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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)


April 2019

Spring has arrived!  Beautiful colors are popping up all around, the fragrance of orange blossoms is sweetening the air, children are getting restless for school to end and there is evidence of new growth everywhere you look!  At this time of year, we not only recognize natural and physical growth, but family calendars are filling up with numerous events that evaluate, recognize and celebrate academic growth as well.  Many students across the valley are currently taking the AZ Merit test in an effort to prove that they actually learned something at school this year!  Many students are making preparations to graduate and take the next academic or life step ahead.  Music and dance studios are busily polishing up numbers for spring recitals.  Sports teams are competing for division titles.  It is the season for demonstrating growth!
DVMTA has three remaining activities that celebrate and award the hard work students have made in their music studies this year – Awards in Excellence, Achievement Day and Awards Plus.  I hope that all of you have students participating in at least one of these awesome events!  They are each unique in their ability to provide the perfect way to award students for their musical growth.  Unfortunately, deadlines have passed for entering students in these events this year, but here are some suggestions, beyond the typical spring recital, of other things you might try in your studio to celebrate student growth this year!
  1. Make one lesson at the end of the year a Mini – Achievement Day to evaluate whatever skills you’d like to test in your individual studio.
  2. Hold an end-of-year group lesson with refreshments for the students with games and activities that celebrate the things they have learned during the year. 
  3. Issue a report card praising the growth students have made on various music skills throughout the year.
  4. Distribute special ribbons or awards at your end-of-year recital to celebrate specific areas of improvement for each child (memory skills, technique, sight-reading, theory, etc.)
  5. Make an audio recording of each student’s recital pieces and create a permanent file that can be added to each year.  Have students critique their own performances to help set goals for next year.
  6. Assign a piece or two to review from last spring and have the student reflect on how the piece “feels” this time around – what skills has s/he gained that makes it easier a year later?
No matter what you do, make sure to find some way to celebrate how far each student has come this year.  Musical growth is often difficult for students as well as parents to easily recognize, so it is definitely important to assure them that all those lessons have been worthwhile! 
Carolyn Rooder
DVMTA President 2018-2019
Awards in Excellence – You don’t have to have a student participating to attend one of our Awards in Excellence recitals taking place at Arizona Piano and Organ on Saturday, April 20th at 1:30 pm and 2:45 pm.  The talent and hard work represented by these students is positively inspirational!
April Brunch – Come celebrate another successful year of DVMTA at our annual April Brunch with a fun Paris theme which will take place on Friday, April 26th at 9:30 am at the LDS Church located at 1415 E. Southern Ave, Mesa, 85204.  We will have our Give and Take table where you can leave music and materials you no longer want and pick up some items that you can use!  If you have not already done so, use the following link to RSVP for this final opportunity of the year to spend time with your favorite DVMTA friends and colleagues in a fun and relaxed setting!
The Cline's will be bringing quite a variety of piano music for you to select and take at the April Brunch. (That is if Jeanette can break lose of it!) After having a teaching studio for more than 50 years there seems to be so many memories of the students who were a part of the music.But it is time to down size the multi files of music!!   Solos sheet music,Books of solos by your favorite composers, Theory books, Method Books are all a part of it.

Coming soon!  Summer Music Challenge!  - Are you looking for a great way to keep students motivated to keep learning during the summer months?  This summer, DVMTA is piloting a new event – the Summer Music Challenge!  All DVMTA students are eligible to participate in this fun event!  Basically, students will learn as many pieces as they can and collect pledges for pieces learned from neighbors, family and friends between June 1st and August 15th.  Studio teachers will verify number of pieces learned and students will in turn collect donations.  All donations will be used to support our DVMTA award and scholarship fund.  The top earner in each studio will earn a prize and all students who learn five or more pieces will also earn a prize provided by DVMTA.  Be on the lookout for information, letters and pledge sheets in an upcoming email!

May 11, 2019 at MCC Music Building

Can Achievement Day possibly be just around the corner?  Yes, indeed!  There are 167 students from 20 studios participating this year!  I was so excited to see some teachers trying it for the first time this year!  I hope you and your students each have a great experience!  Here are a few pointers to help make it a great day:

This Achievement Day will take place at the Mesa Community College Music Building.  There is a map on the DVMTA website.  All teacher volunteers need to arrive by 6:45 a.m.  Evaluations will start promptly at 7:00 a.m. Water bottles and snacks will be available to you throughout the morning  - Location TBA.  

You will receive a packet at the April Brunch with instructions for the day, your volunteer assignment and a variety of name tags with evaluation times that you will distribute to students in whatever way works best for the students in your studio.  (You will get a couple of extra name tags to help alleviate scheduling problems).  You will also receive green option sheets and one copy of each of the evaluation forms.  It is up to you to copy and fill out the forms for each of your students. 


  • Copy all necessary forms for students
  • Fill out a green option sheet for each student.  Note:  If a student is doing Level Primer through Level 3 ear-training, write down a couple of possible times for the student to complete this option on their green option sheet taking the student’s evaluation time into consideration.  The testing times can be found on the student checklist.  (We are returning to recorded evaluations for Levels 4 – 12 this year which can be done at any time during the morning.)
  • Fill out everything in bold on all evaluation forms (name, titles, teacher #, etc.)
  • Make sure students have original copies of all music, even the memorized pieces
  • Review all expectations with students for every option they’re doing
  • Make sure parents understand where to be and what to bring


  • Make sure they have all necessary forms and nametag
  • Bring all original music with measures numbered.  It is also helpful to the evaluator if pieces are marked with post-its or paper clips.
  • Bring necessary option items:  music for duet, composer study sheet, written report, and/or original composition
  • Be there at least 10 minutes before their evaluation time (they can do their other events either before or after their assigned time)
  • Dress nicely – not required, but makes a nice impression and gives the students that “Look good, feel good” advantage!
  • Turn in their green option sheet at the information desk when finished


  • Wait until all filing is finished before leaving.
  • Double check your envelope—do you have all theory tests, evaluations, etc. for each of your students? Do you have any that do NOT belong to you?
  • Pick up your trophies and ribbons from the snack room. Please leave behind any trophies for students who did not show up or who chose to drop from expanded to standard requirements (or were forced to for lack of memorization, etc.) 
  • Grade the theory and ear training tests that day (a key is provided for ear training). Remember that to receive a trophy for expanded requirements, students MUST pass the theory, technique and sight-reading or ear training portions, as well as one additional option. If they do not pass, please return the trophy to Buffie Meeker.

Thanks in advance for all your help that day and for your preparation of students. This is an excellent way to boost their confidence and help them realize just how much they have mastered over the year. If you have any questions or concerns at all about the event, please contact Buffie Meeker at 480-274-5734 or at

I’m excited for our Awards in Excellence auditions on Saturday, April 13 at AZ Piano. Our four judges are highly qualified and looking forward to adjudicating for us once again. This year we welcome Susan Martinez, Mandarin Cheung-Yueh (who taught us so well at our last general meeting), Dr. Radmila Stoyanovic-Kiriluk, and Dr. Ruth Yandell. Winners will be posted 30 minutes after each level is complete and the full list will be on our website that evening.
The winners’ recitals will be Saturday, April 20 at 1:30 and 2:45 at AZ Piano. I’m sure this year’s winners will be every bit as amazing as in the past. Come and see these talented and beautifully prepared students perform. Whether you have students in the event or not, their artistry and attention to detail will surprise and motivate you. Thanks to all teachers who have and will help with this event! If you have questions, 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 10 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.
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Desert Valley Music Teachers Association · 123 N Centennial Way #105 · Mesa, AZ 85201 · USA

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