Shawn Whitmer

Adjunct Faculty, Jazz Keyboard and Arranging




2020 marks Shawn Whitmer’s 7th year as a member of the UNLV Division of Jazz faculty.  He is uniquely qualified to instruct aspiring musicians in their chosen genre and in the business of their profession; helping musicians to create empowering careers.

As a commercial pianist, Shawn has over 40 years of professional experience playing a wide range of genres which include jazz, blues, rock, country, and gospel, as well as musical theater. He is also an accomplished composer and arranger. 

As an entrepreneur, Shawn opened a successful music school in Laguna Niguel, California. The Niguel Music Academy, with a faculty of over 25 teachers offered private and group instrumental classes inspiring hundreds of students.  This involvement led him to start other family businesses which included Whitmer Music, a music retail and service business that was open for more than 25 years.

From an early age, teaching was a way for Shawn to give back to an art that gave him so much joy and freedom. He welcomes this opportunity to incorporate his decades of experience and love of music in teaching a well-rounded class beneficial to all musicians, regardless of their primary instruments.


“If you take the time & your talent is real, it will last.” – Bill Evans, jazz pianist