March 20, 2017 

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In This Issue
A Note From Our President
AIM Theory Exams
College Scholarship
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Note from the Editor
February Minutes
Click here for the February General Meeting minutes.
Upcoming Events

Saturday-Wednesday, March 18-22, 2017 Baltimore, MD

IMT (Independent Music Teachers)
"The 21st Century Piano Teacher"
Monday, March 20, 2017 Rolling Meadows Library
9:15 A.M. IMT (Independent Music Teachers) Chat
9:45 A.M. Meeting

Monday, March 27, 2017 Deadline: Teachers' Musicale


Saturday, April 8, 2017   Deadline: Awards Competition

Monday, April 10, 2017   Steinway Gallery of Northbrook
141 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, 10:00 AM

Saturday, April 15, 2017 Send entries to 
Pat Borchardt
36652 N. Oakwood Dr., Lake Villa 60046

Monday, April 16, 2017   Online Registration: Classical and Pop & Jazz Recital
Check must be mailed by April 16th.

Monday, April 17, 2017   9:00 A.M. Rolling Meadows Library before the general meeting

Dr. Mary Beth Molenaar
"Girl Scout Tricks - What music teachers can learn about retention from scouting"
Monday, April 17, 2017
Rolling Meadows Library
9:15 A.M. IMT (Independent Music Teachers) Chat
9:45 A.M. Meeting

As I am writing this it is the beginning of March and we still have the threat of winter weather.  However, there are hopeful signs of spring.  We are enjoying more sunny days with warmer temperatures and will be moving our clocks ahead soon. I have even spotted some emerging green shoots from flowering bulbs.

At this point in the school year we piano teachers find ourselves busier than ever.  We are preparing students for AIM performance exams, the awards competition, and spring recitals.  We may be juggling our schedules daily to accommodate students who are participating in spring sports and school musicals.  While we look forward to spring break, it can also disrupt our schedules since students from different districts have different weeks off from school.  These challenges can raise our stress levels and make it difficult to maintain the motivation and energy that we need to give our best to each student.  In March I sometimes feel as if I am running on empty and that the finish line is far down the road!

Fortunately for those of us in NWSMTA this month has brought two great opportunities for boosting our morale.   First was the workshop with Peter Mack, who was both funny and inspiring.  Those of us who were able to attend came away with some practical teaching suggestions and lists of really interesting and relatively unknown repertoire.  Later in March our meeting will feature an Independent Music Teacher presentation by two of our members titled "The 21st Century Piano Teacher."  I can't wait to hear how they manage the unique challenges of remote distance teaching and traveling to students' homes for lessons.  I think that they will help us to be open to trying new approaches and thinking outside the box. 

I am reminded once again how much we benefit professionally by having opportunities to hear lectures by outstanding pedagogues and to exchange ideas with and learn from our colleagues.  Many thanks are due to Brenda Buchanan and the Workshop Committee and to our Independent Music Teacher presenters for giving us a great spring tonic!  Happy Spring!

Suzanne Murray


The AIM Performance Levels 3-9 exams were held Sunday, March 12 at Harper College. A total of 184 students participated in the exam.

Thank you, Teachers, for your participation in preparing students and helping out the day of the exam!   E xams/dictionaries maybe picked up at the home of Helen Grosshans afterTuesday, March 21.

Awards for Level 9 will be available later.  Makeup exams are being scheduled and should be completed by March 31.Below are the results of the exam.

Low Average Median High # Students Judged
Overall 71.00 92.87 94.50 102.00 184
L09 78.00 93.03 94.75 101.00 15
L08 80.00 92.25 92.25 98.75 17
L07 81.00 94.70 96.50 102.00 24
L06 72.50 89.40 90.25 102.00 42
L05 71.00 94.73 95.50 102.00 33
L04 72.00 92.02 96.25 101.75 22
L03 86.00 95.06 96.00 99.50 31

Vonnie Mrozinski and Helen Grosshans
AIM Performance 3-9, co-chairs


This is the last reminder before the college scholarship deadline which is  April 15.  If you have a high school senior graduating this year and majoring in music, don't forget to have him/her apply for the $1000 college scholarship. Please remember that the student must play 3 different pieces.  One from the Baroque Era, one from the Classical Era and one from either the Romantic or Impressionistic Era.  Pieces must be memorized.  Teacher of the instrument the student is performing on and majoring in, must be the primary teacher of this student and have been a member of NWSMTA for at least 3 years.  All rules, info and application forms are on the website.  If you need more info, please call or send an email with college scholarship in the subject line.

Pat Borchardt

Thank You,


Independent Music Teachers Meeting:
The 21st Century Piano Teacher

Our meeting on Monday, March 20 promises to be a great one!  Two of our NWSMTA teachers, Deb Lynch and Rachel Wojcicki, will present topics of interest to all of us.  Deb will give a demonstration of how she is successfully using Skype to teach her twin grandsons in California.  Her husband, Terry Goedken, will be on hand for technical support and questions. Rachel Wojcicki is a traveling teacher - she has built a very successful studio in a very short time, and will share tips on how she accomplished that.  She will include topics such as Podcasts, Social Media, Advertising, Creating a Website,  iPad Apps, and many more.  

Plan to be inspired as we learn how to take our studios into the 21st century!


A get well card was sent to Carol Walgren-Georgas due to her knee replacement.

Dear members,

It might take a while for your check to be processed. In the past, it has taken up to two months.  So before you close your account or reallocate funds, please make sure any check that you have written to  NWSMTA   has been cleared. Unfortunately, we have to charge a $12 for any returned check to cover the bank service fee.  Thanks.

Oakton Six Piano Ensemble

The Oakton Six Piano Ensemble, under the direction of Conductor Glenna Sprague, will present concerts on Saturday, April 29 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 30 at 3:00 p.m. in the Footlik Theater at Oakton Community College, 1600 East Golf Road, Des Plaines. 
The Six Piano Ensemble was formed by Glenna Sprague, Professor and Coordinator of Music at Oakton, where she also teaches piano. Performing at six pianos, the group performs not only traditional classical piano music; but also, symphonic literature as well as ragtime and popular music.  The rich, layered sound of the Six Piano Ensemble compares to that of an orchestra, with each member playing a different part of a composition as the melody transfers from pianist to pianist.  This year's concerts features "Orchestral Suite No. 2" in B minor by Bach; "Habanera" from New Spanish Dances, Op. 65, No. 3 by Moszkowski; "Malaguena" by Lecuona; "Sonatina in G major, Op. 44, No. 1 by Kuhlau; and "Juba Dance" by R. Nathaniel Dett as well as other selections.
Tickets are $19 for general admission, $16 for seniors and students, and $14 for group rate. For ticket information, call the Oakton Box Office at 847-635-1900 or order tickets online at  Following each concert, there is a reception.
Widely acknowledged as one of the most unique musical groups in the world, the Oakton Six Piano Ensemble has performed in Europe and the United States, including the 32nd World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) at the Royale Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow; the College Music Society International Conference in Vienna, Austria; MTNA National Conferences in Atlanta and Spokane; numerous MTNA state conferences; GP3 Conference at University of Oklahoma, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy; and the Steinway of Chicago's Community Concert Series.  



To find out more come to the Independent Music Teachers program on Monday, 3/20/17.

Rachel Wojcicki and I will tell all!
Deborah Lynch