IPU Student plays through lockdown
For many, the lockdown was a time when hobbies and special interests were more important than ever. Despite IPU New Zealand carrying an online approach to learning throughout lockdown, there was still a lot of free time that students had during the isolation period. One student saw this not as a challenge, but rather an opportunity to put his learned-English into real practice, and mix it with his other passion - playing the guitar.
Taiga Kawano has been playing the guitar since he was 11 years old, and with the entire world shifting more towards online communication than ever, this produced a special opportunity for the IPU New Zealand student. Utilising Skype, two world-renowned guitarists were providing applicants with the opportunity to partake in a one-on-one private guitar lesson. Whitesnake's Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra coached Taiga for multiple lessons each weekend. This allowed Taiga to fine tune his own guitar skills, pick up some special tricks, and get to communicate with two of his music idols in English. Taiga was glad because he could learn many techniques of HR/HM from two superstars, and the hard work that Taiga has instilled into his class work has allowed for opportunities to fine tune his personal passion for the guitar.
The experience has given Taiga a new determination to continually strive for improvement in his personal abilities, and has also opened doors for him to play publicly within the Manawatu community, one of those being the Celtic Inn's 'Jam night' where Taiga plays solo gigs. We are sure this is merely the beginning of great things, and Taiga is excited for the opportunity to see Whitesnake live in Japan for their upcoming ‘Flesh and Blood tour’.