Northwest Suburban Music Teachers Association Newsletter

October 14, 2013

Quick Links...
In This Issue
Note from the President
Festuval of Pianos Report
October Program
Editor's Note
PIanos for Sale
New Members' Coffee
Emilio del Rosario Competition
College Scholarship
Job Opportunity
September Minutes
For the September minutes, please click here.
Upcoming Events


Oct 14 - Meeting at Rolling Meadows Library


Oct 20 - Classical and Pop & Jazz Recital


Oct 21 - AIM Coffee at Suzanne Fleer's home


Oct 28 - New Member Coffee at Suzanne Murray's home


Nov 1 -3 - ISMTA Conference

Northeastern Univiersity


Nov 10 - Sonata-Sonatina Festival 

Harper College


Nov 11 - AIM Judges' Meeting


Nov 23 - Gold Medal Recital

Vernon Area Library


Nov 17 - AIM Exams 

Harper College


Mov 18 - Meeting at Arlington Height Library


  A Welcome from Our President
Maureen Flood
Greetings, Members!


Don't forget to register for the ISMTA conference by October 20 -- there is a reduced rate until that date!  I hope we have a great turnout and win the award for attendance -- we may have some competition this year!


Congratulations to the hard-working Festival of Pianos Committee on such a successful and well-planned event.  Here's a link to a video clip that was done by the Sun-Times:



I'm sure you are all preparing your students for the Classical & Pop & Jazz recitals on October 20th, and the Sonata-Sonatina Festival on November 10th.   Get your registrations in on time!


I was fortunate to attend our member, Rick Lowe's performance on Friday night, "Rick Lowe & Friends."    Rick performed with several members of his church, as they did solos during the first half, and then the jazz band performed together.  Our member, Chieko Garling, also performed!   It was a wonderful evening, and I hope to encourage others to attend next time he hosts this enjoyable event!


Here's a luncheon I'd like to call your attention to:
And here are a few reminders from MTNA:
MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grants
Applications for the MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grants must
be received by January 3, 2014, to be considered by the
selection committees. All applications and supporting
materials must be submitted online through the MTNA
Foundation website.

Teacher Enrichment Grants may be used for private study,
college-level course work or special projects in performance,
pedagogy, music theory and composition. The grant is not
intended to be used to pursue course work toward a degree,
for travel funds or for ongoing projects. However, a grant
may be approved for one additional year at the discretion of
the Teacher Enrichment Grant Evaluation Committee. The
number of grants awarded in any year is determined by the
number of qualified applicants and available funds. For more
information or to apply, click here.


MTNA Conference

Mark your calendars for the 2014 MTNA National Conference in Chicago, Illinois, March 22-26, 2014! It's time to make plans to attend the national conference and take advantage of this wonderful professional development opportunity. Please encourage your members to learn more about this year's conference.


Conference Highlights

  • Opening session recital with Jon Manasse, clarinet, and Jon Nakamatsu, piano.
  • Tuesday evening recital and Advanced Piano Master Class with Spencer Myer.
  • Advanced Piano Master Class with John Perry.
  • Featured guest, pianist Byron Janis, will discuss how he overcame the challenges       of being a pianist with arthritis.
  • Teaching Demonstrations by Marvin Blickenstaff, Jane Magrath, Jane Bastien and Michelle Conda.
  • Pedagogy Saturday will include sessions on Teaching Artistry and Technique, Wellness, Improvisation, Recreational Music Making and the Young Professional.
  • Competitions, Exhibit Hall, Showcases and more!


In addition to a wonderful slate of activities, it is often the unquantifiable and unexpected moments at conference that keep me coming back! Whether it is meeting a favorite composer or making new friends with colleagues from across the nation, attending national conference has become my annual appointment to get refreshed, energized and inspired.


Attending conference can be affordable. Here are a few ideas:

  • Design your studio calendar and studio budget with annual conference attendance in mind.
  • Register early and reserve a room at the conference rate now!
  • Find a friend (or two) to share a room.
  • Extend your stay and have a vacation with your family.


You've dedicated your life to teaching music, and you deserve to be inspired, reinvigorated and refreshed professionally. Attending the national conference is an investment in your career as a music teacher. You owe it to yourself and to your students.

Maureen Flood, President
 Festival of PIanos


multiple pianos
Hooray! Beat the big bass drum!

We had one fantastic 20th Festival of Pianos on Sunday, September 29th in the eight programs from 11:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.

Everyone enjoyed the music filling Northbrook Court provided by the 400 plus students, parents, and teachers playing throughout the day. 

We truly fulfilled out object of our association by the advancement of musical knowledge and the appreciation of sharing music among the people of the community.

Plus, we are the only group in the state of Illinois who has done a six piano free venue for the public for twenty years.

Our conductors, Marilyn Crossland, Fran Evens, Bev Modlin, and Robin Meredith-Kramer did a fantastic job of conducting the eight programs. We rented six Steinway grand pianos, four 9' grands and two 7' ones from Steinway Gallery of Northbrook.
 Gand Sound provided wonderful sound equipment which helped spread the piano sound throughout the mall for everyone to hear. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and patrons of the mall all enjoyed the music throughout the day.   
Northbrook Court's management couldn't do enough for us to help celebrate our twentieth year. They have been our hosts for the past seven years and even paid for a Kate Spade purse to be raffled off and had several food venues give us discounts.

The special twentieth year commemorative poster we gave to each participant was very much appreciated as were the beautiful medals we gave this year. 

The teachers who participated were Diane Adamek, Mary Anne Block, Pat Borchardt, Cheryl Buller, Jennifer Cohen, Denise Dolins, Sarah Doyel, Joan Drolet, Lyn Ehrgott, Carol Ekblad, Chyi-Ling Evans, Maureen Flood, Yukiko Fujimura, Edie Kayne, Genya Kantorovich, Midori Kim, Galina Kostukovsky, Jill Kozak-Hodges, Sung Lee, Sandy Leibowitz, Olga Lunetta, Marcia Mally, Bev Modlin, Vonnie Mrozinski, Fran Onley, Elena Pashilene, Tatyana Petrosova, Hanlie Pienaar, Nancy Ruocco, Ilse Schmidt, Inga Sedey, Judith Shaltry, Justyna Krafft-Weirich, and Janice Wilkans. 
Congratulations to everyone involved! 
Thank you to everyone who made this special festival the huge success it was.

Marcia Mally, co-chair with Sandy Leibowitz
October Program -Awards Pieces to be Discussed


Dr. Matthew Hagle
Piano Faculty, Musicianship Program Director
With Music Institute of Chicago since 1998


D.M.A., Yale School of Music, 2003; M.M.A., Yale School of Music, 1997; M.M., Yale School of Music, 1994; B.M., Peabody Conservatory of Music, 1992

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Maria Curcio Diamand, Robert Weirich, Claude Frank, and Donald Currier


Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

I love to be around bright and curious people who are excited by music! I try to challenge my students on an intellectual/musical level, but also to remain sympathetic to the problems they might face in trying to improve their skills. As a piano teacher, I try and teach students to better understand how the music is put together, how to listen to themselves (harder than it seems!), and how to use natural movements of their bodies to build a playing technique. As a musicianship teacher, I try to teach students to recognize and listen for the building blocks of a piece of music. As a composition teacher, I try to take the students' individual ideas and help them problem solve with a sense of compositional structure and historical awareness.


Awards and achievements: 

Fulbright Grant, England, 1994-1995; Master classes with Leon Fleisher, Gilbert Kalish, John O'Conor, Peter Frankl, Boris Berman; CD American Virtuosa with Rachel Barton Pine released on Cedille label


Professional affiliations & activities: 

Formerly taught at Elmhurst College, University of Notre Dame, and International Institute for Young Musicians Frequent solo and chamber music/collaborative performances on radio station WFMT Past collaborative partners include violinist Rachel Barton Pine, pianist Mio Isoda-Hagle, members of the Chicago Symphony, Quintet Attacca, Avalon Quartet, Parker Quartet Solo, chamber music and collaborative performances across the U.S., in England, Australia, and Japan U.S. venues including: Many colleges/universities across the U.S., National Gallery of Art (D.C.), Museum of Women in the Arts (D.C.), Symphony Space (New York), U.S. Supreme Court, Ravinia Festival's Martin Theater, Symphony Center (Chicago), Art Institute of Chicago, Dame Myra Hess Concerts (Chicago Cultural Center)

From Junior - Matt will play the Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Grieg pieces and focus the discussion on the Schumann

From Intermediate - He will play the Ginastera, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel pieces and talk about the Ginastera

From Senior - He will play the Weber and Poulenc pieces and discuss them both if there is time, if not he will talk only about the Poulenc.

Note from the Editor 

What did I learn from my students this month? 

I was explaining to my student, Jessie, that to play fast notes, you don't want to play heavy.  Instead, you want to think like a runner, who wouldn't consider stomping through a race.  When Jessie's face lit up in an aha moment, I remembered she was a runner.  Then she told me that scientists have studied runners and their feet are on the ground 28% of the time and 72% of the time they are flying.  I will never teach or practice fast notes without remembering to fly.

Deb Lynch, Editor
Pianos for Sale
grand piano



Steinway Grand Piano - Mahogany

Series M

Built in 1915 --- and been in my family ever since!!!! We are the ORIGINAL OWNERS !!


Length 5' 7"

Width 4' 6"

Weight 570 lbs.


Appraised in May 2013 at $12K by Authorized Steinway Appraiser

Am willing to sell to a good home! Price negotiable

- Barbara (312) 399-2001

Karen, (262)206-0082 or email:, would like to sell her 1989 Upright Baldwin Acrosonic, mahogany piano for $995.  The piano is located in GrayslakeIL, and Karen says it is in very good shape and has wonderful dynamics.
A Lake Barrington woman is selling her cherry Kawai upright piano and bench, barely used and regularly tuned, for $2000.   For more information, please contact: Beth Johanson at
null New Members' Coffee


I would like to invite all members who have recently joined NWSMTA to attend a coffee at my home on Monday, October 28 at 9:45.  We are eager to get to know you and share information on all our activities and events.  The list of dates in the Yearbook can seem overwhelming at first, but our committee chairs and board members will be there to help guide you through it.  Any returning members are also welcome to attend.  The location will be: 916 Eden Dr., Schaumburg  60195.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at 847-884-7903 or at with any questions.

Suzanne Murray, Membership Chairman

$1000 College Scholarship

If you have a high school student graduating this year and majoring in music, any instrument, now is the time to start preparing your student for our college scholarship.  The $1000 will go to only 1 student and will be payable in 2 installments.  This is a great scholarship to help with additional expenses.  The deadline is April 1, 2014.  The teacher must have been a member of NWSMTA for at least 3 years.  Complete rules are on the website along with the application form.  If you have any questions, please call or email.
Pat Borchardt

Awards Committee Report


In July, our Committee, represented by Jennifer Cohen, Mi-Young Kim, Robin Meredith-Kramer, Olga Ulitsky, Olga Bornovalova got together at my home to select the new repertoire.  We have spent six hours and found 30 wonderful pieces.  We are excited to introduce these pieces to you at our October 14 Meeting, that will be led by Dr. Matthew Hagle.  We hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to attend and listen to a good interpretation.


The Awards Competition page on our new website has been updated and looks better now.
Starting from 2014, all registration will be done online.


Music is available in PDF format now if you are interested.


Our goal is to have more participants at our 2014 AC.  We encourage you to enroll your students once you have a chance to check the repertoire.


I look forward to seeing you soon!  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions



Galina Kostukovsky,

AC Chair

Position Available

Minister of Music position available at St. Francis Church in Lake Zurich.  More information available online.

Take AIM!


You Are Invited!


All teachers are invited to the AIM (Achievement in Music) Coffee/Workshop to be held at 9:45 a.m. on Monday, October 21 in the home of Suzanne Fleer. Her address is 1160 W Mallard Drive in Palatine. Good news! You do not need to be a teacher entering students in the AIM exams to attend. The program will center on the topic of judging. Good news! You do not need to be an AIM judge to attend this coffee. Why would you want to attend? Because we are all involved in judging! We judge our own students in every lesson. In every lesson we are busy:

  1. Deciding what is the student's next step in improving the piece just heard
  2. Observing the technical requirements within the performance
  3. Listening for musicianship
  4. Determining the best preparation for a new musical element or composer
  5. Encouraging the student to listen, to work, to celebrate musical success bit by bit
  6. Motivating the student to be excited about this journey of music-making

During the workshop, we will discover more ways that we judge our students and some reasons why we might want to listen to other students. We will sharpen our listening skills as we all listen to sample parts of an exam which is similar to many lessons. We may leave with more tools to use is expressing our critiques to students. We may also leave knowing a few more teachers better than before! RSVPs to Suzanne (Email: or phone: 847-304-1004) are appreciated so that there will be enough chairs! The AIM Committee really hopes you can come and join in the conversation! Please note: IF you would like to bring something, consider a cup of cut-up fruit ready to add to a bowl of fruit salad or call Suzanne Fleer with a different idea.


UPDATE: AIM Workbooks

The supply of AIM workbooks kept by NWSMTA is almost depleted. The remaining stock includes 1 copy of Level VIII and 3 copies of Level XII. However do not despair, but do plan ahead. You should get any workbooks that you need for this year NOW. Many teachers may have extra copies of various levels and are encouraged to bring them to the meeting or the AIM coffee/workshop to sell to those in need. A sign-up at the meetings will try to facilitate these exchanges. You also may order workbooks from the ISMTA Central Office by completing the order form on its website: Plans call for the use of a revised AIM Syllabus for 2014-2015 which would include new workbooks. However at this time, the extent of the workbook revisions is unknown. It is very possible that with minor adjustments, any leftover workbooks may be successfully used next year. Questions? Contact Helen Grosshans, AIM Coordinator. Email: or Phone: 847-259-2125


Whitman Wonders


Wanted:  Dusty Keyboards That Still Work!

As you may know, NWSMTA works with School District 21 in an early morning keyboard program for third and fourth grade students at Whitman School in Wheeling.  Fran Evens and/or Helen Grosshans are currently teaching groups from 8:00-8:30 a.m. every morning except Tuesdays.  The purpose of these classes is to introduce piano study to students (who can come to school early and will commit to practicing) to help prepare them for greater success in the orchestra and band programs.  Many of the students would not have the opportunity to explore piano otherwise due to family finances and no instrument at home.  The program is very appreciative to NWSMTA for funding the teaching materials each year as well as member donations of some keyboards for home practice and additional very easy sight reading music.  NOW we are in desperate need of additional keyboards to loan out for home practice.  Although preference would be given to keyboards with 61 fullsized keys, we will take almost anything above the category of toy piano.  Small keyboards fit better in some homes.  Please look under beds and in closets (and check with your students or friends?) for any abandoned, but working, keyboards that could be donated to this program.  If you have any questions, please contact Helen Grosshans by email: or phone: 847-259-2125.  Pickup service may be available!


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

Deborah Lynch, Newsletter