UNI TED CONSERVATORY N E W S A N D NO T E S
STARTING FROM SCRATCH Building UCM 1 Lesson at a Time
I can count the number of teachers whose studios I’ve practiced in on one hand, and I’ve admired all of them. Pearl Winter was my first music teacher, and by the time she taught me, she had been teaching cello for nearly 60 years. Her experience teaching must have built up her patience like a muscle because by the time I studied with her, she was abnormally good at putting up with the nonsense of a young cello player like me. When I was studying with Mrs. Winter, and actually throughout my youth, I found practicing singularly unenjoyable. Mom cajoled, yelled, compelled, and bargained with me pretty strenuously to get me to practice. It wasn’t until I was older and started to play music with my friends that I really fell in love with the cello. Still, I didn’t think I would become a music teacher until I was well into my music degree. I would probably be considered a nontraditional student in my mid 30s. I definitely had a much better clue to why I was playing cello. I certainly worked harder and practiced more. My undergraduate degree was in history, and because of that, I stretched a degree that should have taken only two years into seven! It was perhaps most effective because I studied with a wonderful profession, Thomas Loewenheim, now a well-known (at least in the classical music community) Fresno Character and Legend. Dr. Loewenheim is the kind of man who will burn a candle at both ends — and also in the middle. During my seven years of study with him, he had a lot of people interested in having him as their instructor. He played a huge role in helping start the United Conservatory of Music because in the beginning, many of them were referred to me by Dr. Loewenheim. I started out teaching cello lessons in my house, but when I saw there was a demand for oboe, violin, and clarinet teachers, too, I opened my up home as a teaching space. At its height, I had something in the neighborhood of 80–100 people coming and going from my home each week, most of whom were not my personal students (needless to say, I didn’t go swimming that much at home.) I met the United Conservatory of Music’s director, Chris Scherer, years ago through a woman I was engaged to. Chris was the graduate assistant in my then-fiancée’s studio. She asked if we needed another violin teacher. The answer is – we always do!
So, Chris arranged to have his stuff shipped to my house. But in the amount of time that passed between agreeing to have Chris move in and his arrival, I broke up with my fiancée. Now, instead of having a wife, I have Chris Scherer, and we still live together.
He’s okay if you like that sort of thing; the dishwasher has been a sore spot for the last five years. He has
broken a lot of my dishes and glassware… but he is still a good friend. Chris focuses more on the business andmarketing aspects of the school, and
I focus more on teaching. Interacting with andmentoring young people has always been important tome, and I think my background as a youth pastor —and, even further back, as a chaplain when I was in the military—preparedme well for teaching. I love doing for students what my teachers did for me. Sometimes I get to keep the same students for six, seven, or even eight years. For those students, my instruction becomes about so much more than playing the cello. In the last year and a half or so, the music school I started inmy home while I was a graduate student has grownmore than 200%. And even though I have been teaching cello for 12 years now, I amback to teaching students inmy house again because we simply don’t have enough rooms at the school to teach everybody there. I look forward to seeing where the next year of growth will take the United Conservatory of Music, and I anticipate another year of teaching, playing the cello, and paying forward the lessons my teachers taught me.
559-869-8263 • 1 –Leo Kim
FROM ZERO TO 300
Meet the Women Who Pioneered Motor Sports
While Danica Patrick and Courtney Force are well known as modern faces in motor sports, they’re far from the first women to cross the finish line. Since the early 1900s, women have been a constant fixture of automotive racing, including the following three who each left their marks on the sport. SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY Shirley Muldowney is professionally known in the drag racing community as “The First Lady of Drag Racing.” In 1973, she was the first woman to earn a Top Fuel license from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and, despite backlash from competitors, went on to win the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series an unprecedented three times. Twentieth Century Fox documented her trials and accomplishments in the 1983 biopic “Heart Like a Wheel.”Muldowney famously loathed her own characterization but still lauded the film as required viewing for anyone interested in the sport of drag racing. JANET GUTHRIE Janet Guthrie had her sights set on the stars from day one. A skilled aerospace engineer, she began her racing career in 1963. After taking home two class wins in the famed 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, Guthrie became a well-known figure among racing gurus. In 1976, she became the first woman to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series when she finished 15th in the Coca-Cola 600, then called the World 600. To date, Guthrie’s storied career has landed her in the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the Automotive Hall of Fame.
CREATE YOUR OWN ODYSSEY Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean
One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.”This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. SICILY, ITALY One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. GOZO, MALTA While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ġgantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. ITHACA, GREECE If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey —minus the mythical monsters, of course.
DOROTHY LEVITT Dorothy Levitt is known for her driving skills on both land and water, setting the first water speed record and an early women’s world
land speed record. Her motor racing career started slow in 1904 due to illness and various car troubles, but Levitt eventually went on to garner a reputation for her speed and earn the nickname “The Fastest Girl on Earth.”When she wasn’t racing, she spent her time writing. In her book “The Woman and the Car,” Levitt recommended that women carry a small mirror with them for driving in traffic, effectively inventing the rearview mirror five years before it went into production.
If you want to learn more about these women and others in motor racing, pick up Todd McCarthy’s book “Fast Women: The Legendary
Ladies of Racing.”
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STICK A FORK IN IT Healthy Eating Habits From Around the World
In the U.S., there’s nothing we love more than our large meat-and-potatoes dinners, but, according to nutritional experts, American-style meals are expanding our waistlines and leading to chronic medical conditions. Push back against these
and turmeric can decrease inflammation in the body while curry powder can aid in digestion and strengthen your bones and heart.
You Try It: Using your own spices, have a spice-blending competition. Taste-test the creations and decide which recipes are good enough for a repeat and which ones will go down in family history as lofty experiments. Who knows? You may just discover your family’s next favorite meal.
unhealthy habits by checking out these healthier food traditions from around the globe that your whole family will enjoy. JAPAN: THE APPEARANCE In Japanese culture, an emphasis is placed on the look and color of the meal instead of the portion size. Japanese chefs opt for smaller portions of colorful fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish to create gorgeous, nutrient-packed meals. The result is a dish that is as beautiful as it is nutritious.
MEXICO: THE LUNCH Diners in Mexico often step away from the hustle and bustle of their busy days to enjoy their largest meal of the day: lunch. Though it may surprise you, this cultural tradition has surprising health benefits. Nutritional experts point to making lunch the largest meal of the day as the healthiest dining option, especially to
You Try It: Learn the art of making sushi and other Japanese meals with your family. See what creative combinations your family can create, and vote for the best one! As an added bonus, since portions are small, meals are easily transportable to school and work. INDIA: THE SPICE Delicious spices comprise the bold flavors in traditional Indian dishes, and many even boast health benefits. Common ingredients like ginger
control weight. More calories at lunch keep hunger at bay, which means less afternoon snacking and fewer daily calories overall, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. You Try It: Short of packing bigger lunches for your kiddos, try out this style of eating during the weekends. Enjoy large, family-style midday meals and smaller dinners with your loved ones on Saturdays and Sundays to reap the nutritional benefits of a large lunch. For more information and tips on how to transform your eating habits, visit DoSomething.org. EASY SHRIMP SCAMPI
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by The Blond Cook
4 tbsp butter
In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve.
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
8 oz cooked linguine
1/4 cup parsley
Solution on Page 4
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Building UCM 1 Lesson at a Time
Your Epic Adventure Awaits Fearless Women Who Pioneered Motor Sports International Eating Habits Every Family Will Enjoy! Easy Shrimp Scampi Meet the Dog Who Helped Take Down al-Baghdadi
MEET CONAN The Dog Who Helped Take Down al-Baghdadi
On Oct. 28 last year, President Donald Trump tweeted a photo that quickly went viral. It showed an adorable snapshot of a bright-eyed Belgian Malinois, tongue
track al-Baghdadi or to spot improvised explosive devices that may have been planted on the route, but either way, he performed well.
According to NBC News, Conan was injured by some live electrical cables during the mission, but he recovered quickly and was back on duty within the week. Meanwhile, President Trump invited the brave pup to the White House and tweeted out a doctored photo that showed him awarding Conan a Medal of Honor. President Trump captioned the photo “AMERICAN HERO!” and he’s not alone in his appreciation for the hardworking dogs that have been helping our military since WorldWar II. “To me, they’re the first line of defense,” United States War Dogs Association President Ron Aiello told Vox after the news about Conan came out. “They’re such a great asset to our military today.” Military dogs are put up for adoption after 6–8 years in the service, which means a lucky civilian could take Conan in as early as 2022! Meanwhile, dozens of other smart canine heroes are looking for homes. To learn more about military and other working dog adoptions, visit MissionK9Rescue.org.
lolling, still wearing its camo military vest. In the caption,
President Trump explained that the pup, Conan, was a national hero who was instrumental in taking down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
With four years in special operations forces and
roughly 50 missions under his collar, Conan was selected to be part of the team that pursued al-Baghdadi through a network of underground tunnels in northwest Syria, where the terrorist ultimately died. It’s unclear whether Conan was there to
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Musical Ladder Achievements Congratulations to some of our most recent Musical Ladder Tests. We are so proud of your progress!
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If you ever feel like your child is losing interest in music, instead of dropping out, try another instrument or teacher! Sometimes all that’s needed is a bit of a change! We also have our Shakers classes for kids ages 2–4 and 4–6. If your child is between those ages, try those classes and see their love of music flourish!
We love your referrals! Refer a friend and we will give you and your friend a $50 gift card as a THANK YOU!
PLEASE WELCOME THE NEW STUDENTS WHO ENROLLED IN DECEMBER! Michael G., Darius J., Gabriel R., Bella T., Savanah G., Mason A., Sawyer D., Alice W., Jaxon S., Jayla G., Adalyn R., and Grant M.
STUDENTS OF THE MONTH Maddie and Matthew
Maddie: Q. What is your favorite thing about the piano? Learning how to read music. Q. What do you like most about lessons and how long have you taken lessons here? Learning new pieces, and 16 months.
Matthew: Q. What is your favorite thing about the piano? It’s fun. Q. What do you like most about lessons and how long have you taken lessons here? I like learning new songs. We have been taking lessons for 16 months in your school.
Q. What are your favorite pieces that you’ve played? “Sugarfoot Rag” and “Greensleeves.”
Q. What are your favorite pieces that you’ve played? Favorite piece is “Peter Pan’s Flight .”
Q. What are some other hobbies or activities you participate in? My hobbies are drawing and rollerblading. Q. Would you recommend United Conservatory to your friends? Yes.
Q. What are some other hobbies or activities you participate in? My hobby is woodworking. Q. Would you recommend United Conservatory to your friends? Yes. We love this music school.
Staff Spotlight: Arianna Knee
Arianna Knee is in the middle of her second year of college at
Fresno State University where she was awarded a full scholarship to be a part of a chamber ensemble called the President’s Quintet. Her main instrument is the flute, and she is currently principal player in both the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Orchestra at Fresno State. She is studying music to become either an elementary or high school teacher.
Q. What are the things you like most about teaching? Teaching for me is always about the kids. I enjoy seeing their smiling faces when they are learning new things and listening to all the random, funny stories they have to share with everyone each day or time we meet. Q. You recently took over the Little Shakers classes! What are some of the benefits of that class and what will you be going over? In the Little Shakers classes, I will be going over basic music concepts that musicians see every time they make music. When a child takes this class, they benefit from the knowledge they will be receiving at a young age to prepare them for what lies ahead. Q. How do you inspire students to practice more? I believe you motivate people by leading as an example. I like to think I inspire students through my enthusiasm when I teach.
Q. What do you feel are the benefits of a child studying music? When a child studies music, they have a chance to express themselves, be more creative, and simply just have fun! Q. What is your favorite type of music? Classical Q. What do you like most about teaching at United Conservatory of Music? What I like most is the opportunity I get to share my love of music in a classroom setting. Q. What are some things most people don’t know about you? I like to bake whenever I have the time, and I also did Brazilian jiujitsu for 10 years.Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6
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