Benjamin Westlund

Benjamin W.

Denver, CO

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Benjamin teaches

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About

Benjamin delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
November 2007

Ben is a teacher who currently resides in Denver, Colorado, where he was born and raised. He prefers not to identify with one age level or subject, but rather intends on developing a diverse "professional repertoire" that challenges him to grow. When asked what he teaches, he usually responds, "Everything". His primary musical talent is vocal performance, but he is also a self-taught guitar and ukulele player, as well as a songwriter/composer/arranger.

Ben attended the Denver School of the Arts in middle school, where he studied vocal music, music theory, and theatre. It was at DSA where Ben laid the foundation for all subsequent developments in his music studies and training. He then attended Thomas Jefferson High School, where he participated in choir and musical theatre. He played the lead male roles his junior and senior years; they were Captain Hook (Peter Pan) and Daddy Warbucks (Annie), respectively. He enjoyed four amazing years at St. John's University in Minnesota, where he studied elementary education. He participated in the Men's Chorus, Mixed Choir, and Touring Choir, and was selected for several tenor solos. As a member of the Touring Choir, Ben was blessed with the opportunity to travel to the Far East, including Japan, China and South Korea.

Since completing his undergraduate studies, Ben has taken on a variety of jobs related to teaching and learning. To provide a glimpse of his professional experience, he has taught all core subjects, electives and grade levels as a [dedicated and passionate] substitute teacher, he has taught English in Chile, where he lived for over a year, and he has coached soccer, both to children and teens.

Today, Ben continues to nurture his passion for music in several ways. He practices guitar and ukulele regularly, and he loves to bring his ukulele to work whenever he can, especially when he teaches young children. He participates in a Denver-based vocal ensemble called The Spirituals Project, which is devoted to the singing and teaching of African American Spirituals. He also sings in a group that he founded with Will Hanson, his good friend from middle school. They call themselves Benson the Dog, and they enjoy writing and singing songs about their past romantic follies and blunders, as well as songs that instill hope and compassion.

Ben assures his diligence and commitment when it comes to teaching. He devotes his energy to developing a relationship with the student, and as he comes to understand the interests, learning styles, and other traits that propel and perpetuate his student, he then strategically develops a curriculum that will both optimize that student's strengths and challenge him/her to grow as a musician.

Ben would like to thank Takelessons.com for their endorsement and support, and of course you for considering him!

*** Lesson Details ***
My lessons are comprehensive yet accessible, challenging yet easy-going, and entertaining yet meaningful. I possess the special ability to render dry and pithy music jargon into everyday, accessible language and conceptualization. My lessons will push your artistic, cognitive and physical limits, but in a manner that is comfortable and paced. I create a fun learning environment that is conducive to student growth. After studying under me, students can expect to understand, apply, and evaluate the principles of music performance, as well as the basics (and beyond) pertaining to music theory, but most importantly, my students learn to value self-directed learning as a means to make music a life-long endeavor.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Open living room space. Two couches. Seating for parents. Lots of natural light.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I have my own Guitar and ukelele. I may be able to provide another guitar, but I expect my students to have their own instruments.

*** Specialties ***
My specialization is in vocal performance (soloist and choral). I am familiar with many genres, including folk, classical, show tunes, opera, rock, jazz, sacred, R&B, and pop. I have performed with world-class ensembles and have toured.

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2 Reviews

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Scott W. Feb 25, 2013
Singing ·

Highly recommend!

Ben was exactly what I was looking for. He was professional, knowledgeable, and catered to my style/goals. He also did not spend too much time on exercises, but actually working on the songs I chose and how I can improve line by line with facial expressions, emotion, phonation. I could tell a significant improvement with some of these great tips for endurance, and sound quality. Thanks for the help Ben!!!

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Shelley S. Dec 29, 2012
Singing ·

Just the right balance of support & feedback

I am a beginning singing student & absolutely love Ben. I am intimidated by singing in front of anyone, since I have no idea if it sounds good or not. Ben creates a safe environment & provides me positive feedback, while focusing on the areas I need to develop. Ben's lessons provide a great blend of singing techniques and actually singing the songs I've chosen, so I feel like I am developing appropriately, while also having fun. I have taken group singing lessons before, but the feedback specific to me is allowing me to develop much faster. I'm having a blast & am impressed by Ben's musical knowledge & teaching approach. Thank-you Ben. I'm excited for my next lesson!

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