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Marion February 2015 Teacher Feature: Matt Bernemann
By West Music Conservatory
2/2/2015 4:27:00 PM  

Matt BernemannMatt Bernemann is a drum/percussion instructor at West Music in Marion. Matt majored in music performance at the University of Iowa, where he studied with professors Tom Davis, John Rapson and Matt Wilson.

Matt is currently performing with the Saul Lubaroff Jazz Group, Shade of Blue, Nic Arp and Martin Carpenter. When he is not teaching or performing he enjoys watching films, cooking, reading and history. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons Gabriel and Noah.

You can find Matt on the World Wide Web at www.2and4music.com.

http://looking4lessons.com/TeacherDetails.aspx?TeacherId=188&LocationId=35&InstrumentId=0

Click here to get 50% off lesson registration with Matt Bernemann through February!


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Categories: Conservatory, West Music Marion
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Coralville February 2015 Teacher Feature: Alice Golden
By West Music Conservatory
2/2/2015 4:25:00 PM  

Alice GoldenAlice Golden earned her B.A. in Music Education from Goshen College where she studied piano, voice and French horn. She went on to become certified in the ORFF approach to teaching music.

Alice has been teaching music for 30 years – in private schools, in her home and 15 of those years as a piano teacher at West Music. She has composed for, choreographed for and directed children’s choirs. Two years ago she took up flute and is currently honing in on her recorder playing skills. She is a member of ICIPT (Iowa City Independent Piano Teacher’s Association) and NMFC (National Music Federation Clubs).

Alice is an avid reader and likes hiking in the woods where she revels in bird watching and wildlife identification.

Alice has an amazing positive energy and builds strong, successful relationships with her students. Her young students find themselves in a studio full of encouragement and concrete awards. She cares deeply for her work, is a talented teacher and an important part of the piano teaching community at West Music.

Click here to get 50% off lesson registration with Alice Golden through February!


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Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Urbandale February 2015 Musician of the Month: Eric Qi
By West Music Conservatory
2/2/2015 4:22:00 PM  

Eric QiEric Qi is a student at Beaver Creek Elementary, and is studying piano at the West Music Piano Gallery in Urbandale. He has taken lessons from Emily Heetland for a year and a half.

Eric sings with the Iowa Youth Chorus, and also enjoys basketball and astronomy. His favorite musician is Mozart, and he loves playing music because it makes him happy.

Emily Heetland commented, "Eric is a very gifted piano player. Every lesson he comes prepared, and it is noticeable that he practices extremely hard throughout the week. He is flying through his books! Eric is very committed to his piano education."

Congratulkations, Eric, and keep up the good work!


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Categories: Conservatory, West Music Piano Gallery
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Marion February 2015 Musician of the Month: Tyler Cruise
By West Music Conservatory
2/2/2015 4:20:00 PM  

Tyler CruiseTyler Cruise is a clarinet/alto saxophone student with Bart Yates at the Marion West Music Conservatory. He has studied with Bart for over 3 years. Bart nominated Tyler for Musician of the Month because Tyler has worked very hard and earned first chair at NEIBA honor band last November. Tyler was also nominated for IBA honor band (which is a select ensemble of Iowa’s finest eighth grade musicians) to play later this spring. Tyler’s musical goal is to become an All State musician and learn another instrument. His advice to other musicians is that practice makes perfect and to have fun!

Tyler’s favorite thing about playing music is hearing a song he has been working on for a long time come together perfectly. He participates in concert and jazz bands at Oak Ridge Middle School, where he is in the 8th grade. Some of his other hobbies besides music include reading, traveling, swim team, and tennis. His favorite music to enjoy is from musicals.

Congratulations Tyler!


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Categories: Conservatory, West Music Marion
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Coralville February 2015 Musician of the Month: Julie Lindower
By West Music Conservatory
2/2/2015 4:15:00 PM  

Julie LindowerJulie Lindower is a Newborn Intensive Care doctor at University of Iowa Children's Hospital, and is studying guitar and ukulele with Chris Eck in Coralville.

Julie's formal musical instruction began at age seven with the piano, followed by violin, which she continued to study through college. She enjoyed singing in a variety of choirs during and after high school. As an adult, Julie is partial to saxophone, guitar, ukulele, and bass guitar. The guitar is both the most versatile and most difficult instrument for her to attempt to master. She has learned a great deal from Chris, who she describes as "an intuitive, skilled, and above all, patient teacher!".

Besides working and playing music, Julie enjoys being with her husband Paul and two daughters, Anna and Sara. She has two sweet horses that provide a nice break from her life indoors. She also likes container gardening and collecting antiques, especially American Art Pottery.

She is grateful to Chris and West Music for helping her learn something new each and every week.

Julie's teacher Chris Eck remarks, "Working with Julie is always fun and engaging! She is a smart musician and always seeking to understand her instruments. Julie has a way of boiling down lessons to what is important for her practical path of improvement, so she is always making steady progress through organized application of her talent. Julie also studied saxophone with Saul Lubaroff and has been featured with the "Doctors in Concert" event to benefit the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, among other musical collaborations in the community."


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Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Urbandale February 2015 Teacher Feature: Jiamin Liao
By West Music Conservatory
2/1/2015 5:09:00 PM  

Jiamin LiaoI currently teach Group Piano at the University of Northern Iowa, Waterloo (and surrounding) Community Schools, and teach privately through the Community Music School on the UNI campus. I am very excited to join the Faculty at West Music-Urbandale.

When I was a child, my mom played the piano. I was so captivated by the sound of the piano that my Dad decided to let me have a try. So, I was sent to a local piano instructor at the age of five, and I have never stopped playing since then.

Formal Education:
2012 – 2014 Master of Piano Performance and Pedagogy, The University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa
2009 – 2012 Bachelor of Music Studies (Majoring in piano), The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

I am a member of DMMTA (Des Moines Music Teachers Association), IMTA (Iowa Music Teachers Association) and the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association).

In September, I performed a duet at the University of Northern Iowa for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival celebration. The piece I played was Castle in the Sky, by Joe Hisaishi, and my partner was a graduate student major in violin performance at UNI. This performance was an entirely different experience from my usual gigs or recitals. The piece was easier to play, and the performance was less formal. Yet, the joyful experience we were able to bring the audience was not any less than any of the formal concerts I have performed at. This performance particularly reminded me the role of a pianist; after all the hard work and time spent on improving the techniques and the skills, we musicians play to please and to share the spirit of each music with the audience.

I enjoy watching movies (horror, action and comedy) and TV shows like Supernatural, singing and listening to music; I am a big fan of Iowa Public Radio Classical!

This past June, I gave a presentation with my colleague at the Minnesota Music Teachers Association. The presentation was about the service learning project we started together in September 2013. The project aimed to provide a musical experience by offering free piano lessons twice a week to local elementary school students. This project exposed me to a new experience of teaching younger students in group settings, and I learned that working in such circumstances is not only about teaching piano but also about coping with the students' behaviors. The presentation offered us a great opportunity to share this experience with other music teachers.

Teaching is like an experiment,as we are all different. Some strategies may be effective for some students but not for the others. As a piano teacher, I enjoy the process of discovering the best strategies and designing individualized lesson plans for each student. I feel pleasant and satisfied when I am able to help my students achieve effective outcomes.

My graduate recital must be the most interesting and educational experience I have had recently. My usual approach to stage fright was to prepare well before-hand and then concentrate on the music during the performance. However, I have never had any good solutions dealing with the fright occurred on stage; when I had a memory slip or made a mistake during the piece, I tended to become nervous immediately. I finally discussed this issue with my piano teacher, and he suggested me the following:

When we have a memory slip or make a mistake on stage, we may feel like there is a 'guy' blaming us or laughing at us. Well, tell that guy that you will talk to him later, but for now you want to concentrate on the music.

So, I practiced this "let go" attitude besides the instrument before the recital, and the result was great. I made a few small mistakes on stage, but the process went so smooth that most of the audience did not realize that I repeated or skipped a few notes. Since then I have also been incorporating this approach into teaching my students. This approach keeps me and my students reminded that while we are on stage, the notes we just played, good or bad, are gone forever. The only thing that matters is to do our best to play well the rest of the piece.

You can find me at the UNI Community Music School website, http://www.unisonmusicmakers.com/staff.html

Click here to get 50% off lesson registration with Jiamin Liao through February!


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Categories: Conservatory, West Music Piano Gallery
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Urbandale January 2015 Teacher Feature: Jiamin Liao
By West Music Conservatory
1/1/2015 11:01:00 AM  

Jiamin LiaoI currently teach Group Piano at the University of Northern Iowa, Waterloo (and surrounding) Community Schools, and teach privately through the Community Music School on the UNI campus. I am very excited to join the Faculty at West Music-Urbandale.

When I was a child, my mom played the piano. I was so captivated by the sound of the piano that my Dad decided to let me have a try. So, I was sent to a local piano instructor at the age of five, and I have never stopped playing since then.

Formal Education:
2012 – 2014 Master of Piano Performance and Pedagogy, The University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa
2009 – 2012 Bachelor of Music Studies (Majoring in piano), The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

I am a member of DMMTA (Des Moines Music Teachers Association), IMTA (Iowa Music Teachers Association) and the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association).

In September, I performed a duet at the University of Northern Iowa for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival celebration. The piece I played was Castle in the Sky, by Joe Hisaishi, and my partner was a graduate student major in violin performance at UNI. This performance was an entirely different experience from my usual gigs or recitals. The piece was easier to play, and the performance was less formal. Yet, the joyful experience we were able to bring the audience was not any less than any of the formal concerts I have performed at. This performance particularly reminded me the role of a pianist; after all the hard work and time spent on improving the techniques and the skills, we musicians play to please and to share the spirit of each music with the audience.

I enjoy watching movies (horror, action and comedy) and TV shows like Supernatural, singing and listening to music; I am a big fan of Iowa Public Radio Classical!

This past June, I gave a presentation with my colleague at the Minnesota Music Teachers Association. The presentation was about the service learning project we started together in September 2013. The project aimed to provide a musical experience by offering free piano lessons twice a week to local elementary school students. This project exposed me to a new experience of teaching younger students in group settings, and I learned that working in such circumstances is not only about teaching piano but also about coping with the students' behaviors. The presentation offered us a great opportunity to share this experience with other music teachers.

Teaching is like an experiment,as we are all different. Some strategies may be effective for some students but not for the others. As a piano teacher, I enjoy the process of discovering the best strategies and designing individualized lesson plans for each student. I feel pleasant and satisfied when I am able to help my students achieve effective outcomes.

My graduate recital must be the most interesting and educational experience I have had recently. My usual approach to stage fright was to prepare well before-hand and then concentrate on the music during the performance. However, I have never had any good solutions dealing with the fright occurred on stage; when I had a memory slip or made a mistake during the piece, I tended to become nervous immediately. I finally discussed this issue with my piano teacher, and he suggested me the following:

When we have a memory slip or make a mistake on stage, we may feel like there is a 'guy' blaming us or laughing at us. Well, tell that guy that you will talk to him later, but for now you want to concentrate on the music.

So, I practiced this "let go" attitude besides the instrument before the recital, and the result was great. I made a few small mistakes on stage, but the process went so smooth that most of the audience did not realize that I repeated or skipped a few notes. Since then I have also been incorporating this approach into teaching my students. This approach keeps me and my students reminded that while we are on stage, the notes we just played, good or bad, are gone forever. The only thing that matters is to do our best to play well the rest of the piece.

You can find me at the UNI Community Music School website, http://www.unisonmusicmakers.com/staff.html

Click here to get 50% off lesson registration with Jiamin Liao through January!


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Categories: Conservatory, West Music Piano Gallery
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Quad Cities January 2015 Teacher Feature: Bryan West
By West Music Conservatory
12/29/2014 3:48:00 PM  

Bryan WestIn 1986, Bryan West began playing drums at the age of 15 and has developed a diverse musical background. After being a self-taught drummer for most of his career, Bryan studied with jazz drummer Don Friedman 1997 and began lessons with seven time Grammy Award winner Pual Wertico in Chicago, IL. He has performed sold out shows at The Metro and the House of Blues in Chicago and CBGB's in New York, has opened for many major recording artists, and has recorded many demos and albums for various artists as well as recorded at Prince's Paisley Park studio in Minneapolis, MN.

Bryan's lessons consist of many different aspects. These include learning proper hand and foot techniques, reading development (note values, charts, sight reading), style development(rock, jazz, metal, blues, latin, reggae, country, etc.), learning songs, consulting (drum tuning, setting up drums, recording, auditions, musicianship, etc.). He also teaches bells for school band students.

Click here to get 50% off lesson registration with Bryan West through January!


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Categories: Conservatory, West Music Quad Cities
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Marion January 2015 Teacher Feature: Sara Miller
By West Music Conservatory
12/29/2014 3:23:00 PM  

Sara MillerSara Miller started playing piano when she was 6 years old and started playing professionally at age 15. She has taught piano for 15 years and voice for 4 years. Sara started teaching with us here at West Music in September of 2014. Sara has studied Psychology and Music Therapy at University of Iowa.

Sara still performs occasionally with her classic rock band called Music Store Junkies back in Minnesota. She has been an accompanist, choreographer and musical director for many stage productions both in high school and community, theater. She was part of the Symphony Orchestra back in Willmar, Minnesota as well. She sings in church choir and on worship teams and is looking forward to joining an area band in the very near future!

In her spare time Sara makes soaps, and lip balms by request, and has made candles, and floral arrangements. Her favorite past time though, is reading. She enjoys historical fiction and continuing her education on vocal and piano techniques.

Sara's goal is to build close relationships with her students. She wants them to know that her studio is a safe place and get to know their ups and downs, struggles and achievements as well as their personal likes and dislikes. She wants to get to know them, to know what motivates them musically so she can tailor her lesson plans to the individual student.

Click here to get 50% off lesson registration with Sara Miller through January!


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Categories: Conservatory, West Music Marion
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Coralville January 2015 Teacher Feature: Nik Jakob
By West Music Conservatory
12/29/2014 3:14:00 PM  

Nik JakobNik, a Switzerland native, holds a degree in piano pedagogy from the Conservatory for Music in Zurich, Switzerland. He is a certified piano teacher with SMPV, Switzerland's licensing board for music teachers. Nik has over fifteen years of teaching experience in public schools and private settings. He has been an active piano teacher in the Iowa City/Coralville community for the last 9 years. He teaches students age 5 and up in beginning level through advanced. Nik is a member of a number of professional organizations, including: ICIPT (Iowa City Independent Piano Teachers), MTNA (Music Teacher's National Association) and IFMC (Iowa Federation of Music Clubs).

Nik was the Lead Teacher in our pioneer Way Cool for Kids Keyboarding camp here at West Music. He hopes to continue teaching Way Cool and other Musical Moments classes, as well as reach out to homeschooling kids in Iowa City and surrounding areas.

His interests and hobbies include The Mankind Project, Piano Technology and Tuning, Nature, and Outdoors. Nik is also a part-time stay at home dad.

Click here to get 50% off lesson registration with Nik Jakob through January!


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Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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