Music Decoded

About Simon Eastwood

Simon Eastwood is a composer and bass player from Wellington. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington. He also has an LRAM teaching diploma from the Royal Academy. 

His doctoral project at the NZSM, Plant this Seed: Grow a Garden, revolved around ‘re-interpretive collaboration’ with non-classical musicians, poets, painters, dancers, and video artist. In this project, Simon invited collaborative partners from different backgrounds to transform one another’s work in order to create new pieces. He then analysed and compared the various outcomes. 

Simon has a broad range of teaching experience, having taught double bass, cello, bass guitar, composition, and musicianship privately for over 15 years, and has worked with students from a range of ages and backgrounds.

Course Overview

Have you ever wanted to understand the inner workings of your favourite song or composition?

Composer Simon Eastwood presents a holistic approach to music theory and analysis, uncovering the hidden patterns that make a musical composition tick and revealing how they influence our intuitive listening experiences. Each term focuses on a piece of music that demonstrates a particular musical concept, and leads up to a live performance of that work (COVID-willing) so that participants can witness these ideas in action.

People of all levels are welcome. Knowledge of musical notation is not absolutely necessary, but will be useful in many parts of the course.

In Term 4 we will look at the oratorio. Part concert, part opera, this is an epic and sweeping genre that combines orchestral music with choral writing and storytelling. This term we are lucky to be presented with two very different takes on the genre. Robert Schumann’s ‘Scenes from Goethe’s “Faust”’ and the Christmas classic, Handel’s ‘Messiah’. We will look at the history and development of the oratorio as a form, before comparing and contrasting these two massive works.

Orchestra Wellington: Faust, 3 December 2022
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Messiah, 10 December 2022

Ticket prices to any live performances are not included in the course fee.

Timetable and Enrolment


Term 4 2022

Start: 20th Oct
Finish: 15th Dec
Thursdays  7.30pm-9.00pm (8 weeks)
NB No session scheduled on 3rd Nov 


Scots College Creative and Performing Arts Centre Music Rooms


Simon Eastwood

Target Market


(incl GST)

(incl GST) $205 (8 weeks)




Our Location

Rātā Studios
Based at Scots College
1 Monorgan Road
Wellington 6022
Rātā Studios
Based at Scots College
PO Box 15064
Wellington 6243