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Decorah Teacher Feature: Brianne Anderson
By West Music Company
10/19/2017 4:33:00 PM  
brianne andersonWest Music Decorah is proud to present the newest member of our teaching team, BRIANNE ANDERSON. As an accomplished flutist and teacher, Brianne Anderson completed a Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance at Iowa State University in 2016. Extensive experience in orchestral, band, and solo performances as well as flute choir and other small ensembles provides Ms. Anderson with a well-rounded approach to flute playing. As a well-travelled musician, Ms. Anderson has performed across the Midwest and toured Europe twice giving performances in Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. In the summer of 2015, she pursued an internship with the National Flute Association, assisting in their Chicago office as well as in Washington D.C. for the annual national convention. As a past mentor in ISU’s learning community Esprit de Corps and treasurer of ISU’s music service fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, Ms. Anderson prioritizes serving the music community and inspiring young musicians to grow.

Ask an associate today for more information about taking lessons at West Music, or schedule your appointment online at Looking4Lessons.com.



Tags: decorah, flute
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Decorah
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Decorah October 2017 Musician of the Month: Emma Schmeizer
By West Music Company
10/19/2017 3:11:00 PM  
Emma Schmelzer

Emma Schmelzer is a 6th grader who has been taking violin lessons at West Music for two years. In addition to her violin studies, Emma also plays the flute in the school band. Emma was recently awarded the title of Winneshiek County Little Miss Cowgirl and enjoys raising cows and sheep and working on the family farm with her parents. In the words of Emma’s violin teacher, Mykal Finch:

“Emma is a smart, talented, and passionate young woman! She often goes above and beyond to help other students be successful. Emma was my first student and she has consistently set a high standard for my whole studio.”
- Mykal Finch, Violin Instructor


Emma hopes to continue to make music her whole life and to one day become a “really good violinist.” She would encourage other music students to always try their best and continuously learn new things. Emma says people are always shocked to learn she is adopted, but she hopes to use that to show the world that “you can do anything as longas you practice.”

Way to go Emma!




Tags: decorah, Mykal Finch, violin, student
Categories: West Music Decorah
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Extraordinary Associate of the Month April 2017: Ann Kephart
By West Music Company
5/10/2017 12:52:00 PM  
Ann is an absolute pleasure to work with. Her insight, feedback and analysis of sales and operational strategies are greatly appreciated among her colleagues. Ann’s customers greatly value her service and are as loyal as they come.

Have you seen the Decorah store lately? The store is expertly merchandised and always looks fresh for her customers, accomplished through Ann’s leadership. Ann took the re-brand to heart and has worked with our Marketing Team to develop a sharp layout and look with an inviting hometown vibe.

Ann is an active leader in the Decorah business community and serves on the Decorah Chamber of Commerce and is part of a Small Business Retail Board. In addition to her business outreach, Ann is the Director of the Nordic Dancers, which is a really big deal! It doesn’t stop there; she is constantly volunteering at Decorah High School, Luther College and at Nordic Fest. You could not get any more in-tune with the happenings in a community. The associates in the Decorah store constantly share their admiration:

“Her dedication to our customers and our team is essential to our continued success. She is always positive and encourages us to always be our best, also! Ann is constantly thinking of new ideas and new ways to help us be successful and is always willing to lend a helping hand, no matter what.”

“She is always going above and beyond for everybody she works with. We could not ask for a better Store Manager for our store and I can’t think of anyone that deserves this kind of recognition more.”

Congratulations, Ann, and thanks for all you do!

As told by Katie Senn,
Retail Sales and Operations Manager



Tags: Kephart, decorah, commerce, Nordic Dancers, Luther College, Nordic Fest
Categories: Extraordinary Associate of the Month, West Music Decorah
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Decorah September 2016 Teacher Feature: Mark Armstrong
By West Music Company
9/2/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Mark Armstrong is a published poet and author, interweaving his story telling with original songs. Mark's songwriting was influenced by the styles of Gordon Lightfoot and Greg Brown. He has worn many hats in his lifetime, including running his own business for 25 years, and has a wealth of experiences from which to draw his material. Mark has been teaching guitar and ukulele in his home studio and at West Music Decorah for just over a year, and has enjoyed the experience immensely. Having started playing music at age 42, Mark is proof that it is never too late to learn and enjoy the power of making music!

When not playing one of his many instruments or writing songs, Mark enjoys foraging, hunting, and spending time with his lovely wife and their pets. Mark's music can be enjoyed at local farmers' markets, open mic nights, and the ukulele club that he helped start in the spring of 2016. In his own words, Mark loves "how music can touch and communicate with people." His original song "Ice Cream" that is about Alzheimer's has touched many people everywhere that Mark has shared it. Join Mark for one of his fun and laid back group classes starting October 8, 2016. Ask an associate for more details.



Tags: mark armstrong, teacher, lessons, guitar, ukulele
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Decorah
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Decorah July 2016 Musician of the Month: Katrina Mikhailova
By West Music Company
7/6/2016 8:00:00 AM  
Katrina just finished her sophomore year of high school and has been taking violin lessons from Mykal Finch for nine months. Katrina's teacher has high praise for her:
"Katrina is one of the kindest and hardest working people I know. She is so passionate about her music and is always eager to learn and improve. She has made great strides in her playing and shows a lot of musical promise. It is a joy and a privilege to work with such a great student!"

Katrina is a very active individual, participating in volleyball, softball, art club as well as keeping up with her schoolwork. When she is not practicing her violin, Katrina also enjoys drawing, watercoloring, reading, photography, traveling, and listening to music. Her passion for all she loves to do really shines through!

Katrina loves music, especially electronic and dance. She has aspirations of expanding her musical abilities and someday learning to also play the piano, guitar, and drums. Katrina loves to make music so much because "of how music can bring a smile to peoples' faces and make their hearts flutter and give them goosebumps when they really like a song." Katrina wants other musicians and aspiring musicians to know that "it's never too late to learn something new. You can accomplish even the hardest of things so long as you want to."

Way to go, Katrina!



Tags: violin, student, lessons, Mykal Finch
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Decorah
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