Teaching Comments

“A legendary teacher. He is a midwife, like Socrates, who identifies, aids, and empowers the learner to be the best possible and to learn how to grow without outside aid. It is very difficult to put this amazing and exceptionally beneficial process into words.”
– Prof. Kenneth Ketner, Philosophy, Texas Tech University

“A rare individual who combines a deep love of teaching with one-of-a-kind insight and ability. His impact on the musical world cannot be overestimated.”
– Prof. Dylan Savage, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

“Westney’s work is enlightening and has opened new doors for me. The problem he attacks is that attitude and approach to teaching has not changed in the last one hundred years. Our musicians are burned out. Creativity is killed with the perfection craze. Bill Westney brings us back onto the right path and is an inspiration in doing so – with humor and childlike enthusiasm.”
– Prof. Antoinette Van Zabner, University for Music and the Performing Arts (Vienna, Austria)

“Working with him can prove life-changing. His integrity and devotion inspire his students to realize their full potential. I am certain that nothing like his approach exists anywhere else.”
– Prof. Jessica Johnson, University of Wisconsin (Madison)

“Working with William Westney was one of the best and most unique experiences I have ever had. His uncanny sense of finding a performer’s style and helping each individual reach his or her goals is truly a gift. His class is one that I could take again and again.”
– David Gaschen, (Phantom in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and in Europe)

“We danced, sang, pantomimed, laughed, and played the piano. This teacher reconnected me with imagination (my imagination), self-acceptance, self-reliance, what music is all about . . and most of all . . . with joy. That Bill undertook to work with me and with hundreds of others on this level is a testament to his insight, conviction, and courage.”
– Julia Scherer, Steinway Piano representative, Kansas City, MO

“The serene mind-body connection, the less torturous approach to the piano and to music in general, and your own openness and just common sense have done me much good already. . .
Sometimes a person knows what needs to be done, and just needs a cheerleader/guide to get it out of him. That you can do this, and can do it without any double-talk and, more importantly, with a sense of PLAY, is just what the cosmic doctor has ordered. Can’t wait ’til the next time.”
– S.C. Bray (keyboard principal, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra)

“Dr. Westney has the technical expertise to deal with any and all the technique problems facing pianists at any point in their development. He has a great deal of physical energy and a vast repertoire of movements, attitudes, practice patterns, and visualizations which all work together to motivate his students. With that motivation, it becomes fun to practice without frustration. Also, Dr. Westney is able and willing to talk about (at least as much as possible) the metaphysical, spiritual, emotional part of music. I have seen in others and felt in myself the innate sense of “rightness” that he seeks to release in us.”
– Mary Brock, graduate student

“I had several students participate in his master lessons, and I can truthfully say he inspired them, taking them to a new level of performance. Dr. Westney seems to relate to students in a very unique manner, putting them at ease and finding interesting and unusual ways to encourage expression and musicianship. He can open the doors to imagination and excitement. In every case the improvement in the student’s performance and understanding was amazing.”
– Mary Ann Hanschu, Kansas piano teacher

Thanks so much for bringing your fabulous work to Colorado.
“We cannot teach what we wish
We cannot teach what we know
We can only teach what we are”
Your work embodies the essence of this idea.
– Nikki Tsuchiya, U. of Northern Colorado

“A special kind of teacher’s teacher”
– Amy Greer, Albuquerque (NM) Music Teachers Association

“I want to thank you for helping me in the workshops you gave this past Monday. It was VERY helpful– actually more like life-changing. I have taken your suggestions to heart and have been isolating small segments, exaggerating the gestures, and being aware of what happens. I went and did this directly after the Un-Masterclass. Later on that evening I played the program the way I had always wanted it to be played. I was in control, steady and a negative thought never passed through my mind. (Normally, I am all too capable of constant negative commentary while I play). It is such a different way of practicing. I believe that most of my practicing, in the past, was done in a non-awareness state. I was constantly thinking other things and usually having a dialogue with myself on how stupid, and untalented I am for making errors and for not concentrating. It is both shocking and sad that I have done this for so long. I think I am in the process of a major breakthrough with my playing and my life. I am so excited that I am going to be able to play and feel music the way I have always wanted to. I do not think I have ever played remotely close to my true potential. There have been momentary glimpses but never a completely realized picture. Thank you so much for your help. I learned so much from you and honestly thank you from the bottom of my heart. I realize now that I can be the artist I secretly wanted to be.”
– Richard Tostenson, university student