March 21, 2016 

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In This Issue
President's Prelude
Piano Studio Appreciation Day
IMT Meeting - TED Talks
Article Headline
College Scholarship
Article Headline
Granquist Music Competition
Article Headline
Article Headline
Music Sale
February Minutes
Click here for the February General Meeting minutes.
Upcoming Events


Saturday-Wednesday, April 2-6, 2016  San Antonio, TX

Saturday, April 9, 2016  
Monday, April 11, 2016   Steinway Gallery of Northbrook   141 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook , 10:00 am

Wednesday, April 13, 2016  9:45 A.M.  Rolling Meadows  Library Board Room

Send entries to Pat Borchardt, 36652 N. Oakwood Dr., Lake Villa 60046

Friday, April 15, 2016   Deadline (Online Registration): Classical and Pop & Jazz Recital

April 16, 2016   Check must be mailed for Classical and Pop & Jazz Recital

PROGRAM: Susan Tang, "Beyond, Behind and Between the Notes:  Tools to Help Students Understand and Explore the Implied Meaning in the Score and its Effects on Interpretation"
Monday, April 18, 2016  
9:15 A.M. IMT (Independent Music Teachers) Chat  9:45 A.M. Meeting

Saturday, April 23, 2016   Steinway Gallery of Northbrook,  141 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook   5:00-7:30 P.M.

Sunday, April 24, 2016    Rolling Meadows Library   1:30 P.M. Classical,  3:30 P.M. Pop and Jazz

Sunday, April 24, 2016 
Saturday, April 30, 2016 
Send entries to Cheryl Buller, 17682 W. Westwind Dr., Gurnee, IL  60031
Maureen Flood
March 2016
Greetings Fellow NWSMTA Members:

I am enjoying the sunshine and somewhat warmer weather, and more hours of daylight in my day!  Spring usually flies by for me, probably because I'm busy planning the end-of-year recital.  Do you have any great recital ideas you're interested in sharing with the group?  I seem to have lots of ideas but no time to carry them through to completion.  It is easy to fall into a rut.  I usually try to put several duets and trios into my recitals, and if parents/siblings can join in, either on the piano or with another instrument, I'm all for it!  Another idea I've had in recent years is to ask students to answer some questions, such as "What does music mean to you," or "Why did you choose this piece?" or even "What do you love most about playing the piano?"  I read their answers as I introduce each child walking up to the piano.  This has had great response from parents.  One year, I asked students to introduce their piece, and tell why they chose it, but that seemed to add to their stress, so I discontinued it! 

I am looking forward to the MTNA Conference in San Antonio, Texas.   I encourage everyone who has not been to a national conference, to attend one.  There are so many outstanding presenters scheduled, it will be difficult to decide which one to attend each hour.  I am also excited about hearing Emmanuel Ax perform.
Even though our year is drawing to a close, there are lots of activities coming up - AIM, the Awards Competition, the Classical and Pop & Jazz Recitals, and our spring luncheon.  Don't miss those deadlines!

If you have not entered students in any of our events, and are interested in learning more about them, why not volunteer so you can observe?  I would also like to encourage teachers to try out the Festival of Pianos this year.  The deadline is June 30, and we have many new pieces, as well as our old favorites. 
Committee chairpersons - please hand in your budgets and committee reports as soon as possible!  You don't have to wait till the end of the year to do so if your event is completed. 
I have to close with this story a mom of one of my 6 year old students told me.  They were in church, and the pastor was talking about saints, and asked the congregation if they knew what a saint was, and my student raised his hand and said "I know one!  My piano teacher is a saint!"   The whole congregation laughed, and he was a little surprised......I guess he really took his mother's comments each week, "That woman is a saint!" a little too literally!  With that, I will close.........I have to go and polish my halo!
Maureen Flood


Samantha Opp will be moving to the city in May, and will no longer be able to commute to Elmhurst Music Academy, where she has been teaching for the past few years as an independent contractor.   It is hard for her to leave her 12 very dedicated students, and would like to know if there are any NWSMTA teachers who would like to take over for her.   Please contact Sam Opp at

"Bring Your Studio into Today's World"

Barbara Kreader is a Keyboard Consultant for Educational Keyboard Publications to the Hal Leonard Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kreader has taught piano continuously for nearly 35 years. A faculty member of Northwestern University's Division of Preparatory and Community Music from 1974-1985, she also maintained an independent studio at her home in Evanston, Illinois where she continues to teach 45 students. 

As a child and young adult, Kreader studied piano with Beth Miller Harrod, attending Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park, Colorado for several summers. More recently, she was the Program Director of the Junior Student Seminars at Rocky Ridge. A graduate of Northwestern University, Kreader earned a M.M. in piano performance in 1974 studying piano with Laurence Davis and piano pedagogy with Frances Larimer. 

The editor of Clavier magazine from 1982-1988, Kreader has published articles in Clavier, The Piano Quarterly, and Keyboard Companion. Kreader served as moderator for the three Baldwin/Clavier Keyboard Teacher's Videoconferences presented in 1986, 1987, and 1988. From 1988-1989 she instituted a Baldwin sponsored program of piano lessons and supervised practice in the after-school child care programs in the Evanston District 65 schools. She also served as the Editor of Baldwin Piano and Organ Company's Soundboard during this time. She joined Hal Leonard in November 1989. One of the co-authors of the Hal Leonard Student Piano Library, Barbara Kreader has given workshops in over 130 cities in the United States, Canada, Australia, China, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
Maureen Flood
Vice-President, Programs

On Tuesday, March 22nd at 12:00 PM,   from Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University will be presenting a piano recital at Aurora University. The recital will take place in Crimi Auditorium at noon on on that date. Please see below for biographical information.


Dr. Farouk will also give a master class to piano students at their institution the same day of the concert from 3:30-5:30 pmin Crimi Auditorium.  He is extending an invitation to high school students to join them and participate in the master class. The requisites are the following: The student should be a junior or senior high school student and he/she should present a work(s) from the standard classic piano repertoire from the intermediate/advanced level. If you have a student that meets the above criteria and is willing to participate in the master class, please contact Cristian Pastorello at   The time available for the master class is limited so only two or three students will be invited for the class.


The master class and concert will be free of charge and all are welcome to attend. 


Egyptian-American pianist Wael Farouk has performed on five continents in such venues as the White Hall in St. Petersburg, Schumann's house in Leipzig, and Carnegie Hall in New York, where his solo debut performance in 2013 was described as "absolutely masterful." In the 2013-2014 season, Mr. Farouk gave a five-recital series featuring the complete solo works of Rachmaninoff, a feat the Chicago Tribune hailed as "historical."

Praised as a "formidable and magnificent pianist" by the New York Concert Review, Dr. Farouk has had an extensive performing career. He commands a vast repertoire of more than 70 concertos and 60 solo programs, spanning from Scarlatti to Bolcom and including the complete piano works of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, and Rachmaninoff.

Dr. Farouk has appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint-Etienne National Orchestra, the Academy of the Arts Orchestra, the Manhattan Symphony, and the Cairo Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 concertos, including the Egyptian premieres of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3, Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, and Prokofiev Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2, and 3.
Dr. Farouk has performed with numerous conductors, including Christoph Mueller, Steven Lloyd, Patrick Fournilier, and Philippe Entremont. He has toured England, Russia, Italy, France, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Czech Republic, Colombia, and Japan. In 2004, Dr. Farouk was given the honor of playing on Tchaikowsky's piano-the first pianist to do so since Vladimir Horowitz.

Russian Portraits, his debut solo album, was released on the Carlock Records label in 2013. The all-Russian album has drawn praise for its musical beauty and virtuosity. David Dubal has described the album as one that "gives us familiar repertoire played with a new light and freshness. Here is piano playing that brings chills to the flesh, performed with a rare virtuoso technique."

Upcoming performance projects Dr. Farouk is undertaking include performing the complete keyboard works of Brahms, the complete keyboard works of J.S. Bach by 2020, and a rarely-heard performance of the monumental Busoni piano concerto, scheduled for the coming season. Additionally, Dr. Farouk will be completing the Rachmaninoff cycle of five piano concertos, of which he has been performing one each year.

Dr. Farouk is on the faculty of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and frequently judges competitions and delivers masterclasses.


This is the last reminder for the $1000 college scholarship.  Deadline is  April 15.  Students must play 3 pieces, one from the Baroque Era, one from the Classical Era and choose one piece from either the Romantic or Impressionistic Eras.  Complete rules and application form are on the website.  The $1000 scholarship has been a great help for the students & their parents.  The student will receive $500 for the fall semester sent to the college or university he will be attending and the 2nd installment will be sent for the spring semester after the student has sent a copy of his grades.  Any questions, please call or email.  If sending an email, make sure you or your student writes College Scholarship in the subject line as I will not open any attachments when I do not know the person sending the attachment.

Pat Borchardt    

The Classical and Pop and Jazz recitals are coming up  Sunday, April 24 at the Rolling Meadows Library.  Deadline for enrollment is  April 15th.

Registration is online only.  Please send checks to Yoko Amano for Classical and Mary Anne Block for Pop and Jazz, $5.00 per entry.  Teachers are  limited to 6 students per recital.  Please check on-line rules for each recital. We're looking forward to some great student performances!

Mary Anne Block, Fran Onley, Yoko Amano


Registration has begun for the Granquist Music Competition, the largest music competition in the State of Illinois. This year's event will be held  Saturday, June 25, 2016 at Geneva Community High School,  416 McKinley Avenue. Teachers are encouraged to enroll students as early as possible. Online entry deadline is May 25 and mailed applications must be postmarked byMay 23. Both deadlines will be strictly enforced.
This is the 46th year of the competition established in 1970 by music educator Herb Granquist. We are pleased that the Granquist family will once again be coordinating the competition.  All contestants will be classified by instrument, age and years of instruction.  Solos, duets and ensembles are all encouraged to register.  There are three levels of competition-Olympic, Concert and Performance.
To view the brochure, rules and regulations, download a registration form or register online, visit  To receive an application by mail or for payment assistance, please call the Geneva Chamber of Commerce at  630-232-6060.  The competition is presented as part of Swedish Days Festival supported by Northwestern Medicine and hosted by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce.
Technical Musical Questions related to the competition should be directed to:
*phone:   630-346-2605


The  TEACHERS' MUSICALE will take place on Monday, April 11, at the Steinway Gallery of Northbrook.  The deadline is March 28!  Please let Maureen Flood know the name of the piece you are performing, and the composer as soon as possible.  I hope we get lots of those wonderful duets/duos from Janice Razaq's ensemble class at Harper!
We all enjoy looking at music from another perspective.  That's why we, as teachers, enjoy taking lessons, attending masterclasses or working collaboratively with other musicians.

I have a friend, Mary, who directs the volunteer choir that I accompany.  It's an interesting challenge to communicate a musical idea or plan to 30 people of varying levels of musical expertise.  And when you see the choir able to translate that idea into a musical concept it is an art.  The flip side is what registers to the individual choir members.  They have now experienced that concept with the most personal of all instruments; the voice.  

The choir teases Mary that asking for the correct notes, at the correct time, with the correct words is just too much.  She breaks it down into practicing all of the above and then builds on what was thought impossible.  She demonstrates for them by example and inspires their imaginations until, they begin to feel the music within themselves and to project it out to others . 

As musicians, we must have a goal sound we are seeking.  It is such a pleasure to hear Mary describe in words what that should be.  Sometimes she animates her words with a physical gesture (ex: feeling the down beats of a 3/4 meter flow, rather than plodding through each quarter beat).  I have seen how quickly the choir translates her gesture into an entirely different delivery of the notes.  Movement is a strong communicator with no words needed.  I have heard her explain the importance of getting quickly to the vowel, where the beauty of each note exists.  A musician or a student in music can often listen to a teacher's description or advice and understand what sound to aim for.  

I had a father and daughter who both studied with me.  The father had taken lessons when he was younger and was bringing his skills back.  He understood the challenges his daughter faced due to the fact he was also dealing with day to day practice and weekly lessons.  At a lesson his daughter was playing a piece he had previously studied with me.  As I used words to describe what I wanted to hear, she replayed the section with skill and understanding.  Her father exclaimed, "How does she do that?  It took me weeks to figure out what I was after in that spot."  I replied that she understood the language of music, even when it was in words.

I have also seen how the choir watches the director's face for feedback on how well a performance has gone.  They can feel in themselves their success, but music is about communicating and that requires a listener.  It's not a childish approval the choir looks for, but confirmation that the message was received.  

The "tool" my friend uses most often in teaching the choir to sing is humor.  It goes a long way to encourage and motivate them to continue working.  And it is a huge reason why they return week after week.  When lessons are enjoyed, skills improved, and music is communicated much has been achieved.  

Music Sale

Teachers,This is an update, revised list of music. I can only carry 20 books at a time to the library. I only put about 20 books so far on the attached spread sheet which I will bring to the teacher meeting.. I have boxes and boxes in my living room. I am doing this slowly. If you see anything of interest and you cannot get to the meeting, contact me at Perhaps, you can meet with me or my husband at my home. Give us a call. Thanks, Janice


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

Deborah Lynch, Newsletter