Contemporary Music Studies
Ash has a Bachelor of Music from the City College of New York and an Assoc. Dip. in Jazz Studies from Sydney Conservatorium. He was awarded Australia Council of The Arts grants to produce his own CD “Beautiful Open Spaces” and for study in New York, where he worked as a freelance bass player for 6 years.
Ash has worked with many of Australia’s leading jazz artists including James Morrison, Vince Jones, Dale Barlow and Bob Barnard. He has also backed mainstream artists such as Marina Pryor, Dave Hobson and Monica Trapaga.
Ashley is available for online lessons only.
Head of Program (Guitar), Guitar Teacher
Renowned guitar master Guy Strazz grew up in a musical family going back four generations and started playing guitar when he was eight.
Currently Head of Guitar at the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music, Guy has had an extensive career touring, recording, composing, and teaching. He enjoys many styles of music including intelligent pop, jazz, Latin, funk, rock, fusion, and classical.
He says highlights of his international touring career include performing to 15,000 spectators at Mumbai Cricket Stadium for Jazz Yatra Festival, playing with his Passion Fruit trio at Sydney Opera House and performing with Australian jazz singer Vince Jones at Sydney Domain.
“I have been fortunate to have had many exciting learning experiences and each one taught me to ‘dig deep’ into my skills,” says Guy.
While Guy has played with musical greats, and graced many international stages, he is also passionate about teaching music.
“There have been teachers in my family, so I guess it’s quite natural that I like teaching. At the end of the day, I like it when I see a student feeling happy to play music, whatever the standard. That’s the most important thing for me.”
A dedicated and experienced teacher, with deep knowledge and skill in multiple styles of music, Guy also studied ‘music and the brain’ as part of his PhD research. “This has helped deepen my understanding of learning processes and viewing each student as an individual experience.”
Many of Guy’s students have gone on to establish strong music careers with several gaining acceptance into music degrees at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, including Central Coast guitarist and Allen Family Scholarship winner Min Ahn. Others, such as Aaron Flower, have gone on to win the National Guitar Jazz Awards, while Wendy Anggerani and Luke Liang have worked with artists such as Guy Sebastian and Ronan Keating.
Guy teaches Harmony at Avondale University. He holds a PhD and a master’s degrees in music, as well as B. Mus and a Jazz Diploma.
Guy’s teachers in his early development include luminaries such as Australia’s George Golla, as well as Americans Mike Stern (ex-Miles Davis) and the legendary Pat Martino. His classical guitar teachers were John Della Torre and Greg Pickler.
Guy was a recipient of a Jazz APRA Award and two APRA nominations for composition; an AIR Nomination 2008 for Best Jazz Release; an Indie Acoustic Project USA Finalist 2006 for Best Global Beat Release; and an Australia Council Music Fellowship.
Co-Head of Program (Voice), Vocal Teacher
Since graduating from Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a Diploma of Operatic Art, majoring in vocal performance, Yvette has taught and consulted for some of Australia’s biggest singing stars including Wes Carr (winner of Australian Idol), Erica Packer, Lanie Lane (2011 Triple J artist and 2012 four- time Aria Award nominee), Ben Gillies (Silverchair), and Kate Akhurst (co-writer of hits on Ricki Lee’s 2012 album).
Yvette’s success is highly regarded and attributed to her unique approach to singing teaching, with breathing technique, stable sound projection with a strong focus on musicality, pitch, diction, phrasing and development of a large repertoire of music to a high-performance standard.