Those Who Know Us Say It Best!

Testimony from Walker|West Parents, Students and Supporters

Finally, my grandson is old enough to attend trap drum classes taught by a Walker|West resident professional: Kevin Washington!

─ Bill Cottman, Host of 90.3 KFAI’s “Mostly Jazz”

As a native of St. Paul’s Summit-University neighborhood, I have known Walker|West Music Academy throughout its history. Walker|West is a vital organization that directly contributes to the success of students in St. Paul and is an integral component in sustaining our vibrant community. Not only does the Academy provide accessible music education, but it also acts as a center for the community to come together and celebrate through music.

─ Melvin Carter III, Mayor of St. Paul

Since I opened Golden Thyme Coffee & Cafe, Walker|West was and continues to be an icon in the wealth of talented instrumental instructors known all over the Twin Cities. As the founder of the Selby Avenue JazzFest, I knew I wanted to work with the cornerstones of Walker|West who are the original touch carriers of so much talent given to so many aspiring musicians of the Summit University Community and beyond.

Mychael Wright, Founder of Selby Avenue JazzFest / Owner of Golden Thyme Coffee & Cafe  

Walker|West is not just a music academy full of wonderfully gifted musicians and teachers. It is a community of positive, caring people who are in the business of teaching music but of transforming lives. I know this because both of our children attended Walker|West and their lives were enhanced and transformed because of this very special place. The teachers here go well beyond the typical student-teacher relationship as they mentor students to create and reach their full potential. I recommend Walker|West without reservation. It will leave a lasting impression on you and your child.

─ Beth Breen, Walker|West parent

Our son has been a student at Walker|West for years! The instructors are humble and are eager to share what they know as well as learn what they do not. They are patient and work hard to ensure that students perform to the very best of their abilities. Instructors are kind and show respect; recognizing the value that every student brings to the school. The school provides a warm environment; allowing students to make mistakes and grow as well as take chances and think “outside the box.” The instructors show great enthusiasm about their subject matter and enjoy talking about what they teach. What we admire the most about the school is that they have high expectations for students and provide opportunities for students to participate in many community activities! We have been pleased with our experience with Walker|West!

─ Jerry Baptiste, Walker West parent

Our introduction to Walker|West began with having our six-year-old daughter attend the Summer Enrichment Program. She loved being introduced to vocal music, playing the piano, playing the recorder, African drumming and playing the violin, as well as having the opportunity to perform. Through this first experience, she not only conquered her stage-fright but she also fell in love with the violin. We initially thought she was too young to begin taking lessons, but decided it was time when she was still talking about wanting to play the violin several months after the summer program ended. She has now been taking lessons for a couple of years and loves both the challenge and thrill of learning to play each new song at her own pace. She also loves being able to figure out how to play songs that she hears and performing for others at any chance that she gets. She recently had to complete an idea-generating task at school where she was asked to draw a heart and then inside to list things that she was passionate about. At the top of her list were both the violin and her violin teacher! We are so thankful to Walker|West for providing our daughter with such a wonderful first experience and foundation in music!

─ Keith and Dawn Allen, Walker|West parents

I like coming here because you always learn something. Not only do you learn music, you learn about life. I play the saxophone, bass clarinet and I produce, which I learned while being at Walker West! “

─ Matthew Cousins, former saxophone, jazz ensemble and digital music production student

I have grown as a jazz musician, and I have learned to collaborate with other musicians. The education the instructors have given me is much larger than just music. The environment is welcoming as well as encouraging.

─ Mason Krelitz, former jazz ensemble student