Instruments: Woodwind, Guitar, Clarinet, Saxophone, Ukulele
Age: Primary, Intermediate, Secondary, Adult
About Simon Williams
Simon’s musical journey began at the age of 9 at the Nelson School of Music, where he played in the Nelson Regional Youth Orchestra under the guidance of renowned conductors Donald Maurice and Uwe Grodd. He received formal classical clarinet training during his teenage years from local teachers and Debbie Rawson from Wellington, while also venturing into saxophone playing. After a two-year stint with the Central band of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, he obtained a Diploma in Jazz studies from Christchurch CTIP. Simon’s passion for music education led him to work as a full-time instructor at the Nelson School of Music Contemporary Music course and co-found “Soundstage,” an after-school music and performing arts facility in Nelson. Currently, he is a dedicated music teacher, musician, and musical director, imparting his expertise as an itinerant woodwind and guitar teacher across primary, intermediate, and secondary schools.
Simon’s extensive performance experience spans various genres, including playing clarinet with the Nelson Symphony Orchestra and participating in jazz ensembles such as “The Nelson Jazz Quartet” and “Out on Bail.” He also contributed his talents to popular pop/rock/funk/gypsy groups like “FEZ” and “Cover Me,” as well as the electronic sounds of the Akai EWI in the band “Rabbit Hole.” In addition, Simon served as the director of the Nelson Jazz Club Big Band and the Nelson Youth Jazz Orchestra for many years.
Skills and expertise
For beginners, Simon prioritises establishing a strong foundation in sound and technique through regular practice while fostering a love for music creation. Lessons involve reviewing progress and setting goals for the following week to ensure continuous improvement. Simon breaks down music elements such as notes, articulation, rhythm, and phrases. Posture, breathing, and embouchure are emphasised, alongside repetition and gradual addition of elements for effective muscle memory and vertical learning. Simon encourages students to measure success by mastering phrases correctly rather than rushing through mistakes. He has extensive experience preparing students for classical and jazz exams, NCEA performance assessments, and excels in setting and achieving goals.