October 17, 2020

A card was sent to Diane Adamek for her 50th anniversary on behalf of the Association. Congratulations, on the first fifty!

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS - Ilse M. Schmidt (nee Bluemlein), 87 of Arlington Heights, valiantly fought a strep infection for 11 days before leaving this life to enter His presence on May 8, 2020. She was grandmother of 13 and great-grandmother of 1. Ilse taught Lutheran elementary school and played the organ for church services. She also gave piano lessons for over 60 years and was actively employed as an office administrator. She inspired others with her work ethic and commitment to serving family, friends and the Lord. When she took breaks from working and serving, Ilse traveled. She loved new places and experiences and instilled her love for travel in each of her children and grandchildren through special Grandma trips. Ilse Schmidt joined NWSMTA December 1964. During 1998 and 1999 Ilse Schmidt was on the Awards Committee with Carol Walgren Georgas, Genya Kantorovich, Deb Lynch, Vonnie Mrozinski, and Janice Razaq. Her last membership with us was 2018-2019.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Fran Onley's husband, Bob, as he recuperates from his recent surgery. Bob has been such a big help to NWSMTA as a volunteer at many of our events.

Janice Wilkans, Hospitality Chair
The Pop & Jazz Recital would welcome more performers. This is a great opportunity for students to perform in the comfort of their own home, while enjoying the performances of other students. It's time to join the fun and strut our stuff.

Janna Gainulin, Pop & Jazz Chair
"Yoga for Musicians: Embodying Techniques for Practice and Performance"
Monday, October 19, 2020
Online Zoom
9:45 A.M. Meeting

Yoga For Musicians is built to truly support all musicians; vocalists, pianists, string players, brass, woodwind, percussion; everyone! This workshop will help you practice and perform from a centered place, assisting you in sounding your best. Because when the mind and body are settled, you can play more like “you”! 

During our workshop I will guide and share examples of breathwork and meditations to calm the mind, yoga postures targeting all areas of the body to build confidence and space within, and visualization techniques to get the most out of your practice time & performances. 

Come as you are! You do not need to be flexible in order to try yoga. Poses will be suitable seated in chairs or standing. 

Wear comfortable clothing you can move freely in, a yoga/exercise mat if you have one, a chair if you’d like to be seated for the movements, and an open mind.
Oakton Six Piano Ensemble
Be part of a unique musical experience as a member of the Oakton Six Piano Ensemble. Auditions for this internationally acclaimed touring group are now being scheduled in October. To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Glenna Sprague, at or 847-635-1905.

The group performs repertoire from the classical, ragtime, jazz, and popular periods that is transcribed for the six pianos by the ensemble’s founder and conductor, Glenna Sprague, Professor and Coordinator of Music at Oakton, where she also teaches piano. Performing with a conductor, the rich layered sound of the Six Piano Ensemble is comparable to that of an orchestra, with each member playing a different part of a composition as the melody transfers from pianist to pianist. The ensemble provides an excellent opportunity for those pianists who do not want to perform as soloists, but want to keep up their playing skills and be part of an ensemble situation.

The group has performed both internationally and throughout the United States, including the World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) at the Royal    Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow; College Music Society International Conference in Vienna, Austria; Hawaii Music Teachers Association in Honolulu; MTNA National Conferences in Atlanta and Spokane, GP3 National Conference at University of Oklahoma; Steinway of Chicago Community Concert Series, Navy Pier, Civic Opera House, and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago.

This year, the Ensemble is performing a Virtual Concert at the Florida State Music Teachers Association State Conference.

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

NWSMTA members, you may take a bow for your performance. When I send out a Constant Contact message, I get a report telling me how many members opened their email. I find it satisfying to know that our open rates are generally around 65%. It makes me realize that NWSMTA members have a bond with each other and are interested in their profession. Thank you for being there. We have always been a group that shares ideas and supports each other.

I would like to invite you to get more involved during this time of unnatural distancing. We are spending more time online in order to keep our teaching of the best quality. I marvel at how quickly we adapted and then proceeded to create positives from our situation. There have been many creative ideas presented.  I think it would be wonderful to share with each other anything you have discovered; a well written book, a new app, a podcast, an online concert or something you've tried in your teaching that worked for you.

I will include any submissions in our newsletters, so we have an even bigger reason to open the newsletter. With the overwhelming quantity of information out there, I appreciate a review from someone who shares my interests. 

I have a recommendation for a new book meant for children, but one that will be thoroughly enjoyed by all. Wild Symphony by Dan Brown, bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code is very well done. I was not aware that Dan Brown was also a musician and composer. The book has a downloadable app that couples the music of the animals in the symphony. There are also clues and a coded message for those of us who love a good puzzle. The little "lessons" on every page turn are thought provoking and worthy of discussion with a little one.  Students will enjoy, "Nobody gets it right the first time. Just keep practicing: you'll catch on." The illustrations by Susan Batori capture the animals' personalities and characteristics. I was impressed by his orchestral music, as well. Many composers have brought the sounds of nature into their music. This book and the accompanying music will help children learn to listen to music and nature closely to hear their songs. 

It could be a great group class activity. Or an online Zoom class for your students.

A "lesson" from Dan Brown: "All of us are different sizes, shapes,, and colors. If we work together we can make wonderful music."

And we do!

Deborah Lynch