United Conservatory of Music March 2018


MARCH 2018

FROM THE DESK OF Christopher Scherer

Dear UCM Family, The year is flying by and it’s March already! As you are probably aware, we’re excited to have started the Musical Ladder System with our students, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to keep kids motivated and focused. We look forward to seeing smiling faces with trophies and wristbands! Learning music is such an important part of brain development and we are happy to play a part in your children’s lives. Another important announcement is our Summer Music Program, which runs June 24-30 . It is going to be a wonderful time where kids of all levels will be able to join in and play music in small and large groups. We will be presenting further information and offering discounted pre-registration for that program later this month. We hope you enjoy this newsletter, and let’s keep making music!


St. Patrick’s Day is the best day of the year to let your Irish colors fly. Traditional celebrations include dressing in green, attending parades, and eating green food. However, these weren’t always the holiday traditions. It might come as a surprise, but the patron saint of Ireland wasn’t even born Irish! Who Was St. Patrick? Not much is known about the man, and even his place of birth is subject to dispute among experts. We do know that he was born in a village called Bannavem Taberniae, which could have been somewhere in England, Scotland, or Wales. When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland for the first time. He was held prisoner for the next six years, and he worked as a shepherd until he was finally able to escape. After such a rough introduction to the Emerald Isle, it might be a little hard to understand how Patrick became the patron saint of Ireland. Alone and scared in a foreign country, he turned to his faith for comfort. While his family was indeed Christian, Patrick had shown little to no interest in the practice up until that point. After being held captive for so long, he felt compelled by God to leave Ireland, so that’s what he did.

- Christopher Scherer Director

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Cover story, continued ... Patrick walked 200 miles to the coast, where he was able to board a ship and successfully make it back to his home country and his family. Although he had escaped the country, he couldn’t forget it or the people living there. After being told to travel back to Ireland by an angel in his dreams, he studied for the next 15 years to become an ordained priest. Then, he returned to Ireland. He spent the next 40 years spreading the Christian faith among the Protestant people until he died on March 17 around 460 A.D. His life has been celebrated ever since. Holiday Celebration For a long time, St. Patrick’s Day was seen as an exclusively religious holiday in Ireland. Irish law went so far as to order pubs closed on March 17. It wasn’t until 1995 that the Irish government saw an opportunity to use the holiday as a way to increase tourism and spread the joy of Ireland’s customs and culture around the world. Surprisingly, most of the traditions we associate with St. Patrick’s Day began in the

United States. In fact, the first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York was in 1762. Irish soldiers serving the British army marched a few blocks through the city to a tavern. Not only did this help the Irish reconnect with their roots, but it also brought them together with the other Irishmen serving in the army. Today, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the largest in the United States, with 200,000 participates and over 3 million audience members. Wait, That’s a Myth? If learning that St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish or that the holiday’s seemingly traditional celebration didn’t even come from Ireland, there are a few other mind-boggling facts that surround both the saint and the holiday. Many of the stories told about St. Patrick are legends or myths. One of his best- known roles as the saint who drove out the snakes from Ireland was used as symbol

to exaggerate how St. Patrick “cleansed” Ireland from paganism. Another legend revolves around the shamrock. It’s said that St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach the Irish people about the Holy Trinity. After his death, people would pin clovers to their clothing to celebrate what St. Patrick stood for. This eventually led to people wearing green in their clothes instead of wearing the clover. Speaking of green, you might also be surprised to learn that the color wasn’t always used to symbolize St. Patrick’s Day. A shade of blue called “St. Patrick’s blue” was the color many followers of St. Patrick wore. You can still see St. Patrick’s blue in paintings of him, shown underneath the green we’ve all come to love. Now when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, you can enjoy the festivities with a better idea of where the traditions came from. Don your favorite Irish gear and enjoy the celebrations!

Up in the Air

The Legacy of Amelia Earhart

The TV documentary “Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence” made a media splash when investigators claimed to have uncovered a photograph of Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, alive in the Marshall Islands. According to their narrative, Earhart and Noonan survived an emergency landing in the Japanese-occupied islands, only to languish as prisoners of war. Cold water was poured on this theory shortly after. A copy of the same photograph was found in the Japanese National Archives with the date 1935, which was two years too early for the photo’s subjects to be Earhart and Noonan. People’s enthusiasm to solve the mystery of Earhart’s disappearance will persist for years to come. But this month, as we celebrate the accomplishments of women throughout history, it’s important that we set aside the mystique of Earhart’s death to honor her vibrant life. She blazed a trail for women in science, aviation, and beyond, leaving a legacy as boundless as the sky.

There are plenty of figures worthy of remembrance during Women’s History Month. From literary pioneers like Mary Shelley and Emily Dickinson to civil rights heroes like Rosa Parks and Daisy Bates, inspiring legacies abound. But few of those women’s stories end with a question mark. To this day, the story of famed pilot and women’s rights advocate Amelia Earhart remains shrouded in the clouds. Her life was defined by a rare combination of curiosity, conviction, and courage. Earhart became a nurse during the Great War, taught aeronautical engineering at Purdue, and was an avid feminist in the post- suffrage era. On top of these accomplishments, Earhart became the famous aviator we remember today. After her twin-engine Lockheed Electra disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during the last leg of her historic 1937 flight around the world, the Earhart legacy has been defined by mystery. For decades, historians and enthusiasts have batted around theories about the fate of the intrepid pilot. Just last summer, on the 80th anniversary of her disappearance, a History Channel documentary claimed to have found the truth.

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STUDENT OF THEMONTH Congratulations to Samantha Barbosa! (Cello) Q. How old were you when you started taking music at United Conservatory? I started taking lessons last year when I was 15.

Q. What type of music do you like to listen to? I generally enjoy all types of music from classical to alternative.

Q. What do you like most about your lessons at the United Conservatory? My favorite part of lessons is knowing that I can always get help with any particular piece or tech- nical issue I’m struggling with. Q. How do you like your teacher? I really enjoy having Mr. Kim as my teacher because I know he will help with any questions I may have. Q. Is music a very important part of your life? I’ve always been more drawn to music over other alternatives like sports or art. I like being able to listen to different elements of a piece and I just enjoy music as a whole. It isn’t, however, the most prominent part of my life. Q. Would you recommend the United Conservatory to your friends? I would definitely recommend United Conservatory to my friends and I already have suggested it to a couple.

TEACHER OF THEMONTH Congratulations to Grace Bernhardt (Cello) Q. What are the things you like most about teaching?

It’s so encouraging to see these kids grow and get better at playing their instrument at such a fast rate! I get to learn so much from teaching these kids especially the young ones; they remind me that music is hard at times but is so much fun! Q. How do you inspire students to practice more? Usually I tell them that things get easier when you practice. Practice is essential in order to get better at your instrument. I also say that when they practice and get really good at their pieces not only they move onto different pieces but also get the opportunity to play more exciting pieces; not only more interesting to play but also more interesting for others to listen to. Lastly, this new musical ladder system is really getting students to want to practice because they want to win! Music is sometimes hard to be persistent in because sometimes it can feel like you’re going no where, but with this new system earning bracelets, award certificates and even trophies, students can really see and feel progress in their instrument. Q. What do you feel are the benefits of a child studying music? There is no doubt about the educational benefits of music; not only in math but also in science and even language! The most important thing to me about music is the bonds you build with those you play with. Music creates a type of connection not held my many and music even becomes a common language with those you other wise can’t speak with. Q. What is your favorite type of music? Anything with a beat, honestly! Whether it’s classical, classical pop, country, R&B, Christian pop, soul, jazz, hip hop or even just music made my nature, I love it all!

Q. Wha t do you like most about teaching at United Conservatory of Music? My students really make it such a wonderful experience. Seeing them just learn to love their instruments and really get good at them is the best feeling ever as a teacher. Specifically at UCM we as teachers are fully equipped with all the necessary information and tools to teach our students the best way we can. I know that if I notice that my students aren’t really learning, there are many other teachers and resources at UCM, from which I can learn different techniques, and apply them to my teaching.

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


IMPORTANT DATES: CLOSED for Spring Break Monday, March 26 through Sunday, April 1st Cello Recital: Saturday, April 6th End of Semester Recitals: TBD Summer Music Program June 24-30th Join us in our annual Summer Music Program! Beginner to intermediate string players will play in groups and experience playing in a friendly environment where they can learn to play with others Intermediate and advanced players will join our string quartet program in pre-formed or new groups and learn music and perform at a high level with guest instructors from Indiana University and Fresno State.

Refer your friends to the Conservatory and if they sign up, we’ll enter you AND your friends into our next raffle on April 1st 2018 so you and your friends both can win great prizes. We’ll also give you a $25.00 Amazon Giftcard to say thanks AND we’ll give your friend one as well! You will both be entered in our drawing for great prizes including iPads and more! We’ll post the latest results in the newsletters and in the offices so keep checking in to see if YOU win. Spread the word! Thank you so much for your referrals. Nonstudents are encouraged and welcome to participate in the referral program. Immediate family members and members of the same household are not eligible for the referral program, but are eligible for discounted or free registration fees. Please contact the office for details.


Dorene Y. • Anna Z. • Emily P. • Arabella M. • Nickolaus M. • Shantelle M. • Xariel L. • Eviana V. • Maria S. Tyler S. • Rich L.• Elizabeth A. • Judith R. • Kelly L. • Arabella M. • Landon G. • Breylin G. Jungsuk S. • Kaitlyn A. • Jonathan P. • James C. • Sally C. • Jasmin O. • Chelsea P.

3 SKILLS YOUNEED TO RESOLVE YOUR NEXT CONFLICT Conflict resolution is never easy work. One wrongmove can trigger the fault lines in an already complicated relationship. On the other hand, nothing good comes of allowing an unresolved problem to fester. Finding common ground is a must, even when it’s difficult or painful. We’ve provided resolution practices for both internal and external affairs so that you can be ready to handle any conflicts that come your way. Seek First to Understand “Good Leaders Ask Great Questions,”a book written by leadership guru John Maxwell, lays out the foundational concepts behind any effective conflict resolution session. Ask questions. If communication is a two-way street, then conflict resolution is a highway. Asking a great question starts the flow of communication.“Why?”is often the easiest and best question to start with. “FiveWhys”by Sakichi Toyoda is a method that you can use to untangle any issue. According to this principle, you can get to the heart of the matter within five times of asking why. Understanding and articulating the core of your issue will help you create a win-win scenario. Create a Win-Win In a win-win scenario, your conflict is resolved in a way that satisfies all involved parties. Ensure a win-win by taking these steps:

Acknowledge the issue.

Attack the issue, not the person. Develop a mutual plan of action.

Find common ground.

Understand all sides.

Compromise Is Key Most conflicts come from emotional wounds, and those wounds need to be healed. The only way to truly find a solution for both parties is to find mutual compromise. If you are coming from a place of understanding and working toward a win-win, then compromise is a natural stepping stone to conflict resolution. If you aren’t, compromise may just be a way to put a patch on the problem instead of actually solving it. Successful conflict resolution resides in these three ideals, and all of them require emotional intelligence. A certain degree of self-awareness and empathy is the foundation of finding solutions. When these traits are combined with understanding, an effort to find a win-win situation, and willingness to compromise, you’ll find your conflicts resolved in an effective, equitable manner that will maintain relationships for a lifetime.

Take a Break!


When you think of St. Patrick’s Day cuisine, corned beef and green beer are probably the first things that come to mind. This year, consider adding colcannon to your March 17 menu. It’s basically mashed potatoes on steroids, and it’s utterly delicious.


3 pounds potatoes 2 sticks butter 1 1/4 cups hot milk 1 head cabbage, cored and shredded

1 pound cooked bacon, chopped into small pieces 4 scallions, finely chopped Parsley, for garnish Salt and pepper, to taste


4. Add cabbage, bacon, and scallions to mashed

1. Steam potatoes for 30 minutes. Peel skins and mash flesh thoroughly. 2. Chop 1 stick of butter into small cubes and add to warm potatoes. Once melted, slowly add milk, stirring constantly. 3. Boil cabbage in water. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to tenderize.

potatoes, gently stirring to combine.

5. Serve garnished with

parsley and a pat of butter.

Recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com

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United Conservatory of Music

559-869-8263 unitedconservatory.org M-F: 9:00AM - 9PM Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 7PM

4747 North First Street Ste 185 Fresno, CA 93726

INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Christopher Scherer PAGE 1 St. Patrick Wasn’t Irish PAGE 1 Amelia Earhart’s Legacy PAGE 2 Conflict Resolution Is More Than Just Compromise PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Colcannon PAGE 3 3 Herbal Teas to Boost Your Health PAGE 4 For centuries, people around the globe have relied on the power of herbal tea. Today, there are more herbal teas on the market than ever before. Finding a flavorful tea that also offers the right health benefits can be a challenge. Here are three varieties of herbal tea that are among the best of the best, both in flavor and healing power. Lavender Tea For some people, lavender tea is great for reducing headaches, arthritis pain, and general joint aches and pains. For others, however, it improves sleep. Lavender tea is often recommended to people who suffer from insomnia or who have trouble falling asleep. Drink some before bed and let it do the rest. It helps you feel relaxed and eases you into the Land of Nod. The flowery flavor isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a natural sleep aid, it’s worth trying. If the flavor proves too


3 Teas for Better Health

strong, a great alternative is chamomile, which shares many of the same properties as lavender tea. Peppermint Tea It’s no surprise this is one of the most popular herbal teas around. Thanks to its not-so-subtle aroma and natural sweetness, it delivers on flavor and packs a healthy punch. Peppermint tea is known for its ability to aid in digestion. Plus, it works wonders on stomach inflammation, alleviating everything from minor aches to nausea. Rooibos Tea A South African tea, rooibos is noted for its high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants. If you’re looking for an immune system boost, rooibos is here to help. Thanks to its antioxidant powers, it’s also great for the skin. Stressed out?

Anxious? Have a cup of rooibos tea. It helps ease stress and lowers blood pressure. Furthermore, rooibos tea lacks oxalic acid, an organic compound that plays a role in the formation of kidney stones. If you’re prone to kidney stones but love tea, rooibos may be the answer.

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