December 2020
 CNYAMT Mission
"We desire to promote enrichment
and education in the musical arts
for teachers and their students."

President's Message
From our President, Bernadette Kessler

This has been a year of many changes and adjustments in our way of teaching, performing, and holding events. In keeping with our "virtual" way of life, CNYAMT has implemented some new events for teacher education and student performance:

Friday Morning Forum, Mary Whittington, Chair 
YouTube Virtual Recitals, Robbie Padilla, Chair
Student Lesson Tuition Assistance, Tuition Assistance Committee

We are grateful for the continued support and flexibility of our chairs and committee members, sponsors, underwriters, members, and students. 
Special thanks and congratulations to Barb Irwin and her committee of Robbie Padilla and Joanne Mroczek, for coordinating CNYAMT’s YouTube channel debut with the Scary Scores Virtual Recital, the first of many virtual performances this year. Refer to the calendar for updates and changes to our scheduled events.   

Join us for our first Board Meeting of 2021: 
Wednesday, January 13th, 9:30 a.m.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and cherished memories in the New Year.
Welcome to our newest Board Member!

Mary Whittington has maintained a piano studio since 2001. She loves to incorporate her background in anthropology into her piano instruction, bringing folk music traditions into lessons and sometimes devoting entire recitals to music from around the world. A California native, she moved to Syracuse in 2017 from Bloomington, Indiana with her husband Denver, who is a member of the Physics faculty at Syracuse University. They have two daughters, Rosie and Fiona.
Mary is honored to join the CNYAMT Board of Directors and contribute to their exciting work in enriching the musical culture of central New York.
Student Lesson
Tuition Assistance
Our community has been deeply affected by Covid-19. Families have experienced the loss of jobs and health concerns.
Faced with economic hardship, private music lessons have been discontinued.   

CNYAMT has established limited funds for Tuition Assistance for private music lessons. In the past, fundraising activities have included Barnes & Noble Bookfair Fundraiser, String Community Workshop, Piano and Organ Center Music Marathon, Scores for Scholars, and donations at recitals, concerts, and events.   

Since the in-person status of events for the year have either been cancelled or are tenuous, we are asking for your help by considering a donation to sustaining this program for our worthy students. For more information contact: Bernadette Kessler,

Donations can be made online at our website:
OR by check (payable to CNYAMT with Student Tuition
Assistance in the memo} and mailed to:
CNYAMT c/o 4312 Lazybrook Circle, Liverpool, NY, 13088.  
Happy Holidays Virtual Recital

CNYAMT has a YouTube channel and we are ready to spread holiday cheer!  

The Happy Holidays Virtual Recital is taking the place of our annual Barnes & Noble Bookfair Fundraiser Concerts. To participate, teachers may send their students' videos to Robbie Padilla by December 12th. For complete details, refer to the attached guidelines for teachers and parents. Participation in the Holiday Recital will be counted as a CNYAMT event towards scholarships and awards. Each student will receive a certificate of participation. 

We are thankful for the support of our members and students for sharing their musical gifts and talents and helping us spread joy!  

Robbie Padilla and Kim Farrell, Co-Chairs

Friday Morning Forum

CNYAMT is holding Friday Morning Forums for our teachers on the 2nd Friday of each month
at 11 a.m.  The first events were held on November 13th and December 4th and were fun and engaging. Several interesting topics were raised including:

Valentine's Day Community Outreach Virtual Recital
Send "Musical Valentines" to a Senior Valentine:  Connect interested students with seniors to perform, record, and send as a personal video message.

Teaching Devices
Barb Irwin shared a flexible Tablet or Smartphone stand holder that positions your screen in different ways to pull back while you demonstrate on your instrument and pull in closer to show your hands or music clearly. The Tablet Arm Mount Stand Holder sells on Amazon for $16.99.

Student Performances  
We continue to learn about recording and sharing our students' music online with our recitals posted on CNYAMT’s YouTube channel.  If competitions are held virtually, the recordings of winning performances could be posted online and shown at the annual June Luncheon.

CNYAMT's Covid-Era "Funniest Home Videos"
We all have funny, frustrating, or otherwise crazy stories we could tell about the struggles of teaching music remotely or in a socially distanced studio. Keep them in mind or jot them down, because we're thinking of compiling them together for the history books! 

Remote Teaching Tips, Tricks, and Challenges
What’s the best way to get practice notes into the hands of remote students? What do we need (and not need) from parents during lesson time? How to get music to them? What are the benefits of a mixed remote/in person lesson schedule? The discussion is ongoing…

Shaping Performance Opportunities in 2021 and Beyond
This year we have been brainstorming and developing so many new opportunities for students to perform in virtual environments. Even after large gatherings become possible again, we should keep virtual performance formats in mind as a new skill set for young musicians to learn, a way around venue limitations, and a chance to reach a broader audience.

Special Member Guest Speakers
Stay tuned for announcements of invited guests to discuss their special areas of expertise or personal interest.

Join us for our next Forum on Friday, January 8th at 11 am.  A Zoom link with be sent out in a reminder email.  

Mary Whittington, Chair
Scary Scores Halloween Virtual Recital

Thank you so much for helping to make our virtual Halloween recital a success!! There were
40 student participants and 10 teachers who helped make this a Spooktacular event. Many thanks to the technical work by Robbie Padilla and our web manager, Joanne Mroczek. Because of their skills and commitment, we were able to present the student performances to teachers, parents, friends, relatives, and students.  A link is available on our website ( to our CNYAMT YouTube channel.  

Attached is a participation certificate for teachers to distribute to their students.  Students' participation will count as a CNYAMT event and towards credit for scholarship and financial assistance. Thanks again for helping with our first virtual recital in this abnormal and trying time. 

Barb Irwin, Halloween Recital Chairperson

CNYAMT Calendar

Take a look at all of the exciting events we have coming up in our
CNYAMT year!

Amazon Smile Fundraiser
Amazon Smile is a simple and automatic way for you to support CNYAMT every time you shop at, at no cost to you. You'll find the exact same low prices, selection, and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon donates 5%
of the price of your eligible purchases to our organization.

To shop at AmazonSmile, go to and type in Central New York Association of Music Teachers as your choice of charity.  In 2019-2020, we received $168.33!
Need more info? Check out our website!