News Column

A place to grow musically

June 11, 2013


June 11--OSKALOOSA -- It's a place where musical creativity is encouraged to flourish.

Beth Brostrom, owner and manager of Music Square in Oskaloosa, has quite the musical background -- one that she uses to instruct students of various ability levels. According to a Music Square brochure, Brostrom has been an accompanist and church organist for more than 30 years locally. It also notes her experience taking classes in piano, organ, music composition, as well as songwriting at area colleges. When it comes to teaching, she's been instructing students on guitar and piano for more than 20 years.

Music Square has been open for about 17 years, noted Brostrom. She said students can learn a wide variety of instruments at Music Square including piano, guitar, violin, accordion, mandolin and viola.

Some Music Square students are home-school students, Brostrom said. There have been students learning music at Music Square that have come from places like New Sharon, Eddyville, Sigourney, Albia and Moravia, said Brostrom.

Brostrom described learning music as a kind of journey.

"We like to give students the love for music and we like to meet them where they are and take them where they want to go," Brostrom explained, adding that she often learns something herself through the teaching process.

Music Square student Megan Goemaat, of New Sharon, has goals for this summer. She would like to learn more church-related music while taking piano lessons. Goemaat is focused on sight reading and hymns, she said.

Goemaat, who will be a senior at North Mahaska High School this fall, said she wants to pursue music at the college level, as well.

"My plan is to minor in music," said Goemaat.

Two other teachers at Music Square are Tom Shadonix and Margaret Kistler.

According to a Music Square brochure, Kistler has a master of music in piano performance from the University of Houston and has organized a teacher's guide for a basic piano teaching method. She also instructs students of various ability levels.

Shadonix plays viola in the Ottumwa Symphony, according to a Music Square brochure. Shadonix has a master's degree in organ performance and composition. He's also the minister of music and organist at Ottumwa's St. Mary's Catholic Church. Shadonix spoke on the benefits of studying music and noted that young people who do so music are "far more apt to succeed at other academic endeavors."

It's not just young learners playing music at the three studios occupying Music Square. There have been adult students that want to learn an instrument as a hobby, as well, said Brostrom.

To learn more about Music Square, call (641) 673-7232 or e-mail

Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at


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