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Extraordinary Associate of the Month February 2016: Jenny Denk MT-BC
By West Music Company
2/24/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Jenny DenkSince she became the first music therapist for West Music in Urbandale, Jenny has taken the area by storm! We knew Jenny was a good egg when we hired her but had no idea how amazing she truly is! While we initially thought it would take some time to fill her caseload, she had found enough work to keep her busy (and then some) within just a few months!

Jenny started the SoundReach choir and had 7 people show up to the first semester. She now has 20-30 people who regularly attend and some semesters are upwards of 40 people! Jenny’s passion for music therapy is evident in everything she does! From learning Vietnamese songs for a Vietnamese patient who spoke no English, to being with patients as they are actively dying, Jenny quickly creates rapport and tries to learn whatever she can to make the session a beneficial one for everyone involved. Jenny is also very involved with the Iowa Chapter of Music Therapy and the Iowa Task Force for Music Therapy Recognition, and you can often find her at the Capitol advocating for music therapy licensure.

She is a team player and goes above and beyond to keep her fellow music therapists engaged and to recognize their achievements, so we are so happy to be able to recognize her and all of her hard work!

Congratulations Jenny and thanks for all you do!

As told by Kelly L. Carlson, MA, MT-BC
Music Therapist-Board Certified

Tags: Jenny Denk, Music Therapy, Urbandale, SoundReach, Iowa Chapter of Music Therapy, Iowa Task Force for Music Therapy Recognition
Categories: Music Therapy, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Meet Our Repair Team - Tom Bielefeldt: West Music Marion
By West Music Company
2/18/2016 10:00:00 AM  

Tom Bielefeldt is a Fretted and Stringed Instrument Repair Specialist at the West Music Marion location. He performs both repairs and setups at all levels, and specializes in banjos (4-,5-, and 6-string), mandolins, ukuleles, and the entire string orchestral family (violin, viola, cello, and bass). He's certified for warranty on Yamaha, Gibson/Epiphone, Martin, Taylor, Fender/Squier, Jackson, Charvel, Gretsch, Paul Reed Smith, and many, many more. He's also certified for the Buzz Feiten Tuning System retrofitter and set-up station. In addition, he's certified on Yamaha, Steinway, Baldwin, Kawai, and Young Chang piano cabinet repair. Tom has a degree in Commercial Music with a Jazz Guitar Performance emphasis, and repair/luthier school training. He's been doing this work professionally since 1985 and for friends and family since 1978. With the help of his dad, he built his first guitar in 1978.

If you have an instrument in need of repair, contact Tom at West Music Marion by calling 800.373.9101 or 319.377.9100!

Tags: Tom Bielefeldt, marion, repair, maintenance, guitar, bass, strings, mandolin, ukulele, orchastra
Categories: West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion, Company Culture
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Meet Our Repair Team - Bruce Vanderschel: West Music Coralville
By West Music Company
2/10/2016 12:00:00 AM  
Bruce Vanderschel is a Fretted and Stringed Instrument Repair Specialist at the West Music Coralville location. He's a very well-known figure in the eastern Iowa music scene, having over 40 years under his belt in assisting musicians with a wide variety of musical instrument repairs. His specialty is fretted instrument repair, ranging from acoustic and electric guitars and basses, banjos and mandolins--in addition to having extensive experience in violin and cello repair. He holds a large amount of official repair certifications, including ones from C.F. Martin--which was his first, acquired in 1978--Fender, Guild, Gibson/Epiphone, Yamaha and many more.

If you have an instrument in need of repair, contact Bruce at West Music Coralville by calling 800.373.2000 or 319.351.2000!

Tags: Bruce Vanderschel, repair, guitars, string, luthier, violin, cello, banjo, mandolin, bass, fretted,
Categories: Guitars & Folk, West Music Coralville
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LefreQue Distribution in North America
By West Music Company
2/9/2016 12:01:00 AM  
Photo: LefreQue-US Team (Top, left to right) Ryan West, Cathy Miller, Robin Walenta, Steve West (Bottom, left to right) Bert-Jan Reekers, Hans KuijtCoralville, IA – February 1, 2016 –  LefreQue US has been established as the distributor of lefreQue sound enhancers for North America. This signals a new collaboration between LefreQue BV of Hoogland, The Netherlands, and West Music Company of Coralville, Iowa.

“With many of the world’s top musicians endorsing the lefreQue products, we are excited to expand awareness and support throughout North America. We see this as a great opportunity for all wind players, as players at every level can benefit.” – said Cathy Miller, Vice President.

What is a lefreQue?
The lefreQue is a sound bridge that enhances the sound on all wind instruments. It consists of a uniquiely designed bridge that utlizes two metal elements created from carefully selected materials. The lefreQue repairs sound breaches which naturally occur as a result of the connection points in wind instruments. The lefreQue was invented by saxophone and flute player Hans Kuijt and has been embraced by musicians worldwide, including wind players in the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Learn more about lefreQue at lefreque.com.
About lefreQue Distribution
LefreQue US is seeking to expand the dealer network. These products were formally introduced into the US market in August 2015 at the National Flute Association Convention. Based on the resulting explosion of business, there is great anticipation for this revolutionary product to be in high demand. Interested parties should contact cmiller@lefreque-us.com for further information.

Learn more about lefreQue at lefreque.com.

Photo: LefreQue-US Team
(Top, left to right) Ryan West, Cathy Miller, Robin Walenta, Steve West
(Bottom, left to right) Bert-Jan Reekers, Hans Kuijt

Tags: LefreQue, north america, sound solution, enhancer, wind instruments, Hans Kuijt, Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, National Flute Association Convention,
Categories: Press Releases
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Tom Bielefeldt in the String Repair Shop
By West Music Company
2/1/2016 12:10:00 PM  
Mark Nicolay takes you on a tour of the Marion String Repair Shop where you get to know Tom Bielefeldt, a 30-year repair pro.

Tags: Mark Nicolay, Tom Bielefeldt, marion, string repair shop, guitar, repair, strings, luthier
Categories: Guitars & Folk, West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion
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Cedar Falls Teacher Feature: Kip Roelfsema
By West Music Company
2/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Kip Roelfsema teaches drumset and snare at Cedar Falls Conservatory. Working with beginners through all levels of study Kip has a number of students playing in bands. Growing up in Steamboat Rock, Kip attended UNI and was a Social Studies Major. Although he is an accomplished teacher Kip continues to be a dedicated student of percussion studies and has continued his education on the drum set through clinics, workshops, independent study, and master classes.

Kip lives in the country near Denver, Iowa with his wife Jill, son Alex, and their pet cats and dogs. He is an outdoor person and can be found fishing, camping, or hiking when he takes vacations and he has visited several national parks. When Kip isn't out performing, he enjoys attending concerts and live local music events. An evening out can find him enjoying a meal at a local Mexican restaurant and then catching a show afterwards.

Beyond teaching drums, Kip has played in a handful of bands for over 9 years. He was with the rock band BadDog and now currently plays for the blues-rock band Fat Cat. He has been strongly influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughn, Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, and Rush. In the past, Kip has performed a couple of Rush songs with friends at studio recitals showing his students what is possible with practice. On November 26'", 2011 Fat Cat opened for Brett Michaels at McElroy Auditorium.

Kip uses an individualized lesson program based on the student's level and interests. Beginners start with the proper technique and the basic rhythm studies, to include sight reading. He accepts students from ages 5 to adult. He offers recitals but they are not required. Kip works to find a student's motivation and encourages them to be successful. Kip is a well-respected teacher who is loved by his students not only for his teaching but his sense of humor-keeping lessons fun.

Take lessons with Kip!

Tags: Kip Roelfsema, Cedar Falls, Teacher Feature, drum teacher, percussion
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
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Coralville February 2016 Musican of the Month: Liam Dutcher
By West Music Company
2/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
10 year old Liam Dutcher has been studying ukulele and guitar with instructor Chris Eck since 2012.  He started out in a 2011 West Music Kids Ukulele Class, and has made great progress over the last four years.  Liam is a homeschooled 4th grader.  He loves making music with his friends and family!

Liam says, “I really like my teacher, Chris Eck.  He is an awesome musician and he’s really patient.  I named my guitar Marty and my ukulele is called Finn.”

Liam is a LEGO expert and is currently working on his life story in LEGOs.  He is a big Star Wars fan, and enjoys reading classic stories like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings.  He comes from a very musical family.  Liam's 8 year old brother Atticus plays the accordion and his parents Joe Dutcher and Tara McGovern are members of the traditional Irish band The Beggarmen.

Here is a quote from his teacher:
“Liam and I share a love of strings and have become good friends through our lessons.  He is amazingly creative and has an excellent sense of humor!   I’m very proud to be part of his education and to see what great things he can accomplish with guitar and ukulele.”

Congratulations, Liam! Keep up the good work!

Tags: Liam, Chris Eck, guitar, ukulele, The Beggarmen
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Marion February 2016 Musician of the Month: Grace Wittstruck
By West Music Company
2/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Grace Wittstruck has been playing piano for about 4 months with Alice Lindsey. Alice nominated Grace because she is always prepared and ready to go at every lesson. Grace says she loves playing music because it is fun! Her advice to other musicians is to practice hard. Grace sings at church and is in choir.

For fun she is in a knitting club at school and swims competitively at Cedar Rapids Aquatic Association. She also is taking ballet.

Her favorite musician is her teacher Miss Alice and for music types, she likes to have her radio on all the time. She turns it down when she is not home then back up again when she gets home. She also likes music from musicals.

She says someone might be surprised to hear that she has been nominated for Musician of the Month. She also doesn’t like to drink water but prefers milk instead.

Congratulations, Grace!

Tags: Grace, Alice Lindsey, piano, musicals
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion
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Quad Cities February 2016 Musician of the Month: Pete Mills
By West Music Company
2/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Pete Mills attends Pleasant Valley High School and is in his junior year.  He has been taking trumpet lessons from Steve Little here at West Music Quad Cities for six years.  Steve says "Pete works hard. He loves music".  Pete love jazz and lists his interests as "jazz, jazz, jazz, etc"! Pete's musical goals include playing in a big marching band and really great jazz band.  His advice to other musicians is to "use the internet to your advantage, listen to everything!"  Pete's favorite musicians are Al Hirt, Snarky Puppy, and Benny Carter.

At school, Pete is involved in with the National Honor Society, tennis, and plays with the SEIBA Honor Band and Honor Jazz Band.  Additionally, Pete participates in Boy Scouts. He also enjoys cheering on the Packers. 

Congratulations, Pete!

Tags: pete mills, steve little, National Honor Society, SEIBA, Honor Band, honor jazz band
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Quad Cities
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Coralville Teacher Feature: Rose Bishop
By West Music Company
2/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Victoria Rose Bishop received her Master of Arts Degree in Flute Performance from the University of Iowa, studying with Nicole Esposito. Ms. Bishop received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Flute Performance at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Ga, where she studied with Sarah Ambrose.

Ms. Bishop holds the position of Adjunct Instructor of Flute at Culver-Stockton College and has taught private flute lessons to all ages and skill levels since 2009. Ms. Bishop has an active studio with students who have won appointments to the Des Moines Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Iowa Piccolo Intensive, Iowa all-state and honor band, SEIBA, as well as attend masterclasses and competitions.

This spring, the Flute Society of St. Louis invited Ms. Bishop to be the Piccolo Guest Artist and the Monmouth College Band selected Ms. Bishop to perform Cecile Chaminade's Concertino as Guest Flute Soloist. Ms. Bishop holds the position as piccoloist of the Oneota Valley Orchestra and regularly performs with the Southeast Iowa Symphony. She has also subbed with the Muscatine Symphony and the Ottumwa Symphony. This past summer, she was selected to participate in Jim Walker's Beyond the Master Class at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, California. In the past, Ms. Bishop performed as principal flute with the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Band, and TREBS Flute Quartet. While at Georgia State University, she held principal positions with the Georgia State Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.

Learn about taking lessons with Rose!

Tags: University of Iowa, flute, Des Moines Youth Symphony Orchestra, Iowa Piccolo Intensive, all-state , honor band, SEIBA,
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Band & Orchestra (98)
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West Music Cedar Falls (74)
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West Music Coralville (153)
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