April 13, 2015

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In This Issue
President's Prelude
April Program
May Luncheon
AIM Results
Recital Invitation
A Note from the Editor
March Minutes
Click here for the March meeting minutes.
Upcoming Events


April 13, 2015

Steinway Gallery of Northbrook  141 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, 

10:00 am

Send entries to: 

Pat Borchardt

36652 N. Oakwood Dr., Lake Villa 60046

April 18, 2015

Harper College, Music Instruction Center

April 19, 2015


Rolling Meadows Library 

1:30 P.M. Classical,  

3:30 P.M. Pop & Jazz


April 20, 2015

PROGRAM: Brenda Huang, "The Three-Ring Circus: Managing a Large Studio and Meeting the Different Needs of Students"

Rolling Meadows Library 

9:15 A.M. IMT Chat   

9:45 A.M. Meeting

April 25, 2015

Steinway of Northbrook,

5:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.

April 26, 2015


Send entries to:

Cheryl Buller

17682 W. Westwind Dr. Gurnee, IL  60031 


May 11, 2015

LUNCHEON DEADLINE Mail reservation and checks to Justyna Krafft-Weirich

May 18, 2015


Francesca's Tavola

208 S. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights

10:45 A.M. General Meeting followed by lunch  

May 20, 2015


9:30 A.M.  Home of 


13 Old Barn Road, Hawthorn Woods


June 1, 2015 


Rolling Meadows Library, 9:45 A.M.

June 30, 2015
Deadline: Festival of Pianos

A Prelude from Our President

Dear friends and amazing educators,


Did you know that each day the ripple effect is going on? Your work and your teaching, your conversations with students and their parents, your sharing of your love for music; these things all go out into the world, building up and creating space for wonderful changes to occur within our students, their lives, and the lives of those around them. You may feel that your effect is small, but trust me, it is not. Ripples of influence carry on through time as well. I often am speaking to my students about something one of my teachers taught me or shared with me, and these memories that become stories are still alive and present in me, even though they may have occurred a very long time ago. Think about the influence your teachers had on you! I'm sure many of you feel the same way. This is just part of what we are building as teachers, but it is a powerful part!


Meanwhile, as spring comes hopping into sight, the fresh air, the rains, the greening up of all around us gives me a boost! It's so great to see things growing again. We have many new things coming up in our group too!


Tomorrow, April 13th is our fantastic Teacher's Musicale, at 10:00 am, at the Steinway Gallery of Northbrook. Come out and hear some delightful music, played by our own members! Next year maybe you will sign up to play something also - it's a good professional challenge to give to yourself.


If you have a senior that will be going into music next year at college, remember the deadline of this Wednesday, April 15th, to have your student's entry postmarked for the NWSMTA College Scholarship, and sent to Pat Borchard.


Next Saturday, April 18th is the Awards Competition at Harper College. It is a great event, where our students are challenged to bring their best performances for a judge. These judges give them written, constructive comments to help them in the future. If you are not busy that day, please contact Galina Kostukovsky to see if you could help for an hour or two. She is a bit short on help, and this is a big event to run.


On Sunday, April 19th, we have our Spring Classical Recital at 1:30 pm, and our Spring Pop & Jazz Recital at 3:30, for our students at the Rolling Meadows Library.


Monday, April 20th, is our next Member's Meeting, back at the Rolling Meadows Library again. Our program that day will be presented by Brenda Huang, titled "The Three-Ring Circus - Managing a Large Studio and Meeting the Different Needs of Students".

The Awards Recitals will be held on Saturday, April 25th at Steinway of Northbrook, at 5:00 and 6:30 pm. If your student qualifies for the recitals, by earning a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, or an honorable mention, please let Galina know, as soon as possible, if they will be planning to play at the recital.


Finally, if you have students that are planning to go to a summer music camp, please look at the camp scholarship info on our website. The postmark deadline to apply is April 30th, and entries must be sent to Cheryl Buller.


Be sure to ask our members to share something of the MTNA National Conference that was a highlight for them. Janice Wilkans and Helen Grosshans went. I'm not sure who else was able to be there, but if you did go, think about a highlight that you might share with the group at our next meeting, or even send it in for a newsletter note!


I have had a busy month, as many of you know, with Chemo rounds on Mondays, and Radiation treatments five days a week. Now the next step is to add on five in-hospital treatments, where they zap the cancer internally. This combination of inner and outer treatments has shown to be very effective in my type of cancer - Cervical. I am continuing to do my best to continue my regular activities; sometimes nausea and extreme tiredness have caused me to have to be flexible with my schedule, but overall, everything is going well. I may not get back to a meeting or event until our May luncheon, but I am thinking of all of you, and wishing you well through this busy month!


All of your notes and emails, and shared pictures and videos have helped me so much, just to stay strong, and know that I am not alone. Thank you for all the reaching out you have done, and for all your positive energy and prayers. I am very blessed to be part of this great group of people - YOU - the NWSMTA. 




Robin Meredith-Kramer

President - NWSMTA


April Program - Brenda Huang

"The Three-Ring Circus: Managing a Large Studio and Juggling Different Students"

Running a competitive studio: how to cultivate students to perform at the highest level.  

A look at the methods, incentives, and motivational techniques to bring out the artistry and technical brilliance in young pianists.  Presentation will include samplings of students' performance videos.  

Brenda Huang, winner of the prestigious 1991 Gilmore Young Artist Award, immigrated from Taiwan to the Chicago area at the age of nine, and had principally studied with Emilio del Rosario and Russell Sherman.  She has performed as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Taipei Symphony, Taiwan Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony and locally the Harper College Symphony Orchestra and Illinois Philharmonic, . Ms. Huang was the first prizewinner of the New York Kosziuszko Chopin Competition, the national winner of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), an American Pianist Association finalist, and was chosen to represent the United States at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw by the National Chopin Foundation in Miami. She has performed on the SundayPiano Series at the Conservatory of Music at Kansas City, the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series at the Chicago Cultural Center broadcasted live on WFMT, the Young Artist Series broadcasted on New York City radio station WQXR, the Chicago Steinway Society Concert Series, and among many others, at the Polish Cultural Center in New York City, the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston, the Rudolph Ganz Recital Hall and the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, and solo recitals in Taiwan. 

She received her B.A., M.A., and Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory and at the College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University. She is a member of the piano faculty at the Chicago Institute of Music in Winnetka since 2000 and is currently teaching from home in Palatine.  Her students had won awards at MTNA national competitions, Chicago Youth Auditions, Seattle International Competition, Alexander & Buono International Competition, International Institute for Young Musicians Piano Competition and were invited participants of Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition and Cleveland International Piano Competition.

She is also the Founder and the Artistic Director of the Emilio del Rosario Music Foundation, which sponsors the General Concerto Competition at Harper College and the International Young Artist Competition with the final at Chicago's Symphony Center.  


May Luncheon


The May meeting will take place at Francesca's restaurant and will be immediately followed by the luncheon.  The meeting, on May 18th, will be held at 10:30 a.m. 

The cost for the luncheon will be $29.00.

Included in the cost is a family style meal and beverage.  Those attending should make a check payable to NWSMTA and send to:

Justyna Weirich
2657 E Yarmouth Court
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
or bring one to the April meeting.
Let's again celebrate the year with great friends and food !
Thank you very much
Justyna Weirich

AIM Results

The AIM Performance Exams for levels 5-12 were held on Sunday, March 15. Thank you so much, teachers, for your part in judging and making the day go so smoothly! Here are the scoring results by level: 

Level N  Avg Score 
5 39           95.08
6 31           92.73
7 26           92.86
8 25           94.42
9 19           92.50
10 17           91.35
11 2           92.75
Grand Total 159           93.42

Helen Grosshans and Vonnie Mrozinski
AIM Performance 5-12 co-chairs

Recital Invitation


A Note from the Editor


I am off to California to look for summer.  If I find it, I'll bring it home with me.  


My son told me we will be hiking, so I should bring tennis shoes.  I told him, "Sure I can get a pair of those."  My daughter-in-love said, "Just wear your two-inch pumps."  


I am looking forward to my twin grandsons' sixth birthday.  And second to that, I'm looking forward to having a lesson a day with the boys.  What a treat to be able to touch your students' for a change, after skyping most of our lessons together.  Or to tickle them when they forget a rest.  Duets were made for fun, so my bags will be packed with those, too.


I also have turned three Minuets into laminated decks of cards.  Each card has one measure on it.  The measure number is marked on the back of the card, so I won't become confused.  I also have a colored bar, to distinguish the minuets from each other.  It's so easy to learn one measure at a time, if you only have one measure to look at.  You can't lose your place.  When one measure is comfortable, I ask the student, "Do you think you're ready for another measure?"  They are thrilled, and respond with squeals of, "Yes!"  


Measure by measure we build a train across the music rack.  They can't wait to play the whole train.  You know the student is enjoying the lesson, if they ask, "Can I play it again?"  Once a phrase is learned, we build a new train.  It's really fun when I caution them that the left hand is going to be very hard on the next card, and they find out, it's a dotted half note.  


I was teaching my student, Lexi, with one of the minuet decks.  She worked her way through the entire deck playing the left hand.  (I always start with the left hand first.)  When she realized she had played through the entire deck, she told me, "Okay, now shuffle them and I'll do it again."  Success builds confidence.



Deb Lynch  

Newsletter Editor 

Northwest Suburban Music Teachers Association
Robin Meredith-Kramer, President
Maureen Flood, Website

Deborah Lynch, Newsletter