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Mike Oppenheim

Guitarist, educator, ethnomusicologist, and cultural explorer.

About Me

Music is, and always has been, a passion of mine. I picked up the guitar at the age of eight, and except for a brief hiatus in middle school, I've played ever since. I've dabbled in pretty much every genre of guitar music imaginable, from jam bands to classical, fingerstyle blues and country to Celtic, bluegrass to heavy metal, and everything in between.

After high school I enrolled at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Upon taking an Intro to Ethnomusicology class I was drawn to the sounds of non-Western music. I joined the Indonesian Gamelan ensemble, which I played in for the next two years.

In the summer of 2005 I attended a study abroad program with Temple University in Dhrangadhra, India. I regularly spent up to six hours a day with my teacher studying the Indian classical guitar, or Mohan Veena. This was my first in depth study of Hindustani (North Indian) classical music, though it had been an interest since my early teenage years.

Upon graduation I briefly interned for the Calliope Society of Folk Music in Pittsburgh, PA. Here I discovered Old-Time and American roots music and seriously began studying the five-string banjo, mandolin, and Appalachian dulcimer.

In 2007, in Philadelphia, I began studying with the jazz guitar guru, Chuck Anderson. In Philadelphia I worked full time teaching private music lessons, gigging, and repairing all varieties of fretted instruments.

I moved to Vancouver, BC in 2010 to pursue an MA degree in ethnomusicology at the University of British Columbia. My time in Vancouver allowed me to hone many of my music analytical and compositional skills. I also was exposed to different musical traditions by participating in and performing with the UBC African Drum and Dance Ensemble and the UBC Capoeira Angola group.

My hobbies and interests outside of music include hiking, boxing, and Muay Thai. I currently live in Koh Samui, Thailand, teaching music, writing instructional materials, and training at Jun Muay Thai.

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