The West Bank Ride is a new non-competitive cycling event inviting participants to explore one of the Twin Cities’ most vibrant and bike-friendly neighborhoods. It will occur on Saturday, April 27th from 1:00-4:00 PM.
Stop by our Pit Stop at WBSM and “Take a Brake for Music”! Enjoy folk/traditional, classic country, jazz, blues, vintage pop and original music on the front porch of the West Bank School of Music. Instruments will be on hand for participants to try.
Here’s how it works:
1) Cyclists meet up at Murphy Park at Augsburg College to register and receive a printed map outlining routes to interactive pitstops, and bike routes between them, throughout the area.
2) Participants can choose from several routes depending on the distance they would like to cover, reaching as far as the University’s East Bank. You will be invited to join a “pod” of other cyclists to accompany you, or go it alone if you prefer!
3) Take a bike ride through the neighborhood at your own speed and take a breather at designated pitstops to enjoy familiar and lesser-known West Bank landmarks, adult- and family-friendly games, special entertainment, and optional scavenger hunt-style tasks.
4) As the ride draws to a close, join fellow riders for special events and food and drink discounts at the many eateries and entertainment venues throughout the West Bank.
There’s even a Mini-Ride for kids and families! Find out all the details, and register online, by visiting www.westbankride.org. They’re looking for volunteers, too!
Long time WBSM faculty member Bill Phillip shares his experience with us and his music knowledge. We had a chance to catch up with Bill and get his perspectives on what it means to be a musican and a teacher.
Q: How long have you taught at WBSM?
Bill: About 30 years
Q: What is it about the WBSM that has kept
you teaching all these years?
Bill: The cool, funky atmosphere and the great
faculty and students.
Q: What do you like the most about
Bill: Filling the world with banjo players!
Q: What is the biggest challenge about
being a performing musician?
Bill: The band synamics and trying to find 4 or 5 people who are all on the same page.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you can give aspiring students who would like to be performing artists?
Bill: Besides “don’t quit your day job?” Don’t get self-indulgent, always keep your audience in mind.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you can give to students who would like to teach?
Bill: Do it for the love of music, it should never be all about the money.
Q: Help me finish this sentence: Most people don’t know that I really love…
Bill: …being the last person on earth who doesn’t have a cell phone or email address.
Q: What bands/colllaborations are you playing in?
Bill: Gravel on Mud and the Pelley Mountain Boys.
Contact our office today to set up your lessons with Bill or learn more about ensembles!
Join us at the Minnesota Winter Bluegrass Weekend festival of bluegrass and old-time music and dance. March 1-3, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West, 3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth, MN 55441. The weekend features concerts, dances, workshops, instrument exhibitors and more!
Friday, March 1, 7pm-Midnight
Saturday, March 2, 10am-10pm
Sunday, March 3, 10am-5pm
For more information and a detailed schedule of activities head to www.minnesotabluegrass.org
Donate on Give to the Max Day 2012
We hope you consider donating to WBSM for Give to the Max Day this year on November 15th so we can continue our mission of transforming lives and the community through innovative music education and inspiring performances. In addition to providing a convenient way for you to make a charitable gift to WBSM, each hour throughout the day, GiveMN.org will choose a participating donor at random and add a $1,000 prize grant to their donation.
There is also a matching gift which will double your donation! Generously donated by the WBSM Board of Directors, this fund will match dollar for dollar up to $1,550 in donations! Gifts to WBSM will support facilities improvements, tuition discount, scholarship & outreach programs and instructional equipment purchases. Click here to donate or for more information. New this year, WBSM is offering a chance to win some great prizes for those who donate a minimum $25 to WBSM. Plus, for every additional $25 you donate, you’ll gain an additional entry increasing your chances of winning!
This scholarship has been established in honor of our beloved colleague and mentor, Bill Hinkley, who taught guitar, mandolin, and fiddle at West Bank School of Music (WBSM) for almost forty years before passing away in spring of 2010.
During his long tenure at WBSM, Bill inspired hundreds of students who benefitted from his extensive knowledge, varied repertoire, and enthusiasm for sharing his love of music. His legacy extends far outside the walls of WBSM to the concert halls, festivals, nightclubs, coffeehouses, and airwaves across the region and around the country that reverberated to the melodious strains of a Bill Hinkley and Judy Larson performance, or the sounds of one of the other musical collaborations Bill enjoyed.
Bill Hinkley was known for his enthusiastic embrace of many musical styles including American roots, jazz, vintage pop, bluegrass, Celtic, Latin, and Nordic music. He also was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of tunes that reflected his love of diverse genres. In the later years of his life, Bill spent time transcribing pieces from his vast repertoire. These pieces were recorded in a series of notebooks, copies of which are now a treasured part of the WBSM archives.
Established by one of Bill’s devoted students, the purpose of the Bill Hinkley Scholarship fund is to preserve and extend his marvelous legacy by encouraging another generation of musicians to study and perform the music that he loved.
This scholarship is offered to a student age 12-25 of at least an intermediate level of ability who shows promise on their stringed instrument. The candidate must already have evinced an interest in American roots music. If the candidate is not a WBSM student, they will need to secure references from at least two qualified music educators (one can come from a well known performing artist) as part of the application process. When multiple students are being considered for the award, the financial need of the applicants may also play a role in the final selection process.
The scope of the scholarship is to offer the recipient a full year’s worth of 45 minute private lessons with a WBSM teacher, up to 48 lessons in a 12 month period. Depending on the availability of funds and the instrument the Hinkley Scholar plays, it might also be possible to arrange an occasional “master class” with a renowned artist-educator as a special supplement to the recipient’s instruction at WBSM.
One of the goals of this scholarship fund is to preserve and disseminate repertoire from the Hinkley transcriptions by requiring the student every six months to include in their studies at least three pieces from Bill’s collection. Teacher and student will work together to establish reasonable goals in this regard and submit their plan to WBSM for approval. The student will also be required to participate at least once a year in either our semi-annual spring or fall recital during which they will perform three tunes from the Hinkley repertoire to include at least two pieces of American roots music. The student will be encouraged to participate in both recitals if the timing fits their course of study.
Interested students are welcome to submit their applications by filling out the Bill Hinkley Scholarship Application Form and providing the necessary letter(s) of reference.
Come on down to the West Bank Festival this weekend! 30 bands in 10 stages along the streetlength of Cedar Avenue near Riverside. Grab a beer from the beer tent and see our own Paul Fonfara play with the Painted Saints! Many bands and many local business have special events going on, and we’re serious about grabbing a beer… the proceeds will benefit the school! All this for only $5! Check it out, this Saturday August 18th – 3 PM till late evening.
Cool Music for a Hot Night is Saturday, August 4th.
Joyful music to lift your spirits and move your feet
Join us for our annual free concert at Lake Harriet Bandshell as WBSM presents Marimba Africa. Free harmonicas, music lessons, and more will be given away at our information table!
For more information, check out this year’s event poster (.pdf)
See videos from previous years on our YouTube Channel.
Robel is WBSM’s longest tenured young student. In addition to piano with Tasha Baron, he now takes violin lessons with Kale Baglyos-Reed. Robel sets very high standards for himself and is a fine example for other young students. He always participates in our student recitals and often composes and plays his own music for those occasions. He is inevitably the best dressed student young or old in the recital. He currently plays violin at South High School in the high school orchestra.
How long have you been a student at WBSM?
I have been a musical student of West Bank School of Music for over 11 years.
What’s something fun you’re doing with music now?
Something enjoyable that I’m doing with music is that I’m composing my own music!
What’s your musical goal?
My musical goal is to be as great as all the classical composers of history!
What do you like best about the West Bank School of Music?
What I like best about West Bank School of Music is their effort into teaching their students!
We caught up with Karen Mueller, who shares her thoughts on the school, and about how to be an aspiring musician. Karen teaches many styles of music on many different instruments including guitar, mandolin, autoharp, mountain dulcimer, and the ukulele. She is currently accepting new students!
How long have you taught at WBSM?
Since August of 1989, shortly after I moved to the Twin Cities from Lawrence, Kansas. I had been teaching on and off since high school before that, about ten years.
What is it about WBSM that has kept you teaching here all these years?
The school really respects its teachers, on many levels. It allows the teachers to teach in the way that they know best in order to reach their students. Students have unique goals and interests, and rather than having a “one curriculum fits all” approach, the school lets teachers address each student’s needs. For instance, an adult learner who wants to learn a few guitar chords for fun will be taught differently than a high schooler preparing for a classical piano contest.
I also like my studio room, on the second floor with two big windows.
What do you like most about teaching?
I’ve always loved teaching, breaking things down so others can understand. I enjoy the challenge of finding the point of connection with a student where they will learn best because they are motivated by the music. I use repertoire to teach theory, and make sure that students like the music they’re learning, whatever the style. Then we see lots of those “ah-ha” moments. It also constantly introduces me to great new music that they bring in.
What is the biggest challenge about being a performing musician?
One big challenge is also one of its highlights: the constant multi-tasking and diverse activities involved in having a music career. At any given time, I might be rehearsing with two different bands for upcoming performances, working on a new a solo recording project, planning lessons for elementary music classes, booking next year’s gigs, mailing out my CDs sold online, buying plane tickets, and teaching 30 private lessons in a week.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give to aspiring students who would like to be performing artists?
Get as good as you can possibly get at your craft. Take classes and workshops in your art form and also in business topics, like those offered at Springboard for the Arts. Network with others in your field. Start with small gigs- be confident but realistic. Don’t quit your day job, especially if it provides insurance. If you do quit, buy your own insurance.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give aspiring students who would like to teach?
I would encourage them to examine why they want to teach. Is it for extra income only, or is there a real interest in people and communicating a love of music? Do they have a solid musical foundation to draw from? They will be most successful at it if there is a desire to share and the skill to back it up. And lots of patience! It can also be helpful to observe other teachers in action.
Help me finish this sentence: Most people don’t know I love…
I keep backyard chickens, breeds like the Barred Rock and Buff Orpington. They are very sweet-tempered birds, each with a distinct personality. They are pets who get to live long and happy lives.
What bands/collaborations are you in?
Since 2000 I’ve worked with singer Katie McMahon, original lead singer from Riverdance. Our main performances feature a band, singers and Irish dancers, and take place primarily at Christmas, St. Patrick’s, and Irish Fair. Coming up this spring I have shows with singer-songwriter Rachel Nelson and drummer Michael Kiley, as well as with fiddler Zack Kline and his group Orange Mighty Trio. One of my favorite school residency projects is making dulcimers and then teaching students to play them, and I often collaborate with Ross Sutter on these. I do solo performances nationwide, where I also play with other musicians in their sets at festivals. A trio has grown from that consisting of two wonderful multi-instrumentalists, one from Missouri and one from Maryland, and myself. We’ll be playing together next month on Florida and again this summer in Kentucky. How’s that for geography?
To find out more:
To get info on Karen’s recordings and touring schedule visit her website at: www.karenmueller.com . She has four solo CDs, including a new one due out this spring, and has written three autoharp and dulcimer books. To sign up for lessons or to find out more, you have many options. Stop by or call our front office at 612-333-6651, email us at email@example.com, or sign up for lessons online on our registration page.