Monthly Email from Desert Valley Music Teachers Association
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November 20th - 9:30 a.m.
General Meeting 
My First Piano
1818 E Southern Mesa
Cavalcade Reg. Due

November 21 & 22
Original Composition Festival

December 1st
Awards Plus Letter of Intent Due

December 4th - $12
December Luncheon
Olive Garden
6201 E. Southern Mesa

January 29th - 9:30 a.m.
General Meeting
My First Piano

February 8
Cavalcade Rehearsals Begin

February 26th - 9:30 a.m.
General Meeting
My First Piano
Awards in Excellence Reg Due

February 27
Cavalcade of Rhythm
Mesa High School

April 1st - 9:30 a.m.
March General Meeting
My First Piano
Achievement Day Reg. Due

April 16 - 9 a.m. - 2p.m.
Awards in Excellence Auditions

April 23 1:30 & 3:00 p.m.
Awards in Excellence Recitals

April 29
April Brunch
LDS Church

May 14th
Achievement Day

May 16 - 
Awards Plus 
Click here to Join DVMTA
Click the button above to renew your DVMTA membership.  Not a member? Not a problem! DVMTA's annual membership fee is only $35! Renewing teachers pay a $5 late fee after July 31. 

Do you know someone who would be a fabulous member of the DVMTA community? Invite them to attend our August Brunch! Use the links below to share this newsletter via Facebook, twitter or email.

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 Nicci Lovell.

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

November 2015

We invite you to attend the DVMTA General Meeting Friday, Nov. 20th 9:30 a.m. at My First Piano.  Our guest will be Dr. John Milbauer, Steinway Artist and Associate Professor of Piano at The University of Arizona.  Dr. Milbauer will instruct us in the technique of Phrasing and will demonstrate with selections by Schubert.  This will be a treat for us indeed!  We look forward to seeing you!

Dr. Barbara Spoelman will be directing our Master Class in January.  Do you have any students you'd like to have participate?  We are looking for a few willing students levels 2 and up to play for her and spend 10-15 minutes each letting her help them make improvements through her guidance and direction.  It's a great experience for them and can really boost their performance confidence.  Please contact Shannon Payne at

DVMTA Library

For many years DVMTA has offered a variety of items that can be checked out to aid teachers in their studios in becoming better educated in their every day teaching. Many of the Library supplies have become available through other resources and online because of modern technology, but we have tried to bring the Library each month to our Group meetings, making it available for members to check out and return items each month. The following is a list of what the Library offers in general.

Books: Piano Music to play, Composers, Pedagogy, Self Helps, How to teach, How to learn from Students.

Magazines: Music Teacher, Keyboard Classics (great articles that motivate)

DVD's: Recordings of General meetings including Rotman, Bober, Schmidt, Cavalcade Performances Competitions, Teaching, Coaching, Piano music.

Games: Music Game Books, Already made Rhythm Games, Board games, Variety of Flashcards.

Technology Addition Binder: Information on setting up technology in your studio (reference only).

Cassette Tapes (which need to be transferred to CD's) full of information on teaching technics.

When you check out an item, all you need to do is sign your name and date on the page it is listed on. When you bring back the item, you simply check it back in and sign your name and date again. If possible, try to have it back the following month or two.

We hope you have enjoyed using the Library over the past 20+ years.

It is almost winter!  There are so many exciting events coming up in a child's life right now.  Take advantage!!

This is the time of year when even the most uninterested music students will practice!  They love Christmas music.  Here are a few ideas:

End each December lesson with your students sight reading a Christmas song.  Make sure that the Christmas Book is at least one level below their current level so the student will feel success. 

Let them choose their own Christmas music.  This isn't the time to say, "Two other students are already playing Jingle Bells."  Tell them that by the next lesson, if they have a good handle on the chosen song, they can also learn "Jingle Bells".  

Encourage family recitals.  Suggest to your families to have a private family Christmas Eve Service right before bedtime.  A three year old can sing "Away in A Manger", and piano students can accompany them or play another song.  Make it memorable!!  

I have heard back from many students, and their parents, on how some of these suggestions made their Holidays even more special.  Some of them are continuing these traditions even though the students are in college or married.  Students should feel a part of the celebration before they open any packages.  

For our own DVMTA Christmas tradition, please join us for our December Luncheon at the Olive Garden!!  

Beth VanDewerker, 

DVMTA President

Thanks to all our teachers that participated in our Music Marathon.  We had a very successful event and raised $2900 for our student awards’ fund.  We hope that your students had a memorable experience.

At the mall, a music book was left as well as a black wallet with some money in it.  Let Lisa Hunt know if you have a student missing either item.

Original Composition Festival

November 21 & 22, 2015
Arizona Piano Company
4134 E. Wood St. #200, Phoenix 85040
Additional Information is on the DVMTA website.
Feel free to contact me with questions.
Debbie Engelsman, Composition Chairperson.

Cavalcade of Rhythm

It’s time to do those stretches so we can reach for the stars! Registration for Cavalcade 2016 begins this month at the general meeting on October 30th and continues till November 20th. All information and registration materials are available at Please note that you’ll need to turn in the registration form AND THE COVER SHEET stating when you are available to help. On the registration form, you’ll need the students’ ages AND heights. This is crucial for placing the students where they can see the director best. Please read over the forms carefully and make sure parents understand what they are committing to in February. We suggest keeping a copy of your registration forms.

Unpartnered students will be matched up with students from other studios. You will be notified by Hillary Bitter when the groups are set. She will verify the parts for unpartnered students with you. Teachers are welcome to play in Cavalcade as well (no fees for teachers, but please include yourself on your registration forms). 

The music is already at the Music Store if you’d like to go down now and take a look prior to registering your students. You can hear and view the music for those songs by Jennifer Eklund on her website at PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE THE MUSIC FROM HER SITE! Hillary Bitter has the music for those groups.  You can also attend our October meeting and actually play through the songs.

Remember that the goal is to help the students be successful in an ensemble experience, not to play in the highest group possible. They must be able to play their songs well, listen to the group and follow the director. Please read the directors’ notes before teaching the songs to the students. Some add introductions or repeats, and we don’t want the students to be confused. We want them to know that they are Stars indeed!

Awards in Excellence

Awards in Excellence

Auditions-April 16, 2016

If you want to participate in Awards in Excellence and you did not enter students in Music Marathon, you have until November 20 to enter students in Cavalcade of Rhythm. The approved repertoire for this event is on the web page, as well as requirements including service hours. This event is a great learning experience for students and teachers!

Achievement Day

If you have any questions about Achievement Day or what you need to be doing now to prepare, please contact Lorri McHardy.

If you have students working towards the Devoted Performer or Senior Scholar Award and plan to complete their final qualifying events this Spring,  please send your letter of intent to Tamara Pew 22297 E. Escalante Rd., Queen Creek, AZ 85142 or on or before December 1, 2015.  We realize that some students may not end up qualifying this year, but this gives us a heads up on our numbers and helps us plan accordingly.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call Tamara Pew at 602-809-0597.

Copyright © 2015 Desert Valley Music Teachers Association, All rights reserved.

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