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Blogs by Jordan Wagner

West Music Celebrates Music Monday with Aaron Tippin's "I Wanna Play"
By Jordan Wagner
5/22/2012 1:27:00 PM  

NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) joined the Coalition of Music Education in Canada in its eighth annual Music Monday event on May 7th, 2012, to demonstrate the importance of music education programs throughout North America, and to celebrate the many proven benefits of playing music for people of all ages. Music stores, schools, businesses, organizations and individuals were encouraged to play a song for NAMM's designated Music Monday entitled "I Wanna Play" by country music songwriter Aaron Tippin.

In this video, a team of West Music associates tackles the song to celebrate Wanna Play? Music Week, specifically for Music Monday.

Doug Ducey - Guitar, Vocals
John Shultz - Piano
Jeremiah Murphy - Bass
Adam Havlin - Drums
Cindy Weber - Clarinet
Saul Lubaroff - Alto Saxophone
Debbie Yarrow - Alto Saxophone
Tianna Streeter - Alto Saxophone
Bob Brady - Tenor Saxophone
Eric Gordon - Trumpet
Jerry Zinn - Trombone

Tags: NAMM, Music Monday, Aaron Tippin, West Music, National Association of Music Merchants
Categories: West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion, West Music Quad Cities, West Music Des Moines Piano Gallery, West Music Cedar Falls, West Music Coralville, Company Culture
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Watch Our Collection of Video Product Demos!
By Jordan Wagner
12/23/2011 2:45:00 PM  

Part of our focus this past year has been directed at producing videos demonstrating the products that we sell here at West Music. Since we have such a massive amount of musical tools and instructional materials on hand, we felt that one of the best ways that we can show how you can use those items is, well, demonstrating them!

Below are four videos that we made during this past holiday shopping season. If you'd like to see our entire collection of videos, click HERE to go to our YouTube channel!


P. Mauriat Le Bravo Saxophones


Charvel San Dimas, Desolation DC-2 & Skatecaster


Bow Hold Buddies for Viola, Violin & Cello


Tips for Proper Winter Guitar Care and Maintenance

Tags: Product Demonstrations, Video Demonstrations, Product Demonstration, Video Demonstration, West Music Products, West Music Videos, West Music, Web Videos, Video, West Video, P Mauriat Le Bravo, P Mauriat Le Bravo Saxophones, Skatecaster, Charvel, Charvel San Dimas, Charvel Desolation DC-2, Desolation DC-2, Charvel Skatecaster, San Dimas, Bow Hold Buddies, Saxophone Products, Saxophone Demonstration, Viola, Violin, Cello, Strings Demonstration, Winter Guitar Care, Guitar Maintenance
Categories: Band & Orchestra, Guitars & Folk
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Finger Cymbals Video Demo
By Jordan Wagner
11/9/2011 9:04:00 AM  

In this video, West Music's Alex Adams and Jenny Winegarden walk us through demonstrations of finger cymbals from brands such as Sabian, Zildjian, Basic Beat and West Music.

To view our selection of finger cymbals, click HERE!

Tags: finger cymbals, finger cymbals demonstration, finger cymbals demo
Categories: Drums & Percussion
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Performance Wristies Now Available at West Music!
By Jordan Wagner
10/4/2011 1:30:00 PM  

West Music Music Education Consultant Judy Pine demonstrates the benefits of using Performance Wristies for band performers during the cold fall and winter months. Wristies are a great choice for brass and orchestra instrument players that often play at outdoor pep rallies and events, and need to keep their hands snugly warm without constraints on their fingers.

To check out Wristies for yourself, click one of the following links!


Tags: Judy Pine, Wristies, Band & Orchestra, Band, Orchestra
Categories: Band & Orchestra, Music, Books & Resources
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Q&A with Melissa Blum
By Jordan Wagner
10/4/2011 12:46:00 PM  

melissa blumMelissa Blum has over 20 years experience teaching music at the pre-K, elementary, middle school, and adult levels. She is a Vice President at West Music, where she is Director of Customer Service and an Educational Consultant for early childhood products and World Music Drumming. She has participated in the World Music Drumming summer workshops since 2004, completing Levels 1, 2, and 3 multiple times, and has completed Remo HealthRHYTHMS facilitator training. She has facilitated World Music Drumming ensembles as a team-building exercise at a variety of corporate and community events for children and adults, and is a clinician for daycare/preschool providers and ECMM educators on the topic of incorporating developmentally appropriate music activities in the pre-k classroom setting. She continues to teach early childhood music and movement classes and adult group drumming classes at West Music. Since 2009 Melissa has been on the faculty of the World Music Drumming Curriculum, teaching the class, “Drumming Up the Fun,” adapting World Music Drumming for teachers of children ages 3-8.


  • What is your background in music, and how do you use that to help our customers?

    I’ve literally been involved in music my entire life; a family photo when I was 6 months old includes my mother playing guitar and my father playing banjo—yes, it was the 60’s! I started piano at age 5, and when I was 9 I rented my first viola from West Music! My degree is in Music Education, and I have taught music continuously for the past 22 years in many capacities, for ages 0-adult. I continue to teach weekly early childhood classes at our West Music Coralville location and have the incredible opportunity to be one of the faculty members of the World Music Drumming Curriculum, teaching the workshop “Drumming Up the Fun!” throughout the summer. That wide variety of experience helps me understand the different challenges faced by our customers as well as gives me lots of practical knowledge about the products that might best fit their needs.

    • What do you think are the strongest services that you can offer our customers

    My knowledge about the products we offer and the ways they can be used in the classroom. I travel to lots of conferences and workshops so have had the chance to interact with our customers and our products—a great combination!

    • What do you think sets West Music apart from the rest of the pack?

    Our people—we have an incredible team and all of our staff are musicians, music educators, music therapists, or music enthusiasts. We believe in the mission of West Music!

    • Describe the rapport that you develop with customers.

    Working with customers is my favorite aspect of my job so I really enjoy learning about their specific situations and the way they are using music with their students, clients, or children. It’s very rewarding to hear from customers again and again and be able to find out how things are going for them and the West Music products that have enhanced their work. When I’ve spoken to a customer several times on the phone and then meet them in person at a conference it’s so much fun to make that connection!

    • What aspects of music education have you most excited right now?

    World Music Drumming is one of my very favorite programs and an area where I spend a great deal of my time. Each time I speak to a customer who is planning to start or expand their drumming program I’m so excited for them because I know how much their students will benefit. Mariachi is a newer initiative for us at West Music and I can’t wait to see the impact this will have for students all over the country!

    Open a School or Institutional Account with West Music today!

    Tags: Q & A, Melissa Blum, Vice President of West Music, West Music
    Categories: Company Culture
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    Exciting products and a catalog retrospective
    By Jordan Wagner
    9/9/2011 11:29:00 AM  

    West Music's Judy Pine and Melissa Blum walk us through a retrospective of past West Music catalogs, leading up to our brand-new 2011-2012 catalog. The catalog is jam-packed with 186 pages of products to nurture your student's musical education.

    In addition, Judy and Melissa share their personal favorites from the catalog! For more information on these products--or to order--go to www.westmusic.com!

    Tags: West Music catalog, new catalog, catalog video blog, retrospective video blog
    Categories: Band & Orchestra, Orff, Classroom Furniture & Equipment, Pianos, Digital Pianos & Keyboards, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Folk, Kids & Movement, Music, Books & Resources, Recorders, Music Therapy
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    West Music Earns National Steinway & Sons award!
    By Jordan Wagner
    8/17/2011 1:15:00 PM  

    steinway and sonsNEW YORK CITY - West Music Co., the exclusive dealer for Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos in eastern Iowa and western Illinois, has won a coveted Steinway & Sons Partners in Performance Award, the highest honor bestowed by the maker of what many music experts consider the world's finest pianos.

    West Music received the award for overall excellence in each of eight qualifying categories. The award recognizes outstanding performance in such areas as Steinway concert-and-artist programs, product knowledge and customer service.

    Also considered were distinguished and innovative promotional, merchandising and marketing programs on behalf of Steinway & Sons and for Boston and Essex pianos, both designed by Steinway.

    Most important, West Music was selected for exemplifying The Spirit of Steinway that embodies the vision, integrity and spirit of company founder Henry E. Steinway.

    Tags: Steinway, Boston, Essex, Steinway & Sons, Award, West Music, West Music Award Steinway & Sons Award
    Categories: West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion, West Music Quad Cities, West Music Des Moines Piano Gallery, West Music Cedar Falls, West Music Coralville, Company Culture
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    Q&A with Jenny Winegarden
    By Jordan Wagner
    8/4/2011 8:35:00 AM  

    jenny winegardenJenny Winegarden is an Educational Consultant at West Music.  Her ten years of teaching Early Childhood music classes, and a degree in music therapy help her relate to and assist customers.

    • What is your background in music, and how do you use that to help our customers?
      I have been involved in music since I can remember, starting with singing in church choir when I was three.  I sang and played in band through high school, and graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Music Therapy.  I then went on to teach Early Childhood music classes for ten years before coming to West Music. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and continue to learn new things all the time to help our customers.
      • What do you think are the strongest services that you can offer our customers?
        I  think that my experience and background in music along with my enthusiasm for music are my strongest attributes that I can draw upon to assist our customers.
        • What do you think sets West Music apart from the rest of the pack?
          I haven’t worked for West Music very long, but as a teacher I was a frequent customer!  I enjoyed working with the West Music staff because they were always very friendly and knowledgeable.  I hope to keep up that tradition!
        • Describe the rapport that you develop with customers.
          I love talking to customers, finding out what they want and what they need, and then getting them the most for their money! Since I’m new, I can’t wait for the day when the same customers will call me again and again for my help.
        • What aspects of music education have you most excited right now?
          I went to my first World Music Drumming class this summer and loved it!  I am anxious to see it in action at the school level, and to continue my training.

        Open a School or Institutional Account with West Music today.

          Tags: Early Childhood, Early Childhood Q & A, Early Childhood Music, Jenny Winegarden, Question & Answer, Question and Answer, West Music, West Music Question & Answer, West Music Education Consultant, Educaion Consultant
          Categories: Company Culture
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          Fender GDEC 3 Combo Amplifier Demo Video
          By Jordan Wagner
          6/7/2011 9:14:00 AM  

          West Music is proud to stock Fender's GDEC 3 line of combo amplifiers! Each one packs quite a bit of whollop sound and feature-wise, and are perfect for students and professionals alike. In this video, West Music associate Tony Carducci walks us through the amp's features and tones:


          Remember that West Music is your one-stop shop for all musical instruments, whether or not you're in the school band, jamming with friends on stage, or practicing music at home by yourself. Come in to your local West Music and give the Fender GDEC 3 a try - we'll be happy to help you with any questions that you might have!

          Click HERE for store locations and hours!

          About the Fender GDEC 3

          From Fender's website:

          It’s a guitar amp. Like no other guitar amp you’ve ever experienced.

          The Fender G-DEC® 3 is a practice amp and jamming partner, but it’s also an invitation to make what will truly be your music. It’s your key to having countless hours of fun.

          Because the G-DEC 3 connects to your computer with all the ease of a digital camera, you can share your music with a worldwide community of fellow G-DEC 3 music enthusiasts who are as close as your keypad.

          Make and store your own new amp and effects combinations. Use all the amazing features to create and record your own guitar tones, make your own music, load in your own backing tracks and even play along with presets by some of the world’s biggest rock stars. Read on for a full list of features, specifications and special-guest G-DEC 3 artists. The Fender G-DEC 3 — it’s not just an amp; it’s the key to your music …

          Tags: combo amps, combo amplifiers, Fender, GDEC 3
          Categories: Guitars & Folk
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          Q&A with Kathy Bohstedt
          By Jordan Wagner
          6/6/2011 9:29:00 AM  

          kathy bohstedtKathy Bohstedt is a Music Education Consultant at West Music. She is also the Industry Advisor for OAKE (Organization of American Kodaly Educators). Kathy travels to local workshops and state and national music conventions to exhibit for West Music. Her eighteen years as an elementary music educator and years as a consultant have given her valuable experiences for working with music teachers.

          • What is your background in music, and how do you use that to help our customers?
            After starting as a math major, I graduated from college with a degree in vocal music education. Taking classes was often a part of my summer plans. My “aha” moment came while taking an introduction to Orff Schulwerk class. I went on to take three levels of Orff certification, a level one Kodaly course, learned the joy of folk dancing and enjoyed many other music courses with wonderful teachers. I also learned a lot from sharing stories – good and bad - with other teachers taking the classes.
          • What do you think are the strongest services that you can offer our customers
            My years of teaching experience and training help me relate to customers’ needs and enable me to give advice on classroom instruments to use and print materials that will work for their students.
          • What do you think sets West Music apart from the rest of the pack?
            Our dedication to customer service, knowledgeable staff and wide array of products sets us apart. We truly want the customer to have a good experience. Each member of our staff has a music background either from performing or teaching and all are ready to help customers have a satisfying experience with us. We have a wide variety of products to choose from to find what will work best for each situation and fit a budget.

          • Describe the rapport that you develop with customers.
            At many music conventions, teachers will introduce themselves as someone who has worked with me on the phone or e-mail. It’s such a treat to put a face to a voice or e-mail. There are also teachers who regularly stop, visit and shop at workshops and conventions because we’ve established a relationship. My favorite part of the job is working with teachers, especially at conventions and workshops.

          • What aspects of music education have you most excited right now?
            Right now, I’m enthused about discovering more children’s literature that can be used in the music classroom. There are so many wonderful books out there that can inspire and enhance a musical experience.

          Open a School or Institutional Account with West Music today!

          Tags: Kodaly, Kodály, Q&A, Music Education Consultant, West Music, West Music Education Consultant, Kathy Bohstedt
          Categories: Company Culture
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