About: Ashley Williams
- Role : Winds, Brass, and Percussion
- Website :
- Experience :
- Specialist in : Saturday Music Project Faculty (Flute)
Instrument you teach: Flute
Do you play any other instrument in your spare time? Yes! I like to play the ukulele, piano, and a lot of other instruments.
Education: I have a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University and a Master of Music in Flute Performance from New York University.
Where are you from? New Milford, CT
Favorite age group to teach: All of them! Every age group has its perks!
Favorite style of music to teach: Classical
Favorite song: It depends on my mood, but I love “Present Tense” by Radiohead and “Ansel” by Modest Mouse.
Favorite piece of music: This is a really difficult question because I LOVE so many! I listen to classical music all the time, and I often find myself going back to the Faure Requiem, Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata, Brahms Op. 118, and Copland’s Appalachian Spring.
Favorite food: I love samosas! I also love agedashi tofu, which is a Japanese food everyone should try.
Favorite color: I can’t get enough of the cerulean crayon in the Crayola crayon box!
Do you have any pets? I have a perfect little kitty named Mina that I adopted when she was just a little kitten. She loves to play, she’s the cutest cat in the world, and her favorite hobby is to walk all over the keyboard and make music!
What’s your favorite musical memory? There are too many to choose a favorite! However, one of my top moments was when I was 17. I got a chance to play for one of the most famous and influential flute players that ever lived, Julius Baker. He was the principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic for many years, and his playing style is the basis of the American school of flute playing. I got to play for him just a few weeks before he died, and he told me, “Don’t let anyone ever tell you to stop playing. Follow your passion and your dreams; you have something special.” That meant a lot to me, and I still think of that moment to this day!
What do you like best about teaching music? I love teaching music because throughout my whole life, at my happiest moments or my worst moments, music has always been there to help me process what’s going on. Music has also brought me countless friendships and experiences that are incredibly precious to me; when I moved to Japan, for example, and I couldn’t yet speak the language, I played music with people and somehow, we still managed to communicate! Music opens doors within ourselves and with others, and teaches us to be empathetic, compassionate people who know how to express themselves. Because of that, I love teaching music and sharing with others everything that being a musician has to offer. Music is invaluable, and I absolutely love watching my students grow as they learn more and more about themselves and their instrument.
Who is your favorite composer or musician? I love Beethoven! His story is incredible, and I love how it’s reflected in his music. I also think that his role as one of the first composers to compose for himself, as a reflection of his own experiences and emotions rather than as a fulfilled order by a king, is pivotal in the history of music.
What was the first piece of music you ever learned? After I finished my method books, the first piece of music I remember learning was the Bach E-Flat Major Flute Sonata, BWV 1031, which I also played at my graduate recital because it’s one of my favorite pieces of all time! It taught me a lot about how expressive the flute can be, and about how interesting classical music is.
How many hours a day do you practice? On a busy day, I make sure to practice for at least a half hour to forty five minutes, but on a good day, I like to practice at least two hours or more. My ideal day would be about four hours of practicing.
When did you start teaching at TBMS? I will start in October, 2017. I can’t wait!
Feel free to list any competitions, musical accomplishments, roles, performances of note, etc.
I once broke a Guinness World Record for performing in the largest flute choir performance EVER!
I have performed in productions of Sweeney Todd, The Magic Flute, Nine, and many other musicals and operas.
I taught undergrad flute students at NYU.
I’m currently principal flute of the NYC Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps band.
Any fun facts about yourself that you would like to share?
I lived in Japan for three years, and it was really fun!
I’ve also worked as a graphic designer, and my work was published in the New York Times. If I’m not making music, I’m drawing!