March 2016

DVMTA General Meeting

Friday, April 1, 2016
9:30 a.m. at My First Piano

More Ways to use your Teaching Talents with Skype and Adults!

Come to see and to hear three students in England work with their DVMTA teacher via SKYPE during our DVMTA meeting this Friday. 

One student is a 10 year old blind girl
One is an 11 year old boy
One is a 13 year old girl.

ALSO ON THE PROGRAM will be ten adult students, who at various levels of piano background, will demonstrate how they learn to decode the written music page, add instrument sounds and enjoy playing together at keyboards.

Teachers, please plan to attend our last general meeting of the year!

WOW…What a fabulous Cavalcade of Rhythm.  Thanks to Hillary Bitter, Alayne Favreau, Tammy Shorts & Wendi Heslop (along with 50 or so other volunteers) for the many, many hours they spent to make it such a success.  I absolutely loved the game show theme.  I think it kept the audience involved throughout the entire show.  It turns out that Alayne Favreau makes a fabulous game show host too!  

We are on to Awards in Excellence.  Our students have worked hard for the competition and I wish them all the best.  Lori Weidemann, Charles Newton and Fei Xu have done a lot of work  putting everything together.  I appreciate their efforts for DVMTA.  Make sure to attend one of the winners recitals on April 23rd!  You won't believe your ears!  

Did you know that your students are eligible to win money and/or prizes?  This is exciting news on facebook and instagram for DVMTA.  I hope you've had a chance to watch some of our DVMTA students playing the outdoor pianos around Mesa and Gilbert.  Please "like" and "share" their video to help them win.  I think the combination of the creatively painted instruments and their music is a great synergy of arts.  If you get a chance, sit down and play these pianos yourselves.  Its so refreshing to feel your music in the open air.   Of course, I can never say enough that each time a student has a chance to perform it helps so many things in their future (public speaking, piano performances, test taking, anything that requires thinking under pressure).  Get your students involved!  

One more reminder that our March general meeting will be on APRIL 1st.  We will be voting on officers and hearing from one of our favorite DVMTA couples (who have a lot of knowledge about teaching with technology).  Please plan on attending!

So that is two meetings in April and zero meetings in March!  I hope to see you all very soon.

Beth VanDewerker, 
DVMTA President

Cavalcade of Rhythm

Thanks again to all our directors, our volunteers who have been and will be helping, and to My First Piano for all their help. Thanks also to all teachers and students for helping make this Cavalcade performance a success.

Awards in Excellence

Congratulations Alayne Favreau, Yukari Lowrey, Yali Luo, Lorri McHardy, Charles Newton, Shannon Payne, Tammy Shorts, Lori Weidemann, Claire Westlake, Fei Xu, Edie Yarter and Hong Zhu for registering 75 students to compete in this year’s Awards in Excellence piano competition!  Participants benefit greatly from the thorough preparation, focused performance and constructive judge’s comments. Other benefits for students include: meeting deadlines, fine tuning a piece and polishing their performance, handling pressure, coping with unfavorable results, and learning the value of hard work.   If you haven’t before, set a goal to participate in next years’ audition!

Lori Weidemann, Charles Newton and Fei Xu

Achievement Day

It’s that time of year!! Registration for Achievement Day is due at the March general meeting (which is being held on April 1 this year). The registration forms all give a deadline of March 25, but you have until April 1. Registration forms are on our website under Documents. The form can be emailed to me or turned in at the March meeting. There is no online registration.
Description: out the form completely and make note of any special requests: a particular area you’d like to volunteer in, a student with a specific time need, etc. I cannot guarantee we will be able to grant every request, but we try our best. Students playing instruments other than piano may enter Achievement Day, but please be aware that we will be relying upon the skills and talents of our own members.  The testing requirements will remain the same and the evaluation will require a willing DVMTA member.  We will do our best to ensure a quality evaluation.
Remember to specify standard or expanded requirements for each student. Fees are $5 and $7, and the requirements and awards are spelled out in the registration packet. I suggest entering every student into one extra optional category, just in case.


Trophies are ordered based on the registration forms, so please either print or type the names and levels clearly. Double-check the spelling of student names.
Teachers will receive a packet at the April Brunch with their teacher number, name tags with times, green option sheets and their volunteer assignment for the morning. Teachers are responsible for printing evaluation forms for their own students from our website. Please don’t forget the duet or original composition evaluation forms if your students are participating in those categories.  If you need help with this or cannot print the forms, please make a note of it when you register and I will include hard copies you can duplicate. If you cannot be at the April Brunch, you will need to pick up your packet from my house.
Description: month’s article promised a closer look at the ear training option. The requirements for each level are in the requirements packet, ranging from Primer students distinguishing piano from forte to Level 12 students identifying M, m, dim 7, aug, or dom 7 chords. I require all of my students to take the ear training test and we do several weeks of practice beforehand (in addition to what we do year-round). There are no practice tests on our site like there are for the theory tests, but you have so many options for practicing ear training:

Aside from complete books of ear training exercises, most theory books also include at least a few scattered exercises.

Free online sites like or are quite basic but will test intervals, scales, chords and much more. 

There are lots of iPad apps and computer games for purchase that test the same things with fun graphics and games to entice kids. Many of the blogs DVMTA recommends offer games and manipulatives that can be used for ear training. For instance, Wendy Stevens of recently offered her Monkey Music Alphabet Flashcards for free. You could give them to a student, tell them you are starting on A, then play either an A major or harmonic minor scale. Can your student choose the correct cards to match what they heard? You could also test triads, intervals or simple step up/down passages this way. Making ear training fun delights the students and prepares them for Achievement Day at the same time. The only limits are your creativity (and lesson time!).
If you have any questions about Achievement Day or need any help with registration, please contact Lorri McHardy, 480-399-0084.

If you have students working towards the Devoted Performer or Senior Scholar Award and plan to complete their final qualifying events this Spring,  please send your letter of intent to Tamara Pew 22297 E. Escalante Rd., Queen Creek, AZ 85142 or on or before December 1, 2015.  We realize that some students may not end up qualifying this year, but this gives us a heads up on our numbers and helps us plan accordingly.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call Tamara Pew at 602-809-0597.

How to Learn a New Piece
Shared to DVMTA by Sam Rotman 

1. Divide the piece (or movement) into sections of no more than 8 bars and no less than 2.

2. Begin to play the right hand alone of section 1.  Do NOT move on to the next section until you have absolute confidence that everything is correct.

3. Play the left hand alone of section 1.  Do NOT move on to the next section until you have absolute confidence that everything is correct.

4. Play section 1, hands together.  Do NOT move on to the next section until you have absolute confidence that everything is correct.

5. Repeat this process with section 2.

6. Repeat this process with sections 1 and 2.

7.Repeat this process with section 3.

8.Repeat this same process, combining sections 2 and 3.  DO NOT GO BACK TO SECTION 1.

9. Repeat this process with section 4 and then 3 and 4.

As you begin this process, everything must be done 100% correctly:  the notes, rhythm, fingering, dynamics, legato, staccato, etc.  The only thing you don't do from the beginning is to play the correct tempo.  You are to do this process very, very slowly.

To play with absolute confidence means to play everything correctly, both musically and technically.

This process was shared to DVMTA by Sam Rotman, Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, Laureate Winner in the 4th International Beethoven Competition in Vienna, Austria, He has given over 2700 performances in 60 countries.



April 1st - 9:30 a.m.
March General Meeting
My First Piano
Achievement Day Reg. Due

April 16 - 9 a.m. - 2p.m.
Awards in Excellence Auditions

April 23 1:30 & 3:00 p.m.
Awards in Excellence Recitals

April 29
April Brunch
LDS Church

May 14th
Achievement Day

May 16 - 
Awards Plus 
Click here to Join DVMTA
Click the button above to renew your DVMTA membership.  Not a member? Not a problem! DVMTA's annual membership fee is only $35! Renewing teachers pay a $5 late fee after July 31. 

Do you know someone who would be a fabulous member of the DVMTA community? Invite them to attend our August Brunch! Use the links below to share this newsletter via Facebook, twitter or email.

Teacher Spotlight

Recognizing the power of technology, we want to help YOU build your studio by featuring various DVMTA teachers on our blog! The spotlight would include a short biography and information about your unique studio.  Does your studio have it's own website, blog, Facebook page or YouTube channel?  We would love to include links as well!  This is a fabulous way for your studio to get additional publicity.  Please email a short bio and any links you would like to share to Nicci Lovell.

Music Teacher Blogs:

Local Resources:

Know of any other good resources?  Please email us!  We would love to include their websites in our newsletters!

DVMTA teachers:

Does your studio have a website, blog or Facebook page?  We would love to include a link here!  It is always fun to see what other teachers are doing.  Please email us a link and we will add it right away! 
Official DVMTA Website
Facebook - connect with other DVMTA teachers
Pinterest - a great resource for ideas
Instagram - photos of DVMTA events