Jeremy Sawkins


What do you teach at the Con?

I teach guitar and Jazz Combo at WollCon.

What genres do you teach?

My specialised genres are jazz, blues and rock. I also delve into Latin, African and classical guitar styles.

What is it that you love about teaching music – particularly at Wollongong Conservatorium?

I enjoy teaching music because I do like people and music. I consider myself to be empathic as a teacher. It is an opportunity for me to inspire, educate and influence people in a positive way. For young people a musical education/instrument study can be a pathway to their development of self-esteem and identity.

Teaching at WollCon is enjoyable for several reasons.

Firstly, in the short time that I’ve taught there, I’ve had some extremely gifted students come my way. It is easy and a pleasure to teach these people. Some have gone on to tertiary studies at Sydney University (Conservatorium).

The location of WollCon is extremely conducive to a guaranteed pleasant teaching experience for every visit. The charm of the old architecture set in the ambience of the Botanical gardens is always appreciated.

The teaching cohort is also a huge asset to the place, comprising a congenial and hugely talented group of people. The admin staff are also a great bunch of people, always friendly, helpful, diligent and informative.

Please share a particular career highlight and why it’s special to you.

I’ve had many career highlights, mainly in performance and recording situations. Some memorable performances were in 1997, touring Europe with the ARIA award winning jazz group Wanderlust and performing at prestigious festivals like the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland) and the JVC Jazz Festival in Rome. These performances are special to me because I was representing Australian jazz abroad, playing inspiring original music with a great bunch of musicians who are also some of my best friends.

What’s one piece of music that you’d recommend people listen to?

I would recommend people listen to the recording called “M.D./Lookout Farm” by American saxophonist/composer David Liebman. It is a fairly obscure piece from the early 1970’s. It covers so many aspects of music that satisfy me.