May 2019

Excellence.  A term I have often looked upon in recent times as being a goal that doesn’t seem to hold the same value as in days past.  I get frustrated when dealing with customer service reps who don’t seem to understand their own products. I get disillusioned when I experience professionals taking questionable shortcuts. I get disappointed when I see the all-mighty dollar taking front seat to things that are in the best interest of people. I get disheartened by students who continually fail to put forth effort to make even adequate progress.  But inevitably, something comes along that restores my faith in people’s innate ability to strive toward excellence.  This past month, my wake-up call was my attendance at this year’s Awards in Excellence recitals.  The event is aptly named because the students’ performances were indeed excellent!  I was truly in awe of not only the performances themselves, but the dedication and countless hours that students must have spent in preparation for the event!  I’m so happy that DVMTA has the opportunity to participate in and award this level of excellence.  The students are definitely deserving!
            In addition, as I am pondering what excellence means, I am reminded of all of the people who have shared their time and talents with the organization this year!  I have had the pleasure to work with some amazingly excellent people who have spent countless hours bringing you wonderful events for your students to participate in this year.  Nearly 100% of our members have done something to help our organization thrive this year.  I doubt that many organizations can boast that!  I am so proud to be a member of this organization!  In my book, anyway, DVMTA is……EXCELLENT!!!!
Carolyn Rooder
DVMTA President – 2018-2020

Summer Song Challenge
Are you looking for something fun to keep your students motivated to continue learning new pieces this summer?  We have just the event for you!  The Summer Music Challenge!  This event works for everyone - continuing teachers and students as well as teachers and students who take the summers off!  Students simply ask family and friends for pledges ($2 - $3 per piece suggested), learn as many pieces as possible from June 1st to around August 15th, have teachers approve pieces and collect pledge amounts in time for teachers to turn in funds by September 10th.  ALL students who learn at least 5 pieces will receive a prize and the top money collector from each participating studio will also receive a prize!  All remaining proceeds will be placed in the Student Awards Fund.  Teacher information, a parent letter and a student pledge sheet can be downloaded from the website -  Go to Events – General Documents and you will find a Summer Song Challenge file.  I hope you will participate in this fun, easy event which will keep your students playing this summer while helping to continue funding our wonderful DVMTA events! 
Next General Meeting – August Brunch, August 16th
            In a few short weeks, DVMTA will be wrapping up this year and starting to prepare for next year’s full calendar of events!  Come to the August Brunch to see what we have in store for you in the coming year!  You will also be able to find dates and info about each event on the website around August 1st.  Have a restful, renewing summer!

Summer is upon us... the perfect time to work on compositions for the Festival next Fall. 

I take the summers off of teaching, but schedule a couple of days to work with students on compositions (I can usually work with 2-3 at a time for an hour). We make great headway with this focused time, and it doesn't take away from their regular lessons.

We then finish up in August/Sep, and record them and finalize their scripts before turning them in.

My students have grown so much through this experience. Please let me know if I can assist you in any way!

Toni, chair

THANK YOU to all who helped make Awards in Excellence a success this year. Our winners’ recitals were again jaw-droppingly beautiful. I am always in awe of these students, of the obvious hard work, time, and dedication they give to their art. Special thanks to Penny Carpenter, Yali Luo and Hong Zhu for their help on audition day, to Fei Xu who typed and printed our programs and recorded the recitals, and to Lori Weidemann for tackling the audition scheduling.  Thanks to all the teachers who prepared their students so thoroughly, to our capable and kind judges, and to Jason Sipe at AZ Piano. We were able to provide over $2,500 in student awards to these deserving students.

If you didn’t put students in Awards in Excellence this year, I encourage you to plan ahead and enter a few students next year. The event is set up so that the more students who enter, the more winners we have. In levels 1-9, we strive for a ratio of one winner for every three participants. But aside from the competition factor, the feedback from our judges is helpful. All are from local colleges and their comments give great insights for making things better while still being positive. I understand that not every student wants to work at this level, but for those willing to put in the time and effort, the benefits are amazing. If you have any questions about Awards in Excellence, please contact Lorri McHardy.

The Awards Plus presentations will be held on Monday, May 13 at 7:00 pm in the multipurpose room of Legacy Retirement Residence of Mesa, 5625 E McKellips Rd. We will celebrate the achievements of these very devoted DVMTA students.  We anticipate recognizing 9 Devoted Performers and one Senior Scholar. A huge thank you is due to these students, their teachers, and their parents for their many years of support of DVMTA events. All are welcome to attend and help recognize these dedicated students. If you have questions, please contact Carolyn Eldredge.

You’ve almost completed another year of piano teaching! It’s been a busy and rewarding few months with several DVMTA events and spring recitals in full swing. Registration for the 2019-2020 year began at our April Brunch on April 26th. The Board is busy planning events and General Meetings for next year that will enrich your teaching. Your current membership goes through July 31st, but we encourage you to register early so you don’t forget and to take advantage of the $5 discount offered through July 1st making the dues $45. The dues after July 1st will be $50 for renewing members and $45 for new members. We look forward to meeting the new members who have recently joined our organization.
Registration involves 2 steps:  filling out a registration form and making your payment.  You may fill out the form and pay directly from the website or print the form from the website and mail it to Tammy Shorts along with your check. 
Please pay attention to the following requests as you register:
  1. If you are a current member registering online, please select Member Renewal and not New Members. 
  2. Please take the time to fill out all parts of the registration form giving us information about your studio and feedback, ideas, and suggestions which are appreciated and used to improve our organization and have great General Meetings.
  3. Make sure you provide an address and phone number to include in the Membership Directory.
Keep in mind, the DVMTA website provides you with the opportunity to participate in the Online Referral System.  This system provides interested students and parents with your email to contact you.  We are providing the opportunity for you to include a personal biography about yourself and your studio to guide them as they choose a teacher.  If you fill out the registration form online, you will be able to submit this information automatically.  If you fill out the paper registration form, you will need to email your bio information to Tammy Shorts at
We look forward to another wonderful year being members of DVMTA!

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

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