Home > The West Music Blog West Music Cedar Falls
West Music Blog

The West Music Blog

Subscribe
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
Bookmark and Share
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
Bookmark and Share
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
Bookmark and Share
Cedar Falls October 2017 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
Bookmark and Share
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
Bookmark and Share
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
Bookmark and Share
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 tile 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, June26, 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
Bookmark and Share
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
Bookmark and Share
Cedar Falls April 2017 Musician of the Month: Aveinda Rusk
By West Music Company
5/1/2017 8:00:00 AM  
Aveinda Rusk is a student at Denver Elementary. She has been studying the violin with Andrea Alert for two and a half years. She loves to play the violin because of the sound that it makes. Her advice to other musicians is to not overthink what you are playing.

Aveinda plays both the violin and oboe, and her goal is to learn the viola and cello too. Her favorite musician Lindsey Sterling. Something that might surprise others to hear is that she has five sisters. When she is not making music, Aveinda can be found playing Minecraft, Dragon City, and playing with her sisters and friends.

Way to go, Aveinda!



Tags: lesson, cedar falls, violin, Andrea Alert
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
Bookmark and Share
Cedar Falls December 2016 Musician of the Month: Emma Schaffer
By West Music Company
12/1/2016 8:20:00 AM  
Emma Schaffer is currently a senior in high school. She has been taking piano lessons with Virginia Lee for the past two years. Emma says she plays music because it clears her head and it makes her happy. She plays up to two hours every day because it just makes her feel good!

Emma plays both the piano and guitar, and her goal is to learn the ukulele before high school graduation. Emma also volunteers at Covenant Hospital and is a host at LJ’s. Her favorite musicians are the bands Twenty One Pilots and the Chainsmokers. Something that might surprise others to hear is that she is pretty good at playing by ear and memorizing music compared to reading music. Her advice to other musicians is to practice and find a teacher who motivates you to improve.

Virginia Lee appreciates Emma’s positive personality and constant smile. She is prepared for her lessons so accomplishes quite a lot in a short amount of time. Emma’s motivation and enthusiasm for learning also inspire her as a piano teacher to keep her lessons fresh and new every day.

Way to go, Emma!



Tags: piano, lessons, Virginia Lee, cedar falls,
Categories: Conservatory, West Music Cedar Falls
Bookmark and Share
123
Categories
Band & Orchestra (96)
Classroom Furniture & Equipment (11)
Company Culture (70)
Conservatory (352)
Contests (14)
Drums & Percussion (27)
Extraordinary Associate of the Month (51)
Guitars & Folk (36)
Kids & Movement (25)
Live Sound, Recording & Software (6)
Mariachi (11)
Music Advocacy (56)
Music, Books & Resources (58)
Music Education (102)
Music Therapy (56)
Orff (15)
Pianos, Digital Pianos & Keyboards (23)
Press Releases (19)
Recorders (16)
West Music Cedar Falls (71)
West Music Cedar Rapids/Marion (113)
West Music Coralville (151)
West Music Decorah (5)
West Music Des Moines Piano Gallery (59)
West Music Dubuque (1)
West Music Quad Cities (78)
 
Recent Posts
VH1 Save the Music Grant Awarded to Cedar Rapids Schools
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Coralville Teacher Feature: Chris Dimond
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Falls Teacher Feature: Adam Shea
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Falls December 2017 Musician of the Month: Mark Bell
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Coralville December 2017 Musician of the Month: Sofia Steele
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Rapids Teacher Feature: Amy Brandt
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Des Moines Teacher Feature: Janet Winship
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Starting a Ukulele Program in Your Classroom: Part 3 of 6
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Make Thanksgiving More Fun with Music & Song
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Why Choose Lessons for Your Child?
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
 
Request a catalog to be delivered to your door
REQUEST NOW
McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams