to enrich lives and shape futures and are passionate about transferring their skills and passion to others.