January 2022 Newsletter

Why Piano Lessons?
“For the shy child, piano is self-expression.
For the awkward child, it’s coordination.
For the uncertain child, it’s poise and confidence.
For the child who gives up easily, it’s perseverance.
For the inattentive child, it’s concentration.
For the impulsive child, it’s a way to channel their energy into a rewarding accomplishment.
For all children, piano is one of the greatest forms of self-improvement.”

As we embark on 2022, I want to encourage you that there is great purpose in your calling. Music lessons offer many life skills that will help our students become successful in life. I firmly believe that music lessons help children to grow into adults who contribute to society and help our world to be a better place. What a privilege we have as teachers to make a difference in the world!

Lori Weidemann
DVMTA President 2020-2022

Upcoming General Meeting

We are kicking off the New Year with a wonderful General Meeting this month on Friday, January 28th at 9:30 am at My First Piano. Get ready to be inspired and to soak in great ideas from DVMTA’s Autum Hunt as she presents, “Roots & Wings – Giving students skills to continue and fly.” Autum will speak to us about keeping a well-rounded studio and she will share practical ideas to meet students at their skill level plus challenge them to rise and keep it fun. You won’t want to miss it. Consider inviting a teacher you know that might be interested in DVMTA. The meeting will also be broadcast via Google Meet. Click on this hyperlink:

Original Composition

There are several resources to help you teach composition step-by-step to your students. My favorite one is "Creative Composition Toolbox" by Wynn-Anne Rossi. There are six volumes in this series. I also like the "Music By Me" series by Kevin Olson and Wynn-Anne Rossi. "Prompts for Piano" by Joy Morin and "The Young Musician's Guide to Songwriting" by Lisa Donovan Lukas are also very helpful. All the best in your composing endeavors!

Claire Westlake, Chair


Cavalcade 2022 Music at the Movies is right around the corner! Make sure your students' top practicing priority right now is their Cavalcade duets. Rehearsals start the week of February 7th at The Music Store, and the concerts will be Saturday February 26th at Mesquite High School. We can't wait!! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sara Pratt, Chair

Awards in Excellence

Registration for Awards in Excellence is due next month at the February General Meeting (Feb 25). All forms and information is on our website. If you have a student you are considering for the Janeen Noble Outstanding Music Student Award, that registration is due at the same time. Please read the qualifications carefully, both for the student AND the teacher. All details are carefully checked. If you need service hours, Cavalcade is coming up and always needs helpers. Your 10 hours and 4 meetings (or 15 hours and school/work verification) must be completed by the end of February.

We are still planning on holding our event in-person at Hammer & Strings Conservatory. All students and volunteers working the event will need to wear masks. There is an outdoor waiting area so we can keep students distanced properly. Hand sanitizer and restrooms will be available.

If you are planning to have students participate, you should already be thinking about (or hopefully working on) repertoire. The current approved version of our repertoire list is on the website, so triple check that the pieces you are choosing are:

  • On the approved DVMTA 2021-2022 repertoire list

  • At the correct level for your student

  • Both from the same level

  • From two different musical periods (or contrasting styles for levels 1-3)

I use this repertoire list not just for Awards in Excellence, but in regular teaching. The pieces all have pedagogical value and I know they will be worth my student’s time. This is an invaluable resource for all registered DVMTA teachers; make the most of it!

Lorri McHardy, Chair

Achievement Day

Sight-reading or Ear-training are important skills to work with your students on, since they will need to choose one of these options for their Achievement Day evaluation.

Some ideas for sight-reading:

1. Have your student read a short passage of NEW music every single lesson. Choose something at a slightly lower level than what they are working on. For elementary students, count aloud with them as they do this. Count one measure aloud together before beginning.

2. Have them sight-read the same passage and add dynamics.

3. Do the same with more experienced players. Have them analyze the key signature, time signature, and look ahead for accidentals before diving in. Require them to count aloud.

4. Use this app: "Sight-reading Factory" if you are so inclined. I subscribe yearly and use it often. My students have definitely gained confidence with their reading by using this wonderful tool.

Stay tuned next month for Ear-training ideas!

Remember, every student can ACHIEVE great things by preparing for and participating in ACHIEVEMENT DAY!

Toni Tetreau, chair

Awards Plus

This year we will be recognizing 9 Devoted Performers and 2 Senior Scholars. Thank you, teachers, for your hard work in preparing students!

Awards Plus is DVMTA’s way of recognizing those students who have gone above and beyond the average student, participating in 4 of the 5 DVMTA events in three years (within a 5-year period). These students will receive a cash award but they will also be recognized in front of the group as their teacher talks about them for a moment. What a great boost to their confidence and their desire to continue practicing! Seeing the displays about each of our Senior Scholars may motivate students to keep going and find time for piano when life gets busy.

Even if you do not plan to put students in Awards Plus, we strongly recommend that you keep track of all students who participate in DVMTA events every year. You can use whatever system works for you, but make sure you’re keeping accurate records. Who knows, three years from now this could be one of your students receiving this award.

Wendi Heslop, Chair 480-241-4591

Janeen Noble Outstanding Music Student Award

This award was created in 2006 after the sudden death of a young, talented DVMTA teacher, Janeen Noble. She was a member of DVMTA for 17 years and an excellent piano teacher with a full studio. She was in demand as an accompanist, composer, violinist, and singer, and gave countless hours of service to others with her talents. To honor her memory, this award can be given to a high school age student who gives many service hours to the community, plays the piano at level 8 or above, and has mastered a second instrument as well. Any student applying for this award must participate in Awards in Excellence at level 8 or above. Registration for both the Janeen Noble Award and Awards in Excellence is due on February 25, 2022 to Lorri McHardy.

The award is funded by donations from DVMTA teachers, not from our student awards fund. We encourage every DVMTA teacher, whether you knew Janeen or not, to donate just a little to continue honoring students who reflect the same high ideals and service that Janeen did. Donations can be given to Lorri McHardy or to Kelli Riding.


28 General Meeting, 9:30 am, My First Piano “Roots and Wings” – Autum Hunt

25 General Meeting, 9:30 am, My First Piano Hannah Creviston - Clinical Associate Professor of Piano Pedagogy, ASU
25 Awards in Excellence registration due
26 Cavalcade of Rhythm performances

25 General Meeting, 9:30 a.m., My First Piano “Teacher to Teacher” - Buffie Meeker
25 Achievement Day registration due

9 Awards in Excellence auditions, 9:00 AM – 2:00 p.m. at Hammer & Strings
22 April Brunch, 9:30 a.m. at Nancy Chase’s home
23 Awards in Excellence Recitals, at Hammer & Strings Conservatory in Gilbert

14 Achievement Day, 7 a.m. – 12 noon, Mesa Community College
16 Awards Plus Presentations, 7 p.m. Southeast Valley Bible Church

Copyright (C) 2022 Desert Valley Music Teachers Association. All rights reserved.

Update Preferences | Unsubscribe

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp