Benedict Westenra

composer

Unmute
About me

Benedict Westenra

About me

Hi, I’m Benedict Westenra.

I’m currently working on a composing and performing commission for a group exhibition in Spiridonov House in Moscow, for which I’ll be collaborating with the LED designer Moritz Waldemeyer.

I have 2 plays in development: the first is a musical, which was developed by Glass Half Full Productions, and which I was invited by Stephen Sondheim to play to him in his home in New York. The second is a straight play that was dramaturged by Leo Butler.

I also teach music like a language through my blog musophone, and have over 13,000 students enrolled in my courses.

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About me
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Contact me
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Spiridonov House

Spiridonov House

I’m currently working on a composing and performing commission for a group exhibition in Spiridonov House in Moscow, curated by Elena Kuprina-Lyakovich, a seminal figure in the Moscow Conceptual School.

I’ll collaborating with LED designer Moritz Waldemeyer, who’s created light pieces for will.i.am and Versace, to fill the main ballroom with hundreds of his LED candles, which will be centrally controlled to create a music-responsive sculpture.

The exhibition will also feature Veronica Smirnoff, Ivgenia Naiman, and DUSKMANN, and is sponsored by the Cavalli Foundation and the Russian Ministry of Culture.

Midnight Oil
Spiridonov House
Composing

Composing

2 recent rough demos of some old pieces: the first is my piano arrangement of the overture from an early draft of my musical, the second is a Russian lullaby I wrote for one of my students to play. Proper demos to follow soon …

2 piano arrangements of songs from a very early draft of my musical

2 more rough demos: the first is the first 8 bars of a piece I wrote for my sister, the second is a piano arrangement of a song from a very early draft of my musical (with lots of wrong notes!)

Composing
No life worthy of the name consists of anything more than the continual series of struggles to develop one’s character through the medium of whatever one has chosen as a career.
Juan Belmonte
Writing

Writing

White & Red invite

Czech Yourself

I wrote the book, music and lyrics to a musical farce about the Prague Revolution of 1848, which has sadly only become more relevant since I started writing it due to recent political events. I developed it with a £15,000 grant from the Arts Council, which was matched by private funding, and it was then taken on by Glass Half Full Productions. (Left is a poster from one of the workshops, when it was called White & Red.) Stephen Sondheim heard some of the songs and invited me to his house to talk about it, and we’ve been in touch ever since.

UNTITLED PLAY

I’ve also been writing a straight play over the past year and a half, set in contemporary London. It was dramaturged by Leo Butler, a playwright who was Playwriting Tutor at the Royal Court from 2005 to 2014.

Writing
blog

Blog

I have a blog, where I write occasional articles about art, music, writing, theatre, fashion, and travel, etc.

blog
The best piano teacher in London.
It even says so on his website.
Lenny Henry
Teaching

Teaching

I spent a decade developing innovative techniques to teach music like a language, and am now in the process of releasing my techniques to the wider public. Below are links to some of my courses.

You can also find tons of free classical and popular scores on my music education blog, musophone, as well as articles on subjects such as how to get a good piano teacher, which piano / keyboard to buy, the myth of musical talent, and practice time vs. playing time.

Beginner Piano

Beginner Piano

A course for complete beginners – no prior experience required. You don’t even need to know the note names!

“Ok – so who would like to start playing the piano without the hours of frustration learning music theory? I’m one. That’s exactly what Benedict does in this course. … I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to learn and play.”
Greg R

“This course walks you through playing simple songs, but they actually sound like the real thing which gave me a sense of accomplishment and encouraged me to keep playing. I highly recommend this course!”
Helenmary Cody

Read Music FAST!

Learn to see a note on a piano score and play it on the keyboard straight away. My best-selling course.

“WOW! The instructor’s method and exercises meant I was nailing five octaves of note reading in just a day! … Excellent production quality, excellent graphics, clear explanation. … I’d give it ten stars if I could.”
Mark S A Smith

“After the course, I can assure you that you will not be seeing a music sheet the same way again.”
Kathleen Rosario

Read Music FAST!
Read Music FAST!

Read Music FAST! Part 2

Learn how to read notes in context and decipher key signatures.

“His unique method of understanding scales is, by itself, worth the price of the course. Check it out. Definitely one of the best online classes I’ve taken.”
Lynn Kear

“If only every teacher/instructor could make learning this easy for their students.”
Nana Okyere

Note: this is a private course, so you’ll need to enter the password “Tigris” (the name of my cat) to get access.

Piano Chords

Learn to read chord symbols in a visual and intuitive way using real music.

“After buying loads of books on piano chords nothing has come close to this excellent course … it has to be the best on Udemy”
Michael Fallon

“Even if you already know your scales and chords, this course brings you through the variations so that you can do more than just play a triad each and every time.”
Richard

Piano Chords
Piano Chords

Advanced Piano Chords 1

Learn how to interpret 6th, 9th, and 13th chords, as well as augmented and diminished triads, on the circle of 5ths.

“He’s just a great teacher! Meticulous, professional, knowledgeable, thorough, and enjoyable; plus loads of content. Much more than your money’s worth!”
Altamese Akiva

“The instructor teaches a lot of advanced chords in such a way that then sticks in your mind.”
Bruno Sade

Note: this is a private course, so you’ll need to enter the password “Tigris” (the name of my cat) to get access.

Teaching

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