April 2021 Newsletter

As we finish up our events for the year and prepare for summer, I hope you can breathe a sigh of relief, while at the same time feel a sense of exhilaration that, even in the midst of a pandemic, we have all learned innovative ways to do what we love: teach young minds and provide opportunities for growth and musical expression. Resilience at its best!

It’s been a wonderful year for DVMTA thanks to those of you who organized and who volunteered at events. I can’t thank you enough for helping to make these events successful. I’m so proud of our chairmen and their willingness to think outside the box to come up with new ways to provide similar experiences for our students.

I want to thank Wendi Heslop and Amy King for organizing our recent April Brunch, and Toni Tetreau for opening up her beautiful home and backyard. The delicious food, great conversations, and time together were enjoyed by all those who were able to attend. I also want to thank Tammy Shorts, our Vice President, who has organized the speakers for our General Meetings. The topics have been so helpful and fun, and she has put in so much time and energy to bring us relevant topics presented by amazing guests and friends.

The greatest DVMTA moments for me this past year have been being able to associate with and learn from so many talented and amazing friends and peers, who give so much to DVMTA. This organization doesn’t happen without the dedication and service of so many, and I truly appreciate all you do.

I wish everyone a wonderful, safe and blessed summer, and look forward to seeing you again at our August Brunch, Friday, August 20th to begin a new year!

Lori Weidemann, DVMTA President

Membership Renewal/Signup

Membership renewals/new signups for 2021-2022 open June 1st, 2021.

Remember, early signup fees are $45 and another great reason to sign up early. Membership fees go up to $50 starting July 2, 2021.

New member fees are always $45.

If you prefer to wait until June to sign up, you can register either online through the DVMTA website, or fill out a form (printed from the website) and then mail it with a check. If you do choose this option, please mail both the completed form and check to Lori Sprague at 1257 N Abner Mesa, AZ 85205.

Original Composition

Summer is the perfect time to teach composition to your students. How do you begin? I ask my students what is their most favorite thing in the world to do.

What did they do over the summer? Where did they go for vacation? Do they have a favorite pet or sport? If that doesn't spark their creativity I show them pictures. Another great resource is Joy Morin's "Prompts for Piano." “Prompts for Piano is an e-book designed to provide an easy way for teachers to guide beginner and elementary students through composition or improvisation." Happy composing!

Claire Westlake, Chair

Awards in Excellence

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. Thanks also to the teachers who so thoroughly prepare them and to the parents who support them. We were able to provide over $2,000 in student awards to these deserving students. Special thanks to our amazing judges and to Yali Luo, Nancy Chase and Yuerong Gong for their help on audition day. Many thanks also to Dr Karali Hunter of Hammer and Strings Conservatory for use of the beautiful facility. Being able to hold a live event relatively safely was a wonderful blessing after this rather difficult year.

Viewing the recitals is very simple. Just go to:

That is the playlist section of our DVMTA channel. You can click on either of the two recitals and play the whole list, or go to individual students. I have already used a couple of the videos as examples for my students. It makes it more personal for them to see someone from our organization instead of some stranger on YouTube. You can even subscribe to the channel by clicking the red Subscribe button, then you can easily find your way back. We will be putting the Cavalcade video on there as well.

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. Their professional 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.

Lorri McHardy, Chair

Awards Plus

All are invited to recognize our Devoted Performers and our Senior Scholars at our Awards Plus presentations, Monday May 17 at 7:00 at the Southeast Valley Bible Church, 710 E. Williams Field Rd., Gilbert, AZ 85295. This year we will recognize 14 Devoted Performers and 2 Senior Scholars from 5 different DVMTA teachers. These students have devoted countless hours of practice, and their parents and teachers are to be commended for supporting and helping them. Our DVMTA events thrive because of dedicated students, parents, and teachers like these. Thank you!

Wendi Heslop, Chair 480-241-4591

Janeen Noble Award

At the Awards in Excellence recital, we were able to present Arella Payne with the Janeen Noble Outstanding Music Student Award. Janeen was a devoted member of our organization, a gifted teacher and talented musician who passed away suddenly in 2006. She was always willing to share her talents, whether in arranging, accompanying, playing the violin or teaching piano. This award recognizes a high school student who exemplifies those same qualities: excellence as a musician plus an attitude of service. The award is funded completely from DVMTA donations, so as you are renewing your membership, please consider donating to this fund. It honors Janeen and all those students whom we are teaching to follow in her footsteps. If you have questions, please contact Lorri McHardy.



17 Awards Plus awards presented 7:00pm, Southeast Valley Bible Church, 710 E Williams Field Rd, Gilbert AZ 85295


4 Board Meeting 9:30 a.m. via Zoom


20 August Kick-Off Brunch, 9:30 am

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