United Conservatory of Music September 2018



FROM THE DESK OF Christopher Scherer

Dear UCM Family,

I am delighted to announce that one of our instructors, Emiliano Garduque (clarinet, piano, guitar), has won the position of Assistant Director of Bands at Hoover High School! We celebrate his achievement and are very glad that he will still be teaching limited hours with us. We also welcome back from their long summer trip; Luis Mota (piano, guitar); Christian Cabral (voice, piano); and Ashley Trembley (voice, piano). Luis had a full summer, learning from the best music directors across the United States and finding new teaching techniques to bring back to our students. Christian and Ashley spent their days in Germany, studying with some of the most renowned professors and performers in Europe, all the while soaking in the culture. We are delighted to see them return and impart their newly found wisdom to our students. Lastly, group makeups will be starting soon and will be taking place of private makeups. We will be publishing a list soon with available times and additional details.

Children are constantly reaching new milestones. Whether a child is preparing for their first dance, earning their driver’s license, or heading off to college, success in navigating these events is often determined by the kinds of experiences parents share with their children when they are young. One of the earliest milestones a child encounters is the first day of kindergarten, a sometimes overwhelming event that many parents struggle to navigate. The good news is that parents who have already endured the struggle can offer advice to assuage the fears of newer parents. Teach Them the Basics Everyone knows that the primary purpose of school is to educate, but there are some basic things you should consider teaching your child before their first day. One mother recently wrote to USA Today encouraging fellow parents to teach their kids the ABCs, numbers, and a handful of useful vocabulary words. Additionally, kindergarten teachers encourage parents to make sure their kids know the basic elements of hygiene. One common example is knowing how to use the restroom by themselves. Teaching your child how to properly flush the toilet and wash their hands before they enter the classroom will help ease any fear of going to the bathroom alone, and it will also benefit their teacher. Finally, be sure your child knows how to open all their lunch containers. Children often don’t have a lot of time to eat, so ensuring that your child can open their containers and start devouring their lunch as soon as possible is good practice.

Let’s keep making music!

–Christopher Scherer Director

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Be Involved Perhaps even more important than teaching the basics is being an advocate for your child. Being an advocate can mean things like giving your child’s teacher pertinent information on allergies, learning styles, or educational accommodations; meeting with administration and the school nurse to establish professional relationships; asking questions about unfamiliar processes; and knowing your child’s educational rights. Every child has a right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), so if your child needs extra time on tests or additional materials to help understand content, communicate with your local Parent Training and Information Center to find an advocate who can assist you with these types of accommodations. Another key way to get involved in your child’s education is to volunteer in the classroom when you can. This can help you stay involved in your child’s education and forge a bond with your child’s educators.

It’s Okay to Be Emotional With all of these changes, one of the most important things to remember is that it is okay for you to be emotional. Whether you are sending your first, third, or eighth kid off to school, the situation is bound to stir up deeper emotions. You might feel stressed because you aren’t sure that they are fully prepared. You

might feel excited for them to experience this new milestone. Or, you might feel nostalgic thinking about how quickly they have grown up. Any or all of these emotions are perfectly normal, but remember this: that small hand you struggle to let go of at the start of the day will be the same one waving excitedly at you at the end of it.

Need a Personal Assistant to Manage Your Kids’ Crazy Schedules? Try These 3 Tips Instead

trust. You can alternate drivers weekly, which provides the opportunity for you to focus your attention on other priorities — or if you’re lucky, have some freedom. The Right Tool for the Job Technology makes organization easier and more accessible than ever. By using a tool like a shared calendar, you can coordinate the entire family’s schedule so you never miss a beat. And apps like Mealime and MealBoard give you the ability to whip up food that is cost-effective and delicious. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work While you’re busy trying to rally the troops at soccer practice, the scene at home

School has started. Youth sports are in full swing. Work is crazy. Food has become more about necessity than enjoyment. All of this can only mean one thing: Fall has begun. The crazy schedules this time of year can make it tough for parents to keep their heads on straight; making it through the insanity sometimes feels more like survival than life. But there are tactics you can employ to turn the tide and find more time for yourself. Tag Team There’s no reason to try to do everything on your own. The phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” exists because managing the stressors of life requires help. A great place to start is by establishing car pools with a parent group you

resembles a horror movie. Laundry is piling up, food is spoiling in the fridge, and the dust bunnies around the house now have names. Housecleaning is a part-time job in its own right. The only way to stay on top of duties around the house is to work together. A chore chart with clear responsibilities is a great place to start. Whether you have one child or eight, everyone is capable of pitching in. You can have all the organizational abilities in the world, but the best way to manage life’s madness isn’t by directing day-to-day tasks; it’s by managing stress. Instead of using these tools to control life, look at them as a way to free up time so you can decompress and enjoy the things you love.

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STUDENT OF THEMONTH Congratulations to Meilin Song!

Q. How old were you when you started taking music at United Conservatory? I was about 14 years old when I started taking music at United Conservatory. Q. What type of music do you like to listen to? I like to listen to different types of music depending on my mood. However, classical and lo-fi as well as some pop music have recently been more of my style. Q. How does having a great instrument affect how you play? Having a great instrument helps with sound production as well as technique. When I got my new instrument, I feel like I can hear a clearer tone when I play, and I am also able to play louder. Q. What do you like most about your lessons at the United Conservatory? I like the fact that I get to learn about things that I can improve in my playing every time I have a lesson.

Q. How do you like your teacher? My teacher Christopher Scherer is a very friendly and amicable teacher, and he isn’t afraid to make jokes here and there. However, he is also very helpful during lessons and makes sure that I can understand everything in order to improve my playing. Q. Is music a very important part of your life? Yes, music is a very important part of my life because I am constantly trying to get better at both making music as well as understanding the history of music at school. Q. Would you recommend the United Conservatory to your friends? I would recommend the United Conservatory to my friends because the teachers here are really professional and kind and they really want to help students improve their musical talents. Q. What is your favorite animal? My favorite animal is a panda.

Q. What are the things you like most about teaching? Ah, yes, I certainly enjoy having a captive audience for my goofy jokes! Jokes aside, it is an incredibly rewarding moment to see my students work through, understand, and/or solve a problem. The sense of relief and accomplishment often significantly changes their demeanor during the lesson, serving as a reminder that yes, they are capable of progressing and no, the world is not going to end because of a wrong note. During the lesson, my attention and mind are devoted to my student. They are the ones that have me captive, so I do not have to worry about my life outside the room; it is irrelevant to their development and progression. Their growth is my focus. Q. How do you inspire students to practice more? Just as different students learn at different paces, have different interests, and have their own strengths and weaknesses, there is no magic bullet to get students to practice, so I tailor my strategies to each individual student. Sometimes I only need to play a piece I have learned, sometimes I show them a video of another performer or cartoon (e.g., Tom and Jerry playing Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.2), sometimes younger students need their parents to encourage them at home, and sometimes they simply need time to let the instrument become a part of their mind and heart. Q. What do you feel are the benefits of a child studying music? Aside from the benefits in pattern recognition, patience, determination, finger/ hand/arm dexterity, and (depending how it is taught) critical thinking, being able to play music is incredibly wholesome and an important part of the human experience. Sometimes, especially in our late teenage years and early adulthood, life sometimes chucks adversity at us. Music can often serve as a ballast to the hardships. There is, of course, also the great joy and pleasure one can derive in performing, composing, and listening to music. TEACHER OF THE MONTH Congratulations to Nathan Nau (Piano)

Q. What is your favorite type of music? My favorite music was mostly composed during the late 19th and early 20th century (Romantic, Impressionistic, Modernist) and is mainly solo piano or orchestra and piano works. A few composers include Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Ornstein. I really enjoy classical music, fanatically so. However, I also enjoy a variety of rock, jazz, electronic, film/game, and contemporary music. Q. What do you like most about teaching at United Conservatory of Music? I enjoy the atmosphere and environment. It is filled with friends and colleagues I respect, like-minded individuals, the sound of practice, and the underlying energy of a developing music school. I am really excited to see where the conservatory will go in the next five years. Q. What are some things most people do not know about you? I put together my own computer tower and have really enjoyed gaming and conversing with friends frommany places across the world. I am a big fan of virtual reality technology and looked forward to its further development. I also enjoy reading up on other fields of science, especially astronomy.

We’ve been voted one of the best music schools in Fresno!


Diana is an amazing teacher. The kids loved her!

The kids also got a healthy dose of music theory to hone their skills!

We are excited to see Diana return next year!


Amber C. • Francheska R. • Mackenzie L. • Jazz A. • Julian T. • Eva C. • Cellion H. • Nevada M. • Margaret A. • Evan W. • Lesley R. • Alix R. • Ryan R. • Randy S. • Michael M. Alesia B. • Claire D. • Mia C. • Kaden K. • Jasmine B. • Sofia B. • Anahit G. Faith S. • Sofia L. • Alison D.

THAT’LL DO, PIG Oinkers That Saved Their Owners’ Bacon

When Jo Ann suffered a heart attack while her husband was away on a fishing trip and no one else was around, Bear and Lulu teamed up to rescue their beloved owner. Sensing something was up, Bear barked furiously to get the attention of Lulu, who was out in the yard. Though she’d never come into the house from the yard before, she crammed her bulk through the much-too-small doggie door. In the process, she scraped her belly badly, drawing blood, but she pressed on in order to check on Jo Ann. Realizing that something was seriously wrong, she slammed back through the doggie door and scrambled out into the road, where she lay down. Lulu eventually convinced one conscientious motorist to slow down and see what the commotion was about. He found Jo Ann unconscious in her home and quickly dialed 911. Though Lulu wasn’t allowed in the ambulance, her owner was rescued and recovered after an intense open- heart surgery. And, of course, Lulu got patched up too!

More and more Americans are keeping pigs as pets than ever before. With their keen intelligence, laid-back amiability, goofy snorts, and, of course, their stubby little legs, it’s no surprise that people take to these plump, fuzzy animals. And here’s an extra bonus: Apparently, they also save lives! Take the aptly-named Lucky , for example. When Illinois resident Ina Farler woke up to the frantic porcine screams of her best friend, she knew something was up. “He would jump down, run to the door, and then jump back on the bed and hit me really hard,” she told Chicago 5 News. “When I sat up, I realized the room was really smoky.” Her house was ablaze, and her room was quickly turning into an oven. But thanks to Lucky, she was able to grab her two grandchildren, escape from the house, and call the fire department to stifle the blaze before it took down the entire property. Lucky isn’t the only hog to have saved the day. Jo Ann and Jack Altsman adopted Lulu the pot-bellied pig after baby-sitting her for their daughter. Lulu grew to be great pals with Bear, the family’s American Eskimo dog.

Take a Break!



1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 small loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups) 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cucumber, sliced into rounds

20 basil leaves, chopped

Salt, to taste

2 large tomatoes, cubed


2 red bell peppers, seeded and cubed


1. In a large sauté pan, set to medium-low heat and add olive oil. Add bread and 1 teaspoon salt, and toss often for 10 minutes or until toasted. 2. In a large bowl, mix vegetables and herbs. Toss in bread and your favorite vinaigrette and mix again. 3. Serve immediately or let sit 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Inspired by Food Network

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United Conservatory of Music


559-869-8263 unitedconservatory.org M-F: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sat-Sun: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

4747 North First Street Ste 185 Fresno, CA 93726

INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Christopher Scherer PAGE 1 How Parents Can Help Their Kindergartner Succeed PAGE 1 3 Tips to Help Organize Your Crazy Life PAGE 2 Pigs to the Rescue PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Late-Summer Panzanella PAGE 3 The Best andWorst Foods for Inflammation PAGE 4 The food you eat plays a major role in how your body functions on the cellular level. Some foods can wreak havoc on your body, while others can make you feel great. This is especially true when it comes to that all-too- common ailment, inflammation. Here are a few examples of foods that lead to inflammation: SUGAR: One of the biggest culprits behind inflammation, sugar is far worse than eating fatty foods. It’s best to skip foods that have added sugar (and this includes sugar of any kind, including corn syrup, fructose, and sucrose). Many manufacturers now label food with more specific kinds of sugar to hide the fact that they added sugar to their product. Be sure to read labels carefully! REFINED CARBS: Basically anything made from white flour falls into this category, including bread, pasta, baked goods, and

FIND THE RIGHT FOOD BALANCE Foods That Cause and Reduce Inflammation

SALMON: As a source of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is one of the best protein choices for people with inflammatory conditions, or for those who want to keep inflammation at bay.

cereals. Research suggests that refined carbs may be a bigger contributing factor than fat in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. ALCOHOL: Too much alcohol puts a burden on your liver, an organ that helps flush toxins out of the body. You know all of those detox diets? They don’t work. In fact, the only way to detox is to let your liver do its job. When you consume alcohol, it’s harder for the liver to pump out the toxins in your body. When it can’t do its job properly, the result is inflammation. Now, for the good stuff. Eat these foods to reduce inflammation: BLUEBERRIES: Many studies call blueberries one of the best fruits you can eat to ease symptoms of inflammation. These blue orbs of goodness are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, polyphenols, and so much more. Eat a handful every day!

BROCCOLI: One of the most nutritious and easily accessible vegetables around, the little green buds that cover the tops

of broccoli are loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds.

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