About Us

Windy Point Music - Motivation, Inspiration, Education

The team consists of husband and wife, Andy & Andrienna Straw. We met at Bath whilst we were both studying for our PGCE. We have been working around the West Midlands area since the mid 1990's. We are both Enhanced CRB checked.
Now get to know us a little more as individuals.

Andy Straw - Like many teenage boys my first inspiration to learn to play the guitar was hearing music on television. After a few years playing acoustic, electric and bass guitar in bands and on my own I decided to take my playing to the next level and took up Classical Guitar in order to improve my technique. I fell in love with the instrument and passed Grade 5 in six months and grade 8 a year later. A year after this I auditioned at the Birmingham Conservatoire and won a place. I had three great years there studying guitar with Brian Whitehouse and John Bache. For my specialism I chose performance and performed in many venues as a soloist and as part of different ensembles. As a post graduate student I was fortunate to study with Carlos Bonell, one of the greatest guitarists in the UK.

Whilst preparing for music college I took up studying the piano, an instrument that I greatly enjoyed listening to. Within a year I had passed Grade 5 and had achieved grade 6 by the time I went to the Birmingham Conservatoire. Whilst at the Conservatoire piano was my second study.

Following my degree I spent a year on the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Secondary Music) course in Bath, one of the top places in the country to do this. During this course I chose the modules for instrumental teaching as I knew this was the way I wanted to go.

I taught in the classroom for a year at Eckington School near Sheffield. Whilst there I conducted the school's Senior Choir and took them to 1st place in the Chesterfield Arts Festival section for choirs!

After this I took up full time instrumental teaching. I worked for Dudley Performing Arts for ten years and in that time helped establish a thriving Classical Guitar department and Contemporary Music Department. There was a need for the rock guitarists to have the option to take exams so I set up a centre for Rockschool exams. I was the main driving force for writing a scheme of work and tutor books for Classical Guitar. It was my role to play electric guitar in a "Live Music" band playing music from every decade since 1930 to the present day. I saw the need for the Classical guitarists to play as part of an ensemble and set up Junior, Intermediate and Senior Guitar Ensembles. Delivering Keyboard lessons was also a regular part of my teaching commitment.

In recent years I have enjoyed studying Jazz and Blues Piano. For many years I led a band from the keyboard. In order to fulfil my ambition to play every instrument in a band I took up learning to play drums (thanks to my teacher and mate Simon Pembery for this - he is now touring as the Percussionist / Drummer for the Musical "Blood Brothers").

For the last six years I have worked for Shropshire Music Service and then under transfer to Telford & Wrekin Music continuing to enrich the lives of hundreds of students through playing musical instruments.

In my spare time I am a fitness enthusiast, I even had a sideline for many years as a Personal Trainer and Class Exercise Instructor until a prolonged injury prevented me from continuing in this role. I also love classic cars having owned many over the years including Minis, Triumphs and Volvos.

Andrienna (Andi) Straw - I was born and brought up in Pontypridd, South Wales. My musical activities began at an early age, thanks to my supportive family, learning to play a brass instrument in the Salvation Army Band. Throughout my school life I was heavily involved in music making and on reaching secondary school I took up the French Horn. I very quickly began playing with the Mid-Glamorgan Youth Orchestra and spent many happy years with them, leading the section for a good number of these years. I later became a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales under the baton of Arthur Davison and Elgar Howarth. Whilst still in South Wales I also played with the Rhymney Valley Youth Brass Band, Rhondda Symphony Orchestra and the Youth Proms orchestra under the direction of Owain Arwel Hughes. During these times I accompanied many prominent soloists including John Lill (piano) and Paul Watkins (cello)  and was involved in many international tours and TV appearances.

After my school days I went on to study Music at Bath. I spent 4 very happy years there gaining my BA (Hons) and then the PGCE Secondary Music. During my degree I specialised in performance and took Horn lessons with Martin Hobbs (LPO) and also had coaching from Keith Whitmore and Michael Thompson.   

In 1994 I moved to Shropshire to take up my first teaching post with Shropshire Music Service and transferred across to work for Telford Music in 2007. Throughout this time I have taught the whole range of Brass Instruments and specialised as a French Horn teacher, developing my teaching skills for individual, small group and whole class teaching across an age range from 8-18. I am currently also employed to teach French Horn and Trombone at Wolverhampton Grammar School and to teach A-Level Music at New College, Telford. 

In addition to my teaching I have led various music workshops in many different schools. I have also developed a passion for and gained a great deal of experience conducting and directing bands, orchestras and even choirs of varying standards and age ranges. I have been very privileged to work alongside a number of top class musicians who I greatly respect and have taught me so much - a special 'Thanks' goes out to Bob Wysome at this point!   

I am principal horn with Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra, a member of New College Chorale and play with A Capriccio Quartet.

My interests outside of Music are all things science related and exercise, be it walking the dogs, or going to the gym.