Jazz guitar lessons

at the JWA studio in St Leonards

Jazz guitar lessons are available with Tony Barnard, Michelle Shih, and 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. JWA 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.

We have three guitar teachers available. Tony Barnard specializes in jazz and commercial music and is happy to teach a range of styles on electric or acoustic guitar. He is also a master harp guitarist.

Michelle Shih teaches jazz and classical guitar. She also specializes in creative improvised music.

Saul Richardson teaches electric guitar, specializing in jazz and jazz-fusion guitar (all levels from complete beginner to advanced). We also have a classical guitar teacher – Michelle Shih.

Electric guitar students can sit for the optional JWA Jazz Exams. We can also help with HSC, school music performance preparation, and auditions. Beginners learn to play with good, effective technique. The program aims to develop both reading music and aural skills (playing by ear). Both of these are important for access to success as a developing guitarist.

Tony Barnard guitar teacher

Tony Barnard is one of Australia’s top jazz guitarists and is available for private lessons at the JWA studio in St Leonards. Since making his first commercial recording at age 16, Tony has recorded more than 40 albums, played at major international festivals and venues. His performing and recording credits are formidable, and his teaching is great! Tony is also an acclaimed master of the harp guitar. Click here to read more about Tony on his website.

Tony Barnard is delighted to teach everyone from beginners to advanced and professional players too. He’s a versatile, generous, and inspiring teacher.

Michelle Shih, M.Mus, B.Mus.Ed., jazz & classical guitar teacher

Michelle Shih is a guitarist who plays jazz, classical guitar, and creative improvised music. She has a masters degree in music from Taiwan National University. She also holds a bachelor of music education and is currently studying for her third degree, in improvised music, at Sydney Conservatorium.

Michelle Shih specialises in teaching beginner and intermediate guitar students of all ages, including very young ones. Michelle also teaches classical guitar to advanced level (she’s a past winner of the Taiwan National guitar competition). She is a wonderful, dedicated and encouraging teacher who gets great results.

Saul Richardson, PhD, B.Ed (Hons), MACE – electric guitar teacher

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.


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

2 thoughts on “Guitar Lessons

  1. Jake Fugar says:

    Hi, I’m a fairly experienced guitarist looking to progress my playing in the fields of jazz & classical music. I have a good knowledge of rock/blues chords & scales and can improvise fairly well, however just looking to further my knowledge, technique and improvisation as I am getting into composing and jamming as part of a guitar/percussion duo. I really enjoy the classical/jazz styles found in ECM records and my main influences would be Steve Tibbetts, Ralph Towner, Terje Rypdal etc. Just want to see if your teachers would have a knowledge of this type of playing and something they’d be interested in teaching? Also looking to get an idea of lesson costs & times etc.
    I play a combination of steel-string acoustic and electric guitar.

  2. JWA says:

    Hi Jake, all the prices etc are on the website. Quickest for you to look there. Yutaro Okuda can teach what you are looking for, yes. Email us to get started info @ jazzworkshopaustralia.com.au

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