March 2020
In This Issue
President's Greeting
Recitals and Competitions
Awards and Grants
Member News
NEPTA Facebook
Facilities Usage and Parking


Monday, March 23
9:30 a.m.



First Woman
President of New England Conservatory of Music
"Creative Confidence and the Culture of Practice"



Dear NEPTA Members,

It is hard to believe how much has transpired since I last wrote to you in the February newsletter a few weeks ago.  Even in the last few days, there have been changes happening at a swift pace. This is indeed a unique and historic time for NEPTA and for everyone around the globe.  I have lived through some interesting and challenging times over the past five decades, but in hindsight, the sole force that helped pull me through was the gift that was imparted to me by my music lessons.  This was the gift of extreme discipline, patience, courage, resilience, perseverance, and "grit" (as our guest speaker, Christopher Fisher, put it recently.)   As piano teachers, most of us have experienced the long hours at the piano, the extraordinary dedication to teaching, and the pushing to a higher and higher level with no end in sight, despite the challenges. These gifts were embedded into our spirit and thank goodness they were.  I know they will help us rise to the challenges ahead.

We are entrusted to pass these "gifts" on to our students, even more so when the "going gets tough".  We can also help them feel a sense of support and love during this uncertain time.  I had a conversation this week with one of my high school students, (who was clearly in a state of worry) and it opened my eyes to the fact that many of our young students were too young to even know the tragedy we felt during 9-11.  This is the younger generation's first challenge and they are looking to us for guidance.

As we begin the new week tomorrow, we travel into uncharted territory.  For me, tomorrow marks the first time in my 31 year teaching career that I will embark on teaching lessons solely online.  For other teachers, I understand it will be a time to take a break and allow time to reassess the situation, as well as practice those Chopin Etudes!  Many are working from home, students are out of school and looking for things to do, I can't think of a better time for us to encourage our students to practice and let music lighten the heart and spirit!  

I have been enormously comforted by my fellow NEPTA colleagues and friends this past week who have reached out by email to share what they are doing in their studios that may be helpful.  I will post some of these helpful tips in the newsletter below.  If you have others, please send them along to me, as we can work together to help each other during this unique time. I can be reached at the following email address:

Of important note, I have listed the status of our upcoming events in the newsletter below.  Please look them over carefully, and again please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have.  I am doing my best to work hard for NEPTA to see it through this very challenging time, and hope I will prove worthy at the helm.  I will appreciate your support too!

I would like to send an enormous thank you to each of the NEPTA volunteers who have helped me this past year. Each of their names are listed below.

Music soothes, calms, heals, inspires, and empowers us to the highest levels.  Go forth this week and beyond to use that "grit" to be strong and do good in the world despite the challenges lying ahead before us.

Keep healthy and be well,

Diana Tetzlaff


We are making the following changes to our events due to the evolving situation surrounding the Coronavirus and the safety of everyone involved. We hope to have the opportunity to reschedule some of the events that must be cancelled and we will keep you updated.

D uet/Ensemble Recital - March 22
The Duet/Ensemble recital which was scheduled for Sunday, March 22, 2020,  is cancelled.

Speaker Series, Andrea Kalyn, President NEC - March23

We will not be meeting at First Parish in Watertown for the Speaker Series event with Ms. Kalyn on Monday, March 23, 2020.  Ms. Kalyn may still be available to give a video or livestream online presentation. She will give us an update this coming week.  Stay tuned!

Mildred Frieberg Competition (Grades 6 - 8) - April 5

We will not be conducting this year's Mildred Frieberg Middle School Competition at M. Steinert & Sons but instead will do it online by video submission.  Please find the new instructions in the following letter by clicking here.

Please contact Competition Chair, Shizue Sano, should you have any questions:

Irene S. Golan Teachers' Teachers' Exchange - April 13

The Irene S. Golan Teachers' Exchange this Spring which was scheduled for Monday, April 13, 2020 at the Wellesley Library
is cancelled.

Ruth Davidson Competition (Grades 9 - 10) - April 19

The Ruth Davidson Competition for Grades 9 - 10 is currently scheduled for Sunday, April 19, 2020 at M. Steinert & Sons in South Boston.  This will most likely change to an online competition and a decision will be made soon by the NEPTA Board of Directors.  This decision will be emailed to the membership by March 19, 2020.
Register online by clicking here.

Alice Hamlet Competition (Grades 11 - 12) - April 19

The Alice Hamlet Competition for Grades 11 - 12 is currently scheduled for Sunday, April 19, 2020 at M. Steinert & Sons in South Boston.  This will most likely change to an online competition and a decision will be made soon by the NEPTA Board of Directors.  The decision will be emailed to the NEPTA membership by March 19, 2020.
Register online by clicking here.

Adult Recital - April 26
The Adult Recital which was scheduled for Sunday, April 26, 2020 at First Parish in Watertown is cancelled .

All other remaining NEPTA events TBD.

Thank you for your understanding as we work through these unique circumstances. 

We enjoyed a delightful and inspiring presentation by Dr. Christopher Fisher on February 24, 2020 at First Parish in Watertown.  The topic:  "The Secret Ingredient for Piano Teaching Success:  The Powerful Role of Parents" and "Motivation, Mindset and Grit:  Fostering a Culture of Excellence."

Click here for the notes from Dr. Fisher's presentation.  Many thanks to NEPTA's Recording Secretary Eric Bouwman-Wozencraft for providing a wonderful recap. of the program!

Wanda Paik Awards:

Congratulations to this year's Wanda Paik Award winners and their teachers: 
  • Maxwell Huang, student of Faina Kofman
  • Daniel Zhou, student of Natalia Harlap
  • Edward Zhang, student of Valerie Henkin
  • Michael Yang, student of Dr. Nilly Epstein Shilo
  • Danny Li (Honorable Mention) student of Tanya Schwartzman
  • Alex Wu (Honorable Mention) student of Eleanor V. McLaughlin
The Wanda Paik awards were established to encourage the artistic achievements of students of NEPTA's independent teachers.  Four $100 awards were given to 8th graders who performed in the NEPTA Intermediate II Recitals on February 9, 2020.

Many thanks to Lyubov Shlain, Recital Chair. Thanks also to Janice Zaganjori and Dianne Impallaria, Wanda Paik Scholarship Committee.

Alice Procter Award:

Congratulations to this year's Alice Procter Award winner and
their teacher:

  • Leander Frank, student of Nina Grimaldi
The Alice Procter Award for an outstanding original composition in the classical style. One $100 award was given to a student in K -12 who performed in the Composition Recital on March 1, 2020.

Many thanks to Kathryn Rosenbach, Composition Award Chair.

Louise Hodder Olsen Award:

Congratulations to this year's Louise Hodder Olsen Award winner and  their teacher:

  • Carly Heslop, student of Diana Tetzlaff
The Louise Hodder Olsen Award for original composition and creativity in the style of jazz or pop music. One $50 award was given to a student in K -12 who performed in the Composition Recital on March 1, 2020.

Many thanks to Kathryn Rosenbach, Composition Award Chair.


Eight awards in the amount of $150 each are available to students in need. To apply send a brief note from the teacher stating the family's need and reasons for financial assistance to Carol Chaffee, Scholarship Chair:

Susan B. Demb Teacher Enrichment Grants:

This program was established in honor of retired member Susan B. Demb for the purpose of fostering teaching excellence.  On May 18, 2020 two NEPTA members will be awarded up to $500 each to further their professional growth and enrichment by enrolling in a continuing education course, workshop, seminar, or conference in piano pedagogy. Applications are due May 1, 2020 to Lydia Reed Guertin, Chair:

Please  click here for information on how to apply.


Donations to NEPTA Scholarships, Awards, Grants-in-Aid can be made by  clicking here.

Thank you for your support!
Click here for a link of helpful suggestions passed along in the last few days by some of our fellow NEPTA members which may be helpful to you during this unique and challenging time.
Member news emails will be sent in September, November, January, March, and May. Please submit member news to Ellie Perrone at with the subject line NEPTA Member News and follow the member news guidelines on the website
Post your news including pictures, videos and recordings.  Members can share and post general information such as concert listings, upcoming competitions, job opportunities, piano sales, and the latest news on our Facebook page.

NEPTA's Facebook page:, or go to NETPA's website and follow the Facebook link. 

Most meetings and student recitals are held at First Parish of Watertown. Please help us maintain a good working relationship with the church by observing the following:
  • Double check your belongings before you leave. The church is not responsible for lost items.
  • Please do not contact the church office if you have misplaced any belongings.
  • No food or drink, aside from water, is allowed in the Sanctuary.
Members can check the "Lost and Found" storage bench that is located right by the church office.  The storage bench is on the left when you enter the church entrance. 

Parking Reminders:
Please do not park in The Watertown Savings Bank parking lot or the church parking lot for NEPTA events.

There is a metered parking lot adjacent to the church.  Blue colored meters accept coins up to a maximum of 8 hours.