Lawrence Chen joined us at Blue Feather just a few months ago. While he teaches electric and acoustic guitar, his talents extend to drums and bass guitar as well.
Lawrence's musical aspirations began in church during his early years. As a child, he learned piano, violin, and cello, going on to learn drums for his middle school band. In high school, he picked up electric guitar "to fill a need at church and never put it down." Musical role models include The Edge from U2 and Nigel Hendroff from Hillsong. His role models in life have not only been musical ones though. People who have made a big impact on helping him become the man he is today include his childhood pastor Jaeson Ma, and Joel Patterson, worship pastor at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, where he attended.
His students also provide him with inspiration! One of them in particular is Emily Collins, who is picking up electric guitar, in his words, "even faster than I did."
Lawrence believes that fear of risks is our biggest obstacle to success. He draws from his own experience launching a startup. Though the endeavor proved unsuccessful in the end, it taught him new skills that he'll never regret. When asked what ingredients make a great performer, his answer was "listening." He cautions against becoming "silo-ed in your own practice to make your part perfect" and encourages aspiring artists to listen sensitively to the sound of their team, growing together. As time goes by, the music will become cohesive, because you truly "know your band."
In 5 to 10 years? Lawrence hopes to help shift the social impact sector to more sustainable business models. In the short term, he is already leading a team to DR Congo in May to help build better businesses, specifically helping their primary school become self sustainable. He dreams of many similar projects coaching non-profit organizations in emerging markets to become financially sustainable.
A fun fact about Lawrence: He launched and directed his own startup company for 18 months, supplying fresh-food meal kits to underprivileged communities in Washington DC.