Fabian Westzaan

Music teacher for preschoolers


Can you tell me something about your musical background?

There were many different kinds of music in my house. When I was 10 years old, I started to play the guitar. Initially I played a lot of rock, but now I am also involved in non-Western music, jazz, improvisational music, and classical music. During my education at the Conservatory of Amsterdam I also started to focus more on other instruments; piano, mbira, percussion, and synthesizers.

How do you teach?

During my lessons I try to get the students curious about new types of music, and from that curiosity, let them compose something themselves, or improvise. The students get a lot of space to come up with their own ideas, and therefore have ownership of the lesson.

Why do you like to teach?

I enjoy the challenge of looking for the right way to connect the musical subject matter to the perception of the students. The students themselves often come up with beautiful and surprising results. Through this interaction I also learn a lot from my students, as a musician and as a teacher.

What do you do outside the music school?

As a guitarist I am involved in improvisational music, and as a project leader I am involved in a project where we are researching the artistic possibilities of online and digital platforms for art education. I also teach music in schools and I give guitar lessons.

What is your favorite piece of music, or song?

That is a very difficult question. There is so much beautiful music. Ornette Coleman and John Cage are important sources of inspiration for me. And It’s my Life by Bon Jovi has a special place in my heart. When I first heard that song I immediately knew I wanted to become a musician!

When does your work as a music teacher really make you happy?

When my students come up with their own beautiful and unexpected ideas. Then you suddenly see the uniqueness of someone and that is what it is all about for me; that the students discover their own voice by making music, and question the world around them.