Learn from the pros.

Our instructors are professional musicians and include some of the top artists in the Twin Cities. Several have received major awards or grants, and many tour nationally and internationally. Most have degrees in music. Some have taught at West Bank School of Music for two, three or even four decades.

Our instructors will help you reach your musical goals in a supportive environment. They'll work with you to create a custom plan that includes the musical styles, songs, and techniques you want to learn.

Our Instructors A-Z

  • Lila Ammons

    Instruments: Voice

    Lila Ammons has forged a path in music that at once honors tradition and her own expressive impulses. Beginning her vocal career in opera houses and concert halls, she later returned to her familial roots in jazz, classic blues and the boogie woogie tradition (she is the niece of tenor sax titan Gene “Jug” Ammons and the granddaughter of the great boogie woogie pianist, Albert Ammons). For the past seven years, she has gained popular and critical acclaim touring Europe and Brazil with German pianist Axel Zwingenberger, and as feature vocalist with the ABC&D of Boogie Woogie Quartet, which includes Zwingenberger and Charlie Watts. Ammons has performed at some of the Midwest's and Europe's largest Boogie Woogie, Blues, and Jazz Fests. While she still performs internationally with her traditional/roots music project, she has happily returned to performing in her home-base of the Twin Cities. She has sung in the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, the Red Stag, Hell's Kitchen, and several other area venues with some of the Twin Cities' premier musicians. Ammons holds a B.M. from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and a M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music (New York City). She has taught voice at the McNally Smith College of Music (St. Paul) and teaches privately in her own studio.

  • Bill Cagley

    Bill Cagley is a full-time musician who bought his first guitar the day he graduated from high school. Bill learned music in Waterloo and Iowa City, Iowa, by  listening to recordings and playing with such masters as Al Murphy and Bob Black. He became a full-time musician in 1987. In 1992 Bill recorded Cagley, Schafer, Black, and Njoes, a collection of old-time fiddle tunes with fiddler Tom Schaefer, banjo player, Bob Black, and bassist Sandy Njoes. He also appeared on Greg Brown's recording “Down in There“. Bill is a regular solo performer operating with the motto, “Music of all ages for all ages.” He entertains at historic sites, senior centers, and family outings, among others.  He also hosts a musical showcase at The Coffee Grounds in St. Paul on the second, third, and fourth Thursdays of each month featuring some of the best acoustic musicians in the area.

  • Dale Dahlquist

    DaleDale Dahlquist has had a long career of music performance and teaching with a "side" of music recording and sound reinforcement. His first professional stint was in the mid 70's touring with June Apple recording artist Dakota Dave Hull, playing bass as a sideman in concerts at upper-Midwest colleges and universities. Since then, public venues have included folk festivals, county fairs, art festivals, TV and radio shows, the Minnesota State Fair and numerous bars and music clubs. His teaching experience at WBSM spans three decades and thousands of students. Dale teaches and has played professionally in a number of genres: bluegrass, jazz, rock, pop and dance band music. Blues, swing and ragtime guitar are specialties.

  • Ben Davis

    Ben Davis is an award-winning Midwestern performer, composer, and instructor. At a young age he began studying piano, then guitar at The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Under the close instruction of well-known finger-stylist and historian John Stropes and Cuban virtuoso Rene Izquierdo, Ben finally earned his BFA from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in Finger-style Guitar Performance. While at UWM he also learned from a long list of superb guest instructors including Leo Kottke, Billy McLaughlin, Pierre Bensusan, John Knowles, and Andy McKee. In 2008, Ben was fortunate enough to study in Rome with Italian finger-style master Pino Forastiere. Not merely a finger-style guitarist, Ben is a well-rounded and experienced instructor, covering a wide variety of styles for all ability levels and age groups in both guitar and piano. Samples of his performances may be seen at
  • Abe Hunter

    Instruments: Keyboards, Piano
    Abe Hunter is an active collaborative pianist, performer and instructor in the region. He has studied music at the University of Manitoba and Bemidji State University. Abe has performed in recitals throughout Austria and Italy and founded the Loon Opera Company. Abe bases his lessons on a strong foundation of music theory, piano technique and piano repertoire. Students also receive instruction in practicing, sight-reading, memorization & performance, ear training and music appreciation.
  • Lauren Husting

    Instruments: Euphonium, Trombone, Tuba

    Lauren Husting holds a Masters in Music from the University of North Texas and has lived in the Twin Cities since 2008. She has sat in with the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Trombone Choir, the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band, and the Minnesota Symphonic Winds. She serves on the sublist for both the Mankato Symphony Orchestra and the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. She has also been a trombonist in the orchestras on Celebrity Cruise Lines and has traveled the world playing everything form Classical to Jazz.  Lauren has played with the Santa Fe Symphony, Denton Community Theatre, the Copper Street Brass Quintet, and numerous North Texas lab bands and ensembles.  A champion of new music, she commissioned and premiered a solo work for trombone, Portal, by Dajeong Choi, in the spring of 2007. In the fall of 2009 she performed a guest artist recital and held masterclasses at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrigate, TN.  Lauren's trombone trio, Trombone a Trois, performs both old and new music for trombone ensemble, and enjoys commissioning unique compositions.
  • Scott Keever

    Scott is an award-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist, instructor, and collaborator spanning two Scott Keeverdecades' professional experience in performance, music instruction and composition for film and other media. As a private music instructor, Scott brings thirty years of musical knowledge and experience to his students. However, his focus as an instructor is on the students, to allow them to learn their instrument and, in doing so, teach them how to have fun playing music.  He teaches guitar (beginner-intermediate), bass guitar (beginner-intermediate), piano (beginner, improvisation), and mandolin (beginner-intermediate). 

    Learn more about Scott at

  • Will Kemperman

    Instruments: Drums, Percussion (Hand)

    Since earning a Masters of Music in percussion degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001, Will continues to be heard on numerous musical stages around Minnesota, and has developed a reputation as an exceptional instructor. Will has extensive percussion experience in many areas of music, performing in a wide range of styles: concert hall, musical theatre, blues and rock, jazz, Eastern European, and Latin music. He has appeared recently as a featured percussionist with the National Lutheran Choir and at the Art of Sweat Rhythm Festivals #1 and #2. He performs regularly with the rock, R&B, blues, and soul outfit, Blue Daddies, and the Klezmer and Eastern European band, Maritza. Will has made a name for himself as an accomplished drum instructor for students of all ages in beginning percussion, classical percussion, drum set, Latin drumming, and marimba. In addition to West Bank, he teaches percussion, percussion ensemble, and Afro-Cuban percussion at three area colleges: University of St. Thomas, Hamline University, and Normandale Community College.

  • Karen Mueller

    Karen is a national-touring performer with over 20 years of teaching experience. An international autoharp champion, she has released 3 critically-acclaimed CDs and authored two books, published by Mel Bay publications. Karen is a teaching artist with Young Audiences of Minnesota, and performs in the band of Katie McMahon, the original lead singer from "Riverdance". She enjoys teaching many styles, including folk, bluegrass, Celtic, and more.

  • Jim Ouska

    Jim Ouska has been teaching individual lessons in guitar and bass and leading ensembles at West Bank School of Music since 1987. He won a WBSM jazz composers grant and has received nominations from the Minnesota Music Academy for guitarist of the year in the jazz, R&B and bluegrass categories. Also a singer and songwriter, he recently released three CD's of original songs. Jim performs regularly in the Twin Cities and throughout the Midwest and has been a featured guitarist on a number of recordings. (See above website to read reviews and hear samples from one of his most recent projects.)

  • Jim Plattes

    PlattesJim is an accomplished jazz and classical violinist who is equally comfortable playing country, bluegrass and Irish fiddle.  In his capacity as leader of the Larkspur Strings, he performs with and directs a jazz trio, string quartet and a strolling ensemble.  Jim began his violin studies at the age of eight and studied with Richard Adams, Vassar Clements, Eddie Berger and Robert Paul.  He has performed at the Guthrie Theatre, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, The Ordway among other well know venues.  He won the WBSM Jazz Composer Series competition in 1989.  Jim has been teaching since 1974.  In addition to violin, Jim plays harmonica, piano and guitar.
  • Paul Renz

    www.paulrenz.comYouTube Video

    Paul Renz, Director of Jazz Studies, started the jazz ensemble program at WBSM in 1993 and currently leads three adult jazz ensembles that perform regularly in the community. He also teaches guitar and bass, jazz theory, composition, sight-singing and improvisation classes. Renz has a Bachelor's degree in jazz composition and arranging from Berklee College of Music and a Master's degree in composition and jazz studies from the New England Conservatory of Music. He has been featured as a guitarist and composer on National Public Radio. Renz's works have been commissioned by Tidewater Performing Arts of Virginia, Tidewater Classic Guitar Society, Minnesota Center for Arts Education, MacPhail Center for Music and Roseville Area High School in Minnesota. Renz has recorded and produced several critically acclaimed CDs featuring original compositions and some of the finest players in the upper Midwest. He performs frequently in the Twin Cities and his quartet tours nationally every other year. Renz is a well-known clinician and presents master classes throughout the United States.

  • Kim Roe

    Kim Roe is one of the founding leaders of the well regarded Twin Cities-based American roots acoustic music ensemble, The Roe Family Singers.  Kim and her husband Quillan have also led a jug band that participated on number of occasions in the annual Battle of the Jug Bands competition in Minneapolis, and won the top prize at that event in 2010 and again in 2012.  Kim has extensive experience working with grade school youth and have conducted similar, jointly taught music classes in schools, including classes taught through WBSM.
  • Bill Simenson

    Instruments: Trumpet

    Bill Simenson has been teaching and freelancing in the Twin Cities since 1983. Has performed in a wide variety of styles and with such groups as the Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra, Latin Sounds Orchestra, at Mixed Blood and Guthrie Theaters, as well as with other groups and his own ensembles. Member of: International Trumpet Guild, American Composers Forum, American Federation of Musicians. Awards include: Bush Foundation Fellowship in Music Composition, Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant.

  • Paul Storms

    StormsLong time WBSM instructor Paul Storms studied music at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Jeffrey Van, Charles Pedersen, and Paul Berget. He has also studied with Michael Hauser and Pedro Bacan. He was chosen to perform at Master Classes conducted by Christopher Parkening, Larry Coryell and Sharon Isben. With a versatile repertoire that covers rock, blues, jazz, classical, flamenco and more, Paul teaches students of all ages, but is particularly adept at working with younger pupils. As a performer, he has played concerts from retirement communities to TV studios, from private events to the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board summer concert series with highlights including performances on WCCO and KTCA TV and radio stations KFAI, WCCO and KDWB. Recently he performed with the all star youth choir at the American Choir Director's Association Convention.

  • Dan Turpening

    Instruments: Accordion, Concertina

    DanDan Turpening has enjoyed performing on accordion for more than 15 years, playing at parties, weddings, in theater productions, and in restaurants. He is a graduate of A.R.T.S. Accordion Repair and Technicians School in Duluth, MN (since moved to Superior, WI) and continues his accordion studies. He has been teaching at the West Bank School of Music for over eight years.