February 23 – Cavalcade of Rhythm (Mesquite High School)

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)


February 2019

President’s Message:
To me, Valentine’s Day is the day we recognize the special people in our lives for all they have done for us.  This year, I’d like to thank the members of DVMTA for helping to make me the person I am today.  In the midst of our country’s current divisive, uncompromising, hateful atmosphere, I am so thankful to be part of an organization that is proving itself to be above all that!  In the past seven months, I have had the honor to work with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met!  The way people have pitched in to keep the organization strong is truly inspirational.  We have faced challenges and still have many obstacles ahead to surmount, but instead of taking sides and blocking progress toward reaching the goals our organization aspires to, we have all focused on trying to find the best solutions for meeting the needs of the largest majority of our members.  For this, I am truly grateful!
If you are reading this, count yourself lucky!  You are a part of a unique organization that has so much to offer!  I definitely wouldn’t be the teacher I am today without DVMTA.  I have learned so much from fellow members as well as outside presenters!  Count your students lucky as well!  Think of the wonderful opportunities you are able to provide them!  Whenever I acquire a transfer student that has come from a studio that provides nothing for the students other than a yearly recital, the parents and student light up like the 4th of July when I tell them about Marathon, Original Composition Festival, Cavalcade, Awards in Excellence and Achievement Day!  They can’t wait to get started!  And the best part – all of our events are available to all students.  No one is ever denied the opportunity to participate!
As you enter this time of love and friendship, I hope you will think of the good friends you have made through DVMTA and how fortunate you are to be part of such a fine organization!  I know I will!  Happy Valentine’s Day!
Carolyn Rooder
DVMTA President 2018-2019 

Cavalcade Ad Campaign – Please help us defray the ever-increasing cost of producing Cavalcade this year by purchasing a congratulations gram for your participating students or encouraging parents of participating students to submit business ads.  Even if you don’t have students involved, you may know of someone who might like to advertise in our program!  The cost of ads starts at just $20.  The forms will be available during rehearsals and on our website.  Remember to submit your ads by FEBRUARY 14TH!  Thanks for your support!
Wynn-Anne Rossi Workshops at East Valley School of Music – Although the registration deadline has passed, it may not be too late to sign up for this wonderful opportunity scheduled for Saturday, February 9th!  Contact Mike or Tabitha Kaminski at 480-895-0007 for more information.
February General Meeting, February 22nd, 9:30 am, My First Piano Recital Hall, 1818 E. Southern Ave., Mesa – “How to Buy a Piano” with Josh Wallace of My First Piano – So many parents purchase keyboards nowadays as a way to see if their child will take to the piano and show interest before making a big financial commitment.  This isn’t necessarily the best solution, though, as you will find when Josh tells us about his unique rental program!  And what about the family that wants to purchase their elderly neighbor’s one-hundred-year-old upright?  Do you know how to advise them as to whether or not this is something to consider?  Josh is willing to answer questions like this and any others that you may have concerning buying or renting pianos.  If you know of families who are looking for pianos, they are welcome to attend as well!  Hope to see you there!
Awards in Excellence Deadlines: 
Audition applications for Awards in Excellence and applications for the Janeen Noble Outstanding Music Student Award are due by the General Meeting on Feb. 22nd.  For additional information, please see the Awards in Excellence article below. 

…Are you getting ready for our big trip??

Cavalcade rehearsals have begun! We are so looking forward to our big performances at Mesquite High School on February 23, at 5:00 and 7:00 pm. Whether your students are participating in Cavalcade this year or not, please come and see the fun and hear the great music from so many hard-working students!

All students will be given a performance day schedule with the Saturday morning rehearsal times, performance dress requirements, ticket information, etc. Please review that with your students. It’s also available at Make sure they understand when to be there, what to wear, how they should behave, etc. The Saturday morning rehearsal is mostly logistical, making sure students know where they sit in the auditorium, how to get onstage, which piano is theirs, how to bow, and how to get back to their seats. Parents have the opportunity to see where their children will be on stage and can choose a seat during the performance accordingly. 

Make sure students and their parents know which performance they will be in. Students in groups I-N will perform in both shows. We will take them to a snack room in between performances and give them a chance to use the restroom, etc. Please make sure that parents understand that if they want to attend both shows, they will need to buy a ticket for each show. Also, parents of those students should not try to meet up with their children in between shows. Wait until after the 7:00 show to give congratulations. 

Many thanks to all our directors and volunteers who have been and will be helping, and to The Music Store for hosting our rehearsals.

See you on the road!

Achievement Day, May 11, 2019 – Determining Levels and Options
Reminder – Registration for this event may be turned in at the General Meeting on March 22nd.  Final deadline for mail-in registrations is March 30th.
All of my students prepare for Achievement Day, even if student schedules prevent them from participating in the actual event.  To me, Achievement Day is like a “final exam” for the year.  It celebrates nearly every aspect of a student’s piano education – performance, memorization, technique, theory, sight-reading, ear training, music history, ensemble playing and composition.  It holds me, as the teacher, accountable for addressing each of these areas in some way throughout the year to assure that I am offering my students a well-rounded piano curriculum. 
At this point in the year, I examine each of my students’ progress to determine their Achievement Day levels.  I encourage students who are ready to pass a level to prepare the Expanded Requirements.  Occasionally, I have students who have difficultly getting three pieces memorized in time.   It is very easy to change a student’s requirements to Standard all the way up to Achievement Day.  It is the teacher’s responsibility to prepare the evaluation forms and check sheets that the student takes to Achievement Day, so changing a student’s requirements is simply a matter of filling out the paperwork accordingly.  Sometimes students do not adequately cover a full level from the year before, and are therefore not ready to test at a higher level.  In this case, I allow students to have a review year in which they prepare the Standard Requirements at the previous year’s level.   In this way, I am able to include all students and keep them accountable for the skills they are learning.
Once I have determined each student’s Achievement Day level for the year, I help them choose repertoire, which was the focus of last month’s news article, and I help them choose their options.  A detailed list of options and skill requirements for each level are clearly spelled out in the Achievement Day Requirements Packet which can be found on the website –   If you have not viewed this document this year, please do.  It has been revised to include an in-depth description of each option and what to expect for each on Achievement Day.
Achievement Day may seem a bit overwhelming, however, it is usually a very rewarding experience for the students who have been well prepared.  Evaluators are instructed to give mostly positive feedback, and I guarantee that the students will pass their theory and ear training tests as long as they know the handful of objectives listed for their level.  If I can help you in any way, please let me know!
Buffie Meeker—

Registration for Awards in Excellence auditions is THIS month, due February 22. All forms and information is on our website; please read all the qualifications for student and teacher carefully. Fill out everything on both forms and turn everything in to Lorri McHardy either at the general meeting or to her home.
You’ll notice that this year’s forms do not publish a specific cash award for the winners at each level. As a DVMTA board, we must be careful with our Student Awards fund. For those who may not understand the background, Marathon and Cavalcade have been our money-makers over the years. With Cavalcade expenses rising, we are now basically dependent on Marathon for funding our Student Awards. The Awards Plus recipients and the Awards in Excellence winners will have to share what comes in. But even if the cash prizes turn out to be a little smaller, students participating in Awards in Excellence still reap great benefits:
  •  The written evaluation from a professional judge, providing valuable feedback
  • The opportunity to study every aspect of high-quality repertoire
  • The motivation to practice effectively and well
  • The experience of performing before a judge, building self-assurance
Can it be a stressful experience to compete? Absolutely. Not every piano student wants to take on the challenge. But for those who do, win or lose, they gain incomparable knowledge and experience.
The auditions will be held on Saturday, April 13 at AZ Piano, with the winner’s recitals on Saturday, April 20. I highly recommend attending one of the winner’s recitals, whether you participate in Awards in Excellence or not. You will be amazed at the high caliber of playing, from our youngest to our most accomplished students. Seeing the possibilities will challenge you as a teacher to be your very best, and that’s a benefit for all.
If you have students that may be eligible for the Devoted Performer or Senior Scholar awards next spring, remember a letter of intent was due by December 1.

Now that registration for three of our five events is done, remember to keep track of what students participated this year. Good record-keeping is vital in our studios.

If you have any questions about Awards Plus, please contact Carolyn Eldredge.

Teaching Ideas for Original Composition:
Here are some ideas for the month of February on how I'd get some ideas rolling for our Composition Festival next Fall!

1. Ask your creative students to consider entering a Composition for the Achievement Day event in May. If they can get it created/recorded, you are one step closer to getting a song ready for Composition Festival!

2. For all other students (even the non-creative ones!):

Late Intermediate/Advanced: ask them to record, or notate 2-3 motifs (motives) they might want to use in the their composition.

Intermediate: play 3-4 songs with strong chord progressions, ask them which one appeals to them. Use that as a jumpstart later!

Beginner: ask them what they would like to write about. The beach? a sport? an animal? a castle? Get some ideas just to get them to start thinking about it!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Toni Tetreau  602-614-2374

Copyright © 2019 Desert Valley Music Teachers Association, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp