Musician shares her passion

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Local musician Anne Williams dedicates her time to helping others grow their musical talents.
Camera IconLocal musician Anne Williams dedicates her time to helping others grow their musical talents. Credit: Supplied

In 15 years, Anne Williams has cemented herself as a prominent figure in Geraldton’s music scene.

Not only is Williams a regular musician at local bars and pubs, she also dedicates a large chunk of her time to teaching music to children.

As part of the Department of Education’s Instrumental Music School Services, Williams teaches Year 5-12 students at public schools how to play the flute, clarinet and saxophone.

She also accompanies Year 12 students on the piano for their ATAR exams.

Williams said the free program allowed students to blossom.

“I love teaching, I always wanted to do it,” she said.

“I started teaching when I was 15, I wanted a little job while I was at school and I was getting double what my friends were getting at Macca’s. Some of these kids in the voice program at schools are just really good.

“A lot of my music kids are more resilient; when they get to high school they know a lot of the kids already.”

Williams started playing music when she was three years old.

Her sister had broken her finger, but their parents had already paid for piano lessons, so Williams took them. Now she spends her weekends playing music, often solo or as a part of musical trios The Harmonies and Rex Manning Day.

Although the mother-of-two mostly plays covers, she also writes her own songs, and hopes to release an album or an EP in the future.

But Williams said most people in Geraldton wanted to hear songs they already knew.

“I like to do songs that people know, and I’ll learn it because they like it,” she said.

“It’s not about me, most of the time it’s what (the audience) wants to hear.

“But I love playing music and covers, I’ll hear a song on the radio and I’ll buy it and learn it.”

As if Williams did not already have enough on her plate, she also helps other local musicians step into the limelight.

Since 2015, Williams has run Women of Gero, an afternoon of music performed by female musicians.

With the sixth Women of Gero event approaching in April, Williams has helped many locals overcome their initial stage fright and share their talents with the people of Geraldton.

“Some of these women look like they’re going to vomit before they go on,” she said.

“I’ve been performing since I was four years old, so to me it’s second nature.

“Experience is the key and I think it’s really important that they get out there and do it.

“Even if they can just get a half- hour set together, they get a bit of exposure and they get paid too.”

Williams has also been nominated for the Australia Day WA community citizen of the year award for the hard work she has done in the community.

Williams will be playing at the Twilight Markets on February 5.

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