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Event: Original Composition Festival at
Southeast Valley Bible Church
710 E Williams Field Rd
Gilbert AZ 85295

2:00 and 3:00 recitals

Deadline: Cavalcade registration closes

General Meeting 9:30am, on Zoom and at My First Piano 1818 E Southern Ave, Mesa

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Teacher Spotlight

Recognizing the power of technology, we want to help YOU build your studio by featuring various DVMTA teachers on our blog! The spotlight would include a short biography and information about your unique studio.  Does your studio have it's own website, blog, Facebook page or YouTube channel?  We would love to include links as well!  This is a fabulous way for your studio to get additional publicity.  Please email a short bio and any links you would like to share to

Music Teacher Blogs:

Follow-up from October’s General Meeting:
What is Music Eye? Music Eye is a reference guide solving the mystery of music theory.  You are able to visualize scale patterns immediately. Diatonic triads are simplified, chords at a glance, a transposition tool for all key signatures, the circle of fifths and fourths, fingering scale guide for major and minors, intervals, major inversions and more.  In a visual way anyone can use Music Eye to speed discover how music works.  Based on piano the Music Eye uses are for all tone instruments and adapts to any teaching method. Can I be of service to your studio? Text Juleene Farr at 480-375-0035 or e-mail

Local Resources:

Know of any other good resources?  Please email us!  We would love to include their websites in our newsletters!

DVMTA teachers:

Does your studio have a website, blog or Facebook page?  We would love to include a link here!  It is always fun to see what other teachers are doing.  Please email us a link and we will add it right away! 
Official DVMTA Website
Official DVMTA Website
Facebook - connect with other DVMTA teachers
Facebook - connect with other DVMTA teachers
Pinterest - a great resource for ideas
Pinterest - a great resource for ideas
Instagram - photos of DVMTA events
Instagram - photos of DVMTA events

As we move into November, can you think of a year when we’ve needed Thanksgiving more? For many, 2020 has been a year of unprecedented loss, deep heartache, and debilitating stress. It’s also been a year of resilience, stamina and innovation. That is exactly WHY we need to remind ourselves and each other to keep perspective. I’m thankful that so many of our students were able to give live performances at our first two events; I’m thankful for the many students who have been featured performing on Facebook and You Tube; I’m thankful for the DVMTA Board members who are adjusting to significant changes; I’m grateful for each one of you and for the ways you are pitching in to help out; I’m thankful for members who have jumped on the wave of technology and helped all of us learn and benefit from it; and I’m thankful for friends who have made this season a little sweeter just by being available when it seems we are having to figure it all out on our own. We have so much to be thankful for. May you and your families experience the joy of gratitude in this Thanksgiving season! 

Lori Weidemann

DVMTA President 

Upcoming General Meeting

Welcome to My Music Studio 
Presented by Lorri McHardy & Claire Westlake 
Friday, November 20th, 9:30 am
My First Piano Recital Hall & Zoom
(one week earlier due to Thanksgiving)
Join us for our next General Meeting as two of DVMTA’s finest teachers give us a tour of what works in their studios as well as teaching tips, themes, incentives, and lots of great ideas. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from these wonderful and experienced teachers. The meeting will be offered both in-person as well as on Zoom.

Meeting ID: 966 655 6826

Passcode: knox111

December Brunch
Join us on Friday, December 4 at T.C. Eggingtons for our annual December Brunch!
December Brunch is a great opportunity to relax and enjoy some time with other awesome teachers in DVMTA!
RSVP to Jenna Hartley at
No tickets to purchase this year- you will be purchasing your own food and drinks at the restaurant. For menu options visit
Music Marathon

I apologize for the confusion regarding the virtual recitals. Because of their popularly, the deadline was extended so that they could continue to generate revenue for us. However, the time has come to "close the books" on Marathon so that we may focus on other events. Therefore, the final deadline to pay  all fees and upload videos will be Monday, November 30th, 2020

Charles Newton 
Music Marathon Chairman

Original Composition Festival

The Original Composition Festival will be held Saturday, November 14th at the Southeast Valley Bible Church, located at 710 E. Williams Field Road in Gilbert. The recitals will be at 2 and 3 PM. If your students participated in the virtual recital you may pick up your students' compositions, critiques and medals at the Southeast Valley Bible Church or at Claire Westlake's home at 707 N. Balboa Circle in Mesa after the recitals.

Claire Westlake
Original Composition Chairman 


Cavalcade Registration is underway! If you missed our read-through, here’s a link to the video: - check out that video and you’ll be able to hear and see ALL of this year’s Cavalcade music!

And as a reminder, this year’s Cavalcade will all be done through VIDEO which means anybody can participate!! Check the website for important forms and information, and please get in touch with me if you have any questions. Let’s ROCK ON!!

Sara Pratt
Cavalcade Chairman

Awards in Excellence

Great News! We have found an alternate location to hold the Awards in Excellence auditions and recitals. Hammer and Strings Conservatory in Gilbert has everything we need, so we will proceed with the assumption that auditions will be in person. That said, there is always the possibility in these uncertain times that we will need to make changes. But this location has plenty of room for us to spread out and safely hold our event as usual. 

Are you planning now for the April auditions? Things to consider:

1. How many students am I going to enter in the competition? 

Not every student wants to compete, or has the work ethic and persistence to truly perfect their pieces. But for those who you think would benefit from the experience, you can be talking now with parents and making sure you have entered enough students in Marathon and Cavalcade. Remember, you need to enter at least twice as many students in any combination of Marathon and Cavalcade as you plan to enter in Awards in Excellence. Cavalcade registration will close November 20, so plan ahead. 

2. What pieces would be best?

All repertoire must be chosen from the current (2020-2021) repertoire list available to members on our website. Each student plays two contrasting pieces, and for those in Level 4 and above, the pieces must be from two different musical time periods and do not exceed the time limits. To me, choosing the right pieces is the hardest part. The students need to love the songs enough to put in the practice time, and the songs should show off the student at their best. Choose two pieces that you know they can play well, and trust that they will grow to love them with time and understanding. Students may repeat levels if they do not win, but they cannot go to lower levels ever, so choose wisely.

3. Am I fulfilling my responsibilities to DVMTA?

Are you registered for this year? Do you sign in at every meeting you attend? Attendance records will be closely checked. Have you helped out with Marathon or Original Composition, or do you have plans to help elsewhere? Service hours must be completed by February 2021. There are ways to help the organization that are not connected to our events; contact me if you need some ideas. We will need teachers to help on audition day, and your service will be duly noted for Awards in Excellence 2022 registration. 

Awards in Excellence will help not only your students’ growth, but yours as a teacher as well. The judges’ comments along with the in-depth preparation you and your students do together will be enlightening. Winning of course feels good, but expanding your knowledge as a teacher, and seeing growth in your students is the true reward. If you have any questions about Awards in Excellence, please contact me. 

Lorri McHardy
Awards in Excellence Chairman
Achievement Day

One of the aspects of A. Day that I used to be nervous about was sight-reading. Every student is required to do some form of sight-reading or ear training. 

Even though we sight-read each week in our lessons, I felt it wasn't enough. Thankfully, a friend introduced me to Sight-Reading Factory. It is a subscription that I pay for each year, and I use it in class, especially with my students who are around Level 3 and up. There is an option to get students their own subscription as well, but at an added cost.

You choose the Level, the Key signature, the Time Signature that you'd like to work on. It automatically generates a new exercise each time for 8-12 measures. I have the student look it over, note the flats/sharps/accidentals, and I go over any timing with them that I think may present a problem. Then, we count OUTLOUD together one measure, then the student begins to play. I continue to count with them outloud while they play through the exercise. We note any problems, then move to another one. I generally do 2-3 with them each week, and keep track in their notebook what we did. We do several different keys/time signatures before I feel they are ready to move up to the next level.

Since starting this program, I've noticed a huge improvement in my students' sight-reading, and their confidence in counting their weekly pieces has increased greatly. I would highly recommend it! There are other great programs as well, I just wanted to call your attention to the one that has helped me the most!

Happy Sight-reading!

Toni Tetreau 
Achievement Day Chairman

Awards Plus

If you have students that may be eligible for the Devoted Performer or Senior Scholar awards next spring, remember that a letter of intent is due by December 1.  A simple email will suffice; nothing formal is required.  This just helps us to plan and prepare.

Also, have you registered for Cavalcade yet?  Now is the time to make sure your students are reaching that goal of participating in many DVMTA sponsored events (4 events for 3 out of 5 years for a Devoted Performer).  Remember to keep track of which events each student participates in this year.  Good record-keeping is vital.

If you have any questions about Awards Plus, please contact me at 480-241-4591 or

Wendi Heslop
Awards Plus Chairman



14 Event: Original Composition Festival, Southeast Valley Bible Church 710 E Williams Field Rd, Gilbert AZ 85295.  Recitals at 2:00 and 3:00.

20 Deadline: Cavalcade registration closes

20 General Meeting 9:30am, on Zoom and at My First Piano 1818 E Southern Ave, Mesa



1 Awards Plus Letters of Intent due

4 December Brunch 9:30 am, at TC Eggington's



29 General Meeting 9:30am, on Zoom and at My First Piano 1818 E Southern Ave, Mesa

29 Awards in Excellence applications accepted 



1 Deadline: Cavalcade submissions due

26 General Meeting 9:30am, on Zoom and at My First Piano 1818 E Southern Ave, Mesa

26 Deadline: Awards in Excellence applications final day of acceptance

27 Event: Cavalcade performance on YouTube!


26 General Meeting 9:30am, on Zoom and at My First Piano 1818 E Southern Ave, Mesa

26 Deadline: Awards Plus applications due



10 Awards in Excellence Auditions, Hammer and Strings Conservatory in Gilbert, 610 N Gilbert Rd #400, Gilbert

24 Awards in Excellence Winners Recital, Hammer and Strings Conservatory in Gilbert, 610 N Gilbert Rd #400, Gilbert

30 April Brunch 9:30am, location TBA


15 Event: Achievement Day 7:00am-12:00pm, Mesa Community College
17 Awards Plus awards presented 7:00pm, location TBA

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Desert Valley Music Teachers Association · 123 N Centennial Way #105 · Mesa, AZ 85201 · USA

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