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Teacher of the Month, Travis Brown!
The Music Café is proud to present our featured instructor this April, Travis Brown. Travis began teaching at Kashmir Music in the fall of 2000 and
continues to this day at Music Café. He teaches both beginner and advanced students, and takes time to customize lessons to the individual student to
be suit their interests and goals as musicians.
Travis believes in teaching students strong fundamentals and appreciation of music, followed by advanced studies in music
theory concepts for composing, improvising and songwriting. He has written a music theory book for all musicians called eVirtuoso-Music Theory
Essentials. eVirtuoso-Music Theory Essentials contains a vast array of everyday music theory concepts for all musicians. From intervals to scales
and arpeggios to chords, this guide provides step by step instructions to understanding common elements of music theory principles and applying
those principles to everyday practice. This music theory book also contains a large amount of reference information for quick usage and review in
traditional staff line and tablature (TAB) notation. Click HERE for more information.
Travis's knowledge of both music and computer programming allows him to create online lessons for students to practice at home. Check out Travis's website eVirtuoso-Music Theory Online Lessons.
To discuss, comment, and ask questions about all aspects of music theory, stop by and post on Travis's eVirtuoso-Forum.
Music Cafe welcomes new teacher Laurie Burge
Laurie began playing piano at the age of 5 and studied piano privately for 12 years. She is a certified Early Childhood teacher through the state of Wisconsin with experience
designing music programs and teaching within the childcare field as well as privately. While studying piano, she received numerous awards through
the National Federation of Music Clubs as well as receiving the Wurlitzer Merit Award. She participated in many concerto competitions receiving
Superior ratings. Her teaching style ensures that each student will have a fun experience while developing the art of playing piano. She looks
forward to helping new students develop their own passion for music.
Music Cafe welcomes new teacher Nancy Hart
Nancy Evelyn Hart received her Bachelors in Music Performance at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2012. Hart has performed in two solo
recitals at the Light Recital Hall. In the 2010-2011 season she played principal flute with the wind ensemble. For three consecutive years she was
second flute and piccolo in the Orchestra.
Along with solo performances, Hart has been a member of the Oconomowoc Orchestra playing piccolo for the 2012-2013 season. Beginning in the fall of
2013, Hart will be returning to UW-Whitewater to continue her studies in music education. View Nancy's Resume.
Music Cafe welcomes new teacher Ryan Galasso
Ryan is an internationally performing percussion artist with a thorough and diverse background. His versatility has allowed him to perform with
artists such as Alan Vizzutti, Andy Narell, Ari Colares, Branford Marsalis and Mike Tomaro. Based in the Milwaukee area, Ryan maintains a very
diligent schedule both teaching and performing. Ryan received his B.M. in Percussion Performance from Morehead State University as a student of
Dr. Brian S. Mason.
Ryan also has an extensive background in the marching percussion realm. As an educator, he has been involved with the GLASSMEN Drum & Bugle Corps as
well as several high school programs. As a performer, he was a member of the snare line for the Santa Clara Vanguard in 2008 & 2009 as well as the
GLASSMEN in 2007. Ryan is currently the "Percussion Product Manager" for Dynasty USA and is proud to endorse Vic Firth sticks & mallets.
Music Cafe welcomes new teacher Justin Guzman
Justin's primary instrument is clarinet, which he has been playing for 11 years. He plays first
clarinet, second chair for the UW Whitewater Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and was invited to play as the showcase band at the National Wind Band
Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York. He finished in the top 8 musicians, receiving an honorable mention, in the Music Department's Concerto
Competition which is open to the whole department including both winds and strings. He can also teach beginning saxophone, flute, oboe, and
bassoon. In an educational setting, he has ranged from teaching one student, to teaching a big group. He has also participated in sectionals
at Park View Middle School for both 7th and 8th graders. He has also worked in the summer at UW-Whitewater band camp, where he worked with a
partner to instruct a 20+ clarinet chamber group for the entire week. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with students, and is excited to
expand his teaching opportunities at The Music Cafe!
Music Cafe Teachers nominated for Wami Awards
Craig Friemoth was just nominated for a WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) award for Peoples Choice Music Teacher of the Year in the SouthEast Region!
Alan Arber has been nominated for the 2013 WAMI Best Drummer Award! Congratulations!!
Wish I Were My Son’s Guitar Teacher
By Claudia Felske - Read the full article here
Not just because that would mean I would be really good at guitar (musicality being something I’m sorely lacking).Not just because it would be a major ego stroke, knowing that a year and a half ago, my son couldn’t play a note and now he sounds like this.
Not just because I would be teaching him something I know will deeply enrich his learning, his appreciation of beauty, creation, and (dare I suggest) life itself.
The real reason I wish I were my son’s guitar teacher is that it would mean I have arrived as a master educator; it would mean I have achieved what I’ve been trying to achieve in the classroom for 19 years; it might even mean we as educators may be close to bottling the elixir we have been trying to concoct for the past two centuries, namely effective, creative, authentic, self-directed learning.
Allow me to explain.
Performance and recording opportunities are part of his instruction
Backtrack to my son’s first guitar lesson. When Eliot came home that first day, I was a bit surprised he hadn’t been taught what a scale was, or the parts of a guitar; instead, he had learned how to play “Smoke on the Water” on one string. We heard a lot of “Smoke on the Water” that week; it sounded to Eliot and it sounded to us like we had a 9-year-old rock star living in our house. Instead of learning a basic scale, he had been given the belief that he can create music, that he is a musician. That was lesson one.
Fast forward a year and a half to Christmas Morning this year when Eliot gave me the best gift a mother (who also happens to be a teacher) could receive. In the past, he’d given me a myriad of gifts: painted vases, home-made cards, crocheted bookmarks. I’d always looked forwarded to unwrapping his original creations. This time, though, there was nothing to unwrap.
“Mom, are you ready?” he asked, running into the room with my iPad in hand. I watched as he plugged it into the stereo and started playing my favorite song. Okay, cool, but where’s my present, right? What I quickly discovered was that he had uploaded my favorite dance song into Garage Band, and then added original guitar parts that he’d created, recorded, and remixed into the song.
“So you’re playing the guitar parts?” my husband asked (I was smiling too big to talk). “Well, kind of…there are no guitar parts. I made them up and put them where I thought they’d sound good.’
He wasn’t watching me for my reaction (as ordinarily is the case when I open his presents). He was tapping, concentrating, the gears were moving, “I’m a tad off here,” he’d add…or “wait, wait here it is.”The next day, he called me upstairs as he was practicing, and I was taken behind the scenes. He asked me to pick a song. I chose the most over-played song of 2012: “Gangnam Style” (sorry, that’s how I roll). Then, he listened, listened some more, struck a few notes over and over and then a scale, and then, spent the rest of the song improvising over the melody.
Elliot at play
He explained to me that Craig (his guitar teacher) taught him to listen a song and locate its “root note.” “Play it like the worst bass player in the world,” Eliot quoted Craig, emphasizing the need to test out the root note over and over to make sure it’s right. Then, match it to a major or minor pentatonic scale and “it’ll all sound good cause it’s based on the root note.” It made sense to Eliot, and it made sense to me. “Then, you can have fun with it, adding cool stuff, riffs, frets, bending notes, trilling,” Eliot explained while demonstrating each.
After years of declaring to Eliot that “this is the best present anyone ever made for me” and meaning it every time, this year when I said it, I meant it with an authenticity that transcended my role as a parent and entered that as an educator. What Eliot had done in addition to customizing a Christmas gift he knew I’d love was demonstrate ALL levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, the gold standard for higher level learning.
Benjamin Bloom’s (Revised) Taxonomy of Learning
He was remembering notes and scales, understanding how they work together to create a melody, but then he was operating at a much higher level: applying a concept his teacher had taught him: analyzing the song, listening for the root note; evaluating which it was and which pentatonic scale should be applied; and then, creating and performing improvisational solo parts. What’s more, there was no teacher in the room; he had internalized the process, all levels of it, becoming his own teacher in a new situation, with a new song. And then evaluating his own performance afterwards. Basically, an educator’s dream come true.
And right now, as I write this, he’s upstairs doing the same to ACDC’s “T.N.T.” – not my favorite song, not my favorite genre, but his process is music to my ears. He’s beginning to read the world as music. When we’re eating dinner and he hears a “cool riff” in a song, he runs upstairs to try to replicate it. Clearly the much larger gift here was the one Eliot received from his phenomenal guitar teacher.
And so, aside from my best Christmas gift to date, I’m left with a slew of questions as an educator: How can we do this on a larger scale? How can we get our students to run upstairs (not because of the homework we assigned, but out of sheer excitement) to apply what we’ve taught them? Is this just a moment in time orchestrated by a gifted teacher with a motivated student in a small group setting, or are there generalizable truths here we can extract and sprinkle into classrooms across the country?
Should the Gates Foundation be visiting Wisconsin Guitar Academy in Mukwonago, Wisconsin? Should Craig Friemoth be giving a TED Talk on the power of improvisational music and learning?
Whatever the case, this gift has me feeling grateful and has me thinking...
Meet Us At Midnight Magic!
Saturday, Dec. 3rd 2011
White House of Music will join our friends at the Music Café, 105 Fox Street in Mukwonago, for Mukwonago’s annual Midnight Magic! Shop
late and visit Music Café to try some of White House of Music’s exceptional band instruments! Great financing and rebate offers on
select brands make this the perfect time to upgrade your instrument!
The Music Cafe building has now moved! Our new address is 105 Fox Street, on the square in the old Box Office video location.
We are ready for Band instrument rentals! Please click the link below for details on Band and Orchestra Instrument Rentals.
Band and Orchestra Instrument Rentals
Please click the link below for details on the Mukwonago Area
Chamber of Commerce's upcoming events.
Mukwonago Area Chamber of Commerce - Upcoming Events
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