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10 Holiday Gifts That Your Kids Will Love
By West Music Company
11/14/2016 5:04:00 PM  

With the holidays fast approaching, many parents are thinking about what to give their children. Musical instruments and music themed gifts make wonderful presents for youngsters. Not only is making music fun, it helps develop growing minds! Below are 10 gift ideas, all available at West Music, that your kids will be sure to love.

Over the River with Sleigh Bells Bundle

This classic winter song comes to life in this beautifully illustrated children’s book. Sold in hardcover, so it’s durable for many trips to grandmother’s house. Buy the bundle and receive a set of sleigh bells, so your kids can jingle along with the story.

 

Kala Makala Dolphin Bridge & Shark Bridge Ukuleles

Simply the best entry level ukes on the market! Sound and playability usually suffer at these affordable prices, but not with Kala Makala.  With their brightly colored head and body and a playful dolphin or cool shark cutout at the bridge, these ukes are sure to be a big hit.

West Music carries over 16 different colors, so pick your child’s favorite!

Kala Makala Dolphin Bridge & Shark Bridge Ukuleles

 


Drummer Boy Bundle

In this charming Christmas story a toy drummer boy embarks on a journey on which he plays his drum and warms the hearts of everyone he meets. Richly illustrated by beloved children’s author Loren Long.

The bundle also includes a PlanToys 7" drum and sticks for added fun!

Instruments for Ages 3 and Younger

Shakers, clappers and castanets! These seeming simple instruments help develop sensorimotor skills and hand-eye coordination in babies and toddlers, as well as instill a life-long love of music.

West Music has a full line of instruments and toys for children under 3.

Percussion

Shakers

Castanets

Mini Rainmakers

Our early childhood educators love the Mini Rainmaker for babies and toddlers.  Only 8” tall, the Mini Rainmaker is perfect for small hands.

West Music’s child educator Melissa says, “In teaching early childhood music and movement for over 15 years, I’ve never found an infant or a toddler who wasn’t fascinated by these rainmakers.”

 




Westwood Beginner Guitar Pack

Don’t play Guitar Hero, be a guitar hero! Buy a beginner guitar pack for your child and let them explore the world of music.  Guitars are available in half, three-quarters and full size. The pack also includes My Guitar, multimedia lesson software that teach your child basic chores in a fun and playful way. The pack also includes a gig bag, guitar strap and strap end pin.

½ Size Beginner Guitar Pack  for ages 5-8 or height between 3'10" to 4'5" tall

¾ Size Beginner Guitar Pack for ages 8-12 or height between 4'6" to 4'11" tall

Full Size Guitar Pack  for ages 12 & up or height of 5' or taller



Children’s Literature

The value of children's literature is immeasurable! Not only does reading encourage a vivid imagination, it stimulates the part of the brain that deals with developing language.

West Music carries a full line of music-themed children’s literature that will sure to delight your child as they clap, stomp and sing along with the characters in the books.

Remo Drums

Remo Drums are some of the best on the market. Available in a variety of styles and designs, you are sure to find the right percussion for any age group, from pre-schoolers to adults.







Harmony Traditional Style Soprano Recorders

These bestselling recorders are the perfect way to introduce your child to wind instruments. Available in a variety of bright colors and sold at a great value, these are the perfect gift for children ages eight and up. West Music also sells a variety of music books to help your child master their first song before the New Year!

 




Ornaments

Hanging ornaments is a tradition everyone in the family enjoys. Show your love of music by decorating with these beautiful ornaments available now for the holidays. You will be amazed at their level of detail. For just one example, the piano ornament featured here has a fallboard that actually opens and closes!




Tags: holiday, christmas, gift guide, shopping, black friday, gift, gifts
Categories: Kids & Movement
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Cedar Rapids November 2016 Teacher Feature: Ryan Swedean
By West Music Company
11/1/2016 10:00:00 AM  
Ryan Swedean has come to us to teach low brass from South Dakota. He started playing trumpet in 4th grade then switched to baritone. In high school he switched to tuba which he still plays with the Eastern Iowa Brass Band. In college he switched to trombone.

Ryan has his degree Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance from the University of South Dakota. He has done graduate work in trombone performance at North Dakota State University. He is working on his Masters of Music in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi and hopes to have it complete by August 2016.

Ryan subs in various districts around the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids areas.

He currently plays with the Eastern Iowa Brass Band. Some groups Ryan has performed with in the past include the Beach Boys, Train and other classical and jazz artists.

His hobbies and interests include playing trombone, watching Netflix with his wife, and playing with his dog.

His favorite thing about teaching is seeing a student’s face when they make the real sound of their instrument. One of his most interesting educational experiences has been teaching in one of the poorest counties in the country.

Click here to get 50% off lesson registration with Ryan Swedean through November!




Tags: N/A
Categories: West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion
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Quad Cities November 2016 Teacher Feature: Merit Ringberg
By West Music Company
11/1/2016 10:00:00 AM  
Merit Ringberg has been playing saxophone for 34 years and has been teaching private saxophone, clarinet and oboe lessons for 27 years. She graduated with a Music Education degree (BEI) from Augustana College. Merit has played with numerous ensembles at Augustana and has performed on the Paula Sand Life Show multiple times. She previously taught band at Hampton Elementary/Middle School for 2 years. Merit has also been a saxophone judge for IMEA. She has also played with the Quad City Wind Ensemble and currently plays with the Maple City Community Band. Merit has previously taught woodwinds at Augustana College, Griggs Music and now West Music. In her spare time she likes to spend time with her family, going to concerts and reading.

Click here to get 50% off lesson registration with Merit Ringberg through November!




Tags: quad, lessons, teacher, sax, saxophone, clarinet, oboe
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Quad Cities
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month October 2016: James Fleming
By West Music Company
11/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
We are happy to announce James Fleming as the West Music October 2016 Associate of the Month!

Since James started with West Music, he has helped lead the Mezzanine through a very successful and organized rental season. With the help of a brand new rental program and process, James and his team successfully filled roughly 1,300 rental instruments this past fall.

Always staying on top of store audits and having a non-existing wait list, his attitude and calm personality, and his willlingness and eagerness to learn, makes him an asset to West Music.

James is willing to take on any challenge that is put in front of him, all the while exceeding expectations.

The fall rental season is always busy for everyone. This past season, James made a challenging and stressful time seem easy.

- As told by Alex Beamer,
Director of Regional School Music

Congratulations James! Keep up the good work, and thanks for all you do!



Tags: warehouse, mezzanine, employee of the month, october
Categories: West Music Coralville, Extraordinary Associate of the Month
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Coralville November 2016 Musician of the Month: Rana Saba
By West Music Company
11/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Rana Saba is a 4th grade student in Coralville. She has been taking voice lessons with Jessica Saunders at West Music for almost a year. Her teacher, Jessica, has this to say about working with her:

“Rana is an exceptional student. Since starting lessons she has performed on many recitals and completed two theory work books. She has a lovely voice and wants to learn all she can!”

Rana loves to sing because it is fun! She likes to learn about the notes because it is interesting and also helps in her school music class.  She has some great advice to share with other musicians: “Work hard and listen to the teacher, practice until you can sing without the words, and try to pretend there is nobody there when there is a recital (when you're nervous)."

Her favorite musicians are Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Katy Perry.  She also loves the music from Annie and Disney movies. Her favorite animal is the Red Panda.  In Rana’s free time she enjoys gymnastics, swimming, computers, comics, playing with dogs, and eating ice cream! Rana has lived in three countries and speaks English, Arabic and, some German.

Congratulations, Rana! Great job!



Tags: voice, vocal, sing, singing, lessons, teacher, conservatory, Jessica Saunders
Categories: West Music Coralville
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Cedar Rapids November 2016 Musician of the Month: Lizzie Leu
By West Music Company
11/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Lizzie is a bass guitar and ukulele student of Billy Lee Janey and has been studying with him for two and a half years. Lizzie is a senior at Xavier High School.  Her musical goal is to finish her high school music career with Division 1 ratings in concert and marching bands. Her advice to other musicians is to "practice, but go into it thinking 'this is going to be fun not work!'” She is obsessed with how music can drastically affect the way you think and feel in a matter of minutes. "It’s a stress relief for me and overall feels better after a band rehearsal or music lesson."

Lizzie is involved in marching band, concert and jazz bands, show choir, and combo groups. She enjoys mock trials and tutoring in school. Her other interests include biking, reading, and camping. She likes to hang out at the Newbo Market area here in Cedar Rapids.

Her favorite musicians and composers include Joni Mitchell, Claude Debussy, and The Smiths.

You might be surprised to learn that Lizzie has an embarrassingly large collection of vinyl records!

Congratulations Lizzie! Keep up the great work!



Tags: lessons, lesson, student, conservatory, bass guitar, ukulele, Billy Lee Janey
Categories: West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion
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Cedar Falls November 2016 Musician of the Month: Autumn Borkowitz
By West Music Company
11/1/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Autumn Borkowitz has studied violin and piano at West Music for five and a half years with her teacher Louann Flaherty.  She is a homeschooled 8th grader who loves music, reading, playing games, crafts, and sports. She participates in Northern Iowa Junior Orchestra and Hoover Orchestra.

Her teacher has this to say about working with Autumn:

“Autumn loves music and is always willing to try different styles. Autumn comes to lesson prepared and pays attention to details in the music.”

Her advice to other musicians is to “do the best you can do and don’t compare yourself to other musicians.” She loves instrumental music and her musical goal is to go to All-State! She also enjoys old TV shows, like I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch, and Wonder Woman.

Congratulations, Autumn! Keep it up!



Tags: lessons, violin, teacher, conservatory, piano, Louann Flaherty
Categories: West Music Cedar Falls
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