November 27, 2016 

Quick Links...
In This Issue
A Note From Our President
Musikgarten Certification
AIM November Exam
Library Materials Sale
Piano for Sale
Note from the Editor
October Minutes
Click here for the October General Meeting minutes.
Upcoming Events


Monday, December 5
Home of  Sue Ioriatti
1520 N. Lincoln Ct. Arlington Heights, IL
10:00 A.M.-11:30 A.M.

Thursday, December 15
Deadline: AIM Levels 5-12 Theory Exams
All AIM registrations are now online. 
Mail check by December 15, 2016 to Helen Chang


Sunday, January 15, 2017 Deadline:  To request 
permission to use non-Syllabus repertoire.
All repertoire through Level 11 that is not on the AIM Piano Syllabus Repertoire List must be approved by Illinois Repertoire Substitution Chair Stephanie Myers at

Dr. Bruce Berr
 "Seminar on Requested Topics"
Please submit topics or questions to Brenda Buchanan that you would like Dr. Berr to address BEFORE December 1
Monday, January 16,2017
Rolling Meadows Library
9:15 A.M. IMT (Independent Music Teachers) Chat
9:45 A.M. Meeting

There has been much discussion in the media in recent years about the benefits of having a grateful attitude.  We have been encouraged to keep a gratitude journal or to think of several things for which we are thankful before ending each day.  These practices are said to be good for both mental and physical health.

In keeping with the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, following is a list of some of the things for which I am grateful as a musician and teacher:
  1. I am grateful to my parents, who, even though they did not have any musical training, asked me if I would like to take piano lessons.  They found a wonderful teacher for me and made the investment in a new piano, which was undoubtedly a financial stretch for them.
  2. I am grateful to my first piano teacher who gave me so much encouragement and made me love going to piano lessons.  She even let me come to her home studio to practice until our piano was delivered.
  3. I am grateful to my high school piano teacher who gave me a strong technical foundation and challenging repertoire.  She was ahead of her time and even offered group theory and performance classes.
  4. I am grateful to the teachers with whom I studied in college and afterward who helped me to grow as a musician.  They encouraged me to take a piano pedagogy class when that was new to the curriculum and to attend teaching seminars and workshops.
  5. I am grateful to my husband who has always been so supportive of my playing and teaching.  I am sure that after a long day of work he would prefer to come home to a quiet house with a nice dinner ready!  Needless to say, that has not happened very often during our years together.
  6. I am grateful for having a career which enabled me to set my own schedule and to be home with my children when they were young.  I am also thankful to my son and daughter for trying to be quiet and not interrupt lessons and for accepting that I could not always take them to after school activities.
  7. I am grateful to my students for being a constant source of challenge and inspiration to me.  They show me the joy of learning and renew my belief in the power of music to not only give us a sense of personal accomplishment but also to nourish our spirits.
  8. I am grateful that I live in the Chicago metropolitan area where we have access to so many superb musical performances.  It is easy to take this for granted until you meet people who have to travel great distances to attend concerts.
  9. I am thankful that I decided to join MTNA and ISMTA as a young teacher.  I have learned so much from an amazing variety of programs through the years.  I have been inspired to maintain a high degree of professionalism in operating my studio.  Right from the start I was able to teach students from a comprehensive, structured curriculum through the Syllabus (now AIM) program and to offer other performance opportunities to students.
  10. Finally, I am grateful for the wonderful NWSMTA friends and colleagues that continue to enrich me personally and professionally.  I honestly cannot imagine being on this musical adventure without you.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving and a happy holiday season!
Suzanne Murray


Musikgarten will be offering a winter certification training January 6-8, 2017 at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

Cycle of Seasons
In this 17-hour, two-and-one-half day workshop, those interested in teaching three to five year olds in a parent/child setting will come to a new understanding of the preschool child - learning how he is developing both physically and mentally, what he needs to facilitate that development, and effective ways to connect with him. In addition to learning repertoire there will be live demonstration classes with parents and children for the participants to observe.

Considered a sound introduction to the conceptual curricula, The Cycle of Seasons draws its central themes from nature and aims to bring the whole family into music and movement using an environmental experience of story-telling, sensory games, call and respond songs, and other vehicles. Through interactive instruction, we'll cover how children learn music, how children develop, how to work with parents, and how to establish a new business or grow an existing one. By the end of the workshop, you'll know how to:

-Engage children in singing and movement, which nurtures their tonal and rhythm aptitudes

-Tell stories that allow you to tap into the child's imagination, encouraging creative development and good listening skills. Stories also provide opportunities for lots of vocal and movement exploration.
-Continue to work with tonal and rhythm patterns; the children will now echo with increased accuracy - a pre-requisite for effective music reading.


A total of 136 students participated in the November AIM exam, levels 1A, 1B, 1C, 2 (Theory and Performance) and levels 3, 4 (Theory). 

Low Average Median High # Students Judged
Overall 59.00 91.41 94.13 100.75 136
L04 59.00 92.99 96.50 100.75 33
L03 59.25 89.03 89.38 100.00 30
L02 60.00 90.55 93.13 100.00 40
L01C 62.50 91.92 94.75 99.50 13
L01B 86.00 95.75 97.25 100.00 7
L01A 83.00 92.69 95.00 99.00 13



How to Teach Piano Successfully (1973) 

James W. Bastien


Mind Your Musical Manners...Off and On Stage 

Claudette Sorel


MTNA Book of Policies, Letters and Forms (1989)                                   MTNA


Odyssey of a Small Town Piano Teacher                                                 Louise Guhl


An Outline History of Music (Fifth Edition, 1983)                                   Milo Wold and Edmund Cykler


The Piano Owner's Guide:  How to Buy and Care for a Piano                 Carl D. Schmeckel


The Piano- A Piano Technician's Guide for the Piano Owner                   Philip Gurlik, R. T. T.


Piano                                                                                                   Louis Kentner


The Piano Works of Claude Debussy                                                     E. Robert Schmitz


Scales, Intervals, Keys and Triads: A Programmed Book of Elementary Music Theory

John Clough


The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher (1991)                                       Marienne Uszler, Stewart Gordon, Scott McBride Smith





A History of Music of the Western World (1100-1980)  Tapes C3 - C14

Includes music and explanation of musical era or style


C3. New Arts for Old:  Medieval Music  1100-1480 by Dr. Christopher Page


C4. Musick's Feaste:  Music of the Renaissance 1480-1600 by Anthony Rooley


C5. A Pearl Distorted:  The Baroque Period 1600-1750 by Christopher Hogwood and Michael Oliver


C6. Sonata and the Creative Ideal:  The Classical Period 1750-1830 by Alan Hacker


C7. Expression and Extravagance:  The Romantic Period 1830-1900 by Norman Del Mar and John Amis


C8. Reaction and Revolution:  The Modern Period 1900-1945 by Dr. Wilfred Mellers


C9. Contemporary Music 1945-1980 by Hugh Wood


C10. Approaches to Popular Music by Edward Lee and Graham Vulliamy


C11. From Cave to Cavern:  The History of Percussion Instruments by James Blades


C12. Islands in the Sun:  The Story of Reggae and Calypso by Felix Cross


C13. A Jug of This:  An Introduction to English Folk Music by Roy Palmer


C14. Instruments Around the World by Andy Jackson


C15. Listening to Learn, Vol. 1 featuring Weekley & Arganbright (one piano, four hands) Repertoire selected from their editions:  Five Joplin Rags, Four American Folk Songs, Three Baroque Pieces, Four Joplin Waltzes, Twice as Nice, Vol. 1


C17. The Renaissance 1400-1600 by Brad Thompson    


C18. The Romantic Period 1800-1900 and The Twentieth Century 1900-Present (1987) by Brad Thompson


C19. The Five Dollar Job and Performance (part one): You Can Be a Great Performer by Brad Thompson


C25. A Waltz Through the Life of Frederic Chopin by David Northington at 1995 MTNA National Conference (interesting tape but presenter had bad cold)


C26. Structuring Successful Learning Experience Through Pro-active Teaching by Robert Duke at 1995 MTNA National Conference


C27. The Performance Portfolio:  Insight into Student Perception by Joanne Haroutounian at 1995 MTNA National Conference


C28. My Favorite Class is Music Theory by Chris Chalfant at 1992 MTNA National Conference


C29. Opening Doors to Twentieth Century Repertoire for Elementary Level Pianists by Kathleen Murray at 1992 MTNA National Conference


C30. Piano Lessons:  Gain Without Pain by Dennis Siebenaler at 1992 MTNA National Conference


C32. Developing Activities for Students - 1992 by Donahoe, Grys, Turner, Stephenson at 1992 MTNA National Conference


C44. The Elements of Jazz Beyond Improvisation by Lee Evans at 2000 MTNA National Conference.


C46. The Joy of Music - A Personal Journey in Teaching by Richard Killmer at 2000 MTNA National Conference


C47. MTNA MusicLink:  Extending the Chain by Joanne Haroutounian at 2000 MTNA National Conference.  Since then, MusicLink has become a separate foundation but it's goals remain the same.


C51. Basic Music Psychology by Marcie Zinn at ISMTA Conference 1996.


C61. The Alexander Technique for Musicians: A Whole Body Approach to Playing Your Instrument by Robert Bedford at 2002 MTNA National Conference


C62. Interactive Repertoire Classes: Opportunities for Growth by Marvin Blickenstaff at 2002 MTNA National Conference


C63. Pre-Jazz:  Preparing Students to Begin Jazz Study by Anne Collins at 2002 MTNA National Conference


C66. Preparing Vocal College Auditions at the 2003 MTNA National Conference.


C67.Teaching the Adult Amateur Singer at the 2003 MTNA National Conference.


C68. Changing Voices (2 tapes) by a panel including Dr. Kenneth Phillips, Martha Randall and Dr. Clifton Ware at 2003 MTNA National Conference/NATS Spring Workshop


C69. Teaching Kids to Sing  by Dr. Kenneth Phillips at 2003 MTNA National Conference/NATS Spring Workshop


C71. Cakewalkin' on the Keys - A Look at Beginning Jazz Piano Methods by Tony Caramia at 2003 MTNA National Conference


C72. Practice Techniques to Inspire Development of Your Independent Studio - Achieving Great Expectations by Irene Peary-Fox and Scott McBride Smith  at 2003 MTNA National Conference


C73. Learning to Be a Successful Performer by Shirlee Emmons at 2003 MTNA National Conference


C76. Common Challenges for Young Piano Teachers by Lori Rhoden (Ball State University) at 2004 MTNA National Conference




A get well card was sent to Carol Ekblad after she tripped and fell hurting her back.

A check was mailed to Our Saviour's Lutheran Church as a memorial for Ruth Petersen, our past President. 

October 16, 2016 NWSMTA received this thank you note from Faythe's family.  
It is kind of you to honor Faythe's life with a memorial gift to our Chapel Fund. There is surely a certainty that Faythe's spirit will be a frequent visitor to the new chapel. Your truly, Ralph Lavieri

Janice Wilkans, Hospitality



Conference Nuggets:
This year's conference was the most fantastic I have ever attended.  Tony Caramia was an inspiration to the students that performed and the teachers he addressed.  He made the suggestion to "Be creative in an abundance of redundancy."  And to "Count with your ears."  He explained the spirit of jazz as "What else can I do?"  

In his masterclass, he taught teachers his DAT principles; dynamics, articulation and timing.  Sound and timing are the only things you can control, so put your focus there.

I got up early on Saturday to make it to the AIM session.  It was a hilarious presentation that set the mood for the entire day.  The audience was rolling with laughter.  There was much to be learned about successful teaching just by watching how humor cemented the ideas presented.  

I came home with a list of things I wanted to look into further in order to take the ideas presented to a deeper level.  The internet is a powerful resource that changes at the speed of light.  It's helpful and time saving to have colleagues share their favorites.  The conference is timed to ramp up your teaching to a higher gear, so you don't have to work so hard to achieve excellence.

Deborah Lynch