This way back...



Andru Greenwood


Andru Greenwood had his first-piano lesson at the tender age of five. Unable to understand the thick accent of his teacher he insisted on a replacement. Several years and many small town teachers later, he excelled under the direction of the most advanced teacher that he could find. At the age of eight, he won the "Most Improved Student" of the year award but still felt as if he was so limited. It wasn't until he was thirteen that he found Amanda Virelles from Cuba. She agreed to teach him and Andru flourished under her direction. Being taught more technical techniques allowed him to begin composing his own music, releasing an open flow of creativity for him musically.


When he moved to Baton Rouge, he interviewed with a music counselor at Louisiana State University, who determined that his technique and style were best suited for the skilled guidance of Professor Samuel Welsh. Professor Welsh agreed, for the first time ever, to devote two-hour classes for Andru's teachings. "In Andru I found the most intense recipient for instruction. He not only is a well accomplished young man privately but musically he is, without a doubt, the most enjoyable student to work with. I've taught many students and I've never experience the time passing so quickly, during a lesson, that I lookup and ask has two hours passed already? He can grasp concepts so rapidly that I'm able to condense years of teaching into mere weeks. His wonderful sense of humor makes me look forward to our lessons. He's truly an amazing young man and I'm honored to have had the opportunity to instruct him musically!" Professor Welsh wrote this upon accepting a Professorship to Denver, Colorado. Andru's Musical Pedigree is exceptional. Academically he is seven generations away from Beethoven and five generations from Liszt.

In 2011, after the departure of Professor Welsh, Andru decided to take some time off from music to travel and prepare for Law School. "I had really gotten discouraged by my last professor with composing. I’d share my creations with him and he’d say, ‘It’s not traditional. You go from one voice to another and it’s just not normal.’ He’d suggest a different way for me to play it that I didn’t feel comfortable with. He was a great instructor; I learned so many important things, but like so many teachers he didn't encourage individuality. He led me to believe that writing was all structure and form and that creativity and intuition were the least of the composing process. It made me withdraw from composing because I felt so constricted and limited. Like I didn’t fit this typical little box. It wasn't until after I heard my sister playing a song I liked that I discovered a contemporary composer named Dario Marianelli. I was blown away by his work and moved by his creativity that I felt this release to begin composing again. I then researched Hans Zimmer and interestingly enough he said something that spoke volumes to me. He was told, on countless occasions, ‘This is all wrong! These notes are all wrong. This is not the way you are supposed to do it... I hear something in my head and that is what I write down on paper and that is how I want to hear it.‘ That was so liberating to hear! I’m not wrong - just different! You know teachers are great at developing your technique, but sometimes they can squash the very soul out of your individualism. I've had to learn that regardless if anyone else likes what I write - I like what I write! It moves ME."


While home, in late August of 2011, an overwhelming creativeness inspired him. In less than three hours he wrote the Finale to the book Henri RambleOn and the Disc of Enoraf. The stroke of creativity continued and in September he rapidly wrote three more songs for the book. "It's like I hear these songs begin to play in my mind. That initial spark! I suddenly can't wait to get to the piano and the music comes alive before me. Its almost as if I'm downloading the music from some unseen source. It's this mixture of mathematical equations, tonal harmony and a connection to something that's communicating through me in just such an electrifying and spiritual way. It is the most liberating experience! Music is definitely relaxing to me and it's such a huge part of who I am individually."



When asked what he thinks about the book his mother and sister have written Andru smiles supportingly. “I think it’s fantastic. It touches on so many important things in such a descriptive and funny manner. It really is fantastic! It’s honestly, without a doubt, one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. It’s not just because they’re my family; of course I’d support anything they do but, it’s really a fantastic read. I remember while they were gone, earlier this year, and they’d email us the new Chapters they’d just written; hot off the press.” He chuckled. “And I’d read this stuff and be blown away. Dad and I’d come back and say, ‘You just can’t leave us like this. Where’s the next chapter?’ What’s really great is that my mom is this kind of person who’s really smart and she can watch a movie and five minutes into it tell you everything that’s going to happen! With this book you never know what’s going to happen next! She and Brae just keep you guessing constantly. You read and lean back to say...I did not see that coming! I’d think to myself, my mom and sister wrote this!! I had no idea they were this dark, or, where do they come up with all this? It’s really amazing and I am such a fan of them both! They are truly brilliant, regardless if they’re my family, and I’m really fortunate to be able to be a part of such a wonderful project.”