October 2022 Newsletter

Happy Fall Y’all!

Our DVMTA events begin this month with Music Marathon on Saturday, October 22. I know my students are diligently practicing their pieces to make sure they shine at the performance. I’m excited that DVMTA students have the opportunity to perform at some great venues and to share their music with members of our community.

Don’t forget to take pictures and email them to Claire Westlake to boost our social media presence. If you post pictures of your studio on Facebook or Instagram, consider adding #dvmta and #rivertonpiano to support our piano supplier. For those students who can’t attend in-person, the virtual option is a great alternative.

Our next General Meeting will be the Cavalcade Music Read Through on Oct. 28th, 9:30 AM at The Music Store in Mesa. Registration for Cavalcade begins that day and goes until Nov. 18th. It’s always fun and helpful to play through the music together. Students just love playing duets, so start thinking about which students to put in Cavalcade.

Hopefully, all of our budding composers are finishing up their original compositions. The registration deadline for The Original Composition Festival is Oct. 28th. They can be turned in early or at the Cavalcade Read Through. These recitals are always so impressive and inspiring.

These events help our students become lifelong musicians. They help teachers to inspire, challenge, and encourage They are only possible because of our talented and hard-working Committee Chairmen and their committees. This is going to be a great year full of great opportunities for students and teachers. See you on Oct. 28th!

Tammy Shorts
DVMTA President 2022-2024

General Meetings

Our September General meeting was so enjoyable and refreshing. Thanks to all who came, shared their teaching tips and success stories!

We are looking forward to our October general meeting next week, Oct. 28, 9:30 a.m. @ The Music Store (2630 West Baseline Road, Mesa, Arizona 85202).

Whoever wants to can take turns sight-reading and we will all listen to the music that has been chosen for our Duet recital, Cavalcade. Listening and looking at the music will help you determine whether you would like to encourage students to participate, and if so, which groups would be the best fit for their skill level.

It is a helpful, and fun meeting to attend. Don’t forget your registrations for our Original Composition Festival! See you there!

Toni Tetreau, Vice President


It's NEVER too late to join DVMTA! With student events throughout the year, there's always something fun to look forward to. What fellow teachers do YOU know that might like to come to our next General Meeting and see what we're all about??

WELCOME to our newest members: Carol Cooper, Lindsey Lloyd, and McKell Hancock! We're excited to get to know you better!


Sara Pratt, Membership Chair

Annual Organ Stop Pizza Fundraising Event

Our Organ Stop fundraiser event brought in $229.55 This will fund nearly two devoted performer awards! Thirty-two flyers were turned in, which included several forms from our DVMTA teachers.

Because Cavalcade no longer serves as a fundraising event due to steep venue costs, Marathon is now our only event that funds awards for Awards in Excellence and Awards Plus.

Your support for additional fundraisers such as Organ Stop and Amazon Smile is greatly appreciated!

Shop with Amazon Smile!

DVMTA is still officially signed up to receive donations from Amazon Smile! All you need to do is visit and choose Desert Valley Music Teachers Association as your charity. Then, if you make all future Amazon purchases through, Amazon will donate 0.5% back to DVMTA! That doesn’t seem like a lot, but if we spread the word to all of our families, it will definitely add up! Every penny counts! This is a simple, sensible way to help DVMTA fund our yearly student awards!

Thanks for your support!

Music Marathon

Our Music Marathon is THIS MONTH, October 22nd! The schedules are out and have been emailed and texted!

Superstition Springs Mall is going to have wonderful music from sunrise to sunset! Copper Springs Retirement Community also has a jam packed schedule of magnificent music, and the good music is just going to keep flowing at Southeast Valley Bible Church!

Thank you to all of the DVMTA teachers and their studios who were able to enter students in this event. It obviously can't be a "music marathon" if there aren't enough participants to make it a marathon. It is definitely a marathon of music this year! Thank you for that!

Thank you to Claire Westlake for helping us have a virtual option for all of our musicians who can't be there in-person with us! It's such a neat opportunity for our students to participate in, but schedules are sometimes impossible. The virtual option is such a great alternative. We appreciate you, Claire!

And lastly, thank you to the teachers who have signed up to help with the setup of chairs at the mall. There are still available slots, so if you're able, any extra muscles would be appreciated!

We wish you luck on October 22nd and hope you and your musicians have a magnificent day of music!


The Music Marathon Committee

Original Composition

Calling all Creative Composers!!!

This event is coming up quick so get those creative ideas down on paper and get ready for our Original Composition Festival.

Registration is due on or before the general meeting, Friday Oct. 28, 2022.

The recitals will be held November 19-20, 2022 at Southeast Valley Bible Church, 710 E. Williams Field Rd., Gilbert, AZ 85295.

For any questions, feel free to call/text/email!

Buffie Meeker, Chair
(480) 274-5743

December Brunch

Our December Brunch this year will be December 2nd at 9:30AM at Sassy’s Bakery and Cafe in Mesa.

Address: 4210 E Main Street Mesa, AZ

I hope you can all join us for some good food and friendship!

Kelli Riding, Chair

Cavalcade of Rhythm

Shiver me timbers! Registration for Cavalcade 2023 begins this month at the general meeting and continues till November 18th. All information and registration materials are available at in the member documents. Please remember to turn in both the registration form and the cover sheet (that states when you are available to help) to Sara Pratt. We need all hands on deck to make this successful.

We have our heading for rehearsals now. They will be held at The Music Store, as we have done the last several years. The performance will be at Skyline High School in Mesa.

Most of the music is available now at The Music Store if you want to look at it ahead of the general meeting. The music for group 1 is included in the member documents. We will be sending out an email soon with links for the sheet music that must be purchased online. We will be playing through all the songs at the meeting on October 28th at the Music Store. It will be a jolly good time!

Remember that the goal is to help the students be successful in an ensemble experience, not to play in the highest group possible. They must be able to play their songs well, listen to the group and follow the director.

We are so thankful for all those who are willing to be directors of the groups. We will have their notes available at the meeting and in the member documents. Please read the notes before teaching the songs to the students. Some add introductions or repeats, and we don’t want the students to be confused.

Don’t get marooned wishin’ you were part of the Cavalcade crew. Join us as a Pirate Partner!

Carolyn Eldredge, Cavalcade Captain

Crewmates: Lisa Hunt, Sara Pratt, Charles Newton

Awards in Excellence

Some students are born performers, most are not. I have been encouraging my students who are preparing for DVMTA's Music Marathon to practice performing. Just like practicing the piano helps you improve, one needs to practice performing in order to get better at performing.

Play for your family, friends and anyone who will listen. Play for the residents at a nursing home. Participate in DVMTA events. Perform often and on different pianos. Pianos feel and play differently.

Students need to be able to adjust to performing on different pianos. Have them memorize their music. The better they know their piece, the better they will perform when nerves kick in. Muscle memory will take over. The younger they start performing, the better.

Generally, it will get easier the more they perform. Music Marathon is a great place to "practice performing" for our upcoming competition in April.

Claire Westlake, Chair

Achievement Day

Choosing Repertoire
Although Achievement Day is months away, it’s not too early to start thinking about repertoire, especially for students in level three and above! Students need one memorized and one unmemorized piece for standard requirements and students need three memorized pieces for expanded requirements.

Because Achievement Day doesn’t have a Repertoire List from which to choose pieces, teachers have a lot of freedom in choosing repertoire. Repertoire may be taken from method books and supplements where levels are easy to determine. Once students move beyond method books, it can be a little trickier to determine levels. In this case, the Awards in Excellence Repertoire List on the website can be used to choose more advanced repertoire or gauge difficulty of higher-level pieces. An added bonus for students entering both Awards in Excellence AND Achievement Day is that they can use the same pieces for both events! Another excellent resource for determining levels of classical repertoire is Jane MacGrath’s The Pianist’s Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature.

Keep in mind that Achievement Day celebrates the year’s growth. Because of this, it is perfectly acceptable to use any repertoire that the student has learned throughout the year as long as you judge the repertoire to be appropriate for the level at which the student will be testing on Achievement Day. Sometimes students will really surprise me early in the year with the way they perform certain pieces. The piece may utilize some of the student’s strongest techniques or it may move a student to show off his or her musicianship especially well. These “gems” can be placed in a “simmering pot” and brought out later in the year to memorize for Achievement Day. As the “gem stews”, students can be instructed to keep the piece fresh by playing through it at least once every week or two so it doesn’t have to be relearned.

The most important thing to remember about selecting repertoire is that Achievement Day is not a competition. The information gained from each student is for you, the student and the parents. Therefore, even though the event offers guidelines, you ultimately make the decision whether or not your students have successfully met the requirements.

If you have any questions about the event, contact Carolyn Rooder or 602-527-1721 and she will help you.

Carolyn Rooder, chair

Awards Plus

Don't forget to keep records of student participation! Events like this month's Music Marathon and the upcoming Original Composition and Cavalcade all contribute to qualifications for the Devoted Performer and the Senior Scholar awards.

Letters of Intent are due by December 1, and further information is on the website.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Jenna Hartley, Chair

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

Update Preferences | Unsubscribe

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp