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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 West Music Quad Cities

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Quad Cities November Teacher Feature: Luke Hull
By West Music Quad Cities
11/7/2013 10:35:00 AM  
Luke HullLuke joined his school band in the 5th grade playing percussion. He got his first drum kit at the age of 14 and has been going strong ever since.
He took lessons from a couple different teachers growing up, including Terry Hanson, who is a teacher at our West Music Conservatory.
Luke describes his drumming style to be a “jack of all trades vibe” which makes sense considering he listed his favorite drummers as John Bonham from Led Zeppelin, jazz drummer Louie Belson, Travis Barker from blink 182, and Carter Beuford hailing from Dave Matthews band. His favorite band is Metallica with Led Zeppelin following a close second. 

Luke taught at West Music a few years ago before he decided to move to Nashville to pursue his dream of gaining further musical insight and obtaining an education via hands on, real life experiences. He spent two years infused in the Nashville music scene and even got to hang out for a few months with Garth Brooks’ guitar player.
After stepping away from teaching for awhile, Luke realized how much he missed it and wanted to return to it. He made his way back to the Quad Cities and began teaching with West Music again in September. We're glad to have him back!

Sign up for lessons with Luke here.

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Tags: west music quad cities, luke hull, drum lessons, teacher feature
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Quad Cities October 2013 Musician of the Month: Don Cooper
By West Music Quad Cities
9/29/2013 10:50:00 PM  



“I’m not bad but the bad don’t mess with me”

Shortly after he finished up with his chemo treatments and beat lymphoma, Don checked off one of the goals on his “bucket list” and started taking guitar lessons. For over five years now he has been taking lessons from Tony Carducci. Don has played in every parking lot jam since he began his relationship with West Music .  

“I’ve bought 14 guitars and I own 7 of them”.

 He has 22 grandkids, 3 great grandkids with a fourth one on the way any day now. Clearly, family is very important to Don and that is why seven of those fourteen guitars  he has purchased over the years are in the hands of his grandchildren. His favorite guitar is his Fender Custom Shop Baja telecaster. So cool!

Don is 61 years young. He is a Vietnam Veteran. He has been married twice, the second time around he got hitched to Patricia, who he refers to as his accountant. He claims “I carry less cash now, but I have better things”. He says one of his fondest memories is from his childhood. Don’s dad was a horse trader and at the age of 11 he gave Don his first pony. By the time he was twelve they had over 117 ponies!! His love for animals doesn’t end there! Titan, his Siberian husky is his one blue eye, one brown eyed loyal companion. Don rescued him after Titan was mistreated by his former owner. Now Titan spends his days surrounded with love, care and respect.

Although at times his family refers to Don as “bullheaded” he likes to think of it more as plain old being determined. And that determination and perseverance has earned him this recognition of Musician of the Month!

All that bullheadedness has payed off Don! Thanks for being a part of the West Music Family! We are proud to have ya!


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Tags: West Music Quad Cities, Musician of the Month, Guitar, West Music Moline
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Quad Cities
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Quad Cities Teacher Feature: Dana Starkell
By West Music Quad Cities
9/29/2013 3:34:00 PM  

Dana Starkell began playing guitar somewhat unintentionally. Growing up in Winnepeg, Canada meant cold winters with heavy snowfall. The Christmas of his tenth year, Dana wanted to be like the Indians and so his dad went looking for snowshoes for him. Unable to find snowshoes, his dad noticed a guitar hanging on the wall and thought it was as close to the same shape as a snowshoe would be, so he took it home, wrapped it up and gave it to his son Christmas morning. At first Dana was disappointed, but soon his disappointment turned to curiosity and his dad signed him up for lessons within the week. He took lessons for about two years. For the rest of his teenage years, Dana self taught.

At the early age of 16, Dana was accepted into Berkelee College of Music in Boston. He was set to graduate a year early and would have attended but was distracted by the allure of a two year canoe trip his dad was planning with his brother, Jeff and him. This canoe trip would ultimately change Dana’s life in so many ways. He chose the trip and the rest is history.

Dana, Jeff and his dad embarked on a 12,000 mile canoe trip from Winnepeg to the mouth of the Amazon which landed them in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest canoe trip. Their story has been written into a book “Paddle to the Amazon” by Dana’s dad, Don Starkell.

Although, Dana suffered from terrible allergies and asthma growing up, constantly taking medicines with uncomfortable side effects, being told he would never lead a normal life and doctors urging him not to go on the canoe trip, even going so far as to say he would not make it back alive, Dana went anyway. What he found along the way, with much research and trial and error was a way to naturally cure his body without synthetic drugs. Dana has not taken asthma medication since August 1980.

Dana currently plays in Wicked Wishes, a heavy metal band out of Winnepeg. He has a son, David, who is three and his wife Stacey also teaches in the Moline West Music Conservatory.

Click here to sign up for lessons with Dana!


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Tags: West Music Moline Teacher, Teacher Feature, West Music Moline Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher Feature
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Quad Cities
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Quad Cities Teacher Feature: Larry Bobe
By West Music Quad Cities
10/30/2012 4:39:00 PM  

Larry is a graduate of the University of Iowa where he served as manager for the University bands, was a charter member and past-president of the local chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and served as musical director for several area musicals. Larry spent 31 years teaching instrumental music in the Amana, West Branch and Marion Independent Schools before retiring in 2006. During his tenure at Marion, Larry headed the high school’s Site Team, ran the Marion Marching Invitational and hosted a Honor Band for 6th-8th graders. A life member of NEA, he served as president, head negotiator and grievance chair of his local Education Association. He was also active in the Iowa Bandmasters Association as state chair of the Concert Band Affairs committee and as President of South East district.

As a performer, Larry plays in Die Tiefen Keller Kinder a traditional German wind band based in Amana and for many years served as the group’s musical director. He has also played bass trombone in the Vanguard Jazz Collective, a Cedar Rapids big band and the Quad Cities Wind Ensemble.

Today, Larry remains active in music by conducting honor bands, judging at local and state contests, writing marching band shows and arranging music for Jazz Band and Marching Band, as well as maintaining an active private lesson studio. He currently serves as low brass instructor at Saint Ambrose University.

Click here to sign up for lessons with Larry!


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Tags: West Music Moline Teacher, West Music Moline Instructor, West Music Moline Trombone Teacher, West Music Moline Trombone Instructor, Trombone Teacher, Trombone Instructor, Teacher, West Music Moline Teacher Feature, Instructor, Larry Bobe
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Quad Cities Teacher Feature: Stephanie Gardner
By West Music Quad Cities
9/28/2012 1:34:00 PM  

Stephanie Gardner is a guitar, ukulele and percussion instructor at West Music Quad Cities. She has a PhD in Education from the University of Lyon, France and a minor in Music Education. She has over 30 years of professional teaching experience, and has taught music and judged for drum corps in England, France, and the United States.

Stephanie has been engrossed in music her whole life. She has played guitar and ukulele for over 40 years, percussion and brass for 35 years, and with her music education experience, she can teach the basics of all other band instruments, such as baritone, trombone, tuba, trumpet, french horn, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, and alto saxophone.

Stephanie has played in marching band, jazz groups, city wide orchestra, Birmingham opera, and various symphonic orchestra and opera productions. She has composed percussion and brass parts for orchestral programs, musicals, band camps, drum corps, and church programs. She also has experience as a sound engineer in church.

In her teaching, Stephanie incorporates theory through teaching different musical genres and styles to ensure the student has a broad understanding and knowledge of music. She chooses songs for her students that demonstrate and reinforce the fundamentals of music in a fun and progressive format.


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Tags: West Music Moline Teacher, West Music Moline Instructor, West Music Moline Teacher Feature, Teacher Feature, West Music Moline Guitar Instructor, West Music Moline Guitar Teacher, West Music Moline Ukulele Teacher, West Music Moline Ukulele Instructor, West Music Moline Percussion Instructor, West Music Moline Percussion Teacher, Percussion Teacher, Percussion Instructor, Ukulele Instructor, Ukulele Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Guitar Instructor, Stephanie Gardner
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Quad Cities Teacher Feature: Terry Hanson
By West Music Quad Cities
8/29/2012 4:54:00 PM  

Terry Hanson, drummer-percussionist-educator-drum circle facilitator, has taught and performed in over 25 countries, regionally and in the Quad Cities area for many years. He has been teaching for West Music since September 2000 and currently at the Moline, Illinois location.

Terry educates beginner to advanced students, ages 8 years old to 80 years young from starting on a drum pad to a full set of drums, concert, orchestral, marching, hand drums, and beginning mallet and timpani technique. He works with each individual student to achieve his or her full potential on their instrument with confidence, patience, motivation, and fun. Terry is very humbled and honored to play Sonor drums, Paiste Cymbals, Aquarian Drum Heads, Vic Firth products and is also on their Education Team.

Click here to sign up for lessons with Terry today!


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Tags: West Music Moline Teachers, West Music Moline Instructors, West Music Moline Teacher Feature, Instructor, Teacher, West Music Moline Drums Teacher, West Music Moline Percussion Teacher, West Music Moline Drum Instructor, West Music Moline Percussion Instructor, Drum Teacher, Drum Instructor, Percussion Instructor, Percussion Teacher, Terry Hanson
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Quad Cities Teacher Feature: Nicholas Nolte
By West Music Quad Cities
7/31/2012 1:43:00 PM  

A lifelong musician, Nicholas Nolte studied voice at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He holds the music director position for the Dewitt United Methodist Church, and is a member of the Quad City Choral Arts under the direction of John Hurty. In addition to his professional choral experience, he has performed solo work within the United States and abroad. Nicholas has also performed previously in South Pacific and Children of Eden with Countryside Theater. Competitively, Nicholas has placed in many vocal competitions including 1st place in the regional NATS Voice competition. He lives in Rock Island with his wife, Liz, and his dog, Max.

Sign up for lessons with Nick today!


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Tags: West Music Moline Teacher, West Music Moline Instructor, West Music Moline Teacher Feature, Vocal Teacher Feature, Voice Teacher Feature, West Music Moline Voice Teacher, West Music Moline Voice Instructor, West Music Moline Vocal Instructor, West Music Moline Vocal Teacher, Nicholas Nolte
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Teacher Feature: Greg Collister
By West Music Quad Cities
6/28/2012 11:53:00 AM  

Playing the drums is what Greg has always wanted to do with his life. He got his start with the Galva Elementary School Band at age 10 and began taking private lessons from Al Nache at 14. Greg attended a summer camp at the Los Angeles Music Academy in 2000, and had the pleasure to work with two of the world's greatest drummers, Ralph Humphrey and Joe Porcaro.

By age 15, he joined his second band, Corporate Rock. While in Corporate Rock, Greg opened up for Ted Nugent at Clinton Riverboat days in Clinton, Iowa. He performed with the Galva School Band in marching, concert, pep, jazz, and honor bands, musicals, and IHSA Solo and Ensemble contest. At age 18 he moved to Hollywood to attend the Percussion Institute of Technology at Musicians Institute in pursuit of an education and career in music.

While attending Musicians Institute, Greg received private instruction from Sammy J. Watson, drummer for The Apex Theory and Rob Carson and World Drum Champion. Greg graduated from PIT in September 2004 with his degree in professional percussion. In 2007, he joined progressive metal band Clandestine, playing many shows in and around Los Angeles before hitting the road to tour performing in California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. Greg plays and teaches all styles of music, but rock and metal are his favorite.

 

Here’s a link to Greg’s YouTube page for drum performances: http://www.youtube.com/user/GregCollister


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Teacher Feature: Earle Johnson
By West Music Quad Cities
5/24/2012 11:23:00 AM  

Earle Johnson is a piano teacher at West Music Quad Cities. No matter what your age is, he will take you from where you are and take you where you want to go. Earle’s lessons include everything from traditional instruction, classical, pop, gospel, to jazz, improvisation, theory, accompaniments, acoustic, digital, and more!

Earle started teaching piano while attending college. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Grand Rapids Baptist College, a Master of Church Music in composition at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a teaching certificate from the University of Iowa. He currently teaches at a school and plays organ/piano in a local church. In addition to those responsibilities, he plays piano for Josh Duffee and His Versatile 5 and the Josh Duffee Orchestra which features the music of the 1920's-1930's.


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Tags: West Music Moline Teacher, West Music Moline Instructor, West Music Moline Piano Instructor, West Music Moline Piano Teacher, Piano Teacher Feature, Piano Teacher, Piano Instructor, Teacher Feature, Earle Johnson
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Teacher Feature: Andrew Geyssens
By West Music Quad Cities
4/30/2012 5:10:00 PM  

Andrew Geyssens is an instructor at West Music Quad Cities in Moline, IL. plays string bass and bass guitar and has performed with artists like Rob Parton, John Fedchock, John Clayton, and Italian Big Band artists Maco Renzi and Bepi D'Amato. He is recently completed studies at Western Illinois University for Music Education where he performed in the Jazz Studio Orchestra and Symphony and Chamber Orchestras.

Andrew has experience with many styles of music including classical, jazz, funk, gospel, Latin, and rock. His students learn to develop technique, musicality, performance practice, and theory essential to performing the bass.


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Tags: West Music Moline Instructor, West Music Moline Teacher, West Music Moline Teacher Feature, West Music Moline Bass Teacher, West Music Moline Bass Instructor, West Music Moline Electric Bass Teacher, West Music Moline Electric Bass Instructor, West Music Moline Teacher Feature, Andrew Geyssens, Bass Teacher Feature, Electric Bass Teacher Feature
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