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Headwaters Music Dedication Scholarship for Current and Returning Music Students

Headwaters Music Dedication Scholarship applications are due July 21. This scholarship is for students entering grades 2-12 who have attended music lessons at Headwaters for at least one year and will continue to do so into the coming year.

To encourage and reward hard work and commitment to studying music, Headwaters has established three – $300 scholarships to be awarded for one-on-one music lessons. Selection is based on student commitment and demonstrated interest and personal investment in music instruction. This scholarship is available for for youth grades 2-12 who have you attended music lessons at Headwaters one year or more. Those selected are expected to:

• Attend lessons regularly through August 2024
• Come prepared to lessons with music, notebook and instrument
• Demonstrate diligent practice habits
• Actively participate in lessons and recitals
• Participate in volunteer activities during the program year, a minimum of 4 hours. Activities may include an outreach performance, mentoring other students during a summer camp, or helping out at an event. Hours may be fulfilled by an adult on behalf of elementary age students.

The application deadline is Friday, July 21 at 5 pm for those registered for music lessons for the 2023-24 year. You will be notified on or before Friday, August 4, 2023. 

Apply here.

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A Note From a Violin Student

To live a life with no regrets is what first brought me through the doors of Headwaters Music & Arts. I had previously received eight years of violin lessons starting at the age of eight, but after I turned sixteen, my teacher moved away, and life became very busy. Over the years, I never found another violin teacher and my practice time dwindled away. As a young teenager, I had been given an old violin by some very dear friends, Don and Vera. Over the past 20 years, as life crowded out the time to play my violin, Don would ask me when I was going to start taking lessons again. He would lament that the old violin was not getting played like it had been before, and that it could sound so good if I took lessons and started practicing again.

I always had something that kept me too busy; school, work, etc., but finally, after all these years; I realized time was running down. With Don and Vera now in their nineties, if I wanted them to be able to hear the old violin sing again, I needed to make the time for lessons and practice. At the time, my old violin had broken strings since I had not picked it up or played it for so long. After getting a new set of strings, and then proceeding to break a few of them with my inexperienced tuning, I was on my way again with Julia as my instructor.

Now, seven months later with lessons and practice, Don and Vera can hear the old violin sing again. It was a challenge resuming lessons as an adult student. Some things take longer to learn than they did when I was a youngster. I also feel a bit more stiff and sore after playing than I remember; however, the joy of fulfilling that long-time wish for my very dear friends has made every minute worthwhile. I will never have to look back in years to come and wish they could have heard me play again. Now they can hear me all the time thanks to Headwaters Music & Arts’ recordings of my playing for their ease of viewing. Thank you, Headwaters Music & Arts! I am eternally grateful and look forward to many more years of music ahead.



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Guitar Lesson #7: Soloing Techniques

This lesson offers a wide variety of soloing techniques. Double stops, bends, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs are all tools the guitarist presses into service while improving, a skill every musician should master.

The second video is here to put your soloing skills to the test. The best way to learn is to jump right in and figure it out as you go!

Caleb Erickson, Headwaters Music Instructor

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End of Year Review

As the year draws to a close, we are grateful for the encouragement and support we receive from our community. Thank you for being a part of things here at Headwaters Music & Arts. Your involvement, your support and your commitment means will we continue to thrive and grow.

It has been a good year here at Headwaters Music & Arts.

Along with our community events and performances, amazing things happen in our building each week. Youth as well as adults come through our lobby for music lessons, pottery class, or art club. As I work on this letter, I hear the First City Singers work through a new song down in the performance hall – a Monday highlight for me. From community events to one-on-one relationships, each activity helps us bring our mission to life as we provide opportunities for creativity through instruction and inspire the community through music and the arts.

I have probably said way too often that I have the best job in Bemidji. I am not an artist or a musician, but I get to be part of this small but vibrant music and arts organization, knowing that we make an impact. What we do matters.

My dreams for my granddaughter are what we here at Headwaters Music & Arts envision for all of our music and art students. May they learn patience, confidence, and commitment. May they experience music and art literacy and proficiency (with the additional benefits of improved ability to focus, more hand-eye coordination and better test taking and multi-tasking!). May they build positive relationships in a safe and caring atmosphere. And may that spark of creativity sustain them - and fulfill them - throughout their lives.
Our goal is to raise $7,000 before December 31. Your contribution will help us with day-to-day operations, down to heat, sidewalk salt, and light bulbs for piano lamps in the studios. Beyond simply keeping our doors open, our 2020 goals include a furnace for our visual art and pottery studio, additional lighting in our performance hall, additional summer camps, and a native bird and bee-friendly landscaping project. Every dollar makes a big difference.

I invite you to be a part of things here at Headwaters Music & Arts. In fact, please attend our annual meeting 5:30 pm on Monday, December 9. And our Northwoods Winter Concert and Silent Auction is coming up 4-6 pm Sunday, December 8, with performances by our 2018 CD contributors, hors d’oeuvers, desserts and Brigids Pub cash bar. This mandolin, reimagined by artist Sarah Peterson, is one of the silent auction items. Lovely, yes? Tickets are $10. As a contributing member, we cordially invite you to attend as our guest.

With your interest and support, we will accomplish great things in 2020! May your holidays be full of music, art, and all the joy they bring.

Thank you. Thank you!

Tricia Andrews, Executive Director

Headwaters Music & Arts Board of Directors
Carrie Howard, Emily Fairchild, Ashley Charwood, Danielle McAllister, Gary Rients, Amie Lauderbaugh

{You can read and print the original letter here.}


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9 Practice Tips From Jessica

It is a busy time of year, going from summer into fall. Our Music Program Coordinator Jessica Westlund has a few practice tips for all of us to start our fall off right. We found these tips very helpful - we thought you might, too!

  1. Cheerful hearts and full tummies make for good practice - eat a snack before picking up your instrument.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water before a lesson to create a clean practice space.
  3. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice is most effective when done 4-5 times a week.
  4. Follow the list your teacher gave you. Take time to go through everything and prepare for the next week.
  5. Play every song 3 times through to get it locked in.
  6. Practice before play. It is good to get in the habit of rewarding yourself for practicing. It shouldn't be a chore, but like chores it is easier to do before the evening gets underway.
  7. Remember to bring your books to every lesson, this way you will be ready when the teacher is ready.
  8. The new year means new supplies - remember to bring a notebook and pencil. A music bag is a great way to keep track of everything music related, throw it near the door the night before so it is ready to go.
  9. Remember to give sufficient notice if you are going to  miss a day (and remember, we have days set aside at the end of every semester dedicated to make up missed lessons).

P.S. You are invited to join us on September 16th for our Fall Kick Off! It will be a great time to meet teachers, check out instruments, eat cotton candy and generally have a good time. Read more here, and plan to join us!