Volume 22, Issue 2 | October 2020
Kristen Normann, President
Olya Katsman, Vice President
Michelle Chi, Second Vice President
Millie Chiem, Treasurer & Parliamentarian
Fonny Chandra, Corresponding Secretary
Ruth Zhou, Recording Secretary
Katherine Valdez, Membership Secretary & Referrals Chair
Grace Cheng, Director
Gloria Ho, Director
Maria Ehlert, Director
Karen Wolff, Director
David Ross, Director & Student Recitals
Lu Huang, Director & Website Administrator

Sandy Fong & Maria Ehlert, Hospitality
Sr. Andre Marie Fujier & Ruth Zhou, Historian
Carmencita Aspiras, Sunshine
Lu Huang, Composer Today
Olya Katsman, MSSL Community Outreach
Dr. Jiang Wu, VOCE

Gloria Ho, CM Chair and North Region Chair, (Piano, Strings, Woodwinds and Voice)
Grace Cheng, CM South Region Chair
Millie Chiem, North Region Honors Recitals
Karen Wolff, South Region Honor Recital
Katherine Lee & Ruby Cheung, Theory Site Coordinators
Notes from the President
Share your technology ideas!

Do you use an external microphone, an extra camera, headphones? What platform works the best for you…FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp? For example, I purchased a gooseneck iPhone holder from Amazon and I attach it to the piano lid to provide a top down view of the keyboard. Using my iPad for my zoom lessons, the students can see me, themselves and the keyboard view. When I demonstrate, I’ll spotlight the keyboard view so the student sees only that screen. It’s been so useful for younger students who need to see changes in 5-finger positions or help finding notes. Older students can see hand position and slur gestures more easily. We all need new ideas to inspire more successful online teaching. Please send your technology ideas to Our newsletter administrator, Fonny Chandra will include them in future newsletters.

Kristen Normann
MTAC-SACB President
Important Dates
October 9 (Fri)
  • Package for Gail Lew's New Music Presentation will ready to be picked up.
  • North Region teachers pick up at Maria Ehlert's house:
  • 23931 Pinnacles Court, Hayward, CA 94541
  • Email:
  • South Region teachers pick up at Gloria Ho's house:
  • 33045 Korbel Street, Union City, CA 94587
  • Email:

October 13 (Tue)
  • Gail Lew Presentation on New Music for Motivation and Success at 10:00 am

October 19 (Mon)
  • Zoom Live Student Recital at 7:00 pm

November 14 (Sat)
  • Peter Mack Lecture: THE ART OF THE PHRASE at 5:00 pm
  • Where: ZOOM (information to follow)

October 9 (Fri) to December 1 (Tue)
  • Time to sign up for Peter Mack's Master Class
  • To register, email Olya Katsman at
  • Please read the Master Class Guidelines before registering your student

January 23 (Sat)
  • Peter Mack Master Class at 4:00 pm
  • ZOOM information to follow
MTAC - SACB website
password: mta1
Gail Lew New Music Presentation
Student Zoom Recital
Note from CM Chair
Dear Teachers,

I have been relieved of my duties as CM chair for this year, because the CM Council has decided to do all the planning, decisions, etc. regarding CM testing. We have been assigned a regional coordinator who will be sending to all of us all information you need to help your students in the process of doing online recorded performance and theory exam. Please especially look out for any messages in December and January for recording pieces and sight reading procedures.

Much of the information you need right now is in your CM portal. Go to the information ribbon to find out deadline dates for specific items that must get done by a certain time. I hope all of you passed the teacher quiz with flying colors!

For the first time, I will not be receiving anything more than you are receiving. I will be a regular teacher who will need to look out for information just like you. However, I am always available to your e-mails and phone calls regarding CM syllabus, procedures, and policy.

I currently do not know the teachers that will be participating in CM, so I will not send group e-mails with information. This will be the first time that you will not hear from me at all.

I will only write for the CM News if there is something I think some of you might miss in the e-mails that they send.

Grace's and my only duties, I believe this year, will be to print the certificates and disburse the branch honor ribbons and state honor stickers. I will also be ordering the senior plaques.

There will be no branch honors recitals this year, but the students will be given branch honor ribbons, if the meet the requirements.

Please see the new rules for branch honors.

I wish all of you health, happiness, and prosperity in this very weird, stressful, and trying time. I know we will all get through this successfully, and I will be eager to see all of you in person in the near future.

Gloria Ho
CM Chair
CM Dates to Know
  • Virtual CM Teacher Training Opens - September 15
  • Video and quiz are available between September 15 - October 20, 2020
  • CM Application Period Opens - October 1
  • CM Application Period Closes - October 31
  • CM Application Fee Deadline - November 5
  • Last Day to Add Repertoire - January 15
  • Student Evaluations Begin - February 13
  • Student Evaluations End - March 28
New Branch Honor Requirements
The CM council has decided that the evaluators will no longer be evaluating for branch honors, since it is not a Certificate of Merit program. However, as a branch we will adapt.
The new requirements for branch honors is:

  1. Performance, Technique, and Sight Reading must be good or excellent
  2. All pieces must be memorized
  3. Theory Exam must be 80% or better
  4. There will be no rating.
  5. The student will choose the piece.

This year due to the pandemic, there will be no branch honors recital. Branch Honors ribbons will be given if they meet the requirements. Because a student cannot sign up for BH, like the State Honors sticker, the Branch Honors will be automatically given.

However, when and if everything goes back to normal and we have live in person recitals, then Branch Honors ribbons will only be given if the student performs and stays for the whole recital to accept the ribbon when they are presented after the recital.
Hello everyone!
Music Students’ Service League (MSSL) is a student-run group of volunteers with the mission to promote happiness achieved through musical entertainment as well as developing musical appreciation for the underprivileged members of society, especially our elderly citizens. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we still host recitals by pre-recording performances and send them to senior living centers to brighten up our elderly’s day. Our next event will be held later this month, tentatively October 29th and we are planning to host monthly recitals in this coming year via online or in-person if permitted by health experts.
If you’re interested in joining us, please print, fill out, and follow the directions on the form:

Students of all skill levels are encouraged to join! Not only is this opportunity a great way to fulfill your service hours requirement, but you also get some well-needed practice for recitals and competitions!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Brooke Zheng (, Erin Yu (, or Andrew Gao (
Peter Mack Lecture
Peter Mack's Master Class Guidelines
  1. Application deadline is December 1, 2020
  2. There will be a total of 8 students and 2 alternates selected for the master class
  3. Selection is on first come first serve basis, but the repertoire will be considered for a balanced program
  4. One student per teacher
  5. One piece per student
  6. Level 7 and above
  7. The participation fee is $30, non-refundable in case of cancellation by the student
  8. Each student will receive 25 minutes (+/- a few minutes) of instruction
  9. Please email your student name, age, the piece they will play and the duration of the piece to: Olya Katsman at

Peter Mack's Master Class will be on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 4:00 pm via ZOOM
Technology Corner
  • Gooseneck iPhone holder from Amazon, which can be attached to the piano lid to provide a top down view of the keyboard
  • New online platform:, better sound quality for online music teaching. Must use Google Chrome to have the best experience. You also can book a free demo to experience the sound.

Have more ideas you would like to share? Please email Fonny Chandra at
Accepting New Students
Joy Fisher
Phone: 510-862-6485
Location: Castro Valley, CA 94546

David Ross
Phone: 510-586-9163

Alice Huang
Phone: 510-709-8293
Location: Castro Valley, CA 94546

Julie Chang
Phone: 510-366-2193
Address:716 Solstice Court, Fremont, CA 94539

To put your name on (or take your out of) the list, please contact:
Fonny Chandra at: