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Cedar Falls March 2018 Musician of the Month: Bo Wayson
By West Music Compay
3/1/2018 6:47:00 AM  
west music drum lessonsBo is in first grade and has been taking drum lessons with Kip Roelfsema for 2 years. Upon nominating Bo for Musician of the Month, his instructor had the following to say:

"Bo has the patience and perseverance of a Buddhist Monk! In addition, he is also a quick learner. Being a quick learner is nothing without patience and perseverance. Bo possesses all 3 qualities in equal measure. Mr. Bo also has a warm personality, and a smile that lights up the entire studio!"

Bo hopes to play the trumpet and flute one day, and his advice to other musicians is to practice daily and to “work until you get everything perfect”. He loves the tone of music and that it makes him feel good.

In addition to music, Bo also enjoys building with Legos, playing football, and building snow forts. Above all, he likes to play instruments and believes you can do anything if you work hard. He also expressed that his favorite musician is Led Zeppelin. Finally, Bo said that we would be surprised to learn that he sings at his church!

Congratulations, Bo!



Tags: bo wayson, kip roelfsema, drums, percussion, lessons
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
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Cedar Falls February 2018 Musician of the Month: AJ Fitzgerald
By West Music Company
2/7/2018 3:32:00 PM  

aj piano studentAJ is in second grade and has been taking piano lessons with Virginia Lee for a year and a half. When nominating AJ for this recognition, Virginia said the following:

"AJ is such a delightful and dedicated pianist who is well prepared for her lessons. AJ’s quiet personality allows her to listen, observe, and retain her musical knowledge throughout the year and apply that to her music. Recently, she performed at [my] piano studio recital. Not only did she memorize her pieces, her stage manner was outstanding. Her parents have also been very dedicated in encouraging her to do so well."

AJ’s musical goals are to also learn the flute and violin. She loves that music is soothing and calming, as well as that it makes her happy. Her favorite musicians are Mozart and Tchaikovsky and her advice to other musicians is to practice. “Practice makes perfect”, she says.

In addition to music, AJ enjoys creative writing and reading. She says that we would be surprised to learn that she wants to be a Doctor of Chemistry when she grows up and that she loves Star Wars!

The West Music Lesson Studio and Mrs. Virginia Lee congratulate you on your achievements, AJ!




Tags: aj, virginia lee, piano, lessons, cedar falls
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
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Cedar Falls January 2018 Musician of the Month: Davis Schmidt
By West Music Company
1/5/2018 2:32:00 PM  

davis pianoDavis is a 7th grader and has been taking piano lessons with Louann Flaherty for 3 years. Her musical goal is to become the best pianist and singer that she can be. She loves that music is relaxing, beautiful, and that she feels accomplished when she perfects a piece.

Her advice to other musicians is to try their hardest, practice, and love music. Her favorite classical composer is Beethoven and she enjoys pop music a lot. As for non-piano activities, Davis enjoys participating in volleyball, piano, and women’s choir. In addition, she enjoys math club, science club, skiing, and hanging out with friends.

We would be surprised to learn that Davis has lived in five different places, which includes Germany for 3 years.


You can take piano lessons at West Music just like Davis! Learn more at pianos.westmusic.com/lessons.




Tags: Louann Flaherty, piano, choir
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
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Cedar Falls Teacher Feature: Adam Shea
By West Music Company
12/6/2017 4:16:00 PM  
adam sheaAdam teaches guitar, bass guitar, and ukulele at West Music Cedar Falls' lesson studios. He started playing the guitar at age 14 and continued his education by studying guitar performance at McNally Smith College of Music. He has taught independently for over 2 years and cofounded PrimeTime Guitar Lessons on Youtube. Adam also works as a Combo Sales Associate on our sales floor, meaning he helps customers who have any questions about fretted instruments (guitar, ukulele, banjos, and mandolins) as well as percussion (drum kits, word drums, sticks, and mallets). 

An accomplished musician, Adam has participated in bands that opened for Fair to Midland and Unearth, and also took lessons from one of his personal heroes, Chris Storey, for a couple of years. His hobbies include trying new and interesting foods, studying and writing music, and keeping up with the Chicago Blackhawks and Iowa Hawkeyes.

Adam’s favorite thing about teaching is when he gets to witness the look on a student’s face of relief and accomplishment when they have been stuck on something and it clicks with them.

Learn more about taking lessons with Adam or any of our music instructors. Call West Music at 800-373-2000, or see Adam's webpage and schedule your first class online! 



Tags: adam shea, instructor, guitar, bass, ukulele
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
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Cedar Falls December 2017 Musician of the Month: Mark Bell
By West Music Company
12/6/2017 3:54:00 PM  
mark bell guitarMark is in 8th grade and currently takes guitar lessons with Nate Dalziel. He has been studying with him for about five years.

His musical goal is to overcome the fear of playing in front of people. He loves that music helps him focus and advises to other students to listen to their teacher so they can learn and grow as a musician.

Mark enjoys playing games with his youth group and said we would be surprised to learn that he is very talkative around family, since he is pretty quiet around other people.

Congratulations, Mark!



Tags: guitar, Nate Dalziel, stage fright, courage
Categories: West Music Cedar Falls
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Cedar Falls November 2017 Musician of the Month: Vincent Cotton
By West Music Company
11/6/2017 3:36:00 PM  

vincent cotton recorderVincent is in the 4th grade and plays the piano and recorder. He has been studying with West Music Instructor, Terri Brandt, for two years. Terri nominated Vincent to be Musician of the Month because he works very hard and progresses each week. He has improved with stepping and skipping intervals and is very excited about music.

Vincent plays music for fun and has a goal to learn really hard songs and play in a band with his friends. His advice to other musicians is to believe in yourself and to start with easy tasks, working up to more difficult goals. He loves that music makes him feel like he has a special talent and makes him feel good in general. His all-time favorite piece to play is “Hot Cross Buns”.

Some other hobbies that Vincent has is playing games like Pokémon on his 2DS. Also, you may be surprised to learn that he has been dubbed “the Rhythm King” because he is very good at musical rhythms and counting.

Congratulations, Vincent!




Tags: piano, recorder, terri brandt, lessons, student
Categories: West Music Cedar Falls
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Cedar Falls Teacher Feature: Lora Heit
By West Music Company
10/1/2017 7:12:00 AM  
Lora HeitLora is a piano instructor at West Music Cedar Falls, and she brings nearly 40 years of experience with her to our lesson studios! She began playing the organ in elementary school and continued studying music through high school and college. She obtained her music education degree from the University of Northern Iowa. She previously taught private lessons, was a substitute teacher in the area, and taught music and chorus in local schools as well.

She has always been very involved in church music throughout the years. Since, 2003 she has been directing a church choir that consists of members ages 10-18. They enjoy learning new contemporary music and leading others in services through the
joy of music.

Her favorite thing about teaching is when a student masters something new and she gets to see the joy on their face. She enjoys helping others experience the thrill of learning and guiding them in being able to express themselves through music. She also enjoys performances where her students get to showcase their accomplishments.

This summer, Lora and her husband, Tom, celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. They also traveled to Quebec, Canada and learned some French and history from the area. She enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren who are between the ages of 1 to 5. She also enjoys gardening, riding her bike, and reading.

Learn more about taking lessons with Lora or any of our music instructors. Call West Music at 800-373-2000, or see Lora's webpage and schedule your first class online! 




Tags: Lori Heit, UNI, piano
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
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Cedar Falls October 2017 Musician of the Month: Evan He
By West Music Company
10/1/2017 6:48:00 AM  

Evan HeEvan is currently in the fourth grade has been studying violin with Andrea Alert for three years. According to Andrea, “Evan has made some significant improvements in his playing. His note reading abilities and musical understanding are growing. He likes to watch and study the teacher playing and is willing to try new things. Besides music, I have witnessed Evan develop into a more confident person. He always has a smile on his face when it is his turn for his lesson!

Evan’s advice to other musicians is to practice, and his personal goal is to play smoothly. Some fun facts about Evan are that he enjoys playing games at home and is good at playing the video game Roblox.

Congratulations, Evan!




Tags: violin, andrea alert, lessons, student
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
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Cedar Falls 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.”

Learn more about taking lessons with Mary Mo or any of our music instructors. Call West Music at 800-373-2000, or visit looking4lessons.com to schedule your first class online! 



Tags: maryann hinman, trumpet, horn, brass, teacher, lesson
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
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Do You and Your Coworkers Rock? West Music Sponsors CBJ’s Battle of the Bands
By West Music Company
6/6/2017 3:56:00 PM  
Corporate Battle of the BandsIs your office mate a rock star in disguise? You might be surprised!

West Music is proud to be sponsoring CBJ’s 2nd Annual Corporate Battle of the Bands. This contest showcases the musical talents of employees in Eastern Iowa. Businesses are encouraged to form their own bands and compete for the title of Best Corporate Band!

This is West Music’s second year sponsoring CBJ’s event. While West Music employees are not eligible to participate (too many pros at our company), the event fits with our larger mission to encourage people of all ages and occupations to “Play now. Play for life.”

CBJ will be accepting band nominations through Monday, June 26, 2017. Then, six bands will be chosen to compete at a live competition from 6-9 p.m. on August 24, 2017 at Big Grove Brewery & Taproom in Iowa City.

$1000 grand prize Similar to American Idol, the bands perform and then receive feedback from a distinguished panel of judges. West Music’s own Alex Beamer will be one of the judges, along with Rob Cline of Hancher and Tim Hankewich of Orchestra Iowa.

The winning band will receive $1,000 credit to spend at West Music, $1,000 to give to their favorite charity, a traveling trophy and bragging rights! They will also be invited to headline CBJ’s Coolest Places to Work event in September.

The CBJ’s competition has a few simple requirements: at least half of the band’s members must work at the company the band represents, and the lead singer must work at the company. All music styles are encouraged. Last year music styles ranged from pop and country to alt rock and reggae!

To nominate your band or buy tickets to the event, go to corridorbusiness.com/events and click on Corporate Battle of the Bands.

Photos and video courtesy of Corridor Business Journal (CJB). Additional sponsors of this event include Shive Hattery Architecture and Engineering and Big Grove Brewing & Taproom.



Tags: contest, iowa, cbj, battle of the bands
Categories: West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion, West Music Cedar Falls, West Music Coralville, Contests
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