Monthly Email from Desert Valley Music Teachers Association
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April 4
Awards in Excellence Auditions
(AZ Piano)

April 11 
Awards in Excellence Recitals
(AZ Piano)

April 27
April Brunch

May 9
Achievement Day

May 11 
Awards Plus

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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:

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

MARCH 2020

Please note: This newsletter does not reflect recent  information concerning the Coronavirus. As the board makes decisions about our remaining events and activities, you will receive email communication from Carolyn Rooder.  In the meantime, stay healthy and safe!

President’s Message –
Achievement Day –  The Event ALL of our Students Should be Participating In!!

In last month’s issue, I stressed the importance of providing many performance opportunities to our students, because it gives them a real reason to practice throughout the week.  However, there are many things we teach in our studios that students cannot demonstrate in a performance alone.  That is why Achievement Day was created!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Achievement Day!  It is an all-inclusive event that is appropriate for ALL of our students.  Do you have students who have great difficulty memorizing or simply don’t have time to get multiple pieces memorized?  Achievement Day provides two levels of participation so that even your busiest student or special needs student can successfully take part. Does a formal competition make any of your students break out in a cold sweat?  The Achievement Day adjudication process is friendly, positive and provides awards for ALL students who have met the preparation requirements.  Do your students resist cranking out miles and miles of theory pages to prepare for a lengthy test?  The Achievement Day theory and ear-training tests provide simple snapshot evaluations of only 8 – 10 critical objectives which are educationally sound and at the lower levels, have been carefully aligned with popular method books.  The benefits of Achievement Day don’t stop there!  For students unable to participate in Cavalcade, the duet option allows students to demonstrate ensemble playing.  For students unable to participate in Original Composition, the composition option allows students to perform and receive feedback on their own musical creation – even one that is not yet transcribed!  Students have the opportunity to demonstrate musical history knowledge through learning a few simple facts about composers or presenting a written report on a music history topic. Achievement Day truly is a simple, comprehensive, low-stress way to award students for their hard work this year!
If you are not already entering students in Achievement Day, what’s holding you back?  If the scope of the event seems overwhelming or intimidating, I highly encourage you to enter just two or three of your lower level students this year so that you can experience how simple and worthwhile participating in this event can actually be!  Achievement Day provides affirmation to both students and teachers that students are successfully mastering a well-rounded music curriculum.  There is nothing else that you can do for your students that meets so many of your music objectives all at once!  Plus, it is fun for the students to spend a couple of hours at the college where the “big kids” study music!!!  Check out the article below from our Achievement Day Chairperson for more registration details!

Carolyn Rooder
DVMTA President 2018-2020

March General Meeting, March 27th, 9:30 am, My First Piano Recital Hall, 1818 E. Southern Ave., Mesa – Welcome to My Music Studio – presented by Claire Westlake, Lorri McHardy and Juleene Farr – We all work in our own little bubble which makes it difficult to gain feedback on our teaching and learn from observing our colleagues.  Thankfully, we have DVMTA which gives us an outlet to TALK to one another about what we are doing in our studios, but wouldn’t it be great to be a fly on the wall of other teachers’ studios to see them in action?  This month’s workshop will allow us to be flies for a little while gaining a virtual glimpse into the workings of three teachers’ studios!  You won’t want to miss it!  

Special Note:  Attendance at this meeting is important because we will be voting for our 2020-2022 Executive Board.  The nominees are President – Lori Weidemann, Vice President – Tammy Shorts, Secretary – Randi Buell, Treasurer – Kelli Riding

Achievement Day Registration due on March 27th.  Using the fillable registration form found on the website and emailing it to Buffie is the preferred method of registering for this event.  However, your registration may be mailed to Buffie or turned in at the March General Meeting.  Unfortunately, online payment is NOT available for this event at this time.  


We would like to extend an enormous thank you to all of our hard working members that helped make our 2020 Cavalcade such a great success! Every rehearsal monitor, attendance taker, ticket seller, and every other volunteer made an important contribution to this large and involved event! One of the best things about DVMTA is working with all of the incredible members, and two successful shows were the result!

Congratulations to all the performers- students and teachers! Also a big thank you congratulations to all of our hardworking directors who did such a wonderful job! We also had fantastic support from outside the organization- Heritage Academy and their fabulous dance team, My First Piano, superlative drummer Keith Palmer, and of course, the many parents who drove their kids to rehearsals so they could do such a great job!
If you have not received your ribbons for your students please get in touch with the Cavalcade committee, or they will be available to pick up at the March general meeting.

Thanks to all the teachers and students who have registered for Awards in Excellence. We have 75 students participating this year from 12 different teachers. If you have never entered students in this event, I encourage you to plan ahead and make it a goal for next year, even if you only put in one student. Students who participate benefit from the insightful comments from our professional judges, as well as learning discipline, attention to detail, and many other skills. Teachers who participate also benefit; the judges’ comments help us learn and grow right along with our students. Not everyone has a desire to compete, but the experience is valuable and the skills learned transfer to many areas of life.

Our auditions will take place on Saturday, April 4 at AZ Piano beginning at 9:00 a.m. I should have a schedule with specific audition times very soon. The winner’s recitals will be held on Saturday, April 11 at 1:30 and 2:45 at AZ Piano. I highly recommend attending one of the recitals whether you have students registered or not. These winners amaze me every time with their preparation and artistry, whether playing repertoire from level 1 or level 14. My eyes are always opened to the great potential within these talented students and it motivates me to do my best for them. 


You’ve been squeezing in those extra skills and you’ve been selecting repertoire.  Now, it’s time to get registered for the big event – Achievement Day!  Registration is due on March 27th. Registration forms are on our website under Documents. The form can be mailed or emailed to me or they can be turned in at the March meeting on March 27th.   Fill out the form completely and make note of any special requests: a particular area you’d like to volunteer in, a student with a specific time need, etc.  We will do our best to honor any requests.   In our alternate venue, we may need more help guiding people around the building, so please list any high-schoolers willing to do volunteer service hours on the back of the form.

Remember to specify standard or expanded requirements for each student. Fees are $8 and $10, and the requirements and awards are spelled out in the registration packet.  Also, please note that expanded students may choose either sight-reading OR ear-training as their required option, so make sure you register them for one or both of these options!  It is recommended that you register students for an extra option, as well, in case an option is failed, so that students satisfy the necessary requirements.

Trophies are ordered based on the registration forms, so please either print or type the names and levels clearly.  Double-check the spelling of student names. 

Teachers will receive a packet at the April Brunch with their teacher number, name tags with times, green option sheets and their volunteer assignment for the morning. Teachers are responsible for printing evaluation forms for their own students from our website. Please don’t forget the duet or original composition evaluation forms if your students are participating in those categories.  If you need help with this or cannot print the forms, please make a note of it when you register and I will include hard copies you can duplicate. If you cannot attend the April Brunch, you will need to pick up your packet from my house.  

I encourage everyone to take advantage of participating in this great event!  It is such a nice way to celebrate the year’s progress!  If you have any questions or concerns, please email – Buffie Meeker— 

 Achievement Day 2020 will now officially include VOCAL students!!! These students will have both the Standard and Expanded options available to them. There are some requirements specific to vocal students that can be viewed on our website. The other events--such as Theory, Ear Training, Sight Reading, etc...will be the same for all music students. If you have any other questions for VOCAL requirements, feel free to reach out to Corrine Walker 480-310-7206 OR at

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


New Member Spotlights:
We would like to welcome Kim Lundblad and Marla Bradford to DVMTA. We are excited to get to know both of you! 

Kim grew up in Tempe, and now lives in Gilbert. She has been teaching on and off since high school for around 20 years. She is a travelling teacher and has 22 students. She also plays the organ at church. She was somewhat hesitant to begin teaching, but convinced herself to try and discovered she loves it! She started out with a great group of students, and she realized she especially enjoyed the one-on-one experience with each student. Kim has four grown children and four grandchildren. She just attended her granddaughter’s first dance recital. Her hobbies include outdoor activities like hiking, and her favorite is paddle boarding. Her favorite food to eat is anything healthy and she loves to go to Pita Jungle or Nectar. Kim joined DVMTA so a student could participate in Cavalcade, and she is looking forward to having more students participate in more DVMTA events.

Marla Bradford lives in Mesa and has been teaching piano for 43 years. She currently has 33 students. She teaches piano and voice. She began teaching when she graduated from college with a bachelor’s in Music Education. Her primary instrument was piano with 2 years of private voice in college. She has 9 boys and 2 girls who have all participated in and enjoy music. Wow! Her primary hobby is spending time with her 8 grandchildren. The oldest just turned 5 and boy/girl twins are due the end of April. Marla also enjoys big family dinners. When it comes to teaching, she loves watching the excitement students exhibit when they learn something new or hear a cool musical sound. She is excited to enter her voice students in Achievement Day. 


2020-2021 Member Registration

We look forward to seeing everyone at our April Brunch. Remember that you may begin registering for the 2020-2021 piano year at the brunch on Friday, April 24th. We encourage you to get that done early! The annual price for membership is $50, but if you renew by July 1st there is a $5 discount making it $45. That’s a great deal! The fee for new members is $45. Your DVMTA membership goes from August 1st through July 31st each year.

You can pay with a check at the brunch or we will also have a card reader there for you to use a card for payment. You may pay either way, but consider using a check if you have one to cut down on our online payment fees. You may also mail checks in or pay directly through the website. Don’t forget that registration also includes filling out the 2020-2021 Registration Form which will be available at the brunch or online for you to print, fill out, and bring to the brunch or mail in. You can also fill out the registration form digitally on the website. 

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

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