October 20, 2014

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In This Issue
Note from the President
October Program
Sonata-Sonatina Festival
Awards Repertoire
New Member Coffee
AIM - Syllabus Revisions
AIM Registration
Multi-Piano Festival
Note from the Editor
Music for a Lifetime
September Minutes
For the September minutes, please click here.
Upcoming Events


Oct 19  - Classical / Pop & Jazz Recitals  

Arlington Heights Library   

1 P.M. Classical   

3 P.M. Pop and Jazz


Oct 20 - PROGRAM: Matthew Hagle,"Awards Competition Repertoire"  Meeting at Rolling Meadows Library  

9:15 A.M. IMT Chat  

9:45 A.M. Meeting


Home of Suzanne Murray, 916 Eden Dr., Schaumburg

Harper College, Music Instruction Center

Nov 7-9 ISMTA Conference
Millikin University, Decatur

Nov 10 - AIM JUDGES' MEETING 9:45 A.M.   

Home of Mary Anne Block, 749 Oak Rd., Barrington

Nov 12, 2:00 P.M  Deadline: Gold Medal Recital
Call Elena Goptseva  847-293-1894 

Location TBA

Harper College, Music Instruction Center

Nov 17 - PROGRAM:  Jennifer Cohen, Helen Grosshans, Vonnie Mrozinski & Beverly Taylor, "Start a Studio Crawl!"
Barrington Area Library   

9:15 A.M. AIM Chat  

9:45 A.M. Meeting 


A Prelude from Our President

Dear Fellow Members:

As I write this note, I am reflecting on so many inspiring things that are going on. The autumn colors are becoming more vibrant with every passing day. The air is fresh and cool. Squirrels are busy, and geese are beginning to fly by with their plaintive honking.  Take a little time to walk outside if you can and appreciate Nature's beauty around you. You will be happy that you did.


Many of our students had a remarkable weekend at the Festival of Pianos last weekend. How often do you get the opportunity to play a beautiful Steinway piano, or hear six of them "singing" together? I felt elated for many days afterwards, after being part of this wonderful teaching and performing event! Thank you to all who helped make this a very special experience for our students.


We have two recitals coming up, Sunday, October 19th, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. If you haven't entered any students this time, come and support the ones who are playing and see what it's like! Maybe your students will be ready in the spring.


Our next meeting, Monday, October 20th, at the Rolling Meadows Library, will feature Matt Hagle, who will explore the Awards Competition repertoire for 2015 with us.


Many students are now preparing for our Sonata-Sonatina Festival, on November 2nd, at Harper College. Here is another great opportunity to see what's going on in our group. If you are a new teacher, and are available that day, contact the committee and ask if they can use your help for an hour or so.


If you haven't registered for the State ISMTA Conference, there is still time. The conference is available at a discounted rate through October 25th. This year it is being held at Millikin University in Decatur, about 3 hours drive from the northwest suburbs. You will get your batteries recharged by meeting your colleagues from all over the state, going to workshops and hearing concerts and competitions for two days straight. It is wonderful and very affordable. Did you know that new members who have joined since July 1st can go to the conference for free? Let's see if our chapter can have the most attendees!


Lately, I've been thinking about what a difference we each make for our students. I heard today about a young Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, who has won the Nobel Prize for Peace; at 17, the youngest person ever to win this respected honor. She has been an incredible ambassador for people of ages around the world. This quote of hers made me stop and think about what we do, every day; "One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world." I ask you to please do not doubt your influence as a teacher of music - it can be very great indeed. We teach our students so many things - about endurance, attention to details, love of excellence, beauty, creativity and history, about being "in the flow". We share with them our experiences, and they in turn share with us, and make us better as teachers, as mentors, and as people. We are so lucky to be in our profession. I feel thankful every day!


Robin Meredith-Kramer


October Program - Matthew Hagle


Pianist Matthew Hagle lives and works in the Chicago area, having performed at the Ravinia Festival�s Martin Theater, Symphony Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, and live from radio station WFMT, among other venues.  He has performed in England, Australia, and Japan, as well as throughout the United States.  His recent solo performances have explored the often neglected masterpieces of the 20th-century piano repertoire and connections between newer and older music, including pieces of Copland, Carter, Ives, Sch�nberg, Messaien, Ligeti, and Takemitsu.  He also performs regularly with violinist Rachel Barton Pine, with members of the Chicago Symphony, and as a piano duo with his wife Mio. 

Clavier Magazine has praised the rare clarity and sweetness of his playing, which has been described both by Piano and Keyboard and by the New Haven Register as outstanding.  The Charleston Post and Courier commented on his "unusual sensitivity", and the Springfield (MA.) Republican remarked that he "played with unaffected brilliance and profound understanding". As one of 36 pianists in the world chosen to compete in the 2000 Sydney International Piano Competition, he received favorable commentary on the adventurousness of his programming from pianist Michael Kieran Harvey, who covered the competition on Australian national radio. 

His unusually large repertoire and ability to learn unfamiliar works quickly have made Mr. Hagle a valued collaborator with many artists.  Since 1999, he has been principal collaborator to violinist Rachel Barton Pine.  Performances with her have included violin sonatas by Beethoven, Mozart, Prokofiev, Debussy, Ravel, Strauss, and Bartok, as well as 20th-Century music, jazz-influenced compositions, and pieces by women composers and composers from minority or non-Western cultures. Recently, they performed all of Beethoven's music for violin and piano live on radio station WFMT in Chicago, in a series of three weekly concerts. Other recent appearances were at the United States Supreme Court, the National Gallery of Art and on NPR's "Performance Today" and Minnesota Public Radio's "St. Paul Sunday Morning", both of which were heard all over the country. 

Recent chamber music performances have included a turn as a harpsichordist, playing Bach with members of the Chicago Symphony at Symphony Center, and a venture into the avant-garde techniques of composer George Crumb at the Music Institute of Chicago.  Mr. Hagle also has played Schubert's Trout Quintet at Symphony Center with musicians from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and performed with Chicago Symphony musicians on Live from WFMT. Mr. Hagle is a member of Chicago Pro Musica, a group of CSO musicians which performs at venues in Chicago and and across the country. Speaking of a recent performance at the University of Louisville, the reviewer for the Louisville Courier-Journal praised Mr. Hagle's "incisive, keenly pedaled contributions".

A dedicated teacher of piano, chamber music, music theory, and composition, Mr. Hagle currently is on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago, where his students in piano and composition have won prizes in local and national competitions.  He also has taught at Elmhurst College, the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and at the International Institute for Young Musicians at the Universities of Kansas and California at Santa Barbara. In addition to teaching composition, Mr. Hagle has composed pieces for solo flute and piano that have been performed in Germany and Japan. He speaks comfortably about diverse musical subjects, whether on Chopin's connection with 20th-century music, on composers' depictions of nature in piano music, in a series of lecture-recitals about American music, or discussing the music of Schumann at the Newberry Library's "Colloquia" series. 

Matthew Hagle is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory (B.M.) and of Yale University (M.M., M.M.A., D.M.A), receiving faculty prizes in piano, accompanying, and music theory. His teachers have been Claude Frank, Robert Weirich, Donald Currier and Maria Curcio Diamand. He has also received a Fulbright Grant to study piano privately in London.  

Galina Kostukovsky
Awards Chair

Sonata-Sonatina Festival

Sonata Sonatina Festival


For all the teachers who are enrolling students in the Sonata Sonatina Festival on Sunday, Nov. 2 at Harper College, here are just a few reminders:


1) Your electronic enrollment needs to be emailed to Jerry Dolins by Monday, Oct. 13th


2) One check from you for all your students needs to be mailed to Denise Dolins and be at her house by Monday, Oct. 13th


3) All teachers must work two full hours on the day of the Festival or find a replacement to work their two hours.  There are no exceptions to this. The sign up to work is part of the electronic entry that Jerry sent to everyone. Also, please remember to be on time for your shift on the day of the Festival to  ensure that everything runs smoothly.


4) Be sure to tell your student(s) that once they have selected a time to play on the day of the Festival and you have sent their enrollment in, they cannot change that time.


5)  Score sheets and medals can be picked up four ways:

        1) At Harper College on the day of the Festival

        2) At the first NWSMTA meeting after the Festival

        3) At Mary Hough's house any day after the Festival.  Just call first

        4) Mailed to you at your request.  Please contact Mary Hough for                 this option and please remember that there is a reason this is                 that last choice. It's my least favorite option!


6) Gold medal recital will be at the Vernon Area Library on Nov. 15th.  Students must be enrolled no later than Wednesday, Nov. 12th at 2:00.  Please call Elena Goptseva to enroll.


We're looking forward to a successful event for our students..  Thanks for all your participation!   


Mary Hough
Sonata-Sonatina Festival Co-chair

Awards Repertoire 2015 - reprinted for convenience



List A

Linda Niamath: Masquerade (Fancy Free/Linda Niamath Frederick Harris HPA9)

Telemann: Gigue (EKR Vol. 5)

T�rk: Never a Dull Moment (EKR Vol. 1)


List B

Tansman: "The Doll" (Celebration Series/Etudes 3)

Maykapar: Scherzino (EKR Vol 1)

LeCouppey: Sonatina in G Major, II. Andantino (Lyrical Sonatinas/Alfred, Bk. 2)



List A

Cimarosa: Sonata in G major (EKR Vol. 5)

Tchaikovsky: "Witch" (Album for the Young)

Kabalevsky: "In the Gymnasium" or "Holiday" Op. 14 No. 3in A minor (EKR Vol.5, p. 146).


List B

J.S. Bach: Prelude in A minor, BWV 942 (18 Short Preludes)

Haydn: Minuet in C Minor (Classics to Moderns Music for Millions Vol. 37, p.62)

Prokofiev: Waltz Op. 65, No. 6 (From Children's music).



List A

Persichetti: Toccatina No. 3 (3 Toccatinas/Theodore Presser)

Shostakovich: Springtime Waltz (Easy Pieces for Piano, No.15/ Schirmer's HL 50262590

J.S. Bach: Rondeau from Partita No. 2 in C Minor


List B

Smetana: Souvenir Sketch Op. 4 No. 3 (Alfred/Hinson: Anthology of Romantic Piano Music, p.234).

Chopin: Nocturne in C minor Op. Post.

Mozart: Sonata in C major, K. 545, 2nd mvt.



List A

Haydn: Sonata in E minor, Hob. XVI/34, 1st mvt.

Schubert: Impromptu in E-flat Op. 90 No. 2

MacDowell: "Hungarian" Etude Op. 39 No. 12(Alfred/Olson Applause!, Book Two, p.58)


List B

Schubert: Moment Musical Op. 94 No. 4

Grieg: "Poet's Heart" Op. 52 No. 3

Prokofiev: Gavotte Op. 32 No. 3


SENIOR (~18)

List A

Clara Schumann: Caprice a la Bolero

Scriabin: Etude Op. 8 No. 2

De Falla: Andaluza (Four Spanish Dances/Kalmus)


List B

Rachmaninoff: Prelude Op. 32 No. 5

Debussy: Prelude from Suite Bergamasque

Mozart: Sonata in F Major K. 332, 2nd mvt.


Dear colleagues,

I would be happy to help each of you to get a copy of the music you need. Please contact me.

Galina Kostukovsky, AC coordinator.
New Member Coffee

I null would like to invite all members who have recently joined NWSMTA to attend a coffee at my home on Monday, October 27 at 9:45.  We are eager to get to know you and share information on all our activities and events.   Committee chairs and board members should plan to attend or send a description of your event to be read at the coffee.   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


I received this response from Inge Sedey to the group.

To My Friends: I was very touched by all of your get well wishes and the cards were very uplifting and they helped to raise my spirits.

I have made excellent progress in recuperation and I am looking forward to getting my old life back.

Thank you for caring and being so thoughtful!!!
Love, Inge Sedey

I sent a card to Samantha Opp.  She had a baby boy, September 28th, Daniel.  

Janice Wilkans

AIM - News about the ISMTA Syllabus Revisions
-reprinted for convenience


NWSMTA will not offer workbooks for sale. To order any new, revised workbooks, use the ISMTA online order form on the website. Levels 11 and 12 workbooks are not available yet as of 9/14/2014 so until the new ones are ready, old editions will be sent. If you need the old workbooks for Levels 2, 3 and 4 to prepare for November 2014 exams, email your order NOW for only old workbooks to Justin in the Central Office ( and copy Sarah ( Do not delay!


NWSMTA AIM Dates include:

Date               Deadline      Old/New         Exam

11/16/2014    10/16/2014   Old Syllabus     Levels 1 & 2 complete;                                                                        Theory Levels 3 & 4

1/25/2015      1/2/2015      New Syllabus    Theory Levels 5-12

2/9/2015        1/9/2015      New Syllabus    Performance Levels 3-4

3/15/2015      2/14/2015     New Syllabus    Performance Levels 5-12

4/12/2015      2/14/2015     New Syllabus    Performance Levels 10-12                                                                   (2nd date option)


1.  The technic skills and keys are very similar in both syllabi.


2.  During AIM performance testing in 2014-2015, music may be selected using either the 2003 or 2014 syllabus editions. If a selected piece is not found in either syllabus, please request permission to use the piece for this testing year from Stephanie Myers ( . In your email request, include the syllabus level and list ABCD plus an attached scan of the first and last pages of the piece. After receiving approval, attach a copy of that email to the NWSMTA repertoire form for that the student.


3. Tests for the November exams for Levels 1 and 2 complete plus Theory Levels 3 and 4 will be based on the OLD syllabus (2003). All exams after November will be using the newly revised syllabus (2014). This includes the Performance Exams for Levels 3 and 4 in February.


4.  Using the old workbooks after checking them against the new syllabus for changes will certainly work. A student may also be able to cover two units in one lesson if time is limited after receiving the new workbooks.


5.  Included are also 2 lists pertaining to the theory revisions that you may find helpful especially if you are waiting for the new syllabus. Thanks to Jenny Cohen for preparing them.


Also Announcing: NWSMTA Schedule Changes for 

AIM Levels 10, 11, 12


Students entering Level 10 will now have the option of playing the performance exam in either March OR April. Levels 11 and 12 will continue to have the same option of choosing one of these dates for their performance exam. Level 12 recitals may be scheduled any time after passing the Level 12 theory exam. (Their technic exams may be taken on either the March or April testing dates.)


It is hoped that allowing Level 10 students to choose between the two dates will help students and teachers with additional preparation time and will help the committee with space/time concerns for the March performance exam. A separate student enrollment form is used for these exams so that the date of preference can be listed. Teachers entering students on either date will be expected to help on those dates. Teachers judging Level 12 recitals will be paid $25 per recital by NWSMTA after their evaluations are received. Payment is because this judging requires travel to different locations and is in addition to judging on the exam dates.


Terms and Signs and Glossary Changes in New Syllabus

Level 2:

Changed: interval - moved from level 4


Level 3:

Changed: decrescendo - moved from level 4 (replaces diminuendo)

Added:    ledger line: A short line added for notes above or below the                staff.


Level 4:

Changed: interval - moved to level 2

diminuendo - moved from level 3 (replaces decrescendo)


Level 5:

Added:     upbeat: Note or notes played before the first full measure.

    con spirito: With spirit.

Took Out: andantino, three eighths


Level 6:

Added:     diminished triad: A triad consisting of a minor 3rd and        

diminished 5th (two consecutive minor thirds)

augmented triad: A triad consisting of a major 3rd and augmented 5th (two consecutive major thirds)

agitato: Agitated

Took Out: giocoso


Level 7:

Added:     lead sheet: Pop chord symbols indicated above a single 

line melody.


Level 8:

Added:     polyphony (polyphonic/polyphony) - same definition as


               homophony (homophonic/homophony) - same definition as



Level 9:

Added:     contrapuntal (counterpoint/contrapuntal) - same                                definition as counterpoint

               non-harmonic tone: A note that is not part of the harmony.


Level 10:

Added:       atonality, bitonality, tonal center - moved from level 12

sonata-allegro form: A form often used for first movements of sonatas and other works. It includes three main sections: exposition, development, and recapitulation.

ornament: A note or notes added to embellish a melody. Examples are mordents,

appoggiaturas, trills and turns.

Took Out: scherzo, polytonality


Level 11:

Added:      invention: A short contrapuntal work (i.e. 2 and 3-part

 inventions of J.S. Bach)

Took Out: canon


Level 12:

Took Out: atonality, bitonality, tonal center - moved to level 10,

anticipation, suspension


Harmonizations in New Syllabus

Listed below are the harmonizations in the new syllabus.

Level 1C:        1 Harmonization added

New:    Bow, Wow, Wow


Level 2:           Only 2 harmonizations at level 2

New:    Took out The Nightingale

Same: The Cuckoo

Sweetly Sings the Donkey


Level 3:           No new harmonizations

Same: The Golden Ring (renamed - same as German Folk Tune)

Skip to My Lou

Air (same as Basque Air)


Level 4:           2 New Harmonizations

New:    How They Dance, Dance, Dance (replaces He's Got the

    Whole World in His Hands)

Lavender's Blue (replaces Sarasponda)

Same: Zum Gali Gali


Level 5:           1 New Harmonization, 1 Key Change of Same


New:    Sarasponda (moved from level 4, revised)

The Bear Went Over the Mountain (change key from 

Eb to D)

Same: My White Horse (renamed - same as Chilean Song)


Level 6:           1 New Harmonization, 1 Key Change of Same


New:    Simple Gifts (replaces The Riddle Song)

Auld Lang Syne (change key from F to G)

Same: Saint James Infirmary


Level 7:          No Change


Level 8:          No Change


Level 9:          No Change


Level 10:         No Change in Harmonizations

New:    Annie Laurie - Roman numeral symbols are given


Level 11:         No Change in Harmonizations

New:    Passing By - Roman numeral symbols are given


Level 12:         No Change - Student chooses harmonization in exam to play at sight




Level I-IV AIM Exams:


The Old (2003) Syllabus will be used for the November 16 AIM exam, covering the complete exam for levels I and II and the theory exam for levels III and IV.  Please remember that starting January 1, the new, 2014 Syllabus will be used to create the AIM exams, including the performance exams on February 8 for levels III and IV.  Please remember that the old workbooks your students may be using to prepare for the theory exams for levels III and IV in November will not contain the technique requirements under the new Syllabus, which will be tested in February.  There are some changes, including the addition of a contrary motion scale.  Please make sure you review all requirements in the new Syllabus for the February exam.


The postmark deadline for registration for the November exam is October 16th, however, Mary Anne Block will also take registrations at the October NWSMTA meeting on Monday, October 20th.  Please remember to write one check to NWSMTA for the total amount due for all students.  Enrollment and Repertoire forms can be found on the website.  However, please note that the new state Repertoire Chair (for approval of repertoire not listed in the old or new Syllabus) is Stephanie Myers (hisamimyers@  If you have questions or need further information on the November or February AIM exam, please contact Mary Anne Block or Fran Onley.


Mary Anne Block

AIM Co-chair



The Pop and Jazz and Classical Recitals will take place on Sunday, October 19th at the Arlington Heights Library upstairs in the Hendrickson Room.  The students will perform on stage on a beautiful Steinway piano which our association helped to purchase back in the 80's, the result of a "playathon" held on a Sat. and Sun. in November, 1983.

Please have your students arrive 15 minutes ahead of their scheduled recital.  The Classical recital will begin at 1:00 and the Pop and Jazz will begin at 3:00 PM.


Multi-Piano Festival

A great big thank you to all the teachers who participated in the 21st Festival of Pianos to make it the  huge success it was. Everyone was proud of the way our students, teachers, and parents played. Each year we get more parents to participate and share a special event with his/her child.

We thank Northbrook Court, Steinway Gallery of Northbrook and Gand Sound of Elk Grove Village for helping us make this NWSMTA event free for the parents, grandparents, relatives, and the general public.
We look forward to next year sharing our wonderful duet music.  

Marcia Mally, Co-chair with Sandy Leibowitz.

A Note from the Editor

One of my students, who is in her senior year as a piano major, asked me to help her with her studio policies, this summer. She has about 25 students she teaches.  Some she travels to and others come to her.  She came for lunch and we shared ideas for hours; including suggestions for her studio policy letter.

A month later, she emailed me in distress, because she had received an email from a disgruntled parent.  The parent didn't object to the $5 fee added each week  to cover the traveling costs.  Furthermore, she complemented her on the wonderful recital experience she and her child enjoyed last spring.  The location for the recital was awe inspiring, the reception following was enjoyable and her child appreciated the composer's bust statue.

What upset the parent was that the policy stated her child was required to practice in order to be prepared for the lesson.  The mother wanted her child to enjoy the lessons; not consider it a chore.  Besides, he had school and other activities he participated in.  She informed the teacher, she would consider practice a goal, instead of a requirement.

This mother actually came out and said this.  In fact, she actually put it in print.  As a Suzuki teacher, I consider the parent, teacher and child a three legged stool.  Even if teaching the student at the lesson is easy, there are six other days in the week.  If the parent is part of the team, progress is more likely to happen.  I suggested the teacher respond to the parent, by taking the issues and reframing them, so she could be supportive of the parent, while at the same time explaining the reason behind her requirements (her philosophy).  This challenge is an opportunity to teach the parent.  If the teacher is successful, this may be a year of more progress.


A student will be more likely to continue lessons, and therefore a life appreciation of music, if they meet with success.  Practice is a way of making success a reality.  We know that, but parents and students may not.  At least this parent understood that practicing can be difficult to manage.  In her response the teacher can let the parent know she understands, and make suggestions for ways to handle the problem. 

Suzuki said, "Only practice on the days you eat."  and "Knowledge is not skill.  Knowledge plus 10,000 times is skill."


Deb Lynch

Newsletter Editor


Music for a Lifetime
Recently, I was walking on the track at the Wellness Center in Arlington Heights and I saw an elderly lady with a music vest on. It was the same design as on my piano bench cover. I was excited to see her and asked her if she was a piano teacher. She said she was just someone who enjoyed music. During the depression, people did not have jobs and her dad let a piano teacher live with them.  As a reslut, this elderly lady got piano lessons. She would rather play baseball, she told me. As time went forward, she obtained a Baldwin Acrosonic. It was wonderful to meet her! Music was something she enjoyed for a lifetime....

Janice Wilkans

Northwest Suburban Music Teachers Association
Robin Meredith-Kramer, President
Maureen Flood, Website

Deborah Lynch, Newsletter