Northwest Suburban Music Teachers Association Newsletter
March16, 2013
Quick Links...
In This Issue
Note from the President
College Scholarship
Teachers' Musicale
Editor's Note
Workshop Photos
Job Opportunity
February Minutes
For the January minutes, please click here.
Upcoming Events


March 18 - Program

What Every Piano Owner Should Know, Steinway in Northbrook


March 18 -Recital Deadlines


March 21- Awards Deadline


April 7 - Recitals - RML


April 8 - Teachers' Musicale

Steinway Gallery


April 14 - AIM Performance Exams - XI-XII


April 15 - Tuning Into the Youtube Generation - Barbara Kreader

PIctured - Minnie (left) & Maureen (right) A Note from Our President
( Pictured from left to right;
Minnie, Maureen)
Dear Members,
Greetings from Disneyland!


Temperatures are in the 80's here in sunny California and the conference is great!
I've been to some great presentations on teaching adults, integrating pop & jazz music into our studios, technical warmups, marketing, performance psychology, improvisation...........and I still have another day & a half to go!   I truly love attending national conferences -- getting so many ideas from great teachers help inspire me to be a better teacher.    There was also a wonderful recital by the Ahn Trio, and tomorrow night we will have another by Anderson & Roe -- not to mention so many wonderful student competition performances and master classes.


On Wednesday, I will proudly accept the Local Association of the Year Award on behalf of all of you -- I wish you could all be here!!  


Next year the MTNA Conference will  be in Chicago -- mark your calendars for March 22-26 of 2014.    And start thinking of ways in which we can help out at the conference. 


Thank you to Brenda Buchanan and the workshop committee for putting on a great workshop!  I know we all enjoyed having Scott McBride Smith here with us. 


Registration is now open for the Awards Competition -- I'm sure you are all busy preparing students for this event.  The deadline is March 21st.    Also, the spring Classical & Pop & Jazz Recitals are just around the corner -- this deadline is March 18th. 


Don't forget our March meeting is at the Steinway Gallery in Northbrook on March 18th.  Also, please let Mary Anne Block & Lisa Oehler know if you are planning to perform in our Teachers' Musicale, also at the Steinway Gallery, on Monday, April 8. 
Maureen Flood. President
$1000 College Scholarship


The April 1st deadline for the college scholarship is fast approaching.  Remember to fill out the application form and get it in the mail by April 1st.  The student may perform via youtube using a privacy setting or send a DVD to me and I will forward it to the judge.  Include the essay and the letter of acceptance from the college or university.  Complete rules are on the website as well as the application form.  The winner will perform one of the pieces at the awards recital on April 27 at the Steinway Gallery.  This is a very nice scholarship to help the student with their expenses at school.  If you have any questions, please call or email.


Pat Borchardt
Calling all piano soloists and piano ensemble performers!


Our Teachers' Musicale will be held on Monday, April 8 at the Steinway Gallery of Northbrook.  The showroom is set up as a very nice recital space, with multiple pianos available to use.  We will have two grand pianos set up at the front of the room for two piano, four or eight hand arrangements and 4 pianos along the side if any ensemble performers are interested in 3 or 4 piano arrangements.   The audience will be seated in the center of the room so pianists can perform in multiple different arrangements.


The Musicale will begin at 10:00 am.  If you are interested in performing, please contact Mary Anne Block or Lisa Oehler.  Requests should be submitted by no later than Monday, April 1.  Please send all program information (title of the piece, movement, composer and approximate time length.)  Pianists may perform multiple pieces, but individual performances should not exceed 20 minutes.


Note from the Editor 
report card
Last month we had our Independent Music Teacher's Program.  When you think of the combined years of experience in our membership, you realize  one of the best reasons to join NWSMTA is for the support and resource of your colleagues.  The topic this year was evaluation broken down into four categories; self-evaluation, peer evaluation, teacher and outside (contests, public performances, etc.).  Following the presentation, the teachers broke into groups to continue the sharing of ideas.  

These are some of the ideas that came from those small group discussions...  
-It's helpful to ask open ended questions, like "How might you do the phrase differently?"  Or "How would you make this music your own?"
-Listen in a group class to a recording and discuss it.  Or recordings with diverse interpretations or different tempi.
-Have students write down comments, playing the role of the judge as others perform.  They could use the AIM evaluation sheet.
- it was suggested to provide the students with a word bank, to help with their descriptions of performances.  Ingrid Clarfield has a list in her books as a starter.
-Also be sure to check out the MTNA site for self-assessment for teachers.
-Use an iPad to record the student they've warmed up.  It can be reviewed together at the lesson.  Or the file can be sent to others, such as a practice buddy.
- Change roles and let the student become the teacher.  The teacher could replay a section as the student has performed it.  Together they could problem solve to create new practice ideas.
-To teach the students how to listen for different musical concepts the teacher could perform two examples demonstrating obvious differences in hand balance, phrasing, dynamics, etc.

If you're interested in the teaching sheet I use with my intermediate and above students, you may click here.  If you prefer it as an excel file, email me and I'll send it to you, so you can  modify it to meet your own teaching needs.  I'd appreciate hearing if you found it successful, or what modifications worked for you.  

With the younger students, I have a blank for GOAL at the top of each sheet.  I especially find it helpful to review what we've worked on and letting the student decide which aspect they are going to make their highest priority for the week.  It's revealing to see what they remember you covered during their lesson.  Then if you really want to make an impact on their practice, be sure to check and comment on their success with their GOAL.
Deb Lynch, Editor

P.S. To decode my abbreviations...
___X  - Repetitions
SLUG  - Slow Ugly practice (John Westney)
HA      - Hands alone
MM     - Metronome Marking (They keep track)
+1      - Practicing a group (ex. 4 16ths) plus 1 more
>        - Moving accents (ex. > the 2nd of every 16th group, then the 3rd, etc.)
+ Note  -start with an easy group of notes and add to it, to build a run, or slightly bigger groups to build a section (good memorizing tech.)
BS       - Backstitch - start at the end of the run or piece and keeping working backward.  You are always playing toward what you know.
BAB      -Build a Bridge  (Ingrid Clarfield/Philipp Johnston)
*Asterisck - Jump on a difficult note, and HAMMER a rhythm onto it.
        (Trains the arm to find the note, and teaches student to be alert             at the most important moment.)
I draw a hand with one finger raised for one finger practice on a phrase.
I draw two eyelids closed for eyes closed practice.

I suggest a practice technique for them by highlighting the box.  They use it the rest of the week for themselves and to be able to let me know what they did if I ask, "How have you practiced that so far?"

Workshop Photos

  Scott McBride Smith, our clinician

Scott McBride Smith, our clinician

Brenda Buchannan, Scott McBride-Smith, Janice Razaq, Maureen Flood

Workshop committee with Scott.

Northwest Suburban Music Teachers Association
Maureen Flood, President
Joan James, Webmaster

Deborah Lynch, Newsletter