Will Belew is a musician and coach in Oakland, CA.


What was the last moment of music that you heard? This morning, on the radio? Two minutes ago while you were driving? Are you listening right now? 

Where does that music come from? What part of you does it speak to? Why does some music feel better than other music, and why do those feelings change as you glide through your life, through the moments and the days and the years?

I make music that asks these questions, which just means that I care deeply for the sounds that I put into the world. I make shiny classical sounds and smoky jazz sounds, and sometimes I make surfunkountry sounds. Come listen.



Music has always been about two things for me: trying to understand beauty, and trying to understand progress. Beauty and progress. The beauty part started early, with endless recordings played on my dad’s old handmade stereo. John Coltrane and Dan Hicks and Bach and David Byrne and Freddie Hubard poured forth, like a soundtrack that was just part of the furniture. It would take growing up before I heard the beauty for the gleaming beacon that it was, but once I heard it nothing shined brighter.

Although I started on piano at age six, I was nine when my band teacher gave me a trumpet, a chair in her band, and a book of practice logs. Thirty minutes a day, she said, and more if I wanted to be really good. So I started practicing; I wanted to be the best.

I attended Interlochen and The Boston Conservatory but it would take a few years after getting out of school--years that I began to incorporate the fitness world into my life--before I finally began to grasp what my teachers had been trying to tell me all along: progress, toward beauty, is the only goal. 

Ollie Dudek, bass. Photo by Jeff Violet. 

Ollie Dudek, bass. Photo by Jeff Violet. 


I teach trumpet and music theory lessons privately, and love how this combines the musical and coaching sides of my brain.

My musical journey has centered around the exchange, of ideas and sounds and understanding, with the humans I have learned from and played with. In fact, of the many things that music has taught me, perhaps the most significant is the ancient and powerful connection between teacher and student. I am forever thankful for my teachers:

Frank Glasson, for his relentless compassion; 
Ivar Antonsen, for his joyful ingenuity; 
Ken Larson, for his special blend of dark and light, high and low, pirate songs and love songs; 
Steve Emery, for his commitment to the good and right in all of us; 
Eric Hewitt, for his singular focus on the essential in music,
Andrew Sorg for being a harbor when I needed it most, 
and many, many more colleagues, professors and friends whom I cannot possibly list fairly.

I hear their voices in my head every day, and relish in my responsibility to pay their wisdom forward. Contact me here for lessons. 


Where I'm Playing