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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.

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Urbandale March 2014 Teacher Feature: Cheryl Fraracci
By West Music Piano Gallery
3/3/2014 3:01:00 PM  
Cheryl FraracciCheryl Fraracci is a vocal instructor at West Music Urbandale. She holds a Bachelor of the Arts in both Psychology and Music and and a Master of Arts in Speech Communication, plus extensive graduate work in vocal performance.

Ms. Fraracci studied in Atlanta with Jeanne Brown McDonald, at Simpson College with Carol Stewart, and at The University of Iowa with Marcia Roberts. She has extensive choral experience, singing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Shaw, The Emory University Community Chorus under Ann Jones, The University of Cincinnati Conservatory Chorus, the Iowa State Singers, the University of Georgia Singers, and the University of Iowa Kantorei. She serves as alto soloist at Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines and sings occasional solos with the Des Moines Choral Society of which she is a member. She maintains a small vocal studio.

In her lessons she focuses on voice production to make it as relaxed as possible. She teaches the Bel Canto method of singing. In addition, she stresses correct rhythm and pitch. She strives to help her students be able to sing correctly without accompaniment. In addition to teaching lessons at West Music Piano Gallery, Cheryl also works in sales and real estate investing. In Cheryl’s spare time, she enjoys reading, sewing, and walking.

Click here to sign up for lessons with Cheryl at half price through the month of March!


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Tags: Cheryl Fraracci, Urbandale Teacher Feature, Urbandale, Teacher Feature, Bel Canto
Categories: West Music Piano Gallery
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Urbandale Piano Gallery August 2013 Teacher Feature: Mary Fitzgerald
By West Music Piano Gallery
7/22/2013 3:35:00 PM  

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald - Piano

Mary holds a Bachelor of Music Education and Piano degree from Simpson College where she graduated in 2011. There, she also participated in Women’s and Mixed Choirs. While at Simpson she studied under the direction of Dr. Ron Albrecht and Dr. Michael Patterson. Previously she was taught by Zeljka Stijacic of Des Moines.

In contrast to her classical music background, Mary enjoys metal music. She also acts as the Bell Choir Director at St. Francis in West Des Moines. In addition to music, Mary also enjoys Starbucks coffee, reading, genealogy, Mexican food, and texas hold ‘em poker.

Mary considers herself a lifelong learner and within the past couple years has greatly realized the importance of music, emotion, practice, and patience.

Mary accepts students of all ages. Her lessons are relaxed and humor filled, yet focus on a constructive learning process.

Mary offers lessons weekly or bi-weekly; whichever fits the need of her students’ schedule.

Click here to sign up for lessons with Mary!


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Tags: Teacher Feature, West Music Piano Gallery Instructor, West Music Piano Gallery Teacher, Piano Gallery Instructor, Piano Gallery Teacher, Piano Teacher, Piano Instructor
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Piano Gallery
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Urbandale Musician of the Month: Gannon Henry
By West Music Piano Gallery
11/28/2012 4:26:00 PM  

Gannon, a 5th grader at Beaver Creek Elementary in Johnston, IA, started taking piano lessons with Janet Winship almost two years ago. Gannon has played in five recitals since January 2011 and participated in the Des Moines Public Schools piano festival this year. Piano has become a very important part of Gannon’s life. He also plays trumpet in the school band along with football, basketball, and baseball. His father was a drummer while his mom played oboe and flute, and is still active in vocal music.


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Tags: Gannon Henry, Urbandale, Musician of the Month, Des Moines Public Schools
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Urbandale Musician of the Month: Gannon Henry
By West Music Piano Gallery
11/28/2012 4:26:00 PM  

Gannon, a 5th grader at Beaver Creek Elementary in Johnston, IA, started taking piano lessons with Janet Winship almost two years ago. Gannon has played in five recitals since January 2011 and participated in the Des Moines Public Schools piano festival this year. Piano has become a very important part of Gannon’s life. He also plays trumpet in the school band along with football, basketball, and baseball. His father was a drummer while his mom played oboe and flute, and is still active in vocal music.


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Tags: Gannon Henry, Urbandale, Piano Gallery, West Music Piano Gallery, Urbandale Piano Gallery
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Urbandale Teacher Feature: Emily Heetland
By West Music Piano Gallery
10/30/2012 4:05:00 PM  

Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a Music minor at Luther College in 2008. She studied piano with world renowned teacher/performer, Dr. Du Huang, and spent two years in Taiwan where she taught English as a second language to native Taiwanese students and gave piano and violin lessons to beginning and intermediate students. In college she was a very prominent performer and accompanist for various performances and recitals. She also acted as the second violin section leader in the Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since 2010, Emily has been an English Language Learner Teacher at Stowe Elementary, part of the Des Moines Public Schools. Aside from teaching piano, Emily enjoys travelling, health and fitness, foreign languages, and reading. Emily enjoys teaching beginning and intermediate piano students of all ages. It is her goal to teach the basic principles of music in such a way that the student will grow to experience the beauty and creativity of music that will last a lifetime. Music is a language that is learned and expressed through experience and practice.


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Tags: Emily Heetland, Urbandale, Urbandale Teacher Feature, Luther College, Teacher Feature, Stowe Elementary, Du Huang
Categories: Band & Orchestra, West Music Piano Gallery
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Urbandale Musician of the Month: Alli Johnson
By West Music Piano Gallery
10/29/2012 3:35:00 PM  

Alli is in 2nd grade at Shuler Elementary School in Waukee and has been taking piano lessons with Mary Fitzgerald since September of this year. She has finished the Premier Level lesson book and is now starting Level 1. Her next goal to accomplish is learning to play by ear. Alli enjoys many activities which include hip-hop dance lessons, sports, and baking. Her brother, Alex, is in kindergarten and also takes piano lessons with Mary, while her mother plays the piano and flute.


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Tags: Alli Johnson, Urbandale, West Music Urbandale, West Music Piano Gallery, Piano Gallery, Musician of the Month, Piano Gallery Musician of the Month, Urbandale Musician of the Month
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Teacher Feature: Heidi Worsham
By West Music Piano Gallery
5/21/2012 9:31:00 AM  

Heidi Astle Worsham grew up in a house filled with music. At the age of six she began piano lessons with her older sister but soon became a student of Katherine Svistoonoff and later world renowned artist, Natsuki Fukasawa. Being one of the youngest students to be admitted into Fukasawa’s studio, Heidi gained a deep understanding of tone, artistry, and musicality. She was a frequent prize winner in the Memorial Scholarship Competition, the Auburn Youth Symphony Young Artist Competition, and the U.S. Open Piano Competition.

Being the 5th in her family to earn a music degree from Brigham Young University, she studied with Dr. Irene Peery-Fox and quickly rose to the top as she was inspired by piano music every day. She was the recipient of the prestigious Reid Nibley Piano Scholarship for the 2011-2012 school year, played in master classes with guest artists, was an MTNA officer for the school, and was asked to perform at the BYU’s Convocation ceremony.

Heidi is now pursuing her Master’s degree at the University of Iowa and hopes to eventually receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, allowing her to teach at the university level. She has a passion for teaching all ages and guarantees a fun and enjoyable learning environment coupled with marked progress and success. 

Along with piano, she loves to sing and was a member of BYU’s top touring choir, the BYU Singers. Heidi loves people, reading, learning, spending time with family, playing sports (was Captain of her high school Varsity Basketball team), telling jokes, and helping people learn. 


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Tags: Teacher Feature, Heidi Astle Worsham, West Music Coralville Teacher, West Music Coralville Instructor, West Music Coralville Piano Teacher, West Music Coralville Piano Instructor, Piano Instructor, Piano Teacher
Categories: West Music Coralville
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Teacher Feature: Janet Winship
By West Music Piano Gallery
2/29/2012 10:23:00 AM  

Janet Winship has been teaching piano for 20+ years. She teaches a variety of styles according to her students’ needs, while teaching beginning through intermediate/advanced lessons.

Janet is a professional performer, accompanist, and piano instructor with more than 20 years of experience. She's also an active member of MTNA, IMTA, Des Moines Music Teachers Association, National Federation of Music Clubs, IFMC (serving as Festival Chairman), and the Des Moines Federated Teachers Club. She has performed at 801 Grand in Des Moines and The Chocolaterie as well as private parties, churches, weddings, and funerals. She also teaches piano at  “A Noteworthy Affair Piano Studio,” which she ownes and operates.

To arrange lessons with Janet, contact the West Music Piano Gallery in Urbandale at 515-278-1000.


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Urbandale Teacher Feature: Cheryl Fraracci
By West Music Piano Gallery
2/7/2012 11:12:00 AM  

Cheryl Fraracci studied in Altlanta with Jeanne Brown McDonald, at Simpson College with Carol Stewart, and at The University of Iowa with Marcia Roberts. Ms. Fraracci has extensive choral experience, singing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Shaw, The Emory University Community Chorus under Ann Jones, The University of Cincinnate Conservatory Chorus, the Iowa State Singers, the University of Georgia Singers, and the University of Iowa Kantorei. She serves as alto soloist at Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines and sings occasional solos with the Des Moines Choral Society of which she is a member. She has a small vocal studio. Ms. Fraracci holds BA's in Psychology and Music and an MA in Speech Communication, plus extensive graduate work in voice performance.

In her lessons she focuses on voice production.  She teaches the Bel Canto method of singing.  In addition, she stresses correct rhythm and pitch.  She strives to help her students be able to sing correctly without accompaniment.

Cost:  $25.00 per 30 minute lesson

Contact Information:

          Phone:  Home (515) 279-6245, Cell (515) 770-6939

          Email:  cfraracci@iglide.net

Store Contact Information:  Ask for Amy Huston

          Phone:  (515) 278-1000 or 1-800-PIANO ext. 6103

          Adress:  3304 100th St, Urbandale, IA 50322

          Email:  ahuston@westmusic.com


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Tags: Cheryl Fraracci, Urbandale Teacher Feature, Urbandale, Teacher Feature, Bel Canto
Categories: Band & Orchestra, West Music Piano Gallery
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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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