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The 402 Heat Wave

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The 402 Heat Wave

Winter is still going strong in beautiful Omaha, Nebraska. The threat of more snow is very real as the wind whips across the Nebraskan plains. We can probably all agree that freshly fallen snow is beautiful. Some people even love the icy chill that winter brings and the hot chocolate that is held between two mittened hands but there has to be a light at the end of this wintery tunnel, right?
Think about the smell of sunscreen, the taste of chlorine water, the sound of seagulls at the beach, and even the sight of freshly ripened watermelon. Now do you still wish it was winter?

Summer is on the top of the planning list for the 402. Although it feels bleak out now, the sun will be here before we know it.

When we think of summer we think of activities and with activities comes summer camps and classes. The 402 is excited to announce the summer camps/classes that will be offered the Summer of 2015. Check out the completed list below:

PRE-SCHOOL

CITY DANCE: Weekly, drop-in classes for dancers who have an interest in ballet and/or creative movement. City Dance is the perfect class for aspiring young dancers. This class is currently offered every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10AM-12PM.

PERCUSSION FOR PRESCHOOLERS: A camp inspired by those little table top drummers. Students will learn the basics of keeping a beat and collaborating with others. This camp will take place the beginning of June.

ELEMENTARY TO MIDDLE SCHOOL

FAMILY TREE THROUGH SEASONS: Students will learn how to create a masterpiece using paint and pictures of family members. Each participant will walk away with the knowledge of their family tree as well as a physical representation. This class will be offered in July.

HERO ACADEMY: Students will learn how to build their very own hero from scratch. Each participant will learn character development as well as technical drawing skills in this camp. This camp will take place at the beginning of June.

VILLAINY 101: Students will learn how to build their very own villain from the ground up. Not only will participants think about technical illustration skills but they will also be asked to figure out what makes this villain evil or maybe not so evil. This camp will take place at the beginning of June.

MIDDLE SCHOOL TO HIGH SCHOOL

SILKSCREEN PRINTING BASICS Students will learn how to create their very own design that they will then print on t-shirts, sweatpants, tote bags and whatever else. Each participant will walk away with the ability to prep and clean their screens. This camp will take place in August.

NATURE EXPOSED: This class will take place in Elmwood park. Every aspiring artist has drawn trees and that is what this class is all about. The stepping stone to being a good figure drawer is to first understand trees and how they exist in space. This class will take place on every Saturday in August.

HIGH SCHOOL

DRAWING INTENSIVE: This camp is geared to those in high school who want to pursue art in college. This camp’s environment is very similar to the environment of higher education art classes. Students will be assisted with their technical skills as well the patience and ability to draw for long hours at a time. This camp will take place in June.

OUTDOOR PAINTING: This class will take place in downtown Benson. Students will paint the scene as well as the day to day of the Benson Community. This class will take place twice in the month of June.

Registration for these camps & classes are coming soon!

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The 402 + Girl Scouts

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The 402 + Girl Scouts

The Girl Scouts are a vibrant network of young ladies who are striving for excellence in many different fields. Cultivating the communities around them, the Nebraska Girl Scouts approached the 402, amongst other businesses and organizations, to see if the 402 would be interested in hosting a couple art classes.
At the core, the 402 Arts Collective believes that influencing the community in a positive way as well as creating a sense of belonging is important. This idea stems from the fact that we are all better together. Artists, musicians, bakers, car repair, doctors, lawyers, and more all need each other. Together they create a strong town, city, state, region, country and even world. The Girl Scout community shares this point of view.

Cody Wheelock, 402 Visual Art Instructor, decided to take it upon himself to create a workshop for these young ladies to actively express themselves through creativity. This class took place on two Saturday mornings in Studio C.

“The idea was that we were supposed to do a collaborative artwork together for their action,” described Cody Wheelock.

The first Saturday they brainstormed ideas about what the girls loved about living in Omaha. Some of the ideas the girls came up where ranged from Skatedaze to the Omaha Zoo to the “Ball Drop” at the Children’s Museum to even the downtown skyline. The girls then practiced drawing and painting their idea they came up with on a small 9×12 inch panel.

The following Saturday the girls began to paint on one 24×30 inch canvas using all their ideas.

“We did a big heart in the middle with Omaha in bubble letters going across it,” described Wheelock. “Then the girls each painted the place they love in Omaha into it. The background was filled with the colored plastic balls from the ball drop. The end product turned out great!”

The girls were proud of their final product to say the least and now officially have an original collaborative piece of artwork to enter into their action.

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MEMBERSHIPS NOW AVAILABLE! 402 LESSON STUDIO PROGRAM

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MEMBERSHIPS NOW AVAILABLE! 402 LESSON STUDIO PROGRAM

Here at The 402 Arts Collective we have just put the finishing touches on a new addition to our Lesson Studio program. We are now offering memberships!. Whats this mean for you? Maybe its easier to just lay out for you the two different membership levels and a description of the discounts and perks you receive for each:

MONTHLY MEMBERSHIP
With this 12 month membership you can choose between either “express” – 30min or “standard” – 60min lessons every week with your artist instructor here at The 402. The cost of your lessons are paid automatically on the first of every month for a 12 month period with your credit or debit card information submitted. You are asked to agree to a 12 month commitment. If you choose to cancel your membership within that 12 month period you may do so at any time, however there is a $100 cancellation fee. This is nice for those who don’t want to worry about paying their bills on time every month. For signing up for this 12 month commitment you receive the following perks:

- 15% off gift card (key ring) to Aromas Coffeehouse – 402 Arts Collective T-Shirt – 402 “Golden Ticket” (this gets you free admission for 1 person to all events held at The 402 Venue for an entire year) – Free admission for one(1) person to attend two(2) group lessons or classes offered within the 12 month period at The 402

*anyone who receives weekly lessons for an entire year gets an automatic 4 lessons for free (months that contain 5 weeks)

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP
With an Annual membership you simply pay upfront the cost of 52 weeks of lessons within the 402 Lesson Studio program. This gives you a guaranteed 52 weeks of lessons for you or your student. Anyone who signs up for this membership receives the same perks as the monthly membership only you will also receive a 10% discount on the cost of 52 lessons.

MUSIC AND ART LESSONS THAT GIVE BACK! One of the most exciting developments happening in 2015 at The 402 Arts Collective is the fact that we are posturing ourselves to give and serve like never before. For the past year, all of us in the Collective have really focused on growing our Lesson Studio program and offering high quality music and art lessons to as many people as we can. Now, we are asking for your help… We are partnering with various mentoring programs this year to begin to offer high quality art and music mentorship to the un-reached, underserved, and underprivileged young artists in our city. We need your help to make this happen. We have set up a fund that is designed to help underwrite this activity as well as offer scholarships and fiscal aide to families who cannot afford lessons for their student. The collective is made up of artists who have a passion to make a positive, long lasting impact on a child’s life through music and art mentorship. This is why we are asking for you to consider donating 10% over and above your monthly cost of receiving lessons at The 402 Lesson Studio. When you sign up for one of our two memberships we simply ask you if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation of an additional 10% of your tuition amount to our mentorship program fund.

SIGN UP FOR A 402 LESSON STUDIO MEMBERSHIP TODAY!!

To sign up for a membership or to get further information simply contact our office:

office@402artscollective.org
402-913-1939

Ben Shafer, Executive Director

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THE 402 UPDATE : JAN 2015

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THE 402 UPDATE : JAN 2015

It is officially 2015 and with that comes new things. One new thing that the 402 is offering this year is a NEW video series called THE 402 UPDATE. There will be a new video each month informing the public what is happening at the 402. These videos will also showcase the many different faces that can be seen around the 402 on a weekly bases.
 

Audio Recording Lessons
The Shiver Flowers at The 402 on January 24th
The Caviler at The 402 on January 31st
Figure Drawing Class offered at the 402 in Studio C

COMING SOON: Summer Camps and Classes for 2015 info

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My Life Was Changed When

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My Life Was Changed When

 

       “My life drastically changed when just one person took the time to             invest into me…”

“My life was changed when….” we hear this phrase all the time right? You hear it from people who took part in some great event. You hear it when someone visited a place in the world that inspired them. You can even hear this statement from people who have been faced with great tragedy in their life. The kind of “change” I am wanting to point out is something you might call “the shift” or maybe a “way point change” in someones life. A lot of times around the 402 we call it “the change moment”. These movements are so sacred and so special, that one can scarcely write them down or explain them for fear of cheapening the impact. I am talking about the moment when someone stops what they are doing to invest in themselves only, and instead takes the time to invest into you. Take a minute and think of the last person who made a profound POSITIVE impact on your life. Was it a teacher, was it your parents, was it your pastor at your church? If you would allow me a personal moment I would like to share an experience, “a change moment”, in my life that impacted me in very large way.

I was in sixth grade, attending middle school in a little town in the middle of Nebraska. Choir class was my favorite class. I really didn’t hate sports, but I just didn’t get into it.  I didn’t want anyone to know how much I loved choir because all the popular kids thought it was lame. Truth be told, I looked forward to it every day. One of the reasons I loved it so much was because of the teacher who led the class every day; Mr. Wild. I could just tell he loved his job and his passion was infectious. Mr. Wild was always very intense when it came to music. He would look at you when it was time for you to sing as though the whole world would stop moving if you wouldn’t sing your part perfectly. He demanded excellence without ever raising his voice. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to try to coral 50 some middles school students to sing the right part much less all together at the same time.

One day, Mr. Wild came to me and asked me to meet him in his office after class. I thought either I was in trouble or he was going to ask me to sing a solo on one of the songs we were practicing. It turns out Mr. Wild wanted to offer me something that no-one had ever offered me before… private voice lessons. I remember saying something like “sure…I guess” or something and going home to talk to my parents and getting the okay. He agreed to begin to meet with me on Saturday mornings for one hour. This was all new to me because I really had no plans in my head to become a “singer” or even someone who played music. I truly didn’t really have any plans at all in my 6th grader mind at that point. So just as we planned I began to meet with Mr. Wild every Saturday for voice lessons. I just couldn’t believe he was doing this…I mean what would posses a person to take the time, patience and effort to take the skill that he possessed and pass it down to me? This is exactly what he did. I respected Mr. Wild. I just marveled at his talent and skills to make music come out of his voice that would just always make the song come alive. Every time he would sing play the piano and sing it would almost seem like he would go off into another planet for a brief time.

The focus of this article is not to talk about “what” he taught me, but rather the “why” he taught me. After about 6 weeks of lessons I finally figured out the “why”. One day during our lesson, after I had just gotten done with one of our pieces I was doing for a recital coming up, he turned around on his piano stool and told me to sit down and listen. He said, “Ben…God had has gifted you with a great talent…and I think you should spend the rest of your life giving that gift back to the world…as a gift”. This statement changed me. I have had many “change moments” in my life since then, but this was one of the biggest. I am not sure if he really even knew how much that impacted me or not and maybe not even to this day. But that day the rudder on my ship was shifted away from a life of just “getting” and towards a life of “giving”. You might personally not believe in God or believe that people are “gifted”. The concept of being gifted means that there must be a “gift giver”. That might be hard for you to believe and I understand. For me personally it all  began to make sense when I figured out that talents and abilities must be learned and practiced so that you can turn around and help people with those talents and abilities. Even if it is as simple as singing a song.

“...God has gifted you with a great talent…and I think you should spend the rest of your life giving that gift back to the world…as a gift”

What I went on to do with music isn’t important. What is important is for you to ask your self what you can do in your life to use your gifts and abilities to serve others around you. What is it that you have been “gifted” with? Don’t just stop at “what” you were gifted with…but “why” do you do it. If you aren’t sure what those gifts are, let me encourage you find people who do and find out your can provide resources for them to make an impact in someones else’s life.

What I love the most about the 402 Arts Collective is that the goal of all of our amazing artist instructors and members isn’t just the skills and abilities aspect, but also the “why”. We believe that entire communities and cultures can change for the better  just by taking time to invest in these young artists one at a time. The unique aspect behind the organization is that this network of artists are poised and ready to serve many young aspiring artists in so many forms and disciplines of art. All we need is your support. This great work of “calling out the greatness” of young artists in our city is only done so by the support of our community and the charitable donations from people with the gift of giving. We have been able to serve over 150 students every week with one-on-one music and art mentorship. We would love to reach over 250 this next year.

If you or someone you know is interested in helping us make an impact please feel free to contact me directly: ben@402artscollective.org
402-913-1939

or you can make an online tax-deductible donation here:

http://402artscollective.org/give/

 

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Amazon Smile

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Amazon Smile

It’s officially the holiday season here in Omaha. You might find yourself filled with the holiday cheer and the warm fuzzies that comes with Christmas shopping.  This may, however, not be true for you.  You may, like many others, dread going out in the blistering cold, fighting the long lines and the traffic in and out of shopping centers.  This is why online was invented.  Well that’s not completely true, but this is why online shopping was created.
With online shopping you no longer have to fight the long line for that one toy that will go out of stock any minute now.  You will never have to worry if your wasting your time driving out to a specific shoe store hoping they have the right size in the correct style. No, with online shopping Christmas has never been easier.

Amazon.com has taken it a step further.  Not only are they similar to Walmart in which they have just about everything under the sun, they also have created Amazon Smile to help support organizations.  

They even created a slogan: “You shop. Amazon gives.”

Here is how it work: you log into your amazon account through Amazon Smile.  You then click the organization of your choice.  

The 402 Arts Collective is fortunate to be one of those organizations.

 After this you begin to shop for those Christmas present for loved ones through Amazon Smile (not all items are under the Amazon Smile umbrella).  Once you have found an item and ordered it, Amazon donates 0.5% of your purchase to the organization.

0.5% may seem like a small number but imagine if everyone who was shopping online was using Amazon Smile.  There are no hidden fees or extra costs, Amazon Smile donates some of their profit from your purchase to an organization.

Our ask this year is if you would consider choosing The 402 as your organization of choice as you shop on Amazon Smile.

 This will help new students walk through our doors who may not have been able to before your gift through Amazon Smile.  

All of us from the the 402 would like to thank you in advance for your participation in Christmas shopping this holiday season.  Happy shopping!

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Artist Spotlight | Ben Tweedt

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Artist Spotlight | Ben Tweedt

Ben Tweedt had entered into the 402 office one afternoon with Aromas coffee in hand. He had agreed to squeeze in an interview into his already busy schedule. Having sat himself across from the 402, Ben began to tell a little bit about his growing up years.
Born in Brunswick Ohio, Ben and his family moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa when he was 5-years-old. The youngest of four children, Ben grew up playing piano at an early age.

“When I was six-years-old I heard my sister practicing the piano and I had decided that I wanted to do it too,” described Ben. So he had told his parents that he wanted to learn and they put him in music lessons.

Ben grew to love the piano right away.

“When I was younger I really liked practicing and playing. I was fortunate to win lots of stuff when I was younger. You know different awards and such,” described Ben. “But when I got to late elementary school and middle school I stopped caring and then stopped practicing all together. I still took lessons however. That was the part of my life that I regret as a musician. Had I continued practicing I would probably be a lot better now.”

Having grown up with the mindset that “practice makes perfect,” Ben understood then and understands now the value in hard work. As young Ben entered high school he began to experience different outlets in music. From band to choir to jazz, Ben encountered different aspects of music that he may not have otherwise experienced.

“I was never a huge fan of marching band and I will say I am very glad that I never have to do it ever again,” described Ben with a grin. “However I really enjoyed jazz band although I wasn’t any good until my last semester of high school.” Ben also told the 402 that he participated in choir. He was fortunate enough to to be an all stater for all four years of high school. “I didn’t really care for singing that much. I guess it was something that just kept me out of trouble,” laughed Ben.

Jazz band in high school encouraged him to pursue music in college and as a profession. The director of his jazz band in high school, Daren Pettit, is one of the best saxophone players in the area and actually teaches at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

“Pettit and other UNO people convinced me to do music. Like I never thought I was good enough but they convinced me that I was,” described Ben. So that is just what Ben did. He enrolled into UNO and is working towards a degree in Music Performance with an emphasis in piano. He is currently in his junior year.

Pettit wasn’t the only influential instructor in Ben’s life. From six-years-old all the way through high school, Ben took lessons from the same teacher.

“She reinforced all the good things from the very beginning,” informed Ben.

This is exactly what Ben is trying to do with his students. He wants to reinforce all of the good things. “What I am trying to do through teaching here is to develop a way to teach kids something that they like to play while focusing on the things that they need to learn. There is way to do that without delving into hardcore classical music, unless if that is something they want to learn. Right now I am working on the star wars theme with a couple students. Pretty fun,” said Ben.

When asked the question what he wants his students to walk away with after taking a lesson from him, Ben answered with,

“I want them to enjoy music! I also want to equip them with the skills that will allow them to continue on should they decide to.”

 

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Rock Academy + Lulla Photography

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Rock Academy + Lulla Photography

Lulla Photography decided to stop by one night to take band shots as the 2014 fall semester of 402 Rock Academy comes to an end. The bands, Audio Amplifier and the Random Samples, posed in their coolest stance to replicate the vibe of their music.
402 Rock Academy is a 10-week semester of intense training with one of the 402 Rock Coaches. Seeing the bands start to finish, the coaches get to witness the growth as each individual musician is joined with other musicians to create an epic up-n-coming Omaha band.

Check out these awesome photos by Lulla Photography and be sure to come to The 402 Fall Ruckus November 1st at The 402.


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Artist Spotlight | Cody Wheelock

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Artist Spotlight | Cody Wheelock

The 402 Arts Collective has been in existence for a little over two years. Since the very beginning, the 402 has always had experienced musicians who have taught and shared their talents and abilities with the general public. Just within the past couple months however, the 402 has begun to make a changes with the help of a man named Cody Wheelock.
Cody Wheelock joined the 402 team just before this past summer began. Cody is a professional visual artist as well as an art teacher at Fremont highschool. “I currently teach advanced art studio, pottery and art one,” described Cody. Although busy with school and being a family man, Cody finds time to volunteer his services at the 402. He is the Visual Art Director at the 402. His work will be featured in the 402 Gallery this November. He also will be instructing a Drawing Bootcamp next month along with his private lessons.

Wheelock grew up in Dewitt, Nebraska. “It’s near Beatrice. Do you know where Beatrice is? No? It is forty-five minutes south of Lincoln. We’re good with Lincoln right?” He chuckled. Growing up in a small town of 500 people, Cody told the 402 that he has been drawing for as long as he can remember.

“I had tubs at home filled with art stuff. I remember having blank comic book pages that I would fill up with my own stories. I also would take computer paper and staple them together to make my own books.”

Around 4th or 5th grade, young Cody tried his hand at teaching. “I would try to give art lessons out of my bedroom to my little brother Dillon. I remember trying to teach him how to draw a giraffe. Yeah, it was horrible,” he laughed. Dillion Wheelock, a couple years younger than Cody, is also a visual artist. He currently teaches at the 402 as well.

When asked the question: When did you officially get serious about art? Cody answered the 402 with, “When I was twelve-years-old I got a book for Christmas. It was by Lee Hammond. It was something like ‘How to Draw Realistic Portraits’ or something like that. It basically showed you how to use a blending tool as well as the value scale. I remember I did a portrait of a football coach. It turned out great. I had never tried drawing anything realistic up until this point.” Finding this successful moment in his art, Cody told the 402 that this moment really encouraged him to pursue the arts. “I started taking things more seriously after this point and then when I was about 14 or 15-years-old I started selling little portraits here or there. People would give me pictures and I would copy them and give them back. I did that through high school. I would say in college I learned more about traditional painting and drawing techniques.”

Cody decided to transfer to University of Nebraska Lincoln after attending Doane College for a year. “I graduated in 2010 with a Bachelors Degree in Art Education. This past year I finished up my masters through Boston University.” Although Cody told the 402 that he learned a lot about teaching and art while in school, he found himself researching on his own time. He still finds himself to this very day studying the masters in the art world.

“I would have loved to have gone to one of the classical art schools where you basically learn the same techniques that the masters used. That’s my kind of style.”

Cody remembered one of the first projects he did as a freshman in college. He had to draw a self portrait. “I was very confident because I had drawn so many portraits in highschool and I had sold them to people,” described Cody. Little did he know that drawing from a photograph and from real life were two very different things. When his professor gave him a mirror and told him to draw, the outcome was far from what he had expected. “It was frustrating and humiliating,” described Cody. After that moment however, Cody stopped drawing from photographs and now only works from real life.

Having never visiting an art history museum, Cody’s aunt took him to the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City during his first year at college. “I remember going right after my first art history class and looking around the museum being like, ‘Is that a real Monet?!’ It was amazing.” Cody told the 402 that both of these experiences, working from life as well as learning about art history, were pivotal moments in his artistic career. These are types of moments he wants to bring to his classroom.

While attending college, Cody taught some at the Lux Center. Although he enjoys working in the school system, Cody loves the freedom that non-profits and other organizations bring to the table when it comes to teaching. This structor allows him, as the teacher, to really focus on what the student wants and needs as a growing artist.

“I would love to give each student the knowledge that what they are doing is legit. Art is a part of a larger thing that is legitimate. Art isn’t just a summer craft that doesn’t take much thought. I want to instill in them responsibility and ownership in their art.”

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Student Spotlight | Ayden Owens

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Student Spotlight | Ayden Owens

Stepping into the 402 office on a chilly afternoon, Ayden Owens sat himself in one of the green cushion chairs in the conference room. His mom, Polly Owens, stationed herself next to Ayden during his interview with the 402. Both mom and son were excited to share their personal perspectives on the 402 Lesson Studios.
Ayden, thirteen-years-old, is the middle child as well as the only boy in his family. Although surrounded by girls, Ayden told the 402 that his whole family has one thing in common.

“Music,” he had said with a grin.

From his sisters, to parents, to great grandparents, Ayden described that he wasn’t alone in his passion for music.

Ayden has played the violin for just about three and a half years. He also tells the 402 that he “sort of” plays the dulcimer. “You’re working on the learning the dulcimer too,” he had said as he looked up at his mom. “Not very hard,” replied Polly assuring the 402 with a smile. Ayden’s sisters play the piano and his dad plays the guitar.

“Ayden’s great grandfather conducted and wrote the music for the Union Pacific Railroad and his great grandmother played piano for silent movies,” informed Polly. Also his grandparents had met performing at The University of Nebraska Omaha.

“We have very rich heritage of music in our family,” Polly had said.

The Owens’ first heard about the 402 from life long family friends, the Thompsens. Sara Thomsen is currently a piano instructor at the 402. “They told us you need to check it out,” described Polly. “So we did just that,” Ayden tells the 402 that he currently takes lessons from Danny Sabra. Not only does he showcase his talent in recitals, Ayden also takes what he has learned from his lessons and implements it in a string group at his church.

When asked what his goals are with music, he smiled and said, “Well I like the idea of a hobby, however, I do like the idea of being a professional.”

He has a strong passion for learning the violin and has a drive that many students his age do not have.

“That’s exactly him,” described Polly as she had smiled with pride at her son. As a mature young man, Ayden knows the difficulties that come with learning a new instrument.

When asked what his advice would be to those who are considering taking music lessons, he replied,

“Try it out!”

His can-do attitude should inspire anyone who is thinking about trying out either a new instrument or refining already developed skills. Polly told the 402 that she hadn’t known a lot about the organization before getting involved.

“We just kinda jumped in. But what I thought was neat and what I learned at the recital is how much of a non-profit and ministering to the community the 402 does. That’s huge. I love being apart of that bigger picture.”

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Artist Spotlight | Axelle Verboon

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Artist Spotlight | Axelle Verboon

Axelle Verboon is a 402 Artist Instructor who teaches piano, violin and viola.  She was born in Belgium and moved to the United States when she was 5-years-old.  After living in Maryland for a couple years, she and her family moved to Nebraska when she was 7-years-old.

She tells The 402 that she has lived in Millard most of her life. 

“Me and the Millard Public Library were best friends when I was younger.”

“The first lessons I took part in was piano.  One of my favorite memories of playing piano was on my parent’s piano.  It was ancient, like 1880s,  old saloon style piano with carvings. I’m pretty sure it was from Europe. It was horrible. It was so out of tune. It was a terrible piano, terrible, terrible, terrible!” Axelle laughed.  “But I just remember they had this little tiny red piano book.  I remember I was five or six and I just learned how to read.  So I was looking at this book and was like like, ‘Oh! I could play piano!’ There were pictures and diagrams so I taught myself how to play like three songs. I just remember being so excited and telling everyone, ‘Hey guys! I can do this!’”

Axelle and her sibilings were required to play piano until they were 15-years-old. “My mom would make us practice 2 hours a day. It was basically what we did. Back in the day there was six of us all playing piano at the same time. We had two pianos going.  One was on one side of the house and the other was on the other side.  Otherwise we would start at 9am and we wouldn’t finish until 9pm. It was like our jobs growing up.”

By the time Axelle turned fourteen, she felt as if she had reached her highest potential on the piano. “I wish I could remember all that knowledge that I had as a middle schooler,” she laughed.  At this point in her musical career, young Axelle decided to make the transition from piano to strings.  “So I started learning violin and viola and that was a really humbling experience because I knew how I wanted it to sound or how the song should sound but I couldn’t get it right the first time. It was very frustrating.” 

“I remember days I would get so frustrated I would be like, ‘I quit!’ Then I would go play the piano and I would be like, ‘Ok I can do this,’ then go back and play the violin.”

As Axelle grew up she always knew she would pursue music as a profession.  “It was just something that I knew and always had done.” Attending The University of Nebraska Omaha for Music Education, Axelle is certified music teacher for kindergarden-12th grade.

“I currently teach at OPS.  I am the traveling music teacher for five schools.  I teach the Beginner Strings Program at Washington, Beals, Belle Ryan, Hartman, and Miller Park.”  Along with teaching strings Axelle teaches piano as well as beginner cello and bass.  “I do teach cello and bass but only to beginners and once they hit a certain level I tell them, ‘You must go forth and find another teacher because I have given you all that I know.’”

“Starting to teach made me a much better musciain.  Everytime I teach a concept it comes out a little different.  You have to really know your students.  I have to learn how to communicate with each and every one of them that it would make sense to them personally.” 

When asked what she believes is one of the most important aspects of taking lessons along with learning fundamental skills, Axelle responded with,

“Seeing students grow as individuals.  Music is a tool for life experiences such as discipline and dedication. It is more of a gift that can be used and not just an end in itself.”

   

 

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Student Spotlight | Naomi Turner

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Student Spotlight | Naomi Turner

 

Naomi Turner and her mom Barb, sat down with the 402 on an early Monday morning. Just in the next room, young preschoolers where learning the art of rhythm.  Naomi sat her cello behind her seat and sat up straight. She smiled at the noise coming through the wall. While the continuous beat and the rattling of shakers played in the background, the 402 asked Naomi and Barb a few questions about their experience at the 402 Lessons Studios. 

“I have been playing the cello since the 4th grade,” Naomi described.  When asked why she picked the cello in the first place she laughed and said,

“Because everyone else in the class picked the violin and I didn’t want to be like that.”

 Naomi will be starting high school this fall.  She told the 402 that she is a excited but a little nervous.  She has participated in orchestra since the 4th grade and will continue this school year. 

Barb told the 402 that her daughter first started taking lessons at the 402 in June. After starting lessons, Naomi said one of the first things she learned was how to play the right notes.  “In orchestra they don’t go around to each person and say, ‘This is how your hand is supposed to look.’ I also didn’t straddle my cello before, instead I used to sit to the side of it,” she then demonstrated with an imaginary cello in hand. “So I have changed a good deal I’d say.” When asked why she decided to start taking her lessons her face lit up.  “Well I am doing a pageant in November and it is the first time I am required to do a talent.  So I thought that since I already play the cello, might as well enhance my skills for my performance.” 

Music is a fun extra curricular activity for Naomi.

She told the 402 that her biggest dream is to become a fashion designer like her dad.  “My dad has two fashion lines already! So I kind of want to follow in his footsteps,” described Naomi with a big smile.

When asked the question who has the biggest influence over her music, Naomi looked over at her mom, “Am I the only one in our family that plays music?” Her mom nodded her head in response and added, “Well Grandpa did play the flute and Papa messes around with the guitar a little.  Her dad and I along with her brothers, however, don’t play.” Although her family doesn’t actually play music,  Naomi says they still have a huge appreciation for music and are supportive.  She also added that she likes listening to cello music in her free time. 

The 402 turned to Barb and asked how she and Naomi first heard about the 402. She responded with,“We have friends whose son plays drums here. I had seen his mom post a few things and he seemed like he got pretty good pretty quickly. I thought, ‘Oh wow!’” Barb smiled.  “So I emailed her asking where her son takes lessons. She told us about this place. So thats how I knew that we should come here.” When asked if her view had changed at all since being here Barb continued, “I think it has been really good for her to come here. She hasn’t felt intimidated at all. She didn’t know if she would be meeting a teacher who would be really strict,” she chuckled.  “Conner has a really good way of teaching her. They sit and laugh, a lot!”

“Oh he said how I hold the cello,” Naomi chimed in. “Pretend that there is a baby duck in between your palm and the neck and if you squeeze the cello to hard you are going to crush the egg. Then the egg can’t grow up and live a happy long life.” Everyone laughed.

“Whenever I start I am like, ‘Okay my baby egg is fine, my thumb is happy and I’m not killing the cello,’” smiled Naomi.

Naomi was asked if she had any advice for those who thought about taking music or art lessons, her response was this, “They should do it and it is a really a lot of fun.  Usually lessons aren’t but these are.” Be looking out for Naomi Turner because who knows, maybe one day she will be Miss America. 

 

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Artist Spotlight | Conner Giles

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Artist Spotlight | Conner Giles

 

Conner Giles is a recent graduate from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a Bachelors of Music.  Although his degree is in Music Performance with a focus in Cello, Conner plays a variety of instruments. “I guess my forte is cello and guitar.  Then after that I do mandolin, electric base, drums and software synth stuff,” explains Conner in a recent interview with the 402.  

Growing up in Council Bluffs, Conner started taking lessons around the age of 7-years-old.  “I started playing violin then I switched to cello when I was in the 4th grade.”  When asked why he made the switch he explains that he too asks himself that very question. “I think at the time violins were to squeaky and bass was to humongous, therefore I chose the cello.”

He tells the 402 that his family has been very supportive of his music endeavors since the very beginning.

“My dad did a lot of what I am doing now.  He went to school for music.  He is definitely a musician in his heart, soul and mind,” describes Connor.  He goes on to say that his dad was the one to really push him out of the “musical nest.”  Always encouraging and never discouraging, his dad has watched his son grow as a musician. “My dad plays the double bass in the Omaha Symphony.  My brother grew up very similar to me.  He is a talented musician but focused on sports more then I did growing up.”  When it came to his mom, Conner smiled and shook his head, “No oddly enough she isn’t musical.  She is a huge supporter— or maybe she is just tolerant of it all,” he laughed.

Along with orchestra and all-state for cello, Conner was also in several bands growing up.  In high school he was in a band called the Kanesville Boys. “The early stages of musicianship was a lot of pop, rock and alternative inspired acoustic music. Well— how do I describe it? We basically would play Radiohead covers on bluegrass instruments. It was kinda weird,” described Conner. “We took songs and played them on instruments that we wanted to use. The band was me and my friends Perry, Matt and James. We basically did whatever we wanted to do. It was interesting- very different.” Currently Conner is in a band called Skypiper as well as participates in other musical endeavors. 

Inspired by several musicians, Connor told the 402 two specific that men had the largest influence on his music. “My dad inspires me.  His goal was for me to figure it out on my own— to see if I really liked music for myself. He is definitely my main influence.”  Connor continued by saying that he is also inspired by a Chris Thile, a mandolinist. “He has a bluegrass background but is inspired by and listens to a lot of classical music. I just love all that he does because he is looking at music, genre hopping, there is no box and it is so inspiring.”  With that mindset, music doesn’t have to be put into a constricting box of rules and regulations. The underlining component that can put music in such a box is failure.

“My junior year of college I was playing in a recital,” Conner smiled. “The last movement in the piece is super lively and fast.  It was all going really well then at the last thirty measures or so my memory just went- PFFT! Gone. I was scrambling. It ruined my day to say the least,” described Conner. Conner tells the 402 that moments like this one makes him think he isn’t cut out for the musical world or he just wants to quite.  “As soon as I have those thoughts however, I will go back to being normal again.  When I finally built enough courage to listen to the recording, I noticed that all I was focusing on was that five seconds when the rest of the performance sounded great.  It is so much easier to focus on failures.”  

“What that taught me was A. when you get off the stage it is never what you think it is, unless of coarse you did really well then it is exactly what you thought,” he laughed.

“B. Remind oneself  just play and don’t worry about judgement. Music should be fun.”

When asked the question what he wants his students to walk away with after taking lessons, Conner responses with, “Well I think beyond anything, even beyond playing their instrument, I just want them to find out what they want to do. I feel like if I was their age again I would do a lot of things different. I would try harder at school and really find my passion in music sooner.  I want them more then anything to just find that thing.  Music is a good place to start.” 

 

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Rock Academy | Fall Semester

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Rock Academy | Fall Semester

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It’s that time again! Does your student want to take his music lessons to another level? Register today for our ten week semester of the Rock Academy. Be placed in a band, coached by a pro, and place a show!

AUDITION INFORMATION: Come to the Jam Session!

Time: August 26th

6:00pm

Location: “Studio C” 2740 N. 60th Ave, Omaha, NE 68104

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Artist Spotlight | Danny Sabra

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Artist Spotlight | Danny Sabra

The night of July fourth, the skyline was filled with bright lights as a low rumble could be heard in the distance. Large firework shows as well as small residential fireworks lit up the night sky. In preparation for the evening, many people spent the day doing last minute shopping for cookouts and entertainment. Danny Sabra however, stopped by the 402 Arts Collective for a short interview. He walked through the doors and sat down in one of the green chairs eager to share a little bit about himself.
Danny is currently one of sixteen Artist Instructors at the 402 Arts Collective. He has been apart of the 402 for about a year now and he is currently teaching guitar, viola, violin, fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, music theory and music composition. It would be an understatement to say that Danny is well versed in string instruments category but he would say otherwise. Humble in nature, Danny opens up about his childhood and the struggles he faces with being a professional musician.

“I have lived in the Dundee area for most of my life. I love that side of town. It is beautiful and centrally located. The main drag, Underwood, used to be completely forested but recently they cut all the trees down and put in new sidewalks,” said Danny with a slight disappointed look on his face. “Dundee used to look old and well established and now it looks like everything else. You can see little graffiti trees painted on the sidewalk in protest,” he chuckled. “I guess if they don’t hurry up and replant some trees they’ll have to change the street name to just Under.”

Danny Sabra grew up in the area as an only child. His parents have always had a huge influence over his musical career. “My mom is a piano teacher. When I was four or five-years-old we would ‘write music’ together. I would scribble on a piece of paper then hand it to her. She would then take it and play something on the piano and tell me that I wrote it. Honestly that really encouraged me to try out music at a young age.” Although he regrets not learning piano, Danny describes his parents have watched him learn violin, harmonica, guitar, and other folk instruments.

As a young homeschooler, Danny had the opportunity to really devote a lot of his time to learning the in’s and out’s of music. “I started taking violin lessons at age twelve which is remarkably late for most. Some parents start their kids out at age three or four. I took lessons from Mr. Lyon for about 7-years. In classical music, specifically in the string community, there is the old school style and the new school style. He was one of the last people to partake in the old school style.” Danny believes the main focus of the old teaching style is based on the idea to prepare the student for the reality of the music world. Danny learned how to receive constructive criticism and he tells the 402 that he grew a lot during those seven years. “When I started college at the University of Nebraska Omaha however, my professors were completely different.”

Suddenly Danny had found himself thrown into a work environment that was focused on encouragement. “This made me feel really weird at first,” describes Danny. Studying violin performance and music composition, Danny experienced that dog eat dog world environment at music school. Due to this environment, he began to develop an obsession for success. From that desire he began to experience an extreme form of performance anxiety. “It never mattered how prepared I was for a performance, I always struggled. I would have memory lapses, my technique would fall apart, my hands would shake and I had the feeling that I was having a heart attack.” As Danny wrapped up his college years, he suddenly realized he tied this desire for success to the value of his person.

“I was so focused on being loved by all. I also wanted everyone to like my music. It crushed me in the end. I am still learning. To this day I worry about what people think about my performances. I always have to remind myself that music is a gift that is meant to be shared.”

As a music instructor, Danny sees this germ attack some of his students. Many students develop a fear of failure before they have even learned fundamental skills.

“It doesn’t matter how good you are or how invested you are in music, life is bigger than music.”

Although that seems like a simple idea, it is easy to get lost in the desire or need to be successful.

Danny has been teaching since he was in high school. He tells the 402 that teaching just kind of fell into his lap. “I started when I was in high school. We were at the music store and we saw a friend from the homeschool group and she said, ‘Will you teach my son how to play harmonica?’ I told her that I would. So this little kid started coming to my house and we would sit at the dinner table for half an hour and practice. That was my first student,” describes Danny. He tells the 402 that he had attended a guitar class around this time as well. “The teacher suddenly quit the class. She recommended me to be the teacher before she left. So I started teaching a bunch of my homeschool buddies how to play guitar.”

Sabra participated in the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra (OAYO) as a youth. He later taught at OAYO. He currently teaches at several places around Omaha including University of Nebraska Omaha as an adjunct professor as well as the 402. “I have learned a lot from teaching,” says Danny. Danny is not only an experienced composer and talented artist, he is also a fantastic teacher.

Sabra believes that no matter if you are an amateur or a professional artist, you are never to great to learn. He tells his students the quote,

“The day that you feel like you have arrived is the same day you have stopped being an artist.”

 

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Student Spotlight | Lena Brandt

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Student Spotlight | Lena Brandt

After a long Monday morning meeting, a young girl and her mom walked into the 402 office. The woman greeted everyone with a big smile while the girl peered up with a shy grin and a violin in hand. Erin Brandt and her daughter Lena where standing in the doorway ready for the 402 Student Spotlight interview. Moving into the recording studio for the interview, Lena sat herself down on the cushion chair while her mom took the small wooden chair.
Lena is seven-years-old and is currently a student of Danny Sabra. She tells the 402 that she has never taken lessons before coming to Sabra. Erin adds that her daughter has been taking lessons for just about five months now. Although Lena is the second youngest out of the four children in her family, she is the only one that has shown interest in music.

Erin tells the 402 that her daughter has inquired about the violin since she was five-years-old. “My husband and I were just trying to feel it out at first. We asked ourselves, ‘Is this really something?’ We didn’t want to just dive in,” describes Erin. Erin Brandt goes on to say that her daughter has the personality that really thinks and evaluates things before she is fully committed.

Once Lena has made up her mind however, she is completely dedicated.

“For about a year and half Lena would come to either me or my husband asking,’When can I play violin?’ About a month later she would say, ‘I want to play violin.’ Then about five months after that she would ask, ‘When can I start playing violin?’ We were then finally like, ‘Yeah! We better listen,’” laughed Erin. Similar to most parents who are about to make an investment, the Brandt’s wanted to be completely sure this was something Lena was serious about and she was.

Once they decided to sign Lena up for lessons, Erin says that they were advised to check out the 402. Having friends who are currently involved, the Brandt family looked at the 402 Lessons program. “I knew that everyone that worked here were exceptional musicians and are practicing artists yet very passionate about teaching.”

“I really don’t think you could get any better then combining those two worlds,” describes Erin.

“We have been so happy here. Not just happier I guess but impressed. I was talking to Danny the other day about how we love having her in lessons with him. He has built such a great relationship with Lena and really cares about her as a person. I also feel like that really spills over into our family. He just cares. He’s got that friend relationship with Lena and yet also he teaches her in a way that she respects him. He allows her to be who she is. When summer hit he asked all his students, ‘What do you want to learn?’” Erin smiled. Turning to Lena, the 402 asked what she is currently working on. Lena looked at her mom. A big smile spread across her face and she said, “Beat It by Michael Jackson.”

Lena’s advice to anyone thinking about pursuing violin is, “It’s a lot of hard work.” Lena enjoys learning and is excited to see where music will take her.

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Student Spotlight | Kirsten Fletter

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Student Spotlight | Kirsten Fletter

 

The 402 was so pleased to sit down with the student of the month, Kirsten Fletter.  Kirsten is currently an acoustic guitar student of The 402 Artist Instructor Jose Franco.  Kirsten, a young 20-something, walked into the office lugging her big guitar case behind her.  Agreeing to have a quick interview before one of her lessons, Kirsten sat her guitar down with a big smile.

Kirsten starting singing when she was 2-years-old.  She tells the 402 that her grandpa as well as her great grandma were great singers.  “Also my aunt did some recording stuff and she sang with Harry Connick Senior at a couple shows.  She was more into jazz.  I suppose it runs in the family, for the most part,” she chuckled.  

Growing up Kirsten’s after school activities involved city choir, which she started when she was in the 2nd grade, as well as voice lessons.  When she entered high school she was apart of show choir and a singing group in college. “I went to college at Purdue University. I moved to Omaha three years ago and I currently work at Conagra Foods and travel mainly to Canada for work,” described Kirsten.  

When posed with the question: Why take lessons now? Kirsten smiled and said that she is involved in her worship group at Beautiful Savior. “This is actually where I first met Jose.  He played in the same group as I did.  We recently just launched a new service and I am co-leading with a couple other people so I don’t get to see Jose as much.” Due to this new development, Kirsten believes that learning guitar would benefit her in many ways.  “It would be nice to be able to back-up my singing without always relying on a band.” She told the 402 that she is interested in learning the piano evidentially.     

“I feel like Jose is taking a unique approach.  I don’t know how other lessons go, but we started out with picking songs that I wanted to learn and we learned those chords.  Right away I was interested because I wanted to learn those songs. It wasn’t the typical ‘heres this note, heres that note.‘” Kirsten went on to say that Jose has asked her to assemble her own song. “I have always wanted to learn how to write music so this is a step in that direction.  It is forcing me to think more creatively rather then just learning what others have done.  He is allowing me to come up with my own things which is really cool.” This structor enables Kirsten to focus on what she needs to work on in particularly. 

“It makes me want to practice because I want to learn those songs.” 

One question the 402 Arts Collective is asked on a regular bases is, “Are your lessons only for kids?” The answer to that question is a very short and sweet, no. However our lessons are children appropriate, it is geared from the ages 3-years-old to 100-years-old.  Haven’t you ever heard the saying, “You’re never to young or to old to learn!” Although Kirsten is far from old, she is a hard working individual who works full time and yet finds the time to learn. 

“If you are interested in something then you should just try it.  I think it gives you a way to have an outlet.  I mean having a full time job gets very stressful and even outside of work hours I still think about what I need to be doing for work or how behind I am.  To have something else that you are working on and seeing yourself get better at is a boost in confidence and sets you up for success in other outlets.”  

If you have a desire to learn, never let the fear of trying something new hold you back.  You’re never to old to learn. 

 

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Artist Spotlight | Jose Franco

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Artist Spotlight | Jose Franco

 

It was a balmy afternoon upstairs in the 402 office.  The windows were opened wide. One could hear the loud trucks as they rolled by and laughter from people in the street below.  The Benson community was going about it’s day as the 402 Artist Instructor, Jose Franco, walked up the steps.  He had previously agreed to sit down with the 402 and tell us a bit about himself.

“I grew up in Mexico. Before we came to the States, my father bought a cheap Casio piano and said that his kids would learn to play but you see we didn’t do much with it,” described Jose.  When Jose was 13-years-old his family moved to the United States without knowing how to play any instruments.  The church in Norfolk started out small. “No one knew how to play music,” explained Jose. Therefore there was no music on Sunday mornings. His father was the pastor at the church and had the hopes that one day his children would play the music for the church. 

The first introduction to music Jose and his older brother had was very basic guitar lessons.  These lessons were taught by a man who started coming to their church not long after their arrival.  “Very simple lessons,” described Jose. “We learned three or four cords. As this was happening, we got more and more people at our church.  We had a family come who knew music and I would sit there and watch them practice. I would watch what their hands were doing and take notes for myself.  When I became friends with them I started asking questions.”  Jose took the notes he had written and the answers to his questions and practiced for hours upon hours until he would master whatever he was working on. 

“I drove my brother nuts and it came to the point where he had to tell our parents that I wouldn’t let him sleep.  They told me I had to stop playing on our Casio piano at a certain time. It was frustrating.”

Two or three years laters after Jose started playing piano and guitar, the keyboard player didn’t show up for practice one night.  “Everyone didn’t know what to do and I said, ‘I can play,’ and everyone said, ‘No you can’t!’” Little did they know that Jose had been watching and practicing day in and day out.  “That was the first day I ever played for people.” 

Playing mainly by ear and asking questions, Jose never took official lessons.  The more musicians he got to know, the more questions he got answered.  Jose started out knowing a few cords and would practice a song over and over until he would finally get it down.  He describes it as a grueling process.

About this time, Jose had entered high school. “I kind of knew what I was doing in music at least I knew enough to hold my own,” described Jose.  The relationships he had at this stage in his life shaped who is he is today.  Jose said the band he was in at church encouraged him to stick with music even when it got hard.  “We were all beginners,” said Jose. “We kept getting complements about how good we sounded and it just made me want to learn more.”     

“However the thing that I found most frustrating was I wanted to learn more but I didn’t know where to begin.”

The concept of always having something to learn, is a huge part of Jose’s lessons.  “I know that there are people out there who have youtube but they are in need of guidance.”   He wants to provide that encouragement and be the teacher who can come along side the student and help them every step of the way.  “I don’t want people to go through what I went through.  Instead I am trying to give them the shorter version.”

Jose has experienced different forms of success as he grew into the musician he is today.  From performing to recording and even to seeing one of his students grow into a successful musician,  Jose says he is blessed.  He tells the 402 that it doesn’t matter how small or large something is, if someone is putting themselves out there as a musician, that is a success in and of itself.  With success comes failure and with failure comes growth and Jose says he can attest to that.  

 

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Artist Spotlight | Kyle Moeller

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Artist Spotlight | Kyle Moeller

Sitting across the conference table from the 402, Kyle leaned back in his seat and said, “I tend to ramble… So we will see how this goes.”
Kyle Moeller plays a huge role at The 402 Arts Collective. He is currently one of two drum instructors who teach at The 402. His face can be seen on a regular bases in and around the studios. Whether he is picking up something from the office or headed to his next lesson, Kyle is not only a reliable musician but he is also very talented.

Kyle was born in Lincoln but moved to Omaha when he was nine. He attended college at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska for Audio Engineering. Born and raised in Nebraska, Kyle recalls his earliest musical memory.

“My dad bought me a golf set when I was seven and I never did use it for golf,” laughed Kyle. “Instead I would take the golf clubs, set them upside down in the couch. This made them look like microphones. Me and my sisters would then put on “concerts” for the family. I have always enjoyed music for as long as I can remember.”

Young Kyle experienced concert band when he was in fifth grade as a beginner drummer. He trudged through the tedious curriculum until thirteen-years-old, when he finally convinced his parents to let him quite.

Kyle explained that learning the fundamental skills are important and vital but at the time he wanted to experience more.

He wanted to be in his very own rock and roll band. Thirteen-years-old Kyle realized he needed a drum set to actually achieve that goal. “I ended up finally getting my first drum set when I was fourteen.”

“I will say however, I had signed up for high school marching band and like a week before my freshman year I dropped out. I do regret that. If my background had more of the technical aspect, I think it would help my drumming.”

From as early as he can remember, Kyle would always find the rhythm in a song. “I always gravitated towards the drums.”

Kyle really started to love drumming after getting his first drum set and was in several different bands. One person who encouraged him to really stick with drums was Jason Blayney.

“Jason used to live two houses from me growing up and at the time he was in a band called Lower case i. He would come down to my house on a regular bases. I had my crappy beginner drum set and he would tune it for me and play on it. He would show me bands that I thought were cool and then we would try to play like them. I really admired him and the way that he played.” Kyle goes on to say that is how he learned how to tune his drum set. “So I thought if I stuck with it maybe I could be like him.” Jason is currently a member of the band Orphans Cry with the 402’s very own, Dave Owens and Willy Roberts.

A couple years ago Kyle really felt called to move to the Benson area to start a ministry that would bring musicians together on a weekly bases. “I had this idea to do ministry by bringing musicians together, probably meeting in my basement,” he chuckled. “The house we got, I specifically got for that purpose. The main level was enough for living and the basement would be my space.”

“The goal was to have a “revolving door” of musicians and that was around the time when Ben Shafer told me about the 402.”

Kyle decided to join forces with the 402 which also meant that his vision didn’t have to be housed in his basement any longer. Kyle really believed in The 402 Arts Collective’s main mission from the start.

Once Kyle heard about the 402 Arts Collective he was then asked to teach. Hesitant at first Kyle agreed to try it out. Kyle honestly admits he had never had any passion to teach before being asked but he was willing to try. He explains to the 402 that teaching has really surprised him.

“This whole process has been so rewarding for me. The past year and half has just been a huge blessing. It has impacted my drumming because I got to a point where I thought I was kind of a one trick pony. Now I’m challenging myself as I challenge my students. It’s been good for me so I hope its been good for the students.”

Kyle Moeller says the most important thing about learning is to still have a good time. If you aren’t enjoying what you are learning then you won’t want to continue learning. This idea is relevant when learning music. He wants his students to have a good time but he also wants them to be constantly challenged in everything that they do. If they enjoy learning however, no challenge is to great and they can reach their ultimate goals in anything that they try to achieve.

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Student Spotlight | Jonah Stratman

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Student Spotlight | Jonah Stratman

Jonah Stratman is thirteen-years-old and is in the 7th grade. He is a current a drum student of The 402 Artist Instructor, Kyle Moeller. Jonah has been taking lessons from Kyle for a little over a year now.

He tells the 402 that he loves to drum and has a huge passion for learning.

Jonah used to take part in band through a homeschool group. Although he learned the fundamentals of drumming, Jonah wanted more. He was tired of learning the basics and had a desire to learn different skills in drumming. So he told his parents he was done with band and began searching for other outlets to invest his time and energy in as well as beginning drum lessons at the 402.

Jonah currently incorporates rhythm in day to day activities such as dance. Jonah tells the 402 that he takes hip hop dance lessons. He is also actively involved in gymnastics. Both go hand and hand with his drum lessons here at the 402. Being aware of the music and rhythm, Jonah describes that he has to take into account the beat and movement as he dances.

A person who Jonah admires is his older brother who plays the guitar. “Growing up we were all into music,” describes Jonah. Now that he plays the drums, Jonah can jam with his oldest brother which has sparked his interest in being in a band. Although he isn’t in a band currently, Jonah is sure in the near future he will be.

“My parents have also had a huge influence on my drumming. They are very supportive,” describes Jonah. When asked what musician he looks up to the most Jonah response with, “I would say Kyle. He is such a good drummer.”

Jonah describes his experience at The 402 as a good one.

With a great atmosphere and filled with people who are always encouraging, Jonah finds himself comfortable and has the confidence to asks questions without feeling judged. Jonah says he has a love for practicing at home and at the 402 which has really assisted him in the learning process.

In the middle of the interview with the 402, Jonah looked up as Kyle Moeller walked into the room.

“Can I sit here?” asked Kyle with a grin as he pointed to a chair next to Jonah.

“No,” said Jonah with a straight face. Then he laughed. “Yah go ahead,” he said with a smile.

At that moment the 402 then turns to Joi Stratman, Jonah’s mom, and asks her perspective of the 402 and her experiences. Kyle Moeller turns with a worried look and said, “Maybe I shouldn’t sit here…” Everyone laughed.

“No it’s been amazing,” described Joi.

“When Jonah was in homeschool band, he tolerated it but he didn’t like it very much. He honestly just wanted to play. He wanted to learn different skills and that is when we came across the 402,” said Joi then she paused. She looked at her son and smiled. “It is very rarely that he doesn’t practice. I grew up playing instruments, I know it’s hard to practice everyday. He doesn’t have that problem now. Band was more focused on fundamentals which served him well but a year or so of that along with some private lessons which were both rudimentary, he needed something more.” The 402 met him at his level and has pushed him ever since. Kyle was a good fit for Jonah and they both enjoy practicing and learning together.

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