March 2022 Newsletter

What a wonderful, busy, exciting time of the year it is! The exhilaration and feelings of accomplishment and success that Cavalcade brought propel us forward. The final weeks of the school year still hold the Awards in Excellence piano competition, April Brunch, Achievement Day, the Awards Plus recognition ceremony, and possibly your own studio recitals. But first --- SPRING BREAK! I know the kids are looking forward to it as much as the teachers!! I hope you will take some time to rest and rejuvenate yourself for the final push of the school year ahead. Don’t forget that what is needed MOST is encouragement to finish strong and not grow weary. I hope you will find a few moments to recognize and congratulate each of your students for their efforts and accomplishments, great or small. I have challenged myself to find new ways to do just that. Going beyond “good job,” you can say:

  • “Listen to that! I can tell you put a lot of work into this piece.”

  • “You didn’t give up. What made you keep going?”

  • “Congratulations! That took a lot of time and effort, and you really improved.”

  • “Wow! How did you do that?”

  • “Look at that! You spent a lot of time focusing on the trouble spots and your piece really shows it!”

  • “You really challenged yourself and your hard work and effort has paid off!“

There is no end to the ways in which we can encourage, motivate and inspire our students, which will rejuvenate them AND you --- and you’ll be glad you did!

Lori Weidemann
DVMTA President 2020-2022

Upcoming General Meeting

We all love opportunities to share ideas and to learn from each other so don’t miss our March General Meeting, Teacher to Teacher – Studio Shop Talk. Join us Friday, March 25th at 9:30 am. Get ideas and tips from a great DVMTA teacher, Buffie Meeker. Buffie will explain how her lessons are structured, teaching beginner vs. advanced students, and ideas to keep students focused and engaged in learning. Bring your ideas and join the discussion!

The meeting will also be available to watch through Google Meet if you are unable to attend in person. A link will be sent the week of the General Meeting.

April Brunch

Color in your calendars for the DVMTA event you've been waiting for all year! THE APRIL BRUNCH!!! April 29th at 9:30 a.m. at Nancy Chase's Home (address will be provided in the next newsletter... you won't want to miss that episode)! This is the brunch where we get to relax for a minute as music teachers and share our successes, our failures, our gripes and moans, our favorite parts, and everything else that happened this year with each other, all while eating. It's pretty magnificent, to be honest. There will be a Signup Genius coming soon if you would like to bring something wonderful to share! Is there such a thing as caffeinated cookies...?

Original Composition

Another way to teach composition is to improvise on a blues scale, hymns, modes, Christmas carols, Happy Birthday, Chopsticks, Heart and Soul, and Theme and Variations.

Claire Westlake, Chair


Well folks, Cavalcade 2022 "Music at the Movies" is a wrap! THANK YOU THANK YOU, wonderful teachers, for all your help in making it a SUCCESS!! One of my favorite things about being a member of DVMTA is getting to know so many wonderful fellow piano teachers, and working together on big projects like this is a great way to get to know each other and make new friends. Plus we got to put on a super fun concert and give our kids an incredibly unique performance opportunity! Cavalcade can't happen without the support of all of us and I'm so grateful to everybody who helped make it happen this year. THANK YOU!!

Sara Pratt, Chair

Awards in Excellence

Thanks to all the teachers and students who registered for Awards in Excellence this year. We have 65 students from 10 different teachers participating. I’ve been double-checking all the data and should have a schedule put together very soon.

All students will need to wear masks during the event. To be safe, the check-in tables will be outdoors in the breezeway and we will have chairs scattered around for students to wait in. Parents may need to wait in their cars if seating becomes an issue. We are doing all we can to keep everything distanced and as safe as possible.

The auditions will take place on Saturday, April 9 at Hammer and Strings Conservatory beginning at 9:00 am. The winners’ recitals will be two weeks later, on Saturday, April 23 at 1:30 and 2:45 in the recital hall at Hammer and Strings. I strongly recommend attending one of the recitals whether you have students registered in the event or not. These winners amaze me every year with their preparation and artistry, whether playing at 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.

If you have any questions, please contact me. I’m happy to help.

Lorri McHardy, Chair

Achievement Day

Achievement Day registration is coming up soon (March 25). We are still in need of a few more evaluators, so if this is something you've done in the past, and you're available, please let me know as soon as you can! We MUST have enough evaluators, or we simply cannot do it in person! We also need many other volunteers!

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when choosing your repertoire pieces:

1. Choose "easy" songs the student has already completed out of their Lesson book. The Lesson book should be labeled already with the Level, which makes it easy for the judge. For example: Testing for Level 4 should include pieces at Level 4 OR above!

2. Use their Spring recital piece! Hopefully they are working hard on it and may have already committed some of it to memory.

3. Use their Awards in Excellence pieces. These can serve double-duty! Or, if they did not enter this event, the A in E repertoire list is a great guide of which pieces qualify for each level.

4. Double-check the MEASURE requirements for each level, to make sure the piece qualifies.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Toni Tetreau, chair

Awards Plus

Awards Plus registrations are due at our next general meeting on March 25th. Forms are available at All events are double-checked, so please be as specific as possible about the events your students have participated in. Senior Scholars also need to turn in a personal letter to the committee and may include recommendations from other teachers or music directors.

Wendi Heslop, Chair 480-241-4591


25 General Meeting, 9:30 a.m., My First Piano “Teacher to Teacher” - Buffie Meeker
25 Achievement Day registration due

9 Awards in Excellence auditions, 9:00 AM – 2:00 p.m. at Hammer & Strings
23 Awards in Excellence Recitals, at Hammer & Strings Conservatory in Gilbert
29 April Brunch, 9:30 a.m. at Nancy Chase’s home (NEW DATE!)

14 Achievement Day, 7 a.m. – 12 noon, Mesa Community College
16 Awards Plus Presentations, 7 p.m. Southeast Valley Bible Church

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