October 19th, 2015

Quick Links...
In This Issue
President's Prelude
Svetlana Belsky
November Awards Program
NWSMTA Library Sale
A Note from the Editor
Piano for Sale
Janice Wilkans
Piano Teacher Needed
Letter from Robert Vandall
September Minutes
Click here for the September General Meeting minutes.
Upcoming Events


October 19, 2015
Svetlana Belsky, "The Psychology of Practice and Performance" 
Rolling Meadows Library   
9:15 A.M. IMT (Independent Music Teachers) Chat 
NWSMTA Library Sale
9:45 A.M. meeting

October 25, 2015
Rolling Meadows Library   
1:30 P.M. Classical 3:30 P.M. Pop+Jazz


November 1, 2015
Harper College, Music Instruction Center (Building P)

November 2, 2015
AIM JUDGES' MTG for November Exam
9:45 A.M.   Home of Mary Anne Block
749 Oak Rd., Barrington

Nov. 6-7, 2015
ISMTA Conference
Moody Bible Institute
Harper College, Music Instruction Center (Building P)

November 11, 2015 2:00 P.M  Deadline: Gold Medal Recital
Call Elena Goptseva 847-293-1894 

November 14, 2015
Barrington Area Library
Susan Osborn
Awards Competition Repertoire
Meeting at Rolling Meadows Library   
9:15 A.M. IMT 
(Independent Music Teachers) 
9:45 A.M. meeting
A Prelude from Our President

Dear Colleagues,

We wake to a new day each morning, and consider what there is for us to do...and such a variety of things are there for us to consider! Music can fill our day, lift us and buoy us along, if we but let it. We know that better than most people. It is one of the gifts of music. We talk with our students about "letting that phrase flow" or "making those notes dance!" 

Music communicates. It speaks to the one who encounters it - reading it, learning it, listening to it. That person in turn becomes the performer...and through them, hopefully, it speaks to the next listener! Can music move us? Of course it can, if we are really listening, and hearing and allowing it to move through us. As teachers, taking the time to really listen to our students playing helps us understand where they are at in their ability to create a complete musical picture. We help them know that they are storytellers, using the universal language of music that all humans understand. 

This month we have some great opportunities coming up for our students to practice their skills. 
First will be our Classical Recital, on Sunday, October 25th, at 1:30 pm at the Rolling Meadows Library, and later that afternoon, at 3:00 pm, will be our Pop & Jazz Recital, at the same location. If you missed the deadline to enter your students, we will be having another pair of recitals on April 24th, 2016

Soon after these recitals is our Sonata/ Sonatina Festival on Sunday, November 1st at Harper College. This is a wonderful, fun festival that many students look forward to and prepare for, year after year. 

The following weekend is our ISMTA State Conference, at MBI - Moody Bible Institute - in downtown Chicago on Friday & Saturday, November 6th & 7th. As it is so close, you owe it to yourself to attend the many workshops, classes and concerts planned for you those two days! It is lots of fun, very reasonable, and an excellent chance to connect with other teachers from around the state. This year any teacher/member who has never attended the state conference is invited to go free of charge, courtesy of the ISMTA. What a nice perk! I hope to see many of you there. You can register on the ISMTA website, where the daily schedule is listed. Sign up soon - early registration ends October 30th

Then, on Sunday, November 8th, we have our first of four AIM (Achievement in Music) Exams at Harper College. This exam will be for AIM Levels 1A, 1B & 1C and 2 - Complete, and Levels 3 & 4 - Theory. 

As you may have heard, our original guest presenter for this month, Robert Vandall, has had to cancel his trip, due to some sudden and serious health concerns. I regret that he won't be able to be with us at this time, but I am assured that you are with me in wishing him well as he addresses these challenges. I am including, in the newsletter, a portion of the letter he sent to the four chapters who had collaborated for him to come this weekend. I know you'll appreciate it. 

We are so fortunate to have Dr. Svetlana Belsky, accomplished pianist, scholar and teacher, who has graciously agreed to step in at very short notice, and speak to us on "the Psychology of Practice and Performance." 

All in all, I hope you are having a wonderful month, enjoying our fantastic, colorful fall, and that your problems are few and your joys are many!

Yours in All Musical Endeavors,

Robin Meredith-Kramer
NWSMTA - President

Svetlana Belsky - The Psychology of Practice and Performance

Critically acclaimed as "a passionate pianist and scholar," Svetlana Belsky is an in-demand recitalist and chamber pianist, noted for her remarkable rapport with audiences and stylistic versatility. She has appeared in the Ukraine, Russia, Poland, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and throughout the United States. Dr. Belsky has received awards both for her performances in international piano competitions, and for her advocacy of new American music.
Her recordings have been heard on radio stations worldwide. The American Record Guide hails her most recent CD of the solo version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (Centaur, 2014) as an "extraordinary performance." Dr. Belsky's annotated translation of Busoni as Pianist has been nominated for an American Musicological Society award.
Following emigration from the Soviet Union, Dr. Belsky studied with Emilio Del Rosario in Chicago. She earned her Bachelor of Music summa cum laude and Master's degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, studying with Ann Schein. Later, she earned her Doctorate in Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, working with Nina Svetlanova. As the Coordinator of Piano Studies at the University of Chicago, Dr. Belsky teaches students from four continents, among many other academic responsibilities.

November Awards Program Back to the Regular Schedule

Susan Osborn will be presenting our Awards Repertoire at the  November 23rd meeting.  Originally, she had asked us to have her presentation early, at  9:15 a.m., to accommodate her teaching schedule conflict, but she has now rearranged her schedule, and will presenting at the regular time of  10:30, following our business meeting.  Please make the correction in your yearbook.  



Beethoven (Masters of Music) Percy M. Young
Classical Music: 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1000 Greatest Works Phil G. Goulding
The Complete Book of Classical Music David Ewen
The Enjoyment of Music (Fifth Edition, shorter) Joseph Machlis
Inside Music, How to Understand, Listen to, and Enjoy Good Music Karl Haas
The Interpretation of Music Thurston Dart
The Interpretation of the Music of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Arnold Dolmetsch
Mozart (Masters of Music series) Percy M. Young
Mozart Marcia Davenport
Music in the Classic Period (History of Music Series) Reinhard G. Pauly
Music in the Medieval World (History of Music Series) Albert Seay
Nineteenth-Century Romanticism in Music (History of Music Series) Rey M. Longyear
Musical Form and Musical Performance Edward T. Cone
National Conference on Piano Pedagogy- University of Illinois Conference Oct. 23-25, I980 Martha Baker, editor
Piano Teacher 's Professional Handbook Gordon B. Terwillinger

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 Meller
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 Beginnings of Music (through the Middle Ages) and 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
C20.    Mr. Bach Comes to Call.  Fun, drama, music and history combine in this tale of enchantment when Mr. Bach (with over two dozen musical excerpts) drops in on a young girl at the piano.
C21.    Clementi:  Six  Sonatinas, Opus 36 performed by Diane Hidy, Piano
C22.    J. S. Bach:  Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach and Two-part Inventions performed by Diane Hidy, Piano
C23.    Kabalevsky:  Thirty Children's Pieces, Op. 27 and Twenty-four Little Pieces, Op. 39 performed by Diane Hidy, Piano
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 by Kathleen Murray at 1992 MTNA National Conference
C30.    Piano Lessons:  Gain Without Pain by Dennis Siebenaler at 1992 MTNA National Conference
C31.    The Learning Process and the Keyboard Teacher by Marienne Uszler 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 the 1996 ISMTA State Convention with 2 new letters
C55.    Teaching Tips and New Music for Intermediate Students by Dennis Alexander, Martha Mier and Catherine Rollin (Alfred Publishing Company) at 2002 MTNA National Conference.

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 College Auditions by a panel of vocal clinicians including Martha Randall, Clayne Robison and one other person at 2003 MTNA National Conference/NATS Spring Workshop    
C67.    Teaching the Adult Amateur Singer by Cynthia Dewey at 2003 MTNA National Conference/NATS Spring Workshop
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
C75.    Gold Medal Practice:  What Musicians Can Learn from Research into Sports Training by Scott Donald at 2003 MTNA National Conference
C76.    Common Challenges for Young Piano Teachers by Lori Rhoden (Ball State  University) at 2004 MTNA National Conference

            Featuring Walter and Carol Noona.
V11.    BAROQUE DANCES (1600-1750)
            A brief summary of Baroque dance characteristics is followed by dance performances to that particular Baroque dance music.   Demonstrations include the polonaise, French courante, sarabande, minuet and galliarde.  Dancers wear leotards which allow better visual of dance movement than Baroque dress with the full skirts would give.  Colorado Music Teachers Association.  10 minutes.
V12.V13.V14.    KEYBOARDS TODAY!  Parts 1, 2 and 3.
          Taught by Sandra Bostrom.  Basic chording, note reading and the use of  percussion on your keyboard.  Casio keyboards.  Valiant Educational Videos.  Each tape about 60 minutes.

V15.    KEYBOARDS TODAY!  Part 4.
            Rock and Pop styles with Sandra Bostrom. Includes improvising from both chordal style and melodic style, rhythm changes, chord substitutes and how to use a sequencer.  Valiant Educational Videos.  60 minutes.
            From NWSMTA master class in January 1994.  Repertoire includes:  Bach's Fughetta in G; Haydn's Sonata in F, Hob. XVI/23 (first movement); Chopin's Nocturne in Db, Op. 27, No. 2; Debussy's Un Petit Negre; Khachaturian's Sonatina in C (first movement).  About 65 minutes.
CDR3. Music Games, The Most Fun Way to Learn Music Theory!    
            Provides an innovative and fun way for piano students to learn important music theory concepts.  Note names, rhythm, intervals, music terms & more are covered in an entertaining, interactive software environment.  For PC and Mac.

A Note from the Editor

By special request I am including the recipe for "C Major Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake," which was served at the New Members' coffee. Even if you missed the meeting, you can still have the coffee cake.  

C Major 
Cream Cheese Cherry Coffee Cake

1-1/2 cups flour (for gluten free use: 3/4 cup oat flour + 1/4 cup white rice flour + 1/4 cup brown rice flour + 2 Tbs tapioca starch + 2 Tbs potato starch)
1 cup  old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
3/4 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup  (1-1/2 sticks) cold butter or margarine
1/2 cup kefir (or buttermilk)
2   eggs, divided
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3/4 - 1 cup  cherries (or raspberries)

To Make It -
PREHEAT oven to 350°F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 325°F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Grease pan. Mix flour, oats and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture. Add kefir, 1 egg and baking soda to remaining crumb mixture; mix well. Spread onto bottom and 2 inches up side of pan.
BEAT cream cheese, remaining sugar and extract in small bowl with mixer until well blended. Add remaining egg; beat on low speed just until blended. Spoon into crust. Top with cherries ; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

50 to 55 min. or until top is golden brown. Cool 15 min. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; remove rim. Serve cake warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.

If anyone is interested in making your own kefir, I am happy to share my grains.  The grains look like soft cauliflower.  It's great for salad dressings, baking (it adds leavening to what you're baking) or in smoothies to provide more than 60 probiotics.  The grains eat the lactose, so even lactose intolerant people can usually eat it.

If you're curious, check it out at...

Bon Apetit!

Deb Lynch  
Newsletter Editor 


Baldwin acrosonic spinet, light cream color with gold décor, stain on piano lid; a local piano tuner said it is the best sounding compact piano, last tuned 5 yrs ago, age unknown, $350.    Contact Lauren Newman,


A get well card was  sent to Diane Adamek due to her fractured foot.  

A card was sent to Denise Dolins to express our sympathy for the loss of her father.

Janice Wilkans, Hospitality

Janice Wilkans' Update
I just graduated from therapy. Now, I am on my own doing the therapy. In nice weather, I try to walk ten minutes each hour when possible. The therapist said the best thing I can do is play the piano. I was given exercises to do. For occupational therapy, I have a jumbo clear bag filled with lentils and rice. Without looking, I have to find 20 pennies and ten buttons which is hard to do sometimes. It is hard to feel the difference between lentils, rice and a penny. My hand is still icy cold. That is why I wear a black glove to help me from feeling the iciness and tingling. Sitting on a chair and pulling weeds or trimming the grass is therapy because it takes my mind off of the tingliness.

I was teaching my student Race Car Rag in the Faber book. My fingers did not comfortably play the five finger pattern up to tempo. It was embarrassing when the dad is sitting there. I blamed my stroke. I still have trouble typing. My left hand is constantly typing incorrectly and I must continue to proofread and correct my errors. Hopefully, I will get better some day. I hear it is a long slow process.


Glenbrook South High School (GBS) is looking for a piano teacher to teach two band / choir students who are have never taken piano lessons before.  Must have flexible schedule because GBS is on  a block schedule.  A private lesson room would be available and the students would pay a fee of $27 per half hour.  More students would be a possibility.  GBS is located at 4000 W. Lake Avenue in Glenview.  Please contact Renee at  (847) 486-4432  if you are interested.


To the students:
What a bummer to not be able to be here to hear you play during these two days of recitals of my music! (At Salt Creek & Naperville MTA Chapters) As a composer of music for students, there is nothing I love more than hearing students play my pieces!  I know that you have worked very hard to play as well as possible.  Your teachers, parents, family, and friends are here today to enjoy the music that you will be presenting.  You should realize that EVERYONE loves music, but only a few can actually PLAY music!  You are those few who have learned and practiced the skills and artistry necessary to create beautiful and exciting moments with your performances.  I feel very fortunate that you have chosen MY pieces as your musical moment for today.
Think about this..............................through your performances you can affect the emotions of all of the adults in the audience!  This is real power and influence!  Each piece, no matter how short, long, modest, or difficult, creates a mood that you communicate to the audience.  The audience does not care about little mistakes or blurbs, buin your communication of the message of each piece.  I have never been disappointed in hearing my pieces performed by students.  I have heard my pieces played in ways that were quite different than what I envisioned.  There is never only one, approved version of my music.  This is why I am so sorry to not be able to be here today:  I will miss out on hearing my pieces played YOUR way.  I already know MY way of playing them.  I want to hear YOUR way!
I did not set out to be a composer of music for students.  I wanted to be a high school choral teacher.  Then I wanted to become a college piano teacher.  Then I actually became a community college music teacher, directing the choral groups, setting up the group piano program, and teaching music theory and music literature and listening.  Karen and I wanted our two young sons to grow up knowing their extended family, so I resigned my community college position in Springfield, IL and we moved to outside New Philadelphia and the edge of dairy farm where Karen was reared.  I grew up in Akron, OH, only 50 miles north of New Philadelphia.  There were no college jobs available in OH, so we started our own independent piano teaching studio.  At the age of 33, and parents of two young boys, we started all over again.  I went from the company of adult colleagues at the college to the company of 8-year olds!  I was feeling somewhat down about this as Karen now had to work outside the home for the first time since we had our family.  Our studio had barely enough students for me and it took two years for there to be enough students for her to quit her job to become a piano teacher with me.  
So I started writing piano pieces.  These first pieces were too difficult for students and were basically my way of expressing myself.  Eventually I learned to write for students and this hobby took on a life of its own.  Since we are now nearly retired from teaching (we have 16 students between us) I still write music for Alfred Publishing Co. on a regular basis.
I LOVE writing duets and the Salt Creek Music Teachers Association presented me with the opportunity to write for their festival.  Since my wife is also a pianist and teacher this project was something I loved doing.  Chicagoland is a suite of two pieces so that many students could be involved in the performance.  The first piece, "The Windy City" is upbeat, optimistic, and expansive which featured a jazz-like theme in the middle that becomes more and more loud and important.  I wanted ALL of the student performers to shine, so the second piece of Chicagoland, "Salt Creek Scherzo", is quick, energetic, and playful.
Thanks to the Salt Creek Music Teachers Association and the Naperville Music Teachers Association for their confidence in my music written for students.  And thanks to ALL of you students, teachers, parents, and friends who came to hear my music, expecting me to be present.  This WILL be a wonderful event, (the two recitals) as my absence is only just a small bump in the road to what will be a celebration of music.
Robert Vandall

(President's note: If any of you would like to write Mr. Vandall a note to wish him well, or tell him your students enjoyed one of his pieces, please do. It would mean a lot to him)

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

Deborah Lynch, Newsletter