KX93.5 Feature JTC Degree Student Constantine Jajas


Constantine Jajas Tells Us About His Experience As A JTC Degree Student & Why He Made The Right Choice

Constantine recently contributed a new track called ‘Stellar’, to the excellent DIME Sessions Volume 3 album, which has been picked up by Tommy Benson from the Guitar Gods Power Hour on KX 93.5. Check out the show by clicking the image above, and read his story below.

I began playing the guitar at a young age, with my big brother Petros being my first influence and musical mentor. I still remember how much he insisted on me learning tunes by ear; probably the first and best lesson I ever had. My brother was mostly into Metal, but listened to good music regardless of genre and finding Joe Satriani’s “Strange Beautiful Music” record in his collection changed my life. That record introduced me to the true power of the electric guitar and I’ve been hooked with the instrument ever since.

During high school, a couple of friends of mine took lessons from a local teacher called Giorgos Lizos and after all the praise they gave him I decided to give it a shot and began taking lessons. From learning theory to discovering new music, I was given access to this whole new world and for that I will be forever grateful to Mr. Lizos.

In my early twenties I was gigging and recording with my band Soundborg. I had lots of fun with that band and really enjoyed the writing freedom we had going on. I had lots of opportunities to practice my composing skills with them and after one EP and a record, I felt the need to expand upon my musical knowledge which led me to enroll in Berklee’s online Guitar Master Certificate.

By that time I was already a working musician and being able to study at my own pace seemed like a good idea. During that course I had the honor of studying with the great Rick Peckham, whose lessons really opened up my view on the instrument’s harmonic capabilities. Berklee Online was part of the reason I decided to get my degree with DIME ONLINE. It made it clear to me that studying music online was possible. Combined with the right amount of real world applications such as playing live, recording and rehearsing, it can really happen. You just have to discipline yourself, be focused and ready to work hard.

Music is a big chunk of my life and will always be. It’s a tough path career-wise with a lot of competition and having the academic qualification does make a difference. A fair amount of research for quality, reasonably priced and flexible studies led me to DIME ONLINE’s BA(Hons) Creative Music Performance – JTC Degree. It’s a wonderfully thought-out program, with access to material from some of the best guitar players out there and I can’t stress enough how important it is for me to have the flexibility to study from anywhere in the world and at any given time throughout the day. A couple of months ago I was in Greece performing, rehearsing, recording, teaching and at the same time studying for the JTC Degree. Now I’m in The Netherlands and in the midst of relocating, recording new music and working as a guitar products demonstrator, I can still continue my studies.

Before enrolling, I had my concerns about this course’s musical direction. The JTC name may imply shredding your fingers off to some, but for those considering this course, this is not the case. So far I’ve had the honour to study with the highly energetic and talented Jon Bishop. I am a mixed bag of musical influences in a blues rock wrapping and I never felt pushed towards any musical genre against my will. Everything is approached in a “Music comes first, study everything, keep what resonates with you” attitude.

The DIME ONLINE team is always professional and truly supportive throughout the entirety of the program. Despite it being an online course, you really don’t feel the distance between you and the DIME ONLINE team. Me being a fairly new student, I already consider Head of Education, Atar Shafighian as a mentor. Acting as a student representative provided me with the opportunity to see what’s happening behind the scenes and let me tell you that the DIME ONLINE team truly works towards giving us a quality program.

Getting my tune “Stellar” on the DIME Sessions VOL.III album was a great experience. When DIME Instructor, Drew Schultz contacted me to commence recordings, I had just moved to The Netherlands and I must admit it was a bit crazy. A day before recording I was running through the streets of The Hague looking for equipment, and then the next day it was me on Skype with Drew, Matt Ryan and Matt Basner from DIME Detroit, working on the song with very limited time on our hands. That was something I had never done before and would love to do again in the future.

For now, my focus is on completing my studies with DIME ONLINE and recording music for my personal project. I truly look forward to the rest of my studies and any other future projects that may come along.