November 22, 2020
We had our first Classical Recital using Zoom on October 25, 2020. We want to thank the teachers who entered the students for this event. It was nice to see and hear the students' live performance on Zoom. The students played beautifully. After the recital, we got some positive feedback and also some suggestions from the teachers and parents. We'll take those suggestions into consideration for next recital. Over all, it was a nice recital. I would like to thank Chyi-Ling for the tremendous amount of work she did.

Chyi-Ling and Janice
Session Description

Whether playing in studio recitals or preparing for competitions and auditions, students of all ages and abilities often struggle to hold up under pressure. Teachers need ways to boost memory, security, and confidence. With my experience as a student, teacher, audience member, performer, and adjudicator, I’ve seen all sides of the issue. Over the years, I have developed many tactics to help students play with confidence and reliability so they don’t crack under pressure. Demonstrations and audience participation will highlight these effective strategies: Keep the Flow, “Distract-a-thon”, Checkpoints, Interruptions, Slow Play, Self-assessment, and more!


Clinton Pratt (BM, MM, NCTM) maintains a successful private studio in Cincinnati Ohio, and has over 20 years experience teaching students age 5 through retired adults. He enjoys teaching beginners as well as preparing advanced students for college music programs. He is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association and has served on both local and state boards for the organization. He is currently the President-Elect for his district of the Ohio Music Teachers Association, and in 2016 he received the honor of “Teacher of the Year.”
Besides his college degrees and certifications, Clinton has additional training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics. His unique teaching approach includes this music and movement philosophy as well as improvisation, composition, ear training, and rhythmic games. He also established Music Alive!, an innovative multimedia concert that his students present, which fuses music with art, movement, videos, and other visual components. 

Clinton has over 16 years of experience as an adjudicator. He has judged for the American Guild of Music, the MTNA E-Festival, and numerous other festivals and competitions. Clinton joined the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) in 2014, where he enjoys adjudicating students from all over the United States and Canada.

Clinton is also an active presenter at local, state, and national teacher conferences, has been published in American Music Teacher, and has served on numerous committees including the Editorial Committee for American Music Teacher
79 students from 19 teachers participated in our November AIM exams. The exams were conducted online and the performances were done via video recordings. Below is a summary of the exam scores.
One of the items with which I must reluctantly part is my Lowrey organ. It's a ton of fun to play, especially with the "Magic Genie" feature, but the Florida house just doesn't have the space now that my grand piano has been transported there, especially once the album collection and audio system arrive.

It's free if you move it or if you even just know someone or some school, church, etc. that might put it to good use. I really just want it to get a good home. (Note: it's in storage, so unfortunately it is not available for viewing or playing; you'll have to go by the picture.)

If interested please contact Owen Marks at

NWSMTA has a camp scholarship for students of teachers who have been members of NWSMTA for at least 2 years. We have 2 divisions: junior division up to 8th grade, and senior division 9th through 12th grade. 1st place winners in each division will receive $300 and 2nd place winners in each division will receive $200. Complete rules and application forms are on the website. If you need more info, please contact me. Please write camp scholarship in the subject line.

Pat Borchardt


NWSMTA also has a $1000 college scholarship available for graduating high school seniors of teachers who have been members for at least 2 years. This is a 1 time scholarship for the 1st year of college for students either minoring or majoring in music. The winner will receive $500 fort the first semester sent to the college or university they will be attending and the 2nd installment will be sent to the school after showing acceptable grades for the 1st semester. Complete rules and application form are on the website. If more info is needed, please contact me.

Pat Borchardt
If you haven't had a chance to enjoy the ISMTA 2020 Virtual Conference, be certain to check it out online. Peter Mack's Pedagogy sessions took me back a couple of years, to when he was the clinician for NWSMTA's workshop. As I watched his sessions, I recalled his dedication to his students, his practical teaching suggestions and his wonderful sense of humor. Thankfully, the presentations will be available through the end of the year. Eric Sutz, another favorite of NWSMTA, also had an excellent practical session on teaching jazz. 

It's amazing how many students have registered for the Beethoven Festival. Many thanks to Olga Bornovalova and Olga Ulitsky for not only having a great idea, but also for carrying through with making it a reality. There are an incredible number of performers that are thankful for the opportunity to share their interpretations of Beethoven's music. The challenges of 2020 have stirred our creativity and we have discovered new ways to allow the beat of Beethoven's music to go on, and on.

It was a pleasure to participate as a volunteer judge for AIM this month. I thought it went smoothly. The students were obviously invested in doing their best. The parents demonstrated how they value the AIM process by their support in making the exams run smoothly. 

I have always had frequent recitals for my students. The students were concerned about not having the opportunity to perform due to Covid 19. This past year, I have encouraged my students to put together their own programs to share with others. Whether it is a couple of pieces, or a full recital, they remind us that music is a gift for everyone. I also found that making a video has pushed the students to continue to work for higher skills and performance levels. It is helpful that the number of extra-curricular activities each participates in is not as heavy as in past years. Many of my students' parents will be including a link to the videos with their holiday gifts and cards. It's a way to touch those, you are not able to physically touch. We may have to physically distance, but social distance is NOT a satisfactory option.

I am so proud of NWSMTA members, who have stepped forward to provide opportunities for our students to continue their studies in music. As a teacher, I feel supported by the professionals that are assisting each other with information for online teaching and a state and national organization that are there to support with information and conferences at no cost at a time when it is most needed. 

Deborah Lynch