Profile: David Gibler
by Christian Ledwell
As owner of the Stratford Music Academy and Maritime Luxury Limosine, Dave Gibler says he would rather have one single business that took care of all the bills, and most people—having a keen desire to play guitar while in a limosine—would see it as a shame that his businesses could not be somehow combined.
As things stand however, his Stratford Music Academy offers lessons in guitar, electric bass, piano, fiddle, drum and violin, by teachers Gibler, Aaron Crane, Allison Ling, and Danny Vent. Gibler’s second company, Maritime Luxury Limosine, is a five-vehicle chaffeured service which caters primarily to corporate clients, providing black limosines.
Gibler grew up in a musical family: his mother was a classical pianist and avid Ray Charles fan, and his father was a jazz drummer who listened to country & western in his spare time. “So, of course, I like rock,” he jokes. After learning guitar from his uncle and developing a teenage obsession with Jeff Beck and Led Zeppelin, Gibler spent two years studying jazz guitar at William Patterson University, where he found his interest waning on account of the jazz purist-bent of the instructors.
Gibler applied and was accepted into the 350-student class at the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, California, where he studied under instructors who allowed for greater stylistic variety. After class at GIT, Gibler and his classmates would go out to watch still up-and-coming acts Motley Crue and Ywngie Malmsteen perform in Hollywood clubs.
Gibler spent three years playing original music in New York City with the group Teachers from Detroit, fronted by a Wall Street stock broker who financed recording sessions out-of-pocket in high-end studios, including Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland.
During his residence in New York, Gibler also became involved in the limosine business. Gibler says he enjoyed the work, in which he got to meet Bob Hope and Willem Defoe.
Gibler has been teaching guitar on PEI for over six years, and opened the Stratford Music Academy three years ago. He says his students range from 6- to 80-years old; from teenage boys who want to learn speed metal, to a middle-aged woman studying under him for the last six years who can now read music in seven time signatures, and plays guitar because it keeps her mind sharp and helps her arthritis.
Gibler enjoys the range of experience teaching exposes him to, saying, “I love beginners; I love when that light comes on. I remember when that light came on for me.” He sees playing music as a populist discipline, explaining, “Maybe you can’t hit a baseball far, but anyone can have a level of proficiency on an instrument.”
This fall, Stratford Music Academy will also be opening a full-service rehearsal space for rent, with microphones, amplifiers and a drum kit provided. More information on this service and on booking lessons can be found at www.stratfordmusicacademy.com.