We had the good fortune of connecting with Barry Wehrli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barry, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Unique products and educational methods that “think outside the box”. And of course the prerequisite for virtually any success: perseverance.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I began teaching piano and keyboards in the L.A. area in 1994. Two years after beginning my teaching practice, Wehrli Publications was founded to produce new, innovative books and materials for piano teachers. The goal has always been for students to thoroughly understand music concepts and techniques, be able to apply them, and achieve their goals as a result. I have so far authored seven unique books and two CDs for Wehrli Publications, some co-authored with my wife and fellow piano teacher, Linda Wehrli. Wehrli Publications distributes through Amazon, various online resellers, brick & mortar stores such as Keyboard Concepts in Sherman Oaks, and directly to music teachers at state conventions and clinics. I have performed on various keyboard instruments for nearly 40 years and have arranged, orchestrated and programmed music for Yamaha, JVC and Warner Brothers. Over the years I have also released various compositions for piano. One collection, the “Book of Preludes: 1-15 for Piano”, is now recommended repertoire in several state teaching organizations and itself is a great example of perseverance. Imagine what it took to compose an hour’s worth of advanced piano music, create the detailed scores so others could learn the music clearly and accurately, design a book to contain the scores along with surrounding text, continue press proofs until the book is just right, get it copyrighted, establish inventory, create a marketing plan, then publish it – all myself. And then came the recordings! But all of that can’t compare to the total hours needed to master an instrument.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many interesting places in L.A. As for eateries, it’s endless. We like foods from Asia the most, particularly India and enjoy eating at Gangadin in Studio City. Some of my favorite spots for a visitor would be along Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, the Huntington, Norton Simon, L.A. County, and Getty art museums, the Petersen Automotive Museum, Descanso Gardens, the Griffith Observatory, Holly”weird” Boulevard, Eataly L.A., various hiking spots in the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains, beaches in Malibu, up-close-and-personal live music at The Blue Whale, The Jazz Bakery, Catalina’s, and certainly concerts anywhere from the Soraya Performing Arts Center in Northridge to the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Music Hall.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Credit for my success goes to numerous people and influences in my life. Both of my parents played the piano. Their support and guidance through my formative years was crucial. My first piano teacher, Delores Rhoads at Musonia School of Music in North Hollywood, instilled the fundamental skills I would need for further development as a keyboardist and musician in general. Pro players Terry Trotter, John Novello, and Dr. Sandra Bostrom at Cal State Northridge were influential teachers as well. Then there is the vast catalog of amazing artists and groups I listened to growing up, far too many to list here. My early teaching practice was aided by the experience my wife already had in running her own private piano-teaching business. The discoveries of L. Ron Hubbard in the field of education are valuable and have greatly affected how I communicate with and observe students. All of these shaped not just my success but my entire psyche.