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The West Music Blog presents articles, press releases and other information of interest to our local and worldwide customers.

Blogs by Valerie Johnson

Piano Gallery News
By Valerie Johnson
4/21/2011 1:35:00 PM  

Hey, temperatures are on the rise, and I’m really looking forward to summer.  And the music is really heating up!  There’s a lot of great new material out there that I have to share with you. 

My must-have book is the new compilations of tried and true Myklas Contest Winners from Alfred.  The first book has solos for the early elementary and elementary players.  Book two contains late elementary and early intermediate pieces.  Level 3 has some really nice intermediate works in it, and level 4 rounds off with intermediate works.  You see some very familiar titles in the book and each piece you can see the music lines and the concepts clearly shown in the music with each song.  I would highly recommend this folio for your library, definitely a gold medal winner! Myklas Book
Audition Repertoire Another series just out is the Audition Repertoire for the Intermediate Pianist.  There are three books in the series.  I would say that these folios are comparable in work to the Bastien Piano Literature books.  They contain a selection of the major classical piano works to which students should be exposed.  The novel aspect of this book is the selections of songs that you normally do not see.  For example there are pieces in the folios by Goedicke and Bortkievich and Casella.  And usually many books don not see Page d’Album by Debussy.  In order, they books are early intermediate, intermediate and late intermediate.  This series is worth checking it out as a collection option. 
Classics for Children is an intriguing and surprising find!  The songs are arranged for early to late beginner.  What I really like about this book is the interesting selection in it:  Norwegian Dance by Grieg, The Pearl Fishers’ Duet by Bizet, and Waltz From Sleeping Beauty by Dvorak, just to name a few.  Those are pieces that you normally do not find in a beginner book.  Also on top of each song, there is a paragraph introducing the history of each song or composer and what it is about.  Talk about learning! Classics For Children
Gershwin for Students Book Carol Matz’s Gershwin for Students is a good folio if you are working on introducing your students to Gershwin.  The levels are in this order of difficulty:  late elementary, intermediate and early intermediate.  All three folios have a couple of the same songs:  Summertime and Rhapsody in Blue.  As a teacher, one can see how Matz progressed in the difficulty of the piece.  Another note, book 3 primarily has piano solos in it where the earlier books have more of the songs and the words. 

And if you are looking for your own personal music pleasure, I have a few suggestions.  Lorie Line just came out with her new book, Vogue, and Keveren released another compilation of pieces, The Great Melodies.  And if you play at your church, Medleys for Blended Worship 2 and 3 are just right.  And I love Melody Bober, so I’m excited about A Call to Faithfulness.

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Tags: Piano Gallery, Piano Gallery News, West Music Piano Gallery, West Music Urbandale, Urbandale Piano Gallery, Urbandale News, Books, Music Books
Categories: Music, Books & Resources
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Piano Adventures!
By Valerie Johnson
4/21/2011 8:48:00 AM  

And the Faber’s have delivered a new surprise in their Piano Adventures piano method series!  In the Primer level and Level 1 books, they have come out with second editions.  Look for a new sight reading book, more activities in the theory book and a teacher edition!  The Fabers created these new editions to make the transition from My First Piano Adventures more seamless between to the two sections of the series and some of their students were a little sad that their favorite characters from My First Piano Adventure didn’t travel with them into the Piano Adventures books.  And the Fabers tested these books extensively in their own studios, so they know their changes positively affect piano students.

What are the changes?  As mentioned before, there are entirely new books:  a new sight reading book in the primer level and a teacher edition.  And inside the lesson, performance, and technique and artistry books, new pieces and instruction have been added.  The one book with the greatest change is the theory book, and it has many more activities to reinforce music knowledge with students.  Just to let you know, the first edition will also still be available, and you can tell the difference between the two editions by these two thing:  “2nd Edition” on the front and the wheel of correlating materials on the back of each book.  Another the great thing about the new books is that all the units line up in the same order as the old edition.  Check out how the two editions correlate by clicking here.  And will there be more editions added?  As of this time, there are no other editions planning to come out.  

With all these changes and editions, did the price increase?  The price did not change!  Talk about getting more bang for your buck! 

To learn a little more in-depth about the changes, we have an article for you to check out from the Fabers:  Announcing…Piano Adventures 2nd edition.  And each of our store locations has the new editions, so you can really check them out in detail!

The Fabers really would like to have your feedback on the books.  So, use them with you students and let them know what you think by going to Feedback on their site!  And if you would rather pass the message through us, we’d be more than willing to pass along your opinion and input.  Just let us know! 

Happy Piano Adventures!

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Tags: Piano Adventures, Piano Piano Books, Piano Adventures Books
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Mariachi Month - A Rationale for Mariachi Music Education
By Valerie Johnson
4/13/2011 11:46:00 AM  

Selected from Mariachi Mastery – Score (Edition 112F) by Jeff Nevin & Noé Sánchez

Mariachi is no longer just a “folk” music: its rich history and diverse repertoire of songs help establish it as a legitimate art form worthy of formal study. Until now, no systematic and comprehensive approach to teaching mariachi music has been available. Music teachers have had to scramble to find or create appropriate materials to share with their pupils. Illegible photocopies and substandard arrangements of mariachi music abound.

Mariachi music is currently at a point within its evolution where it is becoming widely recognized as a “parallel art music”—parallel to the other great art music of the world, such as European art music (“Classical Music”), East Indian Classical Music, Jazz and others—as opposed to its former designation as a so-called “folk” music. This distinction is important, since it implies a greater degree of sophistication, artistic merit, longevity, respect, and broader importance in this world.

Consider the analogy of jazz music: 100 years ago jazz was in its infancy, rooted in American negro spirituals, work songs and certain regional (i.e. isolated) popular musical forms. Through the first half of the 20th Century jazz grew in popularity and spread across the country, with a number of immensely popular performers and composers writing and performing in a number of different “styles” of jazz, such as swing, ragtime, be-bop. Classical composers including George Gershwin and Darius Milhaud borrowed from jazz rhythms, harmonies, melodic styles and created new classical music based on jazz.

And yet still, up until perhaps the 1970s, jazz music itself was widely considered by the musical establishment to be “informal” or un-structured, people quipped that much of it is “made up” (i.e. improvised), it is performed mainly in bars or night-clubs, many jazz musicians were not classically trained, etc. This was hardly a music considered worthy of “serious” study or being taught in school, but by the 1970s the academic community slowly did begin to recognize and appreciate that jazz had indeed become a musical artform unto itself, with its own history, performance practices (jazz improvisation is a remarkably complex and involved skill to master), repertoire, major influences, a large body of performers both professional and amateur (many widely recognized “virtuosos”), and a huge audience base that extended far beyond the United States’ borders. Today, most colleges and high schools with a strong music program offer jazz band in addition to the more “traditional” American music ensembles of concert band, orchestra, and choir, and many colleges have several full-time jazz faculty members and offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in various aspects of jazz music (instrumental or vocal performance, composition, education, etc.).

Mariachi music today is at a very similar point in its evolution to that of jazz music in the 1970s. While still generally regarded as purely “folk” music, many scholars, musicians, students and mariachi enthusiasts have grown to respect the rich and diverse history of mariachi. They have embraced the large number of musical forms and styles that are found within mariachi (huapango, son jarocho, son jalisciense, ranchera, etc.), they appreciate the unique musical style and performance practices that have developed into the modern mariachi, and they have recognized a large number of “virtuoso” performers and immensely important composers who have shaped this tradition. Many classical-music composers, as diverse as Aaron Copland and Silvestre Revueltas, have drawn upon mariachi music as inspiration for their new classical-music compositions for orchestral and chamber ensembles. A number of books have been written about mariachi in both English and Spanish, countless newspaper articles have appeared, and mariachi bands exist in countries on at least 4 continents.

Clearly mariachi is poised to take its place among the other great classical music of the world.

Selected from Mariachi Mastery – Score (Edition 112F) by Jeff Nevin & Noé Sánchez
© 2006 Neil A. Kjos Music Company, 4382 Jutland Drive, San Diego, California 92117
International copyright secured. All rights reserved.

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Tags: Music History, Jeff Nevin, Mariachi History, Mariachi, Mariachi Music, Mariachi Month, Noé Sánchez, Mariachi Mastery, Excerpt, Mexican Folk Music, Hispanic Music, Hispanic Culture
Categories: Mariachi
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Mariachi Month - The Mariachi Education Movement in the United States
By Valerie Johnson
4/13/2011 11:37:00 AM  

Selected from Mariachi Mastery – Score (Edition 112F) by Jeff Nevin & Noé Sánchez

The following is a brief history of events that led to the current status of mariachi music education.

In 1964, in Tucson, Arizona, Father Charles Rourke founded a mariachi called Los Changuitos Feos (“The Ugly Little Monkeys”). This mariachi was established to provide cultural musical experiences to Hispanic children in the area. Father Rourke (an Irish Catholic priest) had been introduced to mariachi music by Father Arsenio Carrillo. Father Carrillo had two nephews (Randy and Steve Carrillo) that had been playing mariachi music for a short time and needed some guidance. Los Changos (as they are affectionately called) were very successful and it didn’t take long before other places starting taking note. This priest had started a movement from which many programs began to emerge throughout the country. Since their inception, hundreds of Changos have graduated from the group, benefiting from the enrichment, encouragement and scholarships provided (funded by the group’s many performances) to attend college. Los Changitos Feos is still in existence and counts among its alumni members of some of the best mariachis in the world.

In 1971, several members of Los Changitos Feos, including Randy Carrillo and Mack Ruiz, graduated from high school and by rule had to leave the mariachi. Along with other Changos including Steve Carrillo, Gilbert Velez, Paul Romo, Wilfred Arvizu, George Corrales and Tony Saldivar they formed Mariachi Cobre. This became a turning point in mariachi education. This mariachi was to influence mariachi education in the years to come through their organization in teaching mariachi music at conferences nation-wide. Indirectly, their model of teaching infiltrated public schools around the country.

The first mariachi conference was held in San Antonio, Texas in 1979, another important moment in mariachi history, and continued until 1988. Isabella San Miguel and Juan Ortiz were responsible for organizing the conference and bringing Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán to perform and teach at it. This conference introduced mariachi education classes but, unfortunately, most of the music was for advanced mariachis, which did little to foster growth in mariachi music. However, this conference did open doors for other conferences.

The Tucson International Mariachi Conference (1983–present) became the model that other conferences would try to emulate. Mariachi Cobre was instrumental in creating the curriculum for the Tucson conference which includes separating classes into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels (so that mariachi musicians of all levels of expertise could participate) and teaching each of the instruments separately before bringing everyone together in a “mass” mariachi—both of which became important aspects of this and other conferences. Mariachi Cobre and Los Changitos Feos became spokesmen for the importance of this educational component of the conference in order to promote the culture and awareness of the mariachi tradition.

In 1986, Linda Ronstadt sang with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán at the Tucson conference. By this time, isolated school-based mariachi programs had been in existence for some time around the country, in part due to the influence of these conferences, but the release of Ronstadt’s album, Canciones de mi Padre (1987), created an explosion in awareness of mariachi music throughout the United States, helping to prime the country for the rapid growth of school-based mariachi programs that followed.

Today there are many important conferences across the US besides the Tuscon conference, including Fresno, CA (1983–present), Las Cruces, NM (1994–), taught by Mariachi Cobre and widely regarded as one of, if not the most important educational conference in the country today; Albuquerque, NM (1990–); San Jose, CA (1991–); and San Antonio, TX (1994–).

The only conference in Mexico as of this writing is in Guadalajara, Jalisco, (1994–). The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) became the first university to offer a mariachi ensemble in 1961. Several prominent mariachis emerged from this group including Daniel Sheehy, Director and Curator of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and long-time mariachi educator Mark Fogelquist. Many universities and community colleges have followed, too many to mention, but the University of Texas at Pan American in Edinburg, Texas (Rio Grande Valley), has long been considered to have one of the top university mariachi ensembles in the country.

While mariachi classes have become commonplace in colleges and universities across the US, in 2004 Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, under the direction of Jeff Nevin, became the first in the world to offer a college degree specifically in mariachi music (Associate’s Degree in Music: Mariachi Specialization). Courses offered as part of the degree include Music Theory, beginning and advanced mariachi ensembles, Development of Mariachi: Style and Culture, and primary and secondary instrument instruction (guitar, vihuela, guitarrón, violin, trumpet, voice, harp). Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, began offering a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an optional emphasis in Mariachi Performance and Pedagogy in 2005, and other colleges and universities are expected to continue this trend of offering higher education degrees in mariachi.

Today, school districts in many states, including California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, and Illinois, provide mariachi as an official class-for-credit during the school day. With this expansion of school-based mariachi programs comes the need for published materials to support them. Mariachi Mastery is the first complete mariachi method published by a major publisher. The Mariachi Connection is the first retail store and website to specialize in providing materials to the mariachi community. They not only sell printed music but also instruments, trajes (mariachi suits), supplies, and the only (as of this writing) widely available curriculum for mariachi, “The Current State of Mariachi Curriculum (2005),” by Noé Sánchez.

The first major book on mariachi music in English is Jeff Nevin’s Virtuoso Mariachi, published by University Press of America (2002). This book includes basic mariachi history, an in depth and sophisticated discussion of the mariachi style and how it has evolved, a close examination of the trumpet style including tonguing, vibrato and rubato, different song styles and the author’s thoughts on the future of mariachi music. Daniel Sheehy’s book Mariachi Music in America, published by Oxford University Press (2006) presents an overview and description of mariachi music’s evolution, a discussion of the cultural significance of mariachi to musicians and others in Mexico and the US, and details the changes that have occurred in mariachi as a result of its popularization in the US.

On December 13, 2005, MENC: The National Association for Music Education held a meeting at their headquarters in Reston, Virginia, where a group of mariachi educators from around the country met with their executive board to discuss creating a mariachi component to MENC. The fact that this, the largest and most important music education organization in the US, would consider placing mariachi alongside band, choir, orchestra and jazz in its list of standard American classroom ensembles is a testament to the extent of mariachi’s growth in the US, its future, and indeed the level of respect that mariachi music itself has attained.

Mariachi music has come a long way since the 1960s when Father Rourke started the movement that flourishes in American public schools today. The future of mariachi music education is dependent upon us providing music educators with training in mariachi music as well and the continued proliferation of high quality, standardized published materials for these teachers to utilize. There is every reason to expect that mariachi music will continue to be offered in more and more schools throughout the country in years to come.

Selected from Mariachi Mastery – Score (Edition 112F) by Jeff Nevin & Noé Sánchez
© 2006 Neil A. Kjos Music Company, 4382 Jutland Drive, San Diego, California 92117
International copyright secured. All rights reserved.

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Tags: Mariachi Month, Mariachi, Jeff Nevin, Noé Sánchez, Tucson, Charles Rourke, Mariachi Mastery, Excerpt, Selection, History, Cultural, Folk Music, Mexican
Categories: Mariachi
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Mariachi Month - Casa Grande Students Motivated to Play Mariachi
By Valerie Johnson
4/4/2011 12:10:00 PM  

Article originally written by Susan Randall for USA Today.

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — When Steve Heil moved to Casa Grande several years ago, he wondered why its public schools had no programs for stringed instruments like those in some other states. Heil, who is principal of Casa Verde High School, was talking to students in September about the kind of electives they would like to have, and they told him they wanted a music program.

Several were taking private lessons on the violin or cello already, he said, and others played or wanted to play the trumpet or guitar.

"How can we be involved?" they wanted to know.

Kim Calderone, a Casa Verde parent and the owner of Accelerate the Arts mobile music store, suggested that he call Maureen Berger, musical director at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and School and president of Golden Corridor Center for the Arts, a nonprofit organization that provides string classes to adults and children, puts on concerts and is developing youth and adult orchestras in Pinal County.

Heil, Berger and Calderone met last fall with about 20 Casa Verde students who said they would be willing to give up their lunch break to start a mariachi band, playing traditional Mexican music.

There was no money in the budget, but Calderone volunteered to begin working with the violin players in October so they could learn how to play before they tried mariachi music.

Berger volunteered to coach the trumpet players. Jazz musician and guitar teacher John Sutton volunteered to work with the string players. They started teaching the young musicians in January.

Berger said she, Calderone and Sutton are all part of the Golden Corridor and are volunteering to bring this program alive, "so there is some musical component in the high school charter school."

"The reason we are so successful," Calderone said, "is our love and passion for music and for the students. And they want so badly to learn."

Calderone said some of the students played by ear when they started the program but could not read music. Others had not played an instrument since elementary school.

"We want our students to learn how to read music, write music, understand the elements of music, experience the different genres of music -- and not just learn to play by ear," she said.

Even though the class and teachers are volunteers, they are following the general national standards for music defined by the Music Educators National Conference.

"I am so proud of these young people," Berger said. "They're dedicated to making this a success and taking ownership of the program. I think it will be highly successful because the kids definitely want to do it. They are motivated and they have the ability. They just so impress me with how far they have come in such a short time."

And mariachi music is enjoyable, she added.

"It has a lot of joy in it. It's not easy. There are musical challenges -- in particular with the trumpets, because they are in all the sharp scales and keys."

"I explained to them they are using the left side of their brain when they are playing those sharps. It's like math, only something musical."

Mariachi music also involves a dance form, she said, folklorico.

The group does not have dancers yet, but it will, Berger said. A folklorico teacher is "ready to jump on board."

The musicians meet during the school's lunch break: violins on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; guitars, guitarron and cello on Wednesdays; trumpets on Thursdays; and everybody together on Fridays.

Last week, an audience piled up in the hallway outside the open classroom where the group practiced "De Colores," "La Valentina" and "Las Golondrinas" (the swallows).

"There are two things that are really hard to play," Sutton told the group as he conducted the rehearsal, "slow and soft."

When the mariachis are ready for a real audience, there will be no conductor. The guitarron and cello will set the beat.

"This is so neat," said school nurse Lydia Montigo, who stopped by to listen to the rehearsal. "I love this."

More students are invited to join Casa Verde's mariachi program next year when it becomes a regular class, Heil said. The students are putting on a dinner-and-concert fundraiser late in April to fund the class, and he plans to look for grants.

Article originally published by USA Today at the link listed below:

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Tags: Mariachi Music, Mariachi Month, Mariachi, Casa Grande, Susan Randall, USA Today, News Article, Music Education News, Arts Education News, Music News, Arts News, Importance of Music Education, Importance of Arts Education, USA Today
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Mariachi Month - Closing the Opportunity Gap
By Valerie Johnson
4/4/2011 11:51:00 AM  

Article originally written by Arthur Griffin for ASCD Express. Reprinted with permission.

In current education debates the phrase "achievement gap" always comes up when experts discuss challenges in learning. After many years serving in various education roles, I believe the achievement gap is a misnomer; a better term would be "opportunity gap."

Low-income students would likely overcome this gap if they were given the same opportunities as their peers: safe environments, full stomachs, early exposure to learning, and so on. Disadvantaged students with access to cultural activities, academic enrichment activities, and quality before- and after-school programs learn as quickly as other students.

This is why the Whole Child Initiative is so crucial. While not a new concept, the idea of teaching the whole child is only now coming to fruition. We have reached a true tipping point with support from President Barack Obama, whose education plan incorporates many elements that will help achieve whole child goals, as well as from professional organizations such as ASCD and the American Association of School Administrators.

As senior vice president of McGraw-Hill Education's Urban Advisory Resource, I have the opportunity to visit two or three districts every week, and I've seen some common traits in successfully teaching the whole child. While there is no magic bullet, this three-pronged approach can help put us on the right path.

1. Instill Confidence Early
The first step in educating the whole child is making sure students know adults who really care about them. A little caring, particularly in the early childhood education setting, goes a long way to nurture success, security, and self-esteem. Educators do what they do because they care.

While building a sense of confidence like this is important, the early childhood education programs also must ensure that each child begins school prepared to learn. Beyond caring, we must offer effective, research-based early childhood programs. That includes curricula with "characterbuilding" instruction to support students' well-being and ability to address personal challenges.

For example, while serving as chair for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the district initiated the Bright Beginnings early childhood program. The Title I program screens and selects 4-year-olds to participate in the child-centered, literacy-focused curriculum, which ensures that children are prepared for success in kindergarten and beyond.

The results have been great. An early analysis showed that the Bright Beginnings students significantly outperformed comparison groups. This was particularly noticeable with the African American students. Bright Beginnings students were better prepared for kindergarten, and in particular, English as a second language students benefited significantly from the program as shown in the end of kindergarten achievement data.

2. Engage children's heritage
America has always been the land of opportunity. As our country continues to embrace people and cultures from all over the world, diversity only makes us better. The increase of non-Englishspeaking immigrants moving to America and the increase of children living in poverty affects our schools, and many of these students certainly experience a gap in learning opportunities. Many reports show us that to succeed as a nation, we must do all we can to help all learners succeed in literacy, math, science, and so much more. That includes making the learning process culturally relevant.

The McGraw-Hill Education Urban Advisory Resource is a multicultural team, so we know firsthand the importance of celebrating diversity and working with school leaders to build cultural understanding.

A great example is Nevada's Clark County School District (CCSD). CCSD values culture in a deeply meaningful way with tremendous residual benefits. To engage Hispanic students, the CCSD Fine Arts Department developed an exemplary mariachi music program. They recruited mariachi teachers from across the country. The program is so popular, it now is in place at more than a dozen CCSD campuses. And, each year, the students perform for the city in a much-anticipated event.

3. Prepare for tomorrow
The third step is preparing today's children to learn and succeed in a global, digital world requiring a new set of skills. Information abounds in the 21st century. In fact, the pace of innovation means the amount of technical information in the world is doubling every two years. By 2010, it will double every three days. To be effective in the workplace, students must have well-developed functional and critical-thinking skills related to information, media, and technology.

Preparing children for success in college and the work world requires an educational approach based on personalized instruction and active engagement in the classroom. We are committed to providing curricula and instructional technology that achieve personalized instruction and actively engage every student. Differentiated instruction and intervention strategies are the necessary "opportunity gap" fillers that support the whole child.

These three approaches to teaching the whole child can be summarized by the famous words of Mark Twain: "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." While teaching the mind is still our priority, we cannot succeed at that endeavor without embracing all the factors that go into learning—and that includes the heart and soul.

Once educators focus on the whole child, we will begin to widen the opportunities we provide to children of all backgrounds and abilities. Working together, teachers, administrators, researchers, and curriculum providers can build a better classroom to engage the whole child—today and tomorrow.

Arthur Griffin is a senior vice president at McGraw-Hill Education Urban Advisory Resource. Article is posted online at : http://www.ascd.org/ascd_express/vol4/410_griffin.aspx

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Tags: Mariachi Month, Mariachi, Mariachi Music, Arts Education, Socio-Economic Inequality, ASCD Express, Arthur Griffin, Excerpt, Importance of Education, Importance of Music Education, Importance of Arts Education, Education, Arts Education, Music Education
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Valentine’s Day and Wedding Music Highlight!
By Valerie Johnson
1/31/2011 9:27:00 AM  

How do you show the people you love them?  You may cook them dinner, give them flowers, or just take them out for the evening.  We’re here to help you set the mood with the right music.

Here are a couple suggestions that I would recommend.  If you’re looking for a nice song collection revolving around “love” songs, I would definitely pick up the Budget Books Love Songs.  The music can be applied to other settings or events and plus you get a large number songs for only $12.95.  If you’re not up to playing the Piano/Vocal/Guitar arrangement, there is an easy piano folio of songs arranged by Keveren, titled Love Songs.  Keveren is a well known arranger, and I would recommend any of his collections in your library. 

Any of you engaged and getting married this year?  If you haven’t picked out your musician or music yet, these are books that we always have in stock.  The Bride’s Guide to Wedding Music includes all the necessary pieces that we hear again and again.  If you are a gigging wedding pianist, this book is a MUST HAVE in your library.  And if you’re looking for just the piano solo arrangements, you need to have The Classical Wedding with 46 pieces in there for only $12.95!

Other folios that I would suggest are I Will Be There and A Day to Remember.  In I Will Be There, you have more contemporary song titles such as "Answered Prayer", "For Always" and "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever", just to name a few.  Have you heard of the O’Neill Brothers?  If you haven’t, look them up, as they are the arrangers of A Day to Remember.  These books have a CD with the folio and the song levels range from intermediate to advanced.  Plus you get to learn a little about the brothers! 

All of these books and more are at your local West Music.  Come check out the selection!  You may find a Valentine of a book waiting in the display.

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Tags: Music for Special Occasions, Love Songs, Budget Books Love Songs, The Bride's Guide to Wedding Music, Bridal Music, Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day Music, The Classical Wedding, I Will Be There, A Day to Remember, O'Neill Brothers
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Valerie’s Pick for Going Back to School
By Valerie Johnson
8/26/2010 5:24:00 PM  

We all do many repetitive motions in our days. Who has not heard of tennis elbow, carpal tunnel or tendonitis? Musicians have their own injuries as well. Think of how many times fingers race across a keyboard, fret board, valves or keys. Imagine how you sit during practice and how it impacts your arms and posture. Many musicians have carpal tunnel or tendonitis because of repetitive motion of their hands and fingers. If you want to learn about possible strains and way to prevent them, this book will address those issues.


An Injury Prevention Guide for Musicians
Author: Janet Horvath

Making music at any level is a powerful gift. While musicians have endless resources for learning the basics of their instruments and the theory of music, few books have explored the other subtleties and complexities that musicians face in their quest to play with ease and skill. The demands of solitary practice, hectic rehearsal schedules, challenging repertoire, performance pressures, awkward postures, and other physical strains have left a trail of injured, hearing-impaired, and frustrated musicians who have had few resources to guide them.

Playing Less Hurt addresses this need with specific tools to avoid and alleviate injury. Impressively researched, the book is invaluable not only to musicians, but also to the coaches and medical professionals who work with them. Everyone from dentists to orthopedists, audiologists to neurologists, massage therapists and trainers will benefit from Janet Horvath's coherent account of the physiology and psyche of a practicing musician. Writing with knowledge, sympathetic insight, humor, and aplomb, Horvath has created an essential resource for all musicians who want to play better and feel better. 837557


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Tags: Playing (Less) Hurt, Janet Horvath, Music Books, Music Injury, Music Book, Book, Music Strain, Injury, Strain, Tendonitis
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Coralville September 2016 Musician of the Month: Aubryn Kaine
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Coralville September 2016 Teacher Feature: Miriam Garrett
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Coralville September 2016 Teacher Feature: Mitsuko Yofune
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Decorah September 2016 Teacher Feature: Mark Armstrong
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month July 2016: Ryan Seaba
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Cedar Rapids Gazette Celebrates 75 Years of West Music!
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Cedar Rapids August 2016 Musician of the Month: Octavia Barbulescu
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