June 9, 2020
President’s Message
The Gift

Today, the second day of June, I taught one of my students in my home studio, a student whom I
had not seen in over two months. She was beaming, as was I. Oh, ever since we Vermonters
began to practice self-isolation, she has had her weekly lessons. In fact, I have during this
pandemic situation taught all of my students using online platforms. I’m sure many of you have
as well. We are indeed fortunate that most independent music teachers have been able to
continue teaching remotely by utilizing accessible technology. Our students are likewise
fortunate as they have been able to continue both their traditional schooling and their music
education while sequestered.
Through these last few months, my students have proved to be flexible and attentive. But, oh,
how I have missed them! Not only have I longed for the times when we play together but I have
missed those “ aha!” moments, those looks of “ I get it now!” I’ve missed the subtleties that
transpire when teachers connect with their students through both music and discourse. I think our
students also now better understand how music lessons are a gift to them. Sequestered at home,
how wonderful it is to engage in creating something so beautiful, so thought provoking. I’m
happy to report that all of my students made more progress than usual – and some remarkably so.
One young beginner now has command of his high register; one advanced student prepared an
excellent program for an audition; another fixed her intonation problems. And I could go on.
We’ve all done good work. And teachers everywhere have tackled this challenge of social
isolation and kept their students on a positive and progressive path.
But today was special. We performed an exquisite Mozart duet, and as I played sections with
her, we were both happy. We both received a gift.
VMTA Calendar

June 15, 2020
11:30 - 12:15 pm
VMTA General Membership Meeting via Zoom

An email link will be sent the day of the meeting. You do NOT need to have a Zoom subscription to participate, but you DO need to download the app.

VMTA would like to be able to accept digital donations and payments for
event registrations. Sarah Williams has offered to research this feature, to be used on our website and during events such as the
Play-a-Thon. If you have any experience with such a system, please send
your input to Sarah ( [email protected]  or 802-223-5307). Thank you.
VMTA Board Members
Laurel Maurer


Samantha Angstman

Sarah Williams
Conference Chair

Non-Competitive Auditions
Lilly C. Ramsey

Competitive Auditions

Jina Smith

Patricia Cleary Bergeron

Web Publicist
Samuel Whitesell

Composer Commissioning
VMTA Spring Festival 2020
2020 On-screen Audition, March 28

The 2020 Spring Festival was cancelled on March 14. As usual, Lilly had done a great job of organizing all the details up to that point - - it was ready to go. It would have been 76 students from the studios of 10 teachers. Thanks again to Lilly. By the 18 th , it had been decided to try a digital, on-screen audition. Fifty memorized pieces were performed by participating students from the studios of Marie Johnson and Carleen Graff. The judges were Marie Johnson, Carleen Graff, Stuart Carter, and Ed Darling

Two students performed live, onscreen, via ZOOM on March 28, and sixteen students submitted performance videos, due the same day. Many students were poised and dressed as if for an in-person recital/audition. Since half of the participating students were already familiar with using Google Drive with their teacher, a Google Drive account was established for this event. There, a folder containing customized Judges Comment Sheets and links for scores and videos was created for each student. Some videos were uploaded (unlisted) to the associated Youtube channel – others needed only links as provided by the students. An alternative method for providing links to the judges was also provided. Copyright permissions were secured for 34 scores published by Alfred, Faber, FJH, Frederick Harris, Hal Leonard, Lorenz/Heritage, Piano Pronto, and Willis. Scores and Videos were available online during the week of preparation and the 10 days following March 28. Judges Comment Sheets were completed and sent to participating teachers by April 8. All files were taken off the audition website on April 6.  

These procedures were feasible and effective, despite the short time-window and the many email messages that were needed. The most challenging part was securing the copyright permissions so that judges could print or see the scores on screen. Alternative approaches could include using a different repository for the files (a cloud storage program such as Dropbox) and using email to share links.

So CONGRATULATIONS to all participants. We know it can be done if we ever need it again. It would be much appreciated if participating students could provide more feedback and comments - - please send it along. Thanks.

Comments collected so far from Judges and Coordinator:

...It was a busy time - there were frustrations as we learned how to use Facetime and Zoom and to provide working links for what was submitted from diverse systems
… so many questions and needs. And now we've done it!
... I'm so glad we did it for the students
… It was worth it!
... I learned a lot
… if we try something similar again, it would be good to have more lead time
…it was a lot of fun. I find teaching online to show up difference shades of the challenges we coach our students to overcome. It is different, it has limitations, but perhaps these act as definition guiding focus. Students must step up to the plate more; they are home in familiar circumstance, but there is only the student, no teacher beside to play with or show their encouragement. Instead, online independent thoughtful effort brings success. Logistically, now the process is known, it would be should be easier to mount such an effort again. I suspect there is much to do. However, a different organization might streamline the effort, facilitating, making the effort easier. That said, there is no replacement for in person. It is clearly better in the long run. I regard online lessons almost as supplemental, or to round out the education
… Should we be in this situation again, working remotely, I would recommend having a strict deadline for submissions, so that we can all work on a predictable schedule. I had trouble with the audition website. The first time I tried it, with help, I got on, but after that it was a dilemma. The spread sheet worked, though. For me, using the spreadsheet was efficient and easy to navigate.
Noteflight Learn

Online Tools for Teaching and Learning

VMTA subscribes to online music notation software that can inspire and liberate you and your students. Noteflight Learn is an online system for teachers to develop lesson content for composition, performance, and theory, for example, and for students to explore composing, sharing, and collaborating as part of their music study. Noteflight Learn includes these standard features:
  • Accessible on any device
  • A private community for secure communication and collaboration
  • Unlimited groups for organizing classes and ensembles
  • Activity templates for assignments
  • Perform mode for listening to and performing along with selected parts of a score
  • Discussion and assignment forums for communication and assessment
  • Record live audio into scores
  • Fully compliant with COPPA

The current VMTA NoteFlightLearn site includes Content libraries for Band, Choir, Orchestra, Piano, and Guitar, providing access to hundreds of digital scores of the most popular repertoire from today’s publishers of teaching material.  

Students can choose to participate in Online Mentoring, working with professional composers to improve their compositions. This fee-based feature can include performance opportunities.

As part of your VMTA membership, you and your enrolled students have access to the program from home, school, your studio, the public library – anywhere and anytime. As a registered user, the version of Noteflight you receive is their “premium” editor, a $49 yearly subscription value if purchased individually. You and your students can complete lesson templates or create unlimited, brand-new compositions. You can edit, playback, print, share, record, and export as audio or other file formats.

Look for details and resources at the following links: 

Contact Sarah Williams or complete and send the Enrollment Form on the VMTA website page for Teacher Resources.

Join us on Facebook ! Please check out the latest VMTA programs and news on the Vermont Music Teachers Association Facebook page!”
Do you patronize a music store? Piano tuner? Instrument maker? Are they a VMTA sponsor? (See ads in this newsletter). If not, could you mention our sponsor program to them and let a board member know about them? Sponsors receive publicity to the market they are trying to reach-teachers, students and their families. Their support of music education in Vermont will also help their business. 
Sylvia Parker retires
It is with happiness for Sylvia Parker and her family, and sadness for her colleagues and students at the University of Vermont that we announce Mrs. Parker’s retirement.
Mrs. Parker arrived at UVM 41 years ago with a Master of Music degree from the University of Colorado and experience teaching in private studios and universities in this country and abroad.
She joined the UVM Department of Music faculty as an Adjunct Instructor and became Senior Lecturer in 2004. Mrs. Parker has consistently shared her love of music with students, audiences, and other musicians. She has taught courses in music theory and piano to student and colleague acclaim, and is responsible for teaching generations of musicians and music educators piano proficiency skills. Mrs. Parker’s contributions far exceeded the formal requirements of her position. She has served as departmental senator, area head, and frequent committee member. Her accompaniment of countless juries and recitals has enriched the experience of countless student performers!
In addition to accompanying, Mrs. Parker is also a dedicated performer and scholar. She has performed solo piano recitals and collaborative concerts with faculty and guest artists at UVM, nationally, and internationally. She has recorded two nationally published CDs of solo piano music, including Peasant Jewels, an album of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók's solo piano settings of authentic folk melodies. Mrs. Parker has published numerous papers in scholarly journals on various topics, most especially Bartók’s music. She has also presented papers at local, national, and international conferences, and has served for many years on the board of the Vermont Music Teachers Association.
We will truly miss Mrs. Parker's passion for music, teaching, and collaboration, as well as her leadership and organization of our annual Faculty Scholarship Concert. Her commitment to our students and our department has been truly remarkable. For a teacher who has only missed six days of work in her entire life, we know that she will find a way to keep busy in her well-deserved retirement! Very best wishes to you, Sylvia Parker!

Professional pianist selling a 7’5” Grand Piano built by Ivers and Pond in 1930, serial number 77677. This piano has a terrific sound and is in excellent condition. I have 3(4) pianos, 2 harpsichords and a clavichord. I need to downsize.
I am selling it for what I paid, $900.
Fall Ensemble Festival

The Fall Ensemble Festival provides an opportunity for pianists to build skills as accompanists. A student accompanying solo instrumentalists, chamber music,
piano duets and piano trios all provide added energy to the Festival.

Because memorization for this Festival is not required, it is a more relaxing performance.
Teachers may enter 15 minutes of music for the performance and can add more music if time allows.

Students of VMTA members, family members and friends of a student who studies with a VMTA member are invited to participate. The fee is only $5 per student or $10 per family.

Due to the restrictions currently in place, we are unable to provide a date at this time. Stay tuned!

This is a great new event for VMTA.
We hope you will be a part of it!
As a new member, or even a long term member, you may have questions regarding
events the VMTA/BBVMTA has. Please don’t hesitate to contact membership chair,
Patty Bergeron, with questions. She will be glad to answer questions, or direct you to the
person that can help you. Please get involved!


Every other year, VMTA commissions a composer to write a new work that is premiered at the next VMTA or Quad State conference. This program, supported by matching monies from MTNA encourages the creation of new music. We ask you , our members, for Vermont based composers who you would like the board to consider. Please submit names with an example (such as an mp3 or YouTube link) to Laurel Ann Maurer for consideration. 


The Nominating Committee of the VMTA presents the following slate of officers for the term 2020-2022:
Bylaws of the Vermont Music Teachers Association, Article V- Election of Officers, Section 2:
The Active members of VMTA shall elect by a majority vote the officers of the Association.
Nominations from the floor shall be allowed, provided the nominee is eligible for election and has
consented to be a candidate. The consent must be given in writing or given in person at the meeting.
Election by the members must be by secret ballot, and each office shall be voted on separately. In the
event of only one nominee for an office, the President may recommend election by general consent. All
voted officers must be members of VMTA.&quote;

Volunteers are needed to serve on the VMTA board! We currently need to fill the positions of
President-Elect for 2020-2022, Competitive Audition chair, Conference Chair, Certification chair, and Composer Commissioning chair. Come and join our wonderful group
of board members and see how your organization works!

President: Laurel Maurer
President-elect: TBD
Immediate past President: Mane Johnson
Secretary: Samantha Angstman
Treasurer: Sarah Williams
Conference Chair: TBD
Non-Competitive Auditions: Lilly Ramsey
Competitive Auditions: TBD
Certification: TBD
Newsletter: Jina Smith
Membership: Patty Bergeron
Composer Commissioning: TBD
Web Publicist: Sarah Williams
Member News
Paul Orgel  – Here’s a shout-out to  my students , all of whom switched to online lessons in March, without missing a beat. Their musical focus and adaptation to technology (far better than their teacher’s!) has resulted in great progress, though it’s very sad for me to not have their work culminate in a Spring Recital. 
   My long-time student,  Henry Wu , a wonderful cellist in addition to being a virtuoso pianist, deserves special recognition. A senior, he had been planning to give a full solo recital, a benefit for Spectrum Youth Services. Henry will enter Harvard in the fall, not yet knowing whether that will be online or in person.
  I’ve been practicing…..a lot… but with the “if a tree falls in the forest” question much on my mind. Music needs to be shared, performed live. With prospects for public concerts becoming increasingly remote, I sometimes wonder whether my current projects (the Bach Well-Tempered Klavier, Book 2, Scriabin Preludes and Etudes) have little more purpose than the 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle on our dining-room table, or the NY Times Sunday crosswords that have become an addiction, or Netflix, gardening, or the George Eliot novel (“Daniel Deronda”) that my wife and I are slowly reading; wonderful diversions to get through a time of eerily pleasant, but, at times, terrifying isolation.  
Elaine Greenfield - The recent pandemic has impacted us in many ways; undoubtedly, in our teaching. Now as the state reopens, some students are returning to my studio, others still choose virtual lessons. Zoom classes have been a challenge. Even so, groups gather and discussions work quite well. The piano sound, however, is worse than disappointing. Cancellation of the Adamant Music School this summer was a big blow, as it is always a highlight of the year; I shall certainly miss it. There has been one lovely plus during this difficult time. Students from various areas of the United States, including Hawaii, and one from Japan, have kept in touch for on-line classes, some for private lessons. Hopefully, this continues once “normalcy" returns. Although my concerts are cancelled, I’ve enjoyed added practice time, time for editing my Ravel recording project, and even experimentation with video production. All in all, in spite of society’s daily adversities and challenges of life in a pandemic, each day music and the piano offer centering and a purpose. How fortunate this is! Happy music making to us all!


I am VERY excited to share that this summer's Intermuse International Music Institute and Festival ( www.iimif.com ) will be taking place online, July 5-19 . We are accepting applications of students of all ages and levels for violin, viola, cello, and piano through June 15. The program will be 100% online and we have expanded it to take place over TWO WEEKS, with daily events to take participants' musicianship to the next level. We are confident that this will be the immersive, intensive musical experience that IIMIF is known for. Kindly share with your students! (note: we are also offering an auditing option for students and teachers. See our website for more details).
Students will receive four lessons with their assigned teacher, and take part in workshops, masterclasses, discussions, and daily yoga for musicians. There will be faculty concerts (followed by Q&A). At the end of each week, they may be selected to perform in the student recital, shared with audiences around the world! After the conclusion of the program, they will also have access to the archive video recordings of all sessions. 
We’ve been running IIMIF for 18 years, and each summer it has been the highlight of our participant's musical and personal experiences that year. Our faculty has decades of experience as renowned performers, and are all dedicated, passionate teachers. With the program going virtual, this year is certainly going to be different… but it’s going to be incredible! Join us at IIMIF this summer, where our motto is: " Inhale Life, Exhale Music." 

Elizabeth Borowsky, Co-Executive Director of IIMIF

VMTA Website: vermontmta.net

Allan H. Day, R.P.T. Piano Service
8 Lincoln Road
Williston, VT 05495
(802) 879-4338

American College of Musicians
P.O. Box 1807
Austin, TX 78767
(512) 478-5775

Ellis Music Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 437
Bethel, VT 05032
(802) 234-6400

Hilbert Pianos
40 Pleasant Street
Bristol, VT 05443
(802) 453-3743

Piano Service by Rose Kinnick, RPT
(802) 598-3385

Steinway Pianos
One Steinway Place
Astoria, NY 11105

Vermont Piano Service
Ben Giroux
64 Paquette Road
St. Albans, VT 05478
(802) 343-1333
"Music is a piece of art that goes into the ears and straight to the heart.”