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April 13 – Awards in Excellence Auditions (AZ Piano)

April 20 – Awards in Excellence Recitals (AZ Piano)

May 11 – Achievement Day (MCC)

May 13 – Awards Plus (Legacy Retirement Residence)


March 2019

We began the DVMTA year with the theme, “Individually we are one drop, but together we are an ocean”.  The classic folk tale, Stone Soup, likewise, illustrates the power of how several people individually sharing just a small amount can all work together to create something much bigger that can be enjoyed by everyone.  This timeless theme was beautifully played out last month as DVMTA proudly presented “Road Trip” - our 34th Annual Cavalcade of Rhythm!  For readers who may be unfamiliar with this event, Cavalcade is a piano ensemble event where groups of as many as forty students perform duets on as many as twenty pianos!  The production of Cavalcade is an excellent example of many people from many music studios working together to create a community event that would be impossible for an individual studio to produce on its own!  The teamwork involved in the planning and execution of this event is absolutely mind-boggling!  Lucky for us, we had an amazing group of individuals that worked countless volunteer hours to make Cavalcade a reality this year – Jenna Hartley, Linda Carpenter, Hillary Bitter, Sara Pratt and Charles Newton.  Together they weathered just about every storm possible to get the show “on the road”, and they never gave up!  In addition, forty plus DVMTA teachers all contributed their talents in various ways to produce this year’s event.  Talk about teamwork!  
    I am so proud to be part of an organization whose members demonstrate the true meaning of teamwork.  Our members work well together, make valuable contributions, do whatever it takes, think of the bigger picture, give generously of their time, listen to each other’s opinions and ideas, pitch in as needed and ultimately, get the job done!   DVMTA has been working hard this year to meet modern challenges that threaten to make wonderful events like Cavalcade a thing of the past, but I have to say, teamwork has helped us to meet these challenges head on!  Together, we have managed to maintain the integrity of the special events, like Cavalcade, that have drawn music teachers, parents and students to be a part of DVMTA since 1980!  

Carolyn Rooder
DVMTA President


March General Meeting, March 29th, 9:30 am, My First Piano Recital Hall, 1818 E. Southern Ave., Mesa – “The Character-Building Aspects of Performing” with conductors Dave and Josh Thye – One of the joys of learning a musical instrument or training one’s singing voice is sharing that talent through performing!  For many musicians, the mere study of an instrument does not provide enough incentive to continue study year after year.  Musicians need opportunities to put all that hard work to good use!  Performance meets this need and so much more!  Come hear what the Thyes have learned through their combined experience working with performers over the years and how we can use their expertise in our own studios.

Achievement Day Registration due by our next general meeting on March 29th.  See article below for more information.

Amazon Smile – Thanks to many teachers and families, we have received our first donation check of $65 from Amazon Smile!  Doesn’t seem like much, but it funds 8 Awards in Excellence trophies!  Every little bit helps, so continue to use Amazon Smile for your Amazon purchases!

It's March! This is a great time to encourage your student to start writing a composition. My more advanced students have already begun the process. 

One thing that is really important is to have some consistent rhythms throughout a piece. For many of my students, I ask them to write down 6-8 rhythms that they like. I ask them what kind of rhythms they are using in their current songs. I discourage them from writing rhythms that they don't know how to play. Then after that process, we clap or play (on one note) all those rhythms. Then I ask them to pick their top 3-4 and that is what we start building with! For beginners, sometimes it is helpful to write the rhythms above the staff (Right Hand), then assign notes to those rhythms.

Don't be intimidated by this event!  I really believe every teacher can do this event.  It is a growing process for teacher and student! 

Please let me know if you need any help in the process!

Toni Tetreau, chair

Unpack your bags! Vacuum out your car! We're home from our Musical Road Trip- enjoy a good rest!

Congratulations on a successful Cavalcade! Our sincere thanks to all the hard work of our wonderful students, parents, participating teachers, directors, monitors, entertainers, singers, keyboard donators, and other volunteers that made this huge event so special! There is no way this would have worked so well without all your help!

If you have not received your ribbons for your students please get in touch with the Cavalcade committee, or you can pick them up at the March general meeting. 

Achievement Day 2019 at MCC Music Building– Time to Register!

You’ve been squeezing in those extra skills and you’ve been selecting repertoire.  Now, it’s time to get registered for the big event – Achievement Day!  Registration is due on March 30th.  Registration forms are on our website under Documents. The form can be mailed or emailed to me or they can be turned in at the March meeting on March 22nd.   Fill 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.  We will do our best to honor any requests.   In our alternate venue, we may need more help guiding people around the building, so please list any high-schoolers willing to do volunteer service hours on the back of the form.

Remember to specify standard or expanded requirements for each student. Fees are $8 and $10 (note the increase from the past), and the requirements and awards are spelled out in the registration packet.  Also, please note that expanded students may choose either sight-reading OR ear-training as their required option, so make sure you register them for one or both of these options!  It is recommended that you register students for an extra option, as well, in case an option is failed, so that students satisfy the necessary requirements.

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 attend the April Brunch, you will need to pick up your packet from my house.  

I encourage everyone to take advantage of participating in this great event!  It is such a nice way to celebrate the year’s progress!  If you have any questions or concerns, please email – Buffie Meeker at

Thanks to all the teachers and students who have registered for Awards in Excellence. We have 68 students participating this year from 13 different teachers. I’ve been double-checking all the data, and have been pleasantly surprised at how little confusion there has been. Thank you for being so complete and detailed with both student and teacher qualifications. 
If you have never entered students in this event, I encourage you to plan ahead and make it a goal for next year. Students who participate benefit from the insightful comments from our professional judges, as well as learning discipline, attention to detail, and many other skills. Teachers who participate also benefit; the judges’ comments help us learn and grow right along with our students. Not everyone has a desire to compete, but the experience is valuable and the skills learned transfer to many areas of life.
Our auditions will take place on Saturday, April 13 at AZ Piano beginning at 9:00 a.m. I should have a schedule with specific audition times very soon. The winner’s recitals will be held on Saturday, April 20 at 1:30 and 2:45 at AZ Piano. I highly recommend attending one of the recitals whether you have students registered or not. These winners amaze me every time with their preparation and artistry, whether playing repertoire from level 1 or level 14. My eyes are always opened to the great potential within these talented students and it motivates me to do my best for them. 

Awards Plus registrations are due at our next general meeting on March 23. Forms are available at All events are double-checked, so please be as specific as possible about the events your students have participated in. Senior Scholars also need to turn in a personal letter to the committee and may include recommendations from other teachers or music directors. If you have any questions, please contact Carolyn Eldredge.

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