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Coralville September 2016 Musician of the Month: Aubryn Kaine
By West Music Company
9/2/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Aubryn is a freshman at City High School in Iowa City. She has studied cello with Christina Gentzsch for 4 years and has also had a year of voice lessons with Jessica Saunders. Her musical goals are to get into All State Orchestra during high school. She would also like to pursue a degree in music or the arts.

Aubryn has a great perspective on music! We asked her what she loves about playing music and she responded, “The way that I feel afterwards and while I’m playing. If I’m stressed, worried, nervous, or even overly excited, I start to sing or play my cello and I come out calmer and ready to take whatever’s next. I also love making music, not just playing notes on a page. The difference is hard to learn and apply, but when I succeed, it’s amazing.” Her advice to other musicians is to keep playing even when it gets challenging and to repeat things over and over until you have it. Her favorite artist is Lindsey Stirling, and she loves instrumental music as well as 80’s music.

Activities that Aubryn enjoys include orchestra, cross country and track (and running “just for the heck of it”), fencing, dance, engineering and math, reading and language arts. She has studied Tae Kwon Do since she was 4 ½ years old and earned her 3rd degree black belt just before turning 10 years old!

Congratulations, Aubryn!



Tags: Christina Gentzsch, Jessica Saunders, cello, voice, vocal, lessons
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Coralville September 2016 Teacher Feature: Miriam Garrett
By West Music Company
9/2/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Miriam graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in Music Education and Oboe performance in 2009. She currently is the principal oboe for the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra and plays with various church ensembles. She also is an elementary school general music teacher in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. She has taught private music lessons since 2004 instructing elementary, middle school, and high school age students on oboe, piano, and alto saxophone. Lessons are tailored to fit each student's personal interests and musical abilities. Miriam enjoys working with students who are excited about music and enjoy learning.



Tags: Miriam Garrett, oboe, lessons, teacher
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Coralville September 2016 Teacher Feature: Mitsuko Yofune
By West Music Company
9/2/2016 8:00:00 AM  

Mitsuko is originally from Japan and began her piano studies at the age of five. In 2009, she came to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance. Continuing her education at the University of Illinois, she received her Masters degree in Piano Performance and Literature in 2015. She is currently finishing a second Masters degree in Piano Pedagogy and will graduate in December.

Mitsuko has won several school competitions, been a busy accompanist for several organizations, and served as a piano instructor for the UIUC piano laboratory program.

Sharing her native language and love of teaching, Mitsuko served as a Japanese Teaching Assistant at UIUC for three years.

She is excited to share all of her years of learning with our students and families, and we’re excited to have her as a Nancy Cree Keyboard Learning Center teacher!




Tags: Mitsuko Yofune, piano, studio, lessons, lessons, teacher
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Decorah September 2016 Teacher Feature: Mark Armstrong
By West Music Company
9/2/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Mark Armstrong is a published poet and author, interweaving his story telling with original songs. Mark's songwriting was influenced by the styles of Gordon Lightfoot and Greg Brown. He has worn many hats in his lifetime, including running his own business for 25 years, and has a wealth of experiences from which to draw his material. Mark has been teaching guitar and ukulele in his home studio and at West Music Decorah for just over a year, and has enjoyed the experience immensely. Having started playing music at age 42, Mark is proof that it is never too late to learn and enjoy the power of making music!

When not playing one of his many instruments or writing songs, Mark enjoys foraging, hunting, and spending time with his lovely wife and their pets. Mark's music can be enjoyed at local farmers' markets, open mic nights, and the ukulele club that he helped start in the spring of 2016. In his own words, Mark loves "how music can touch and communicate with people." His original song "Ice Cream" that is about Alzheimer's has touched many people everywhere that Mark has shared it. Join Mark for one of his fun and laid back group classes starting October 8, 2016. Ask an associate for more details.



Tags: mark armstrong, teacher, lessons, guitar, ukulele
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Decorah
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