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

Blogs by West Music Marion

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Marion August 2014 Teacher Feature: Billy Lee Janey
By West Music Marion
8/4/2014 11:23:00 PM  

Billy Lee JaneyBilly Lee Janey teaches several instruments including acoustic, electric, and bass guitar, ukulele, banjo, dobro, mandolin, and lap steel. He has been teaching guitar since 1979 and has been playing professionally since 1964. He has been mentioned in over 400 instructional books and is signed on with the Rockadrome record label from San Antonio, Texas.

He has been inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame in 2012!

Recently Billy performed at the Hard Rock Cafe in Chicago.  He has also opened for ZZ Top at the Surf Ballroom and has performed on stage with Buddy Guy, Bo Diddly, and others. He teaches blues, jazz, rock and roll, heavy metal, country and all other forms of music. He also teaches how to start a band and record your own music and perform.

In his spare time Billy works on his farm with his wife. He enjoys building, crafting, gardening and carpentry.  His favorite thing about teaching is that the gift of music is to "give".

Find out more about Billy Lee Janey at billyleejaney.com!

Sign up for lessons with Billy at 1/2 price during the month of August here!


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Tags: West Music Marion, Teacher Feature, Guitar,
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Marion
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Marion October 2013 Musician of the Month: Macy Schmidt
By West Music Marion
9/29/2013 11:41:00 PM  

Macy Schmidt: October 2013 West Music Marion Musician of the MonthMacy Schmidt is a flute student of Laura Phillips. She has been studying with Ms. Phillips for 5 months. Her musical goal is to always do her best and master any instrument she tries.  Another goal of Macy’s is to earn a music scholarship to college. She would like to play for the University of Iowa band when she goes to college.

Her advice to other musicians is that if at first something seems difficult , keep pushing through. It WILL get easier.

Macy is in marching band at her high school and is preparing to audition for All-State. She recently played for a Celtic Camp that was taught by Laura Phillips and Takuya Horiuchi. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, and Key Club. Key Club does a lot of volunteering for events such as passing out bottles of water at races and babysitting.

Macy has a sister who is also a musician and plays the trombone. We wish Macy the best! Congratulations, Macy!


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Tags: West Music Marion, Musician of the Month, Conservatory, Flute
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Marion
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Marion Teacher Feature: Tommy Bruner
By West Music Marion
11/28/2012 4:51:00 PM  

Tommy Bruner has been playing guitar and singing on stage since the mid 70's, and has opened for groups such as Luther Allison, Tina Turner and Rick Nelson. He has toured the country many times in various bands, and can currently be found performing with the groups 4BOXOROCKS, and The Bruner Johnson Trio, and Triple Shot. Tommy is also a freelance contributor to Premier Guitar Magazine.

Click here to sign up for lessons with Tommy!


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Tags: tommy bruner, west music marion, west music cedar falls, conservatory, lessons
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Marion
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Marion Teacher Feature: Tommy Bruner
By West Music Marion
11/28/2012 4:51:00 PM  

Tommy Bruner has been playing guitar and singing on stage since the mid 70's, and has opened for groups such as Luther Allison, Tina Turner and Rick Nelson. He has toured the country many times in various bands, and can currently be found performing with the groups 4BOXOROCKS, and The Bruner Johnson Trio, and Triple Shot. Tommy is also a freelance contributor to Premier Guitar Magazine.

Click here to sign up for lessons with Tommy!


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Tags: West Music Marion Teacher, West Music Marion Instructor, West Music Marion Guitar Teacher, West Music Marion Guitar Instructor, Guitar Teacher, Guitar Instructor, Guitar Teacher Feature, Teacher Feature, Tommy Bruner
Categories: West Music Marion
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Marion Musician of the Month: Ian Estrem
By West Music Marion
11/27/2012 2:45:00 PM  

Ian Estrem comes from a very musical family, where everyone either plays guitar, piano, or sings. A bass clarinet enthusiast, Ian was accepted into All State Band in both 2011 and 2012. His next musical goal is Concerto Competition. Ian is a Junior at Linn-Mar High School, and participates in the Wind Ensemble, Linn-Mar School Band. A dedicated musician, Ian studies with two West Music Marion teachers, Bart Yates (four years) and Alice Lindsay (ten years).


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Tags: West Music Marion, West Music Marion Musician of the Month, Musician of the Month, Spotlight, Ian Estrem
Categories: West Music Marion
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Marion Musician of the Month: Lydia Yang
By West Music Marion
10/29/2012 3:21:00 PM  

Lydia has been taking clarinet lessons with Bart Yates for the past five years.

She is a freshman at Kennedy High School and was selected for the IBA band and has attended the Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp for the last 3 years. Lydia will be auditioning for all-state and competing in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony’s Young Artist’s Concerto Competition. Her brother also took lessons at West Music where he studied the drums and piano for three years.


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Tags: Musician of the Month, Lydia Yang, West Music Marion Musician of the Month, Spotlight
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Marion Teacher Feature: Laura Phillips
By West Music Marion
9/26/2012 5:49:00 PM  

Laura Phillips teaches flute, clarinet, saxophone, and beginning piano at West Music Marion. She holds a B.A in Secondary Music Education from Eastern Washington University. She's been teaching for 20 years, with 6 of those years being at West Music.

Laura also gives lessons to the Belle Plaine Schools 5th & 6th grade bands, along with middle and high school lessons. She participates in Irish Jam and Church worship band & solos. Her hobbies include spending time with her cats, gardening, composing music and travelling, especially on the west coast. She's also a regular performer at Java Creek Café and Brick Arch.

Click here to register for lessons with Laura!


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Tags: West Music Marion Teacher Feature, West Music Marion Teacher, West Music Marion Instructor, Flute Instructor, Flute Teacher, Clarinet Instructor, Clarinet Teacher, Saxophone Teacher, Saxophone Instructor, Beginning Piano Teacher, Beginning Piano Instructor, Flute Teacher Feature, Saxophone Teacher Feature, Clarinet Teacher Feature, Beginning Piano Teacher Feature, Laura Phillips
Categories: West Music Marion
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West Music Marion Musician of the Month - Dallas McDonough
By West Music Marion
9/14/2012 2:32:00 PM  

Dallas comes from a family with a lot of musical talent and has been taking drum lessons with Matt Bernemann for 3½ years. He is a senior at Prairie High School where he is the co-captain and section leader of the Prairie Marching Band. He also plays a part in the wind symphony, jazz band, show choir band and pit band for school musicals and is the section leader in all he participates in.

Dallas hopes to make all-state again during his senior year and plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa as a Music Education major.


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Tags: Dallas McDonough, West Music Marion, Musician of the Month
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Marion Teacher Feature: Cindy Cormican
By West Music Marion
8/1/2012 9:28:00 AM  

Cindy Cormican earned a degree in music education at Indiana State University for band, orchestra, and choir. She has been teaching since 1978 and is a member of PMTA. She has a high success rate with her vocal students getting into show choirs. Most recently Cindy had a student audition for American Idol. When she is not teaching Cindy plays the piano and sings for her church choir. In lessons students will learn technique skills and theory along with scales.

Click here to register for lessons with Cindy!


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Tags: Cindy Cormican, West Music Marion, West Music Marion Teacher, West Music Marion Instructor, West Music Marion Voice Teachers, West Music Marion Voice Instructors, Voice Teachers, Voice Instructors, Teacher Feature, West Music Marion Teacher Feature, Voice Teacher Features
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Teacher Feature: Ryan Hoagland
By West Music Marion
5/23/2012 10:59:00 AM  

Ryan “Hoagy” Hoagland teaches drums and percussion at West Music Marion. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from University of Northern Iowa. In addition to being an instructor at West Music Marion, he gives private lessons at Johnson Elementary, Prairie Point Middle School and various freelancing sessions. He plays with the groups Funk Stop, Chubby, Junk Funk, and with the Cedar Rapids Theater. He's also currently endorsed by Johnny Raab drumsticks and Sabian cymbals.

Ryan enjoys playing music, outdoor activities, just chillin’, and spending time with his beautiful wife and daughter.

For more information about Ryan and his musical endeavors, visit www.ryanhoagland.com.


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

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Extraordinary Associates of the Month November 2016: PASIC Crew
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Urbandale December 2016 Musician of the Month: Charlie LaCroix
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Coralville December 2016 Teacher Feature: Caleb Lambert
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Coralville December 2016 Musician of the Month: Carly Ephraim
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10 Holiday Gifts That Your Kids Will Love
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