Teacher Profile: Jessica Westfall

Jessica Westfall

Jessica Westfall

Instrument(s): Piano

City: Seattle


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About Jessica Westfall

Jessica started learning about music and the piano as a small child. As far back as she remembers, she's been singing, writing songs, and playing music. She always had a piano in her home and at a very young age, she began touching the keys and familiarizing her hands with the layout of the piano while on her mom's lap. She was still only learning to speak at that time, and she learned music as if it were another language.

Gradually she began understanding the order of the sounds, the structure of the keys, and the names of notes while she watched her mom play her favorites. As a toddler, Jessica started copying melodies and finding the correct notes for songs she had previously heard. Muscle memory also aided her ability to perform for her family and friends until later when she took formal lessons. She loved to sing and create dances to her favorite songs, too, and she would regularly put on performances with her friends. This happened during school, at her after school programs, at family reunions, and at summer camp. She learned to plan and coordinate her peers' performances without any guidance or adult influence.

She credits those experiences with forming her sense of independence and the ability to take the initiative for goals of all kinds. Her knowledge of music gave her an outlet for expression and helped her develop confidence and social skills. This was also how she formed some of her closest long-term friendships as a child. They would perform their favorite dances and songs at school and then teach each other piano songs at sleepovers. At home, her mom taught her basic music theory and provided the foundation for her to learn songs by ear on her own. She practiced this way until she decided she wanted to take traditional piano lessons in elementary, middle, and high school.

She went on to perform in her schools' orchestras and took private viola lessons. In high school, she performed as an alto with the school chorus and her church choir. She learned to harmonize and find beauty in the many layers of the music she was exposed to. It helped her refine her ear for music while advancing her music theory and playing techniques. She would perform piano pieces for her church and school, and eventually attend the University of North Carolina at Greenesboro's well-known summer camp when school was out. It was here that Jessica began playing at much larger gatherings and where she learned how to cope with the pressure of being in front of a large audience.

Later, as an adult, Jessica took more advanced piano lessons before beginning her own music teaching career. She earned her first Bachelor's degree in political science and psychology, and also took music classes as electives. It was then that she decided she wanted to professionally pursue music teaching and therapy long-term. Jessica is now seeking an online music degree through the University of Maine and plans to transfer to the University of Washington where she wants to prepare to become a teacher and clinician as a graduate student.

Jessica is inspired by the creativity of musicians from all kinds of genres. She enjoys The Blues, Jazz, classical, R&B, folk, country, oldies and much more. Spotify is perpetually playing in her car and home. She is excited to be teaching piano with Lessons In your Home because she enjoys making music education an exciting collaborative experience with her students. Her first goal is to help expose new students to many genres and to fall in love with the language of music like she did as a child. She wants to assist them in developing their tastes and interests, while establishing their foundational skills. When or if that foundation has been set, she tailors more nuanced goals to her students' preferences and strengths. She teaches a standard piano curriculum but also engages with their likes and dislikes to help uncover their passions and talent.

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