Jazz guitar lessons

at the JWA studio in St Leonards

Jazz guitar lessons are available with Yutaro Okuda or Saul Richardson. The focus doesn’t have to be on jazz – of course you can learn rock, pop, blues, etc. too as part of a balanced program.

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. Our team of experienced, qualified teachers is led by JWA Principal Saul Richardson.

Guitar students can sit for the JWA Jazz Exams. We have two guitar teachers available. Yutaro Okuda specializes in jazz and commercial music and is happy to teach a range of styles. Saul Richardson only teaches jazz guitar (all levels from complete beginner to advanced). The exception is HSC students preparing for assessment. Beginners simply learn how to play the instrument properly, albeit with a jazz focus. Please no students whose interest is just learning rock songs or “writing my own stuff”- not that there’s anything wrong with that, it just isn’t his area.

Saul Richardson, B.Ed (Hons), PhD, MACE

Saul Richardson is principal at Jazz Workshop Australia, director of the JWA Summer Jazz Camp, a guitarist, bassist, and jazz educator. He gives jazz guitar lessons, electric bass lessons, jazz improvisation lessons, and runs the JWA jazz combos program.

He has a PhD in jazz pedagogy and sociology from the University of Sydney and graduated from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in Education and the University Medal in 1995. He studied Jazz guitar under Steve Brien and Steve McKenna, and conducting with Jerry Nowak. He is an internationally recognized Jazz educator, and served two years as Australasian representative on the Executive Board of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) where he was elected representative for Australasia and Asia.  Saul also lectures in jazz pedagogy at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Richardson established and developed the renowned Jazz program at North Sydney Boys’ High School, which during his tenure became widely regarded as a benchmark of excellence in its field in Australia. He was recognized by the (IAJE) at their January 2004 conference for his outstanding service to Jazz Education.

As a performer he has worked with many of Australia’s leading Jazz artists and groups including Ed Wilson, John Morrison and Swing City Big Band, Andrew Firth, Roger Frampton, Don Burrows, Col Nolan, Keith Stirling and Tony and Bob Barnard. He has performed throughout Australia, the UK and Europe and in the USA. Mr Richardson also directed of the NSW Department of Education and Training Arts Unit Stage Band, the Blue Riff big band and the Powerhouse big band. He was a founding member of IAJE in NSW and works as a clinician, consultant and adjudicator.

His students have topped the state in HSC music, won awards, passed conservatorium auditions, and made careers for themselves as professional musicians.

Some of Saul Richardson’s past students have included Richard Savery, Simon Ferenci, National Jazz Award winning pianist Jackson Harrison, Freedman Fellowship winner Emma Stephenson, Dale Gorfinkel, Jeremy Rose, Jamie Castrisos, Scott Simpkins, Grant Arthur, Siebe Pogson, Nick Henderson, Andrew Brooks, Martin Wieczorek, and many other fine young musicians now making their own mark on the Australian Jazz scene. Graduates of his programs and ensembles can be found studying tertiary music across Australia, working professionally as performers and educators, or simply appreciating and hearing Jazz with discerning ears.

Saul is the author of the JWA jazz performance levels exam syllabus. He teaches jazz guitar lessons Tuesday-Thursday, and Saturday.

If you need quality guitar lessons on the lower north shore, then do consider JWA. The lessons are at our studio in St Leonards, just 5 minutes from the station and near the Crows Nest shops and cafes.


Yutaro Okuda, Dip. Mus (jazz), B.Mus (Hons).

Yutaro Okuda is a versatile and talented teacher and performer. He is a graduate of South Australia’s Elder Conservatorium of Music and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Yutaro is a talented teacher and fine guitarist and composer. His band “Yutrio” has been making waves recently.

is happy to teach a wide range of styles and approaches, though his specialty is jazz guitar. He is an experienced teacher comfortable with students of all ages and levels.

Mr Okuda is guitarist for Divergence Jazz Orchestra, Judy Bailey’s Jazz Connection, has recorded and toured with  rock group Sound of Seasons, and has even worked with Ska band The My Tys. Yutaro is available for jazz guitar lessons on Saturdays.


Jazz Improvisation

All of the teachers at the Jazz Workshop can give lessons in jazz improvisation to any student, regardless of their instrument. Saul Richardson specialises in teaching improvisation to beginners and young players. Other JWA teachers love to teach very advanced concepts.

So, whatever instrument you or your child play, one of our teachers can give lessons in jazz improvisation. Lessons can be either ongoing, occasional, or a short series. Call or email for details

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