We offer saxophone lessons for all types of student: beginners, children, adults, those preparing for university auditions, HSC, and so on.
Students of all ages and standards are welcome. Jazz Workshop caters to students who want to learn to play jazz or who are looking for an alternative to traditional exam-based teaching methods. However, exams are available through the JWA Jazz Syllabus.
Saxophone lessons are available from Monday to Saturday. Lessons cost from $41/ half hour or $80/ hour for weekly lessons paid in advance. We have six teachers on our faculty. We can advise you on who would be most suitable for you or your child:
Matthew Ottignon, B.Mus Hons (Jazz)
Matt Ottignon is an acclaimed sax player/multi-instrumentalist. A finalist at the 2002 Wangaratta National Jazz Awards, two-time Freedman Fellowship nominee and one of Australia’s hardest working musicians, he “creates sounds that spring from everywhere he’s been and everything he’s seen… music that’s undoubtedly earning him a place among the key constituents of the contemporary scene”.
He has been performing since the age of 13 and plays tenor, baritone, alto and soprano saxes as well as clarinet, bass clarinet and flute. Matt graduated in 1999 from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music (Jazz) First Class Honours. He is currently part of the Musica Viva in Schools program with the Sousaphonics which performs to schools throughout Australia.
Matt’s grandmother toured the world playing the harp with Liberace… his dad played flute and sax with Manfred Mann in a London-based jazz quartet. His youngest brother is an internationally renowned pianist living in Paris… his sister is based in London and has performed as a singer all over the world… and his other brother is a hot bass player who tours with Matt.
Among a host of industry legends, Matt has appeared on stage with internationals from Lou Reed and Brian Wilson to Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn. He’s played with and/or appeared on the recordings of (among others), Blue King Brown, Portishead, The Herd, Jimmy & Mahalia Barnes, Katie Noonan, Marcia Hines, Aria winners Monsieur Camembert, Dereb the Ambassador, Ten Part Invention, Guy Sebastian, Jackie Orszazcky, Bernie McGann, Cameron Undy and multi-award winning trumpeter/composer Phil Slater.
Matt teaches saxophone and clarinet. He prefers intermediate to advanced students.
“Ottignon’s saxophone, meanwhile, can cry sadly, compound itself with digital loops or fill the foreground with a classic tenor sound that’s as wide as a double-frontage terrace.” John Shand, SMH 2007
Peter Farrar, B.Mus.
Peter Farrar is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a degree in Jazz Performance.
He has wide experience in performance from mainstream settings through to cutting-edge contemporary improvised music. He is known for his combination of dazzling technique and sublime tone, and is one of Australia’s most respected young saxophonists.
Peter has a passionate interest in teaching, to which he brings a unique, but effective, improvisation-based approach. He has experience not only as a private teacher, but also tutoring outstanding student ensembles and coordinating exciting mentoring projects for younger musicians.
Peter has performed with leading Australian and international artists including Mike Nock, Dale Gorfinkel, Jim Denley, Amanda Stewart, Wadada Leo Smith and Cor Fuhler. He also works with such groups as Splinter Orchestra, 8-ball, Dave Panichi Septet and Farfinkel Pugowski
Peter Farrar on alto nearly stole the show with his solo on “Lieb”. He has a tone reminiscent of Ornette Coleman and an expeditious array of ideas. Peter Wockner, Jazz and Beyond 2006.
Gai Bryant, B.Mus.
Gai Bryant is a saxophonist/composer, flute player, and educator. She has performed and collaborated with Korean taegum maestro Won Hyang-Juan, Jim McNeely, Carl Orr, Mark Simmonds, Paul McNamara, Sandy Evans, Jackie Orzaczky, Jann Rutherford, Lloyd Swanton, Janet Seidel, Don Burrows, Roger Frampton and many others. She has studied with soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom and composers Mike Gibbs and Jim McNeely. Gai has toured with her own groups within Australia performing at major jazz venues and jazz festivals. Internationally she has toured to Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Sweden and Finland performing with her own groups and as a guest instrumentalist.
Gai is undertaking her Masters of Music Composition at Sydney Conservatorium of Music researching Cuban folkloric music styles. She visited Cuba in 2012 and will present her works in Havana with local musicians in November 2013. The Australian Music Centre published a jazz kit featuring five of Gai’s charts with classroom activities in July 2012. In 2008 she was Jazz Artist in Residence for Armidale schools and Regional Conservatorium. Gai has mentored players for IAJE Sisters in Jazz Program and Sandy Evans’ Workshop for Women.
Gai teaches saxophone and flute. She is happy to work with musicians at any level of experience.
Marty Wieczorek, B.Mus; BPsych (hons), ATCL
Martin Wieczorek is acclaimed as one of Sydney’s most outstanding young jazz clarinetists and saxophonists. Marty completed his Bachelor of Jazz Performance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and was the recipient of both the Brett Lockyer Scholarship and the Ewa Malewicz Scholarship for outstanding performance. As a versatile member of the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra, first as a classical clarinetist then as a jazz multi-instrumentalist, Marty appeared with the likes of Kate Ceberano, Daryl Somers and James Morrison. He has also completed his Associate of Trinity College London for classical performance on the clarinet.
Marty is a performer and composer wo has performed his original works at Australia’s top venues including 505, the Seymour Centre, KULCHA, the Ellington, and the Perth Concert Hall, and has toured his music nationally. He has also appeared with some of Sydney’s most respected jazz musicians including Aaron Flower, Evan Mannell and Darren Heinrich.
Marty has been teaching clarinet and saxophone to students of all levels for a decade, with many of his students excelling at competitions and exams.
In addition to his strong musical background, Marty also has a degree in psychology with first class honours from the University of Sydney, holds a Certificate in Small Business Management, and is active as an advocate for professional musicians in the Media, Entertainment & Art Alliance (MEAA). He also actively supports various charity and community organisations such as Oxfam, GetUp and The Greens. He has even worked as a volunteer in an orphanage in Bolivia.
Andrew Brooks, BMus (hons 1st class); AMusA.
Andrew Brooks is an accomplished performer who studied as a jazz saxophone major at the Western Australian Academy of Music (WAAPA) where he graduated with first class honours. He also has an Associate from the Australian Music Examinations Board in classical performance. Currently Andrew is a PhD student at the University of NSW as well as being a busy performer.
As a performer he has played with leading musicians and ensembles such as: Dr Tony Gould, Sabir Mateen (USA), Kate Cebrano, Francois Houle (CA), Hayden Chisholm (GER) and many others. He also leads his own groups. He has performed in Germany, Canada, USA and toured Australia and has appeared at such festivals as: The Melbourne International Jazz Festival, The TURA Totally Huge New Music Festival and The Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival.
As a teacher, Andrew has taught saxophone, clarinet and flute to a range of students: from beginners to advanced, from primary school age to adults. He has taught in primary and high schools in NSW and Victoria.
He is a passionate and patient teacher who is experienced in preparing students for exams and recitals – including AMEB exams. He works closely with students to develop individual student’s practice routines which include the development of technical skills on the instrument, aural, repertoire, sight-reading and compositional skills. He is also experienced at teaching jazz and improvisation.
Most importantly, he believes that having fun with music and achieving excellence are not mutually exclusive!
Evan Harris, AMusA.
Evan Harris is currently studying for a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of music where he is majoring in saxophone. He already holds an Associate of Music in classical flute from the Australian Music Examinations Board. In 2012 he was awarded the Elise Hermann Scholarship by the University of Sydney. He has been a finalist in the James Morrison Scholarship at the annual Generations in Jazz festival in Mt Gambier, and recipient of numerous other scholarships and awards as a student: all are testament to his outstanding skill and musicianship. Combined with an intelligent and passionate love of music, Evan is already a formidable musician despite his relative youth.
Evan plays lead sax with the Jazz Connection Big Band and Dave Panichi Big Band, and has performed with the JazzGroove Mothership Orchestra. He has also released his own CD as bandleader.
Evan has experience teaching students from primary and high school. He focuses on technique and overall musicianship as well as specifically jazz and improvisation aspects of playing the instrument. He can teach jazz and classical performance and is happy to take students through exams if that is what they want. AMEB, ABRSM and JWA exams are all available.