Monthly Email from Desert Valley Music Teachers Association
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August Brunch
Fri. Aug. 18, 2017, location to be determined

Music Marathon
Sat. Oct. 28, 2017, locations to be determined

Original Composition
Sat. Nov. 18-19, 2017 at My First Piano

December Luncheon
Fri. Dec. 1, 2017, location to be determined

Tentatively scheduled for Feb. 24, 2018

Awards in Excellence
Date yet to be determined

April Brunch
Fri. April 27, 2018, location to be determined

Achievement Day
Sat. May 12, 2018 at MCC

Awards Plus
Mon. May 14, 2018, location to be determined

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Official DVMTA Website
Facebook - connect with other DVMTA teachers
Pinterest - a great resource for ideas
Instagram - photos of DVMTA events

June 2017

Greetings everyone! Welcome to summer and to the heat. Are you tired of it yet? As we hibernate and try to keep cool, as teachers I know we are looking ahead and making plans for next year. Whether we teach during the summer, or lighten our schedules, I know piano and music teaching are never far from our minds. It’s who we are!  And we love our students, and love to see them succeed.

The same applies to our DVMTA chairs and committees. They are busy setting dates and making arrangements for another fabulous DVMTA year.  These wonderful events give students the opportunities to set goals and succeed, and we love to see their growth. And we have a lot of fun along the way.  Thank you to our exceptional committees!

I’m hoping we all get to take more than a few moments that matter this summer, to catch our breath, relax and rejuvenate. To spend time with family and loved ones and to visit exciting destinations, or better yet, cool ones!  Have a wonderful summer! We look forward to seeing you in August!

-Shannon Payne, DVMTA President

Looking for sight reading practice for your students? Try Sight Reading Factory at for digital and printable exercises. Up to 20 free custom exercises available.

Your 2016-2017 DVMTA membership is current through July 31st, however, registration for the 2017-2018  year has begun.  Keep in mind that the annual price for membership is now $50, but if you renew by July 1st, there is a $5 discount, and the cost will be $45.  The fee for new members is $45.  Registration involves filling out the new registration form and making your payment.  You may register online or you can download the form from the website, print it out, and mail it with a check.    You may also pay the fee using the DVMTA Paypal  The printed form allows you to make an optional donation to the Janeen Noble Scholarship Fund.  Remember, you can go to the website under Members and Membership List to print out a current list of active DVMTA members and their phone, email, and address. 
As a DVMTA member, you have the opportunity to participate in the Online Referral System which provides interested students and parents with your email, preferred phone number, and a personal biography about yourself and your studio.  If you register online, you will be able to submit your information automatically.  If you fill out a paper form, remember to email your information to Tammy Shorts at

When you fill out the registration form, you will be able to choose two committees to serve on.  (These would be additional committees besides Cavalcade and Achievement Day which are required if your student participates)  This is a wonderful way to be involved, to get to know fellow DVMTA members, and to provide assistance to our busy committee chairpersons.  We have added Social Media and Technology committees.  We would also like to provide new members with a mentor if they would like one.  A mentor would be a resource that a new member could utilize for information about DVMTA events and activities.  The mentor could also guide the new member to the appropriate person to answer their question.  We want our new members to feel welcome and not overwhelmed.  Members in our Hospitality and Membership committees could serve as mentors so consider serving on these committees. 

Achievement Day 2017 
Despite having to adjust to a new venue – the Performing Arts Center at Mesa Community College – Achievement Day ran smoothly thanks to all of you who volunteered your help and expertise!  Although I was not in attendance due to my daughter’s college graduation, I have gotten positive feedback about the day.  We had over 200 students and 26 teachers participating this year, and we distributed nearly 200 trophies indicating that students were well prepared for the day!  

The new special recognition stickers seemed to be a positive addition to the day.  Thirty-two stickers were awarded throughout the day meaning that about 15% of the students really “dazzled” their evaluators!  I think seeing those stickers on certificates was not only exciting for the students but for their teachers as well.

There were a few glitches adding more live ear training tests, but the problems were minimal and may have been worth having less students working with old technology to take their independent ear training tests at the higher levels.  

I’d like to give a special thank you to my committee members, Beth Christensen and Linda Schow, who helped plan and execute the day.  Thanks are in order as well to Beth VanDerwerker and Hillary Bitter who helped me set everything up on the Friday before.  I’d also like to thank Beth VanDerwerker for volunteering to step into my shoes for the day to make sure everything ran smoothly!  And of course, I thank all of the teachers who entered students and volunteered their time to run all of the events that took place during the day.  You did a fabulous job!

I am a huge advocate of this event, because it is such a wonderful way to hold your students accountable for the things they have learned throughout the year in your studio.  If you have not participated in the past, give it a try next year.  The requirements are easily attainable to most students and the atmosphere is casual and non-threatening.   One of my newest Primer Level students said she had so much fun at Achievement Day that she can’t wait to do it again next year!

If you’d like to know more about Achievement Day, contact Carolyn Rooder at or 602-527-1721.

Our Awards Plus recognition night was held Monday, May 15 at Legacy Retirement Residence. Both of our senior scholars played a solo, as well as one Awards in Excellence winner who needed to perform. The following Devoted Performers were recognized:

Beth Christensen:  Madison Fink , Jaxon Frandrup, Mackenzie Allen, Jadin Castle

Michelle Dyer: Nate Clarkson  

Lorri McHardy: Rebecca Eldredge  

Lori Weidemann: Cameron Michaels

Claire Westlake:  Ellie Bawden, Cannon Hill, Shaylee Hill, Stetson Hill, Cambri Miller, Daxon Miller, Tad Reimer, Carson Robles, Hailee Smith, Arella Payne, Benjamin Stratford

The Senior Scholarship recipients were Naomi and Noah Galloway. They were recognized by their teacher, Claire Westlake.

Awards Plus is a way to reward those students who have fully participated in what DVMTA has to offer. Many thanks to their parents for supporting them, as well as to their teachers for preparing them and keeping track of their progress. If you haven’t already done so, please take the time to record all the events your students participated in this year. You may not be planning to have a Devoted Performer right now, but you may surprise yourself and need that record later on. One suggested tracking form is available on our website, or you can set up any simple spreadsheet. If you have questions about Awards Plus, please contact Lorri McHardy.

Sizzling Hot Tunes

Summer is the perfect time to have your students
create/improvise and write down
their ideas on staff paper
or notate on the computer
for the
DVMTA  Original Composition Festival
Compositions are due in October
Recitals are held in November
Get a head start and be amazed!

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