Mike O'Callaghan

Over the past several years I have had the opportunity to renew my passion for fine music and jazz with particular emphasis on woodwind. I commenced playing in small country dance and rock bands many years ago, which included backing visiting performers.

I offer relaxed but structured lessons/tutorials for clarinets and saxophones.

I come to your home for lessons which will generally be an hour in length - as a consequence student numbers are limited. No mileage fee is charged.

I am based in the Hornsby area and give close support to schools band participation together with technical skills development.

Goals are set each term at levels which can be met, where the student is committed to their development. An emailed post-lesson is provided to the student (and parent/carer if the student is attending school) after each lesson where required
or requested. I do ask that parents have an active interest in the progress of young students.

Material is drawn from a wide variety of sources (eg AMEB set pieces and Technical Work, Trinity College pieces, jazz standards, classical repertoire) according to the skill level of the student. It is required that set homework be carried out, according to a Practice Format that I provide.

Duets are a regular part of my program, on the instrument of choice - and I will also duet on a different instrument to help the student listen to and work with a different sound (so the teacher duet instrument could be clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax or soprano sax) - both classical and jazz based.

Introductory jazz learning is offered - in addition to blues, I work with books by Don Wright (Australian), Mark Levine, Gerry Coker, Lennie Niehaus and Jim Snidero, since much of it is within the grasp of intermediate students interested in the genre. I also have an interest in 'gypsy jazz' with its 'circle dance' rhythms.

Phone, text and email support is available at all times when I am not in lessons. Weekend contact is absolutely OK.

I welcome adult beginners who wish to work towards that goal that has been beckoning them for years! I am available for day-time lessons.

Lessons are of an hour duration and as I travel to homes, student numbers are limited. No mileage fee is charged. Current fees are $55 per hour.

My first instrument was the Bb clarinet and I have branched out to include bass and alto clarinets, alto, tenor and soprano saxophones and some flute. I have dabbled with classical guitar. Favourite instrumentalists include Miles Davis, Martin Frost (clarinet), Herbie Hancock, Paul Desmond and Stan Getz. Favourite classical composer: JS Bach (flute works are excellent for sax players who wish to extend their top end; His Cello Suites are excellent for bass clarinetists for their bottom end!). Favourite composer for students: James Rae; Lennie Niehaus; Andy Firth; Jim Snidero. For clarinetists also Rose, Cavallini, Weber and Crusell; for sax players, also Klose (and duets by Escovitz and Watts; Lee West etc).

Phone: 0400 560 581

Hornsby, NSW
Travelling in the local area
Thornleigh, NSW
Travelling in the local area
Warrawee, NSW
Travelling in the local area
Waitara, NSW
Travelling in the local area
Hornsby Heights, NSW
Travelling in the local area
Asquith, NSW
Travelling in the local area


Details last updated: February 13, 2024