Musician | Psychologist


When you are planning your event such as a wedding, corporate event or house party, I can supply you with acoustic guitar and voice in light jazz, popular and classical styles. 

Songs can be learned and other musicians provided on request.


Blogs and news from music and music psychology

Why musicians should keep accounts and pay tax

First one is easy, if you're being paid to play you're automatically classed as self employed by the government and therefore liable to pay income ...
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Tom Robinson on gigging solo Gigging Solo: A Guide

If you want some great advice on gigging solo read this Tom Robinsons Abbey Road workshop at the link above ... "" ...
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I believe in a community of artists…

I believe in a community of artists and Ireland is known to be quite unique for this. We're like mountaineers, we all need to be ...
Read More

The learning curve…

The independent, DIY music attitude claims that artists should be able to make and market music to a professional standard without the need for a ...
Read More


Some music samples for your enjoyment!


Gary is a professional musician and psychologist based in Northern Ireland with over thirty years experience performing across the UK and Ireland as a guitarist and singer and is currently writing a new album and building a studio. He is extremely passionate about developing early stage career artists and is a lecturer in music professional development at Armagh SRC, recently set up his own music production company and is treasurer and director for Our Back Yard community interest company which provides events management, promotion agency and artist development services.

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If you would like to enquire about music production or professional development please see the Services on this page or use the contact form below.


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t: +44 (0) 7950053095

Northern Ireland

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Purple Mountain Music

Mixing & Mastering
Writing & Producing 
Session guitar & voice
Live and mobile recording
Guitar tuition and audio training

Perceptua Consultancy

Portfolio building
Career development
Research & analysis

Our Back Yard CIC

Events management
Artist development

Why musicians should keep accounts and pay tax

May 21, 2015

First one is easy, if you’re being paid to play you’re automatically classed as self employed by the government and therefore liable to pay income tax and national insurance. You might think the tax man can’t see you if you can’t see him, but let’s face it, you can’t hide while performing on a public stage. Sure, you stick the money in your back pocket and say nothing, but he’ll find you sooner or later and then you’ll have to pay. Oh, and if you don’t have accounts, receipts, invoices etc. that verify the money you say you’ve made and can be traced to legitimate people, then he’ll calculate what he thinks you owe the treasury and you’ll have to pay it.

However, in addition to paying an accountant to audit your accounts each year, they can also give you valuable advice about what to claim for and other money issues. You are also more likely to manage your money properly, make projections and understand your cash flow, which potentially leads to:

1.    Acting professionally towards your business i.e. working with contracts, being organised, timekeeping, taking care of admin

2.    Thinking entrepreneurially about different revenue streams, seeking business advice and investment and generally working towards a larger vision for self

3.    Focusing on marketing and advertising

4.    Teamwork and leadership i.e. Being responsible, accountable, committed and supportive toward your fellow musicians

5.    Looking after yourself physically, mentally and spiritually

6.    Being motivated to invest in creative development and output (as well as in equipment)

7.    Feeling more confident about your own abilities and gaining the respect of fellow professionals.

8.    You will be much more likely to make a consistent a profit that will guarantee a yearly income.

9.    If you are self-employed and have no accounts to show the bank manager he won’t give you a mortgage.

Note this, many musicians think that paying an accountant is a waste of money or they can’t afford it (they’ve probably never tried to keep their own books!), but the above points all come from real-life stories. Many musicians fail not because they aren’t talented, but because they don’t understand how to run a business!

If you take care of your business, it will take care of you. Get yourself an accountant (or a good book-keeper) preferably one that has some experience of the creative industries and consider getting business and marketing advice.

Next time I’ll be blogging about how thinking about value changes how you set your fee rate.

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I believe in a community of artists…

February 17, 2015

I believe in a community of artists and Ireland is known to be quite unique for this. We’re like mountaineers, we all need to be self-sufficient and want to be the one to climb higher and faster than everyone else, but we look after each other on the way. It’s a curious mix of self-serving, competitive entrepreneurship, community, spiritual, altruistic and vicarious living. It’s the only way to survive!

The learning curve…

February 17, 2015

The independent, DIY music attitude claims that artists should be able to make and market music to a professional standard without the need for a recording contract, big expensive studios or experienced engineers. If only it were that simple. The availability of low cost, good quality gear does mean being able to produce good quality recordings, but that’s where the comparison ends.

The simple truth is that trying aquire expert knowledge and skill across a number of key roles needed to create a successful, marketable product, is a gargantuan task – the learning curve is steeper than the Eiger’s North Face. Not that any one individual can’t do it on their own, but it normally takes a lot of time (years), effort, finances, vision and commitment to achieve this.

One of my hopes is that contributors will continue to demystify all of the processes involved, from mic placement and room treatments to good songwriting and performance practice right through to mastering, marketing and small business management. The easier these processes become, the easier it will be for individuals to access the market through finding the opportunity to build skills and experience that will lead to that success. I’d be glad to hear your views on the learning curve 🙂