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Cedar Falls July 2017 Teacher Feature: Maryann "Mary Mo" Hinman
By West Music Company
7/1/2017 1:01:00 AM  
maryann mary mo hinman
Maryann "Mary Mo" Hinman started teaching at a young age in high school. “We had a "band buddy" system at Independence High where talented high school students would teach the elementary and middle school students private lessons. At one point I had 16 students! After high school, I taught at the Independence Conservatory for a few years. I've never stopped teaching since. In my later college years I also had the opportunity to teach college freshman trumpet majors once a week and loved that. I love teaching all ages; it will be something I always do on the side no matter what.”
 
Maryann started in 4th grade playing the cornet and soon switched to a trumpet. It wasn't until her 7th grade year, though that her talent blossomed and she grew in love with music. 
 
She grew up in Independence, IA and earned her high school diploma. She went to UNI as a music scholarship student studying jazz and classical music performance. Her expected graduation will be in 2018. She is also a guest relations manager at the BlackHawk Hotel in Cedar Falls. 
 
Maryann’s main band is called "Free Range Medicine" which is mostly a rock band where she plays trumpet and sings. She’s been in several groups in the Cedar Valley and has toured with other groups as well. 
 
On her days off the hotel and not teaching, she loves to play her horn and the piano. She loves writing and transcribing music. Maryann loves just "fooling around" on the piano as well. Outside of music, she loves making jewelry, playing darts and being on the water whether it's on a boat, pontoon, kayak or canoe. Last, but not least, she loves spending time with friends and family. 
 
Mary Mo says her favorite thing about teaching is when a student gets excited about music on their own. 
 
An interesting musical experience she’s had was to play alongside of some very talented musicians throughout the years. “Famous or not, I've been lucky to stand beside many, many of them and share together what we love best. I've had thousands of gigs, and some great stories; Clark Terry kissed me on the cheek, Mike Dillon played a duo with me on his vibraphone with a guitar pedal, I sang "Why can't we be friends?" with Matt Wilson and I've marched  with my trumpet at a festival with WookieFoot. I've taken lessons with famous trumpet teachers and I've met my favorite trumpet player of all time, Wynton Marsalis.”



Tags: maryann hinman, trumpet, horn, brass, teacher, lesson
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
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Des Moines July 2017 Musician of the Month: Channing Rooda
By West Music Company
7/1/2017 1:01:00 AM  
Channing RoodaChanning Rooda has been a piano student of Scott Smith for 18 months. She is a junior and homeschooled. Channing also plays the French horn, trumpet, and guitar. Channing loves playing music because “it never really goes the same way twice, so it’s always a challenge. It’s kind of like a puzzle; it’s very satisfying when you figure it out. Also, it’s a great stress reliever, and a skill that never really leaves you. Plus, it can really open doors for you.”

Channing participates in church music and the North Mahaska Jazz Band. They were state champions this year in class 1A. She also gives piano lessons to 12 students. Her advice to other musicians is to practice a lot, don’t get frustrated, and when you want to quit… DON’T.

When not practicing the piano, Channing participates in showing American Quarter Horses nationwide, and she has shown American Kennel Club dog agility, putting a title on her dog. During her free time, Channing reads and writes. English is one of her favorite subjects, taking after her mom who is an English teacher. She even named her horse Wilbur after the pig in “Charlotte’s Web”.

Channing loves classical music, especially Beethoven and Schubert, but she’s recently been listening to jazz musicians like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Scott Smith selected Channing for Musician of the Month because she picks up on new music quickly, and is dedicated to practicing and advancing as a musician. One surprising fact about Channing is that she is a second generation American. Her grandfather emigrated from Holland during WWII.

Congrats, Channing!!



Tags: piano, lessons, student, teacher, Scott Smith
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Des Moines Piano Gallery
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Cedar Rapids July 2017 Muisician of the Month: Christine Newlin
By West Music Company
7/1/2017 1:01:00 AM  
adult piano student
Christine Newlin is an adult piano student of Sara Miller at West Music Cedar Rapids. She was nominated for Musician of the Month because she has finished book 1 for piano and has been studying piano with Sara Miller for only 4 months!
 
Christine works at Aegon Assessment in Cedar Rapids. Her musical goal is to learn a song she can play with her husband, her eight year old daughter Kate, and her six year old son Owen. Some advice Christine would like to impart to others wanting to learn an instrument is, “It is never too late to start. It is very relaxing and uses parts of the brain that you don’t normally use.”
 
Her interests include reading, traveling, hiking and yoga. Something that might surprise someone to learn about Christina is that she sang in the Afro-American choral ensemble at Indiana University when she was in college.
 
Congratulations, Christine!



Tags: piano, lesson, student, teacher, instructor, Sara Miller
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion
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Cedar Rapids July 2017 Musician of the Month: Sophia Spinner
By West Music Company
7/1/2017 1:01:00 AM  
sophia spinner flute student
Sophia Spinner has been taking flute lessons from Alice Lindsey for about 6 months. She has just finished 6th grade and is going into 7th.  She was nominated for musician of the month because she plays several different instruments including violin and piano and plays all three really well in a short amount of time.

Some advice Sophia would like to give other aspiring musicians is to practice every day and never give up. She loves the fact that she can inspire other people to play an instrument even though they may not know how. Sophia play flute and percussion in a home school band for one year and violin in orchestra for four years.

She loves to listen to K-Pops bands from Korea. BTS is her favorite. She is interested in martial arts: tae kwon do and hapkido. She also likes practicing with martial arts weapons. Her favorite performer is BTS, Got7 and NCT. She also listens to Lindsey Sterling on violin and August D.

What someone might be surprised to find out about Sophia is that in her senior year of high school she will be moving to Korea.

Congratulations, Sophia! Great job!



Tags: Alice Lindsey, lessons, student, teacher, flute, woodwind
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion
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Coralville July 2017 Musician of the Month: Jayce Norpel
By West Music Company
7/1/2017 1:01:00 AM  
jayce norpel piano student
Jayce is going into the 4th grade, and has been studying piano with Sarah Beckelheimer in the West Music Lessons program for 2 years. His teacher has this to say about his lessons:

“Jayce comes with a positive attitude regularly. He consistently practices and challenges himself.  He is a joy to teach!”

He loves having a teacher to work with him on his musical goals! He also hopes to add guitar and ukulele to his instrument list. His favorite music is Kids Bop (Greatest Hits). When asked for advice to other musicians, Jayce wisely suggests that you “practice at least 20 minutes per day.”  

Jayce also enjoys basketball and Legos. He does not like soup.

Congratulations, Jayce! Great job!



Tags: Sarah Beckelheimer, coralville, piano, lessons, student
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Coralville
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Des Moines July 2017 Teacher Feature: Mark Willie
By West Music Company
7/1/2017 1:01:00 AM  
mark willie guitar lesson
Mark began playing guitar in 1997 and took private lessons for five years before being accepted into Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. While at Berklee he continued to take private lessons for another four years from instructors Chris Buono, Joe Stump, and Shawn Michaud.  He graduated Cum Laude with his Bachelor's Degree in Music Business with special emphasis on Management. While at Berklee he studied a variety of music areas including: Harmony, Ear-training/Solfege, Counterpoint, Traditional Harmony & Composition, Conducting, as well as a multitude of courses in Business and Music-Business. He also took elective courses specializing in the music of Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schonberg.

While at Berklee he played guitar in the "Dream Theater ensemble" (an ensemble focusing on the music of Dream Theater) and took both the "Shred lab I" and "Shred lab II" taught by Joe Stump.

After graduating from Berklee he moved to Huntington Beach, CA to complete his internship at Prosthetic Records (All That Remains, Lamb of God, Animals As Leaders).  Shortly after that he became tour manager for Cattle Decapitation (Metal Blade Records) for two summer tours. 

NEW: In 2010 he played guitar and toured for Serpents (Artery Management).  He left Serpents to join Systems and helped write the 2012 EP Terrasomnium along with Chaney Crabb of Entheos (Artery Recordings).

Mark's band Sequoyah just released their debut album, Perception, in November 2016 and is available on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and Bandcamp and the music is available for streaming through Spotify and Pandora.

Mark has been teaching guitar and music theory for the past seven years and covers a variety of styles- (Blues, Jazz, Classical, Rock, and Metal) as well as a variety of techniques such as tapping, string-skipping, legato, sweep-picking, etc. and a wide variety of music theory topics ranging from beginner to advanced.



Tags: mark willie, des moines, urbandale, guitar, lesson, teacher, electric
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Des Moines Piano Gallery
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Des Moines July 2017 Teacher Feature: Esther Lim
By West Music Company
7/1/2017 1:01:00 AM  
Esther Lim piano teacherEsther Lim is a graduate from Drake University with a Bachelor's degree of Music in Piano Performance. Though she began playing the piano at age 6 with a former instructor, her talent became recognized at 14 years of age, studying with Yamaha artist and Drake Professor of Piano, Dr. Nicholas Roth. 

Originally from Des Moines, she appeared as a collaborative pianist from the age of 10 with instrumentalists and vocalists from different institutions and schools throughout the capital city. She has performed as a soloist in Drake Meets HOROWITZ! in 2013, the Keys to Excellence Series, Drake Honors Recital, and master classes for internationally acclaimed artists for Asaf Zohar (Buchmann-Mehta School of Music and Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance), Alan Chow (Eastman School of Music), Lori Sims (Western Michigan), and Daniel Shapiro (Cleveland Institute of Music), among others. As an active pianist in the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, Lim performed in the Esterházy Palace Empiresaal (Empire Hall) and the Haydn Konservatorium Konzertsaal (Haydn Conservatory Concert Hall). In 2016, Lim has also performed in Beijing, China at Minzu University and the following year, she has appeared as a performer for the American Liszt Society.

Following her one-year hiatus after graduation, she hopes to move forward and pursue graduate studies in Piano Performance. Esther accepts students age 5+ at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.



Tags: esther lim, des moines, urbandale, piano, lesson
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Des Moines Piano Gallery
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Cedar Rapids July 2017 Teacher Feature: Les Ohlhauser
By West Music Company
7/1/2017 1:01:00 AM  
Les Ohlhauser
Les Ohlhauser has been teaching guitars privately for 15 years. He started teaching here at West Music Cedar Rapids in March of 2017. He started playing guitar at the age of 13. His father taught him a few chords on an acoustic guitar and he bought his first electric guitar shortly after that. It was a red Memphis-not exactly the Cadillac of guitars but it sure did the trick!
 
Les has a background in music theory from Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and took lessons from Pat Smith and Steve Armstrong. He has also played thousands of gigs in all manners of genres. When he is not letting his fingers cruise around the fretboard he works as a bookseller. “Do what you love?” I’ve got that covered, he says.
 
Currently he plays solo acoustic performances and works with a band that writes their own obnoxious music. Starting this fall he will be playing with a band in Cedar Rapids that focuses on pop/funk/dance tunes. It’s a genre he has not played live much so for him it will be a rare treat and something new!
 
A past interesting performance his top one he says was,” playing with his old band called Nuclear Biologist Rocket Surgeons and they played in an art gallery”. It was full on experimental freak out music (9 minute songs about Riboflavin anyone?) With thousand dollar paintings all around them it made quite the experience. Surreal but cool.
 
His hobbies include: reading, cooking, jigsaw puzzles, hiking, gardening and of course playing musical instruments every chance he gets! A recent travel experience includes flying to Ireland with his wife which was a magical trip. He also travels a lot to catch live shows of his favorite bands. His favorite thing about teaching is that he loves seeing someone go from not understanding something to understanding. That moment the student “gets it” and the satisfaction that follows. I love it!”
 
One of his most musical/educational experiences includes playing in a live karaoke band in Chicago. Amazing band members, 120 song set list and new songs every week- the toughest gig he has ever played! Because it was the singers choosing the songs at random, we never played the same set twice, often completely different sets for a few nights in a row. Truly a test of chops, memory and organization. It was the kind of trail by fire you can’t get anywhere but the stage.
 
You can find Les on the internet at www.lesohlhauser.com and at www.facebook.com/lesohlhauserguitar.



Tags: guitar, lessons, Les Ohlhauser
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion
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Des Moines June 2017 Teacher Feature: Barbara Wenger
By West Music Company
6/1/2017 8:00:00 AM  
barbara wenger piano lessonsBarbara Wenger grew up on a dairy farm in Northeast Iowa. Music was a huge part of her upbringing. She played piano for church during high school. She also played the baritone in band and was in the girls’ chorus, mixed chorus, and show choir. After marrying in 1983, Barbara and her husband moved 12 times throughout the U.S. and Canada with her husband’s career in the U.S. Navy.

Barbara Wenger has been teaching piano since 1997, and has been a Licensed Kindermusik Educator, church organist, and children's choir director. She has also held positions as an administrative assistant, insurance biller, and worked in sales. While in Virginia, Barbara operated her own Kindermusik Studio and taught piano. She also substituted as a pianist and organist for local churches, as well as a local children’s choir director. During her stay in Canada, Barbara established her own classes in a retirement home and daycare settings. Moving to Tennessee, Barbara established a piano program for students looking for private lessons. She taught students in grades kindergarten through middle school.

Barbara is comfortable working with various aged students and encourages them to perform in the yearly recitals. Barbara has a passion for introducing music into the lives of children, helping them develop an appreciation for the arts. She also enjoys reading, walking, watching her sons play sports (lacrosse, baseball, and football), volunteering at school, and most recently spending time with her five grandchildren. 



Tags: Barbara Wenger, des moines, urbandale, lesson, piano, gallery
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Des Moines Piano Gallery
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Cedar Falls June 2017 Musician of the Month: Ryan Lothrop
By West Music Company
6/1/2017 8:00:00 AM  
Ryan 6 years old piano
Ryan is a dedicated and enthusiastic learner at the age of just five years old. He started with Virginia Lee seven months ago when his feet still dangled off the bench.

Ryan rarely misses his weekly assignments. He practices daily and enjoys his music. In a short period of time, he learned to be able to read music, which allowed him to learn more music quickly.

Virginia appreciates Ryan’s effort to learn and dedication to practice, and also his parents for encouraging him to do well.

Congratulations, Ryan! Great Job!



Tags: piano, lessons, virginia lee
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
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