William Westney to Give Sessions at UGA on Performance

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William Westney, a distinguished professor from Texas Tech University, Fulbright scholar, and world-renowned pedagogue, will be in residence at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music from Feb 8-10. Westney is the author of the highly praised book The Perfect Wrong Note: Learning to Trust Your Musical Self, and creator of the renowned "Un-Master Class," documented in The New York Times and presented at the world's leading conservatories and schools of music.

He will be presenting many fascinating sessions, all free and open to the public. His scholarship and creativity are engaging and inspiring, and he challenges audiences to think deeply about musical practice, performance, and pedagogy.


Thursday, Feb 8th. Lecture: Music, Meaning and the Body in Motion. Edge Hall, 8pm.

As Hans Christian Andersen said, "When words fail, music speaks" -- and the meaning of music is notoriously hard to capture in words. At music schools, however, we should still try, from time to time, to do just that. What does music really mean to us, and what are we sharing with our audiences? This lecture focuses on the body, gesture, and a physical approach to aesthetics.


Friday, Feb 9th: Solo piano recital. Ramsey Hall, 8pm.

Music of Bach/Siloti, Mozart, Debussy, and Chopin.


Saturday, Feb 10th: Workshop: Pianists Meet Technology: Exploring the "Enjoyment Mode" in Performance. Edge Hall, 10:15am.

This presentation reports on the work of a transdisciplinary research team that used two high-tech methodologies: motion-capture recording and fMRI brain scanning. The subject was classical pianists and the interesting things that happen then they are invited to simply "enjoy themselves" while performing.

Saturday, Feb 10th: Workshop: How Can a Wrong Note be Perfect? Edge Hall, 11:30am.

Is perfectionism healthy or not?  Should we avoid mistakes or embrace them?  How can our musical pursuits keep their natural joyousness? This presentation – inspiring, candid, sensible – questions much of the “conventional wisdom” about music lessons, and has been enthusiastically received at conventions and meetings throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.


Saturday, Feb 10th: The "Un-Masterclass." Ramsey Hall, 2pm-4pm

The Un-Master Class® is a popular and unique performance workshop, developed by William Westney and designed as a lively, engaging alternative to the traditional master-class. Starting with interactive group warm-ups, an environment is created that builds trust, dissolves barriers, and  encourages the authenticity of each performer's individual artistry.


These events are made possible through the generous support of the Willson Center for Humanities and the Arts, and the Despy Karlas Professorship.