EUPHONIC STUDIO MUSIC LESSONS
Piano, violin, guitar, bass, and banjo instruction – call now to arrange a free, no-obligation evaluation lesson – 319.895.8002
Bill Niemi, Engineer, Instructor, 2010 MidAmerica Music Hall of Fame Inductee
Here’s a brief description of my experience as a music instructor, professional musician, composer, recording engineer, and producer.
In my life I have had 3 careers, sometimes running concurrently. I began my study of music at age 5 with piano and at 9 I started violin. Both of my parents were music teachers; my dad taught the string program at the public schools in International Falls, MN, and my mom taught private piano lessons, up to 60 students per week.
During my high school years I began playing in bands and I taught myself guitar and bass. I also studied horns so I could play in the marching and pep bands. I played french horn in the concert band and trumpet in the pep band. My first combo was a band that played about 55 covers of Tijuana Brass songs and had no vocalist. After that band broke up things got much heavier and I was playing guitar in guitar/bass/drums trios that did a lot of covers of music of the day, Hendrix, Cream, Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad, and many more.
I went away to college and played bass in a heavy jam band while studying theory and being concertmaster of my college orchestra. I was dissatisfied with collegiate life; it seemed totally irrelevant to the social upheaval of the Viet Nam era. The chairman of the music department offered me the position of associate professor of violin. With a masters I could have the orchestra, too. I ended up dropping out of college to pursue my career in the world of performance. It took a while to get started, but I finally got my feet on the ground in Minneapolis in 1976 with a very popular band called Double Nickels.
I played full time as a professional musician in a major market (Twin Cities) for 12 years, chalking up about 15,000 hours on stage and of course lots of odd pickup gigs.I’ve played all styles of pop music from the 1930s through the 60s and 80s. As an entertainer, I have played for tables and chairs in an empty night club and also have brought a crowd of 18,000 people to their feet with my version of “Orange Blossom Special”. And everywhere in between.
Here are some of the high points of my teaching, performance, and music career:
- I began study of music in 1956 on piano and began teaching piano and violin in 1961
- While in high school, I enjoyed a variety of bands and ensembles. I played violin, piano, guitar, trumpet, french horn, bass guitar, sousaphone, etc in orchestra, band, string quartet, pep bands, rock bands, stage bands
- My group Double Nickels rose to the top of the Minneapolis country music night club scene in 1976. We were inducted into the Mid-America Hall of Fame in 2010
- My band Pony Express played in Europe for 3 months in 1981, playing gigs at American and Canadian airbases, the US Embassy in Bonn, and hotels and clubs in Oslo, Norway
- My bands did warm-up spots for numerous touring national act concerts that came through the Twin Cities
- Euphonic Studio in cooperation with The Firehouse Band arranged a charity music festival for African drought relief that included 18 bands and acts from the Minneapolis area. I convinced everyone to donate their time.
- There was plenty of work as a session player at corporate studios in Minneapolis including Creation Audio and Sound 80.
- I enjoyed years of productive songwriting and recording with two partners at Euphonic Studio when I lived in south Texas
So, to summarize….
When you trust your time and your music instruction dollars to someone you have the right to expect a level of competence and experience that will give you the most value for your dollar. For a teaching studio, your instructor should have accumulated years of experience as a musician and a high degree of proficiency in order to qualify to teach the instrument. There is an old expression which I find to be humorously inaccurate. It goes “Those who can’t do, teach”. Well, not really. In order to teach you need to not only be able to do, you also need to be able to teach, which is a completely separate skill.
These days, I am dividing my musical energies into 3 general areas. First, I continue personal development on my instrument 5 primary instruments plus I am teaching myself how to play pedal steel. Second, I am busy with my own personal recording projects. Further, I have been working with several artists in the studio.
Last but not least, I enjoy working with my students. I enjoy teaching immensely and you will find that I am truly dedicated to helping you learn to play. I strive to create lessons that are useful, enjoyable, and hopefully inspirational.
If you have managed to read this far, perhaps now is the time for you to call 319.895.8002 to check on available lesson times and arrange for your free evaluation lesson. Thanks!
Euphonic Studio music lessons and digital recording services
Mount Vernon, Iowa serving Cedar Rapids, Marion, Solon, Mechanicsville, Ely, Springville, Anamosa, Iowa City and surrounding area
For information about music lessons, piano tuning, and digital recording at Euphonic Studio, call Bill at 319.895.8002