August 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to a new year of teaching! It’s great to be with my students again and to hear about their first week of school adventures. I’ve been talking with my students about their piano goals and what they hope to accomplish this year. I’ve also been thinking about what I want to accomplish as their teacher and what we want to accomplish as an organization. Creating Lifelong Musicians seems to sum up our goals as teachers and supports our DVMTA mission. We want our students to reach their highest potential as they study with us and gain a love and appreciation for music so they will continue to play, and then share their talent with their future families and communities. We create lifelong musicians as we strive to Inspire, Challenge, and Encourage our students. We as teachers also need to be inspired, challenged, and encouraged. We have an important job that really matters and DVMTA can help us. A presenter at a General Meeting can inspire us with a new idea that helps us become better teachers. We can challenge a student to participate in a new event, which also challenges us to learn new things. We feel encouraged as we network with other teachers - we feel camaraderie and support. So come join us and be part of a great organization that will benefit you and your students. If you haven’t been a member recently, we would love to have you back, and we welcome new members.

We are excited to invite you and anyone else interested in DVMTA to our August Brunch being held on August 19. You will enjoy delicious food, get to know other members, and hear about the year’s events.

Being connected is important. We have so much in common and a lot we can learn from each other.

Tammy Shorts
DVMTA President 2022-2024

Vice President’s Message

This year we'll look forward to the many opportunities of learning that we as teachers have. Our goal will be to inspire our students, and challenge them to new heights, as we are learning and growing ourselves!

We'll hear from some of our own DVMTA teachers about setting goals for our studios, and how we as a group can help each other through our organization. We'll also have a session on Baroque, Classical and Romantic piano literature and how to interpret it based on the time periods. A Masterclass is planned for January, with Dr. Hannah Creviston, and a Composition Class with Dr. Michael Bryson is on the docket for February. Lastly, we'll have a session entitled "Setting Up Your Studio for Success" with tips and advice from some of our own DVMTA seasoned teachers.

I'm looking forward to learning, growing, and passing this excitement on to my students this year. I hope you'll join as many sessions as you can to support our special speakers who work diligently to prepare, and learn and grow with your fellow DVMTA members!

See you soon!

Toni Tetreau,
DVMTA Vice President 2022-2024

Upcoming General Meeting

We invite all teachers to join us at the LDS building at 920 S Lindsay for August Brunch on August 19, 2022 at 9:30AM. Come enjoy delicious food, get to know other teachers, and hear about the amazing DVMTA events that your students can participate in.

Wendi Heslop, Chair

Annual Organ Stop Pizza Fundraising Event

Please help DVMTA benefit from the EASIEST FUNDRAISER EVER!

On Monday, September 26th, Organ Stop will give back a whopping 20% of their pre-tax kitchen food sales to DVMTA.

You will be receiving a flyer for the event by email.

All you have to do is send a digital or paper copy of the flyer to all your piano families and encourage them to take the family out for pizza at Organ Stop on September 26th between 4:00 and 8:00 pm.

If each person/family shows the paper or digital flyer to the cashier when ordering, DVMTA will get credit for those orders.

It’s a win-win! Your families have to eat anyway, and why not get some amazing entertainment from the mighty Wurlitzer as well while benefitting our organization!

Shop with Amazon Smile!

DVMTA is still officially signed up to receive donations from Amazon Smile! All you need to do is visit and choose Desert Valley Music Teachers Association as your charity. Then, if you make all future Amazon purchases through, Amazon will donate 0.5% back to DVMTA! That doesn’t seem like a lot, but if we spread the word to all of our families, it will definitely add up! Every penny counts! This is a simple, sensible way to help DVMTA fund our yearly student awards!

Thanks for your support!

Music Marathon

Music Marathon will be Saturday, October 22nd.

We are excited to announce that we have SIX locations this year! Three in Mesa, and three in Gilbert. The locations are Superstition Springs Mall, Emerald Grove Central, Emerald Glen, Southeast Valley Bible Church, Serenade Assisted Living and Copper Springs Retirement Community.

These venues cover a range of studio needs like for smaller studios (Emerald Grove Central and Emerald Glen) as well as larger studios that would enjoy a stage (i.e. SE Valley Bible Church, the Mall, and Copper Springs).

We are thrilled to be back in four Retirement /Assisted living communities this year! Start preparing your students and families for this wonderful event!

Sharon Vance, Chair

Original Composition

Calling all Creative Composers!!! This event is coming up quick so get those creative ideas down on paper and get ready for our Original Composition Festival.

Registration is due on or before the general meeting, Friday Oct. 28, 2022.

The recitals will be held November 19-20, 2022 at Southeast Valley Bible Church, 710 E. Williams Field Rd., Gilbert, AZ 85295.

Questions: Call/Text/Email: Buffie Meeker (480) 274-5743,

Buffie Meeker, Chair

December Brunch

December Brunch will be on December 2, 2022, location to be determined. Come join us!

Buy some food and take a little time off at this busy time of year to visit and get to know our fellow DVMTA members better.

Kelli Riding, Chair

Cavalcade of Rhythm

Ahoy, me hearties! It’s time to weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen for another year of Cavalcade of Rhythm! Our theme is “Pirate Partners”, and it is scheduled for February 25, 2023 (location will be announced soon).

This is a huge event featuring hundreds of pianists, multiple directors, and 15 pianos all together on one stage!

We have several changes we are implementing this year. Due to declining enrollment in this event, we are going back to having only one performance instead of two. We will have 11 groups performing in that concert.

Rehearsals will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays only. They will begin on February 6th (location will be announced soon).

Registration opens October 28th at the general meeting held at The Music Store, where we will have a chance to read through all of the selected duets. If you haven’t participated in Cavalcade before, this is a fantastic ensemble experience that your students will not forget!

So whether ye be a landlubber or a seadog, come and join the ranks of Pirate Partners!


Carolyn Eldredge, Cavalcade Captain, 480-218-4587

Crewmates: Lisa Hunt, Sara Pratt, Charles Newton

Awards in Excellence

Would you like to become a better teacher? One of the best things you could do for your studio is to participate in Awards in Excellence, DVMTA's annual competition. The full page written critique your students receive from a qualified adjudicator will help you and your students become better musicians. This critique also reinforces the skills you are trying to teach your students.

Additionally, the repertoire list is full of amazing pieces that can help your recitals feel fresh and new. You may pick pieces for Music Marathon from the list and later perform them at the Awards in Excellence Auditions in the spring.

Auditions are Saturday, April 8th, 2023 at Hammer and Strings Conservatory. The Winners' Recitals will be held April 22nd. Please read all the instructions early so your students may participate.

Claire Westlake, Chair

Achievement Day

If you’ve never entered students in Achievement Day, this would be a great year to give it a try! Achievement Day is not only a wonderful way to recognize students for their hard work during the year, but also a magnificent opportunity to hold us, as teachers, accountable for making sure that students are becoming well-rounded musicians! It is also a great way to prove to parents that their children are progressing year to year. This year’s event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at Mesa Community College.

On Achievement Day, students of all levels have the opportunity to show their skills in many areas including performance, technique, sight-reading, and ear training in order to earn a certificate, a ribbon and an optional trophy. If you look at the list of requirements, which can be found on our website, you will see that much of what you are already doing prepares students for this event. In addition, it is important to note that at each level, there are only about 6 – 8 objectives students need to know for a theory or ear training test. The website contains several resources in the member documents section to help you in your preparation such as technique examples and theory practice tests. These items allow you to see exactly what is expected of students at each level. In addition, there are sample planning sheets from Primer to Level 10. These sheets can be placed in student assignment folders to help you keep track of each student’s skills in the weeks or months leading up to Achievement Day.

If you have any questions about the event, contact Carolyn Rooder or 602-527-1721 and she will help you.

Carolyn Rooder, chair

Awards Plus

Awards Plus is a special recognition for students who have participated in a significant number of DVMTA events. Two awards are given: Senior Scholarships and Devoted Performers. A letter of intent to apply for either award is due by December 1, 2022 to Jenna Hartley and complete applications will be due by March 31, 2023.

The Senior Scholarship Award is a cash award of up to $250 given to high school seniors who have excelled in piano and have participated in numerous DVMTA events over the years. They are expected to have been studying for at least eight years and show a history of DVMTA participation comparable to a Devoted Performer. They also must show additional music commitment by participating in band, orchestra, choir, or other public performances.

The Devoted Performer Award is a cash award of $125 given to a student who participates in at least 4 of the 5 DVMTA events for 3 out of 5 consecutive years. Any age student is eligible to receive this award as long as they have been participating in DVMTA events for at least 3 years. Students may win this award more than once, but no years may overlap.

Both of these awards require teachers to keep careful records of each student’s participation in DVMTA events. Start keeping track now, because it is so hard to remember! A yearly tracking form is available on the website for your convenience, or you are welcome to use your own spreadsheet or system of your own design. Whichever system works for you is great, but some sort of record-keeping is necessary for all DVMTA teachers. Even if you’re not planning to put any students in this event now, you may change your mind five years from now, so please keep track of your students’ participation in DVMTA events.

Jenna Hartley, Chair

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