United Conservatory of Music August 2019




CLIMB TOWARD SUCCESS The Secret Behind UCM’s Musical Ladder

No one is unhappy when they’re holding a trophy. This is a fact of life and something I’ve seen many times since we implemented the Musical Ladder system at our school. In basic terms, the Musical Ladder is a system of awards and incentives designed to encourage kids to pursue music. Every three months, students take a test designed by their teacher to show how much they’ve progressed. If the student passes these tests, they get a wristband at three months, a trophy at six months, and so on, celebrating their growth. These are not tests of skill; they’re tests of accomplishments. We want to show our students how much they have learned, celebrate that growth, and encourage them to keep learning. It is really hard to see our own improvement in any area, particularly music. This is true for kids and adults. When you’re first learning an instrument, it can take years to get to a point where you feel confident playing and recognize that your skills have improved. But just three months can feel like forever to a kid. This is why we want to regularly celebrate our students’ growth. The truth is, even if you haven’t mastered a new piece, three months is enough time to learn middle C. “The Musical Ladder lets us show students that they are improving and gives them the encouragement to stick with it.” This sounds like a small accomplishment, but it’s something a student didn’t know before. The Musical Ladder lets us show students that they are improving and gives them the encouragement to stick with it. Having encouraging teachers is important in any area, not just music. Earlier this year, I started working out with a personal trainer after not working out at all for a long time. Not only does he teach me the right exercises and push me to improve my physical fitness, but he also gives me a lot of encouragement. I’ll be

honest, I would have stopped going to the gym months ago if I didn’t have this guy helping me. Being challenged to improve and encouraged when you succeed makes a big difference.

The Musical Ladder system is not unique to UCM. Many other music schools use this or a similar program to encourage their students’ growth. One of the first things I invested in when we started expanding the school

was how we could help kids keep learning. After visiting many different musical schools in person and looking into the various systems, I determined that the Musical Ladder was the best system for the kind of environment we wanted to cultivate. When students pass their tests, they get their pictures taken with their teacher and posted on a wall at the school. We want to celebrate all of our students’ victories and show them that they’re part of a community and have a place in the school. I’ve had students claim they don’t want their trophy or certificate, but after they pass their test, they always have a big smile on their face in the picture. It feels good to be rewarded for your hard work, which is what our students do each month they stick with their music lessons.

—Christopher Scherer

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Preparing for Next Year

For the past 10 years, Marvel movies have delighted families and comic book nerds alike with their memorable characters, incredible action scenes, and sprawling, interconnected storylines. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the story of the Avengers so far, told through 23 movies. Even though this year marked the end of a massive arc that Marvel Studios dubbed “The Infinity Saga,” there are still more movies coming out that will feature everyone’s favorite heroes. Here are a few films coming up next in the MCU. International assassin Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, was the first female member of the Avengers and made her debut appearance in “Iron Man 2.” She never got her own movie, but Marvel announced recently that a Black Widow movie is officially in the works for the next phase of Marvel movies. Besides the fact that they’ve started filming, there’s not much information about it yet. But for many excited fans, this movie has been a long time coming. WHAT’S NEXT FOR MARVEL MOVIES? 3 Marvel Movies to Watch Out For A BLACKWIDOW SOLO MOVIE

Although winter seems like a distant prospect, it will be here before you know it. While many people are sad to see their summer clothes and gadgets get stored away until next season, it’s a good idea to start planning now. Taking the time to properly pack away summer gear is beneficial and can save you from unneeded worry next year.


Properly organizing and storing your summer clothes will help them last longer and prevent you from aimlessly rummaging when searching for that perfect fall sweater or blouse. Likewise, when you cover your patio furniture and tuck your bicycle and tools away, they are less likely to be damaged by animals or any harsh winter weather.


Consider purchasing plastic storage tubs or boxes to put your clothes in. If you’re storing dresses, skirts, or any fancy clothing, plastic or nylon garment bags will help prevent them from getting dirty and wrinkly.

Before you start piling your clothes in, be sure to wash and completely dry them. This helps prevent mold or mildew and keeps your clothes looking new when it’s time to take them out again.

Also, it can be a good idea to place cedar sachets in with your clothes and around the neck of your hangers; the wood will keep away pesky insects without leaving bad smells behind.


Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, and the gang are all back in the third installment of this smash-hit franchise. Without getting into too much detail, “Avengers: Endgame” and the post-credits scene of the second “Guardians”movie provided some clues about the plot and possible main villain. Though details are slim, “Vol. 3” is sure to be another rollicking ride through the cosmos.



Outdoor items are more likely to get damaged as they endure the elements. When you’re storing rakes, shovels, or any other garden tools, make sure they’re

“Black Panther”was immensely popular (it earned nearly $700 billion domestically), and its success removed all doubt that there would be a sequel. Audiences will journey back to Wakanda and see the newest adventures of King T’Challa and crew, although not much is known about the plot or the release date as of now. But you can rest assured that the creative minds behind the sequel are taking their time to make it as good as the first. The future storyline of the MCU is up in the air, but, if the previous movies are any indicator, families, fans, and audiences everywhere have a lot to look forward to.

washed, dried, and sharpened before putting them into your shed or garage. Patios should be cleaned off and given a fresh coat of wax, and outdoor furniture should be dusted, cleaned, and covered to keep the frost,

snow, and rain off.

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DOG BARK PARK INN B&B Cottonwood, Idaho

When Airbnb was founded a little over a decade ago, the developers hoped to provide an alternative to traditional travel accommodations. Today, with annual revenue in the billions, the service is an industry unto itself. While most people use Airbnb to “live like a local”while traveling, you can find some truly wacky lodging options if you spend some time searching the platform. Here are just a few of the many contenders for the title of “Weirdest Airbnb in the U.S.” For ease of searching, the listings here have the same titles as they do on Airbnb.

As you approach the Dog Bark Park Inn, you won’t have to guess if you’re in the right place. After all, how many buildings are shaped like beagles? When describing the space on Airbnb, the hosts make no bones about who this rental is aimed for.


Earthships, houses run by clean energy and featuring reused materials, are a fixture of the Taos area. This one, which looks almost like a crashing wave with a living space in its undertow, combines the rustic charm of truly getting away from it all with modern amenities like Wi-Fi and in-home laundry. It’s a truly unique living space surrounded by pristine nature and not far from the historic Taos Pueblo.


“Stay in a giant dog!” they say. In addition to being inside a massive wooden dog, you’ll find canine-themed games, books, and more. Talk about ruffing it.

Airbnb super hosts Dan and Deborah have no shortage of quirky properties for rent — including yurts and treehouses — but their apartment fashioned out of an airplane hangar surely takes the cake. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a theme restaurant featuring eclectic aviation. Memorabilia lines the walls with a bar front and center, and the bed is in a loft high above the ground.



Inspired by Bon Appétit Magazine


2 medium ears of corn, shucked

1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped

1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced

1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, sliced

1/2 red onion, diced

Juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt, to taste


1. Heat a cast-iron skillet to high. Char corn, turning occasionally, for 10–14 minutes until kernels begin to blacken in spots. 2. Using a sharp knife, remove corn kernels from cobs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, gently crush corn to release starch and juices. 4. Add jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix to combine. 5. Top with lime juice and season with salt. 6. Serve alongside your favorite tortilla chips.

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How Do You Climb a Musical Ladder?


The Next Phase of Marvel Movies Preparing Your Gear for Winter


Not Your Average Vacation Lodgings Roasted Corn Salsa


The Art of Stargazing


Helping Humans Slow Down and Look Up

1. The Higher, the Better If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum.

Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag

2. Extra Set of EyesWhile novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy experts recommend starting with binoculars instead. You’ll need to identify several anchor planets or constellations to help you navigate the sky before using a telescope. 3. Utilize Assets Put your phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a unique benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location. 4. Mark Your Calendar In 1972, beloved singer-songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing, “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”The “fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work.

themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky. Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in all

its phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, and meteor showers bright enough to warrant

sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started.

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SUMMER STRING CAMP In July, we had our Summer String Camp! Check out some of the fun they had!


Labor Day: CLOSEDMonday, Sept. 2, 2019 Upcoming Dates to Note:

Musical Ladder Achievements Here are just a few of the wonderful students who received a music ladder award recently. Congrats, everyone! Follow our Facebook and Instagram to see more! www.instagram.com/unitedconservatory www.facebook.com/unitedconservatory

Here’s a special offer from Rita’s! Bring this page to your local Rita’s to redeem your free offer!

WE LOVE YOUR REVIEWS! Write us a review on Google or Facebook, and we will put you in our review raffle! Every three months, we have a lucky winner. Congratulations to MJ for winning a $150 gift card to Estancia Day Spa and Salon! MJ said, “We have been very happy with all the staff. They are friendly, and our daughter has really excelled under their guidance. We would highly recommend.”

If you have a business you would like to promote with us, email cscherer@unitedconservatory.org for more details.

PLEASE WELCOME THE NEW STUDENTS WHO ENROLLED IN JUNE! Isabella O. Martiza Z. Emma C. Luz G. Nikhil H. Mahini H. Neysha S. Mallory G. Cassandra H. Andrew V. Nicholas V. Miranda V. Arturo C. Omar A. Ruby H. Trinity R. Audrey A. Jang H. Cheng H. Kashia H. Daechia H. Ryan S. Ana E. Zaralena J. Seng H. Julian O. Elijah M. Karlee G. Sophia E. Leslie V. Nathan G. Gianna G. Isabella G. Spencer B. Joshua B. Amna A. Myra A. Aleena R. Jose G. Toua V. Lue V. Lia T. Rocia R. Carson S. Veronica T. Anthony C. Jasleen K. Shawn K. Chase W. Michael S. Katryna S. Percy B. Radhika P. Grayson H. Holden K. Dylan G. Maximus V. Darren L. Mudka S. Levi S. Malachi S. Oliva Y. Madison Y. Keith F. Sharlene C. Roux B. Joy W. Julian R. Almarein D. Yasmeen A. Rachel L. Adalyn L. Jaylone L.

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