February 8, 2021
President’s Message
Why Manners Matter
The music lesson can foster an atmosphere of respect and consideration. Just as it is incumbent on teachers to maintain a spirit of positivity and encouragement as they instruct and evaluate their students, it is equally important for the students to be attentive to their teachers, to willingly engage in the act of listening.
When I think of my most influential teacher, I remember someone who believed in me and who helped nurture my desire to learn more and to expand my musical horizons. I imagine the same is true with all of you.
As each successive lesson becomes a time of additional learning and sharing, of effecting positive change, a deeper student-teacher relationship that leads to mutual trust and respect develops.
Most students respond to a teacher’s encouragement and positive thinking with a willingness to learn, and, eventually, an ability to forgive themselves when all does not go well in preparation or performance of a piece of music. This in itself is a teachable moment.
Almost all of my students behave respectfully during their lesson times with me. I believe that it is their logical response to my steadfast exhibition of respect for them and their efforts.
All of us are dedicated teachers. We are committed to joining each student on her or his musical journey, of employing a spirit of positivity to help teach them what our teachers taught us: to listen and do so with respect. When they eventually leave us and continue on their own, we are gratified to have helped them chart their paths.
Good manners and the ability to listen: It’s a partnership.
—Laurel Ann Maurer
VMTA Calendar

MTNA Virtual Conference
March 13-17, 2021

Virtual Spring Festival
March 27, 2021
(details below)

General Membership Meeting
March 27, 2021
12:15-12:45 PM
via zoom (details will be sent when it is closer)

Quad State Conference
October 2, 2021
Maine (venue TBA)

VMTA Board Members
Laurel Maurer

Immediate Past President:
Marie Johnson


Samantha Angstman

Sarah Williams
Conference Chair:
Patty Bergeron (interim)

Non-Competitive Auditions:
Lilly C. Ramsey

Competitive Auditions:
Linda Duxbury

Jina Smith

Patricia Cleary Bergeron

Web Publicist:
Sarah Williams &
Patty Bergeron

Composer Commissioning:
MARCH 13-17, 2021

MTNA is taking virtual to the next level with the 2021 MTNA Virtual Conference. Mark your calendars for March 13–17, 2021, and prepare for an unforgettable experience!

VMTA is offering a Spring Festival event Saturday, March 27th, 2021.
Lilly Ramsey and Sarah Williams have developed a plan that will offer a virtual festival in a recital format. 
Here’s how it will work:
 1) Students will perform two pieces instead of the usual two or three. Otherwise, the usual Festival rules will apply.
 2) Teachers who would like to enter students in the festival should contact Lilly by email so that she can send the registration form.
 3) After the program is established, Lilly will send all teachers their students’ judge comment sheets via email attachment. Teachers will send these attached to photocopies of scores by mail to the correct judges for their students. Lilly will tell teachers who and where to send these.
 4) Each teacher will submit on a single video each student’s two pieces. Videos are to be submitted by March 19 th for the March 27 th virtual Festival.
 5) As has been our tradition, students will be scheduled in one-hour sessions. On Spring Festival day, Lilly will host one recital room using Zoom and Sarah W. will host another recital room using RockOutLoud.  Students, guests and judges participating on Lilly’s platform will need the Zoom app on their device. Students, guests, and Judges participating in Sarah’s room will need a computer that has the Chrome browser or a mobile device that has the RockOutLoud app installed before March 15th. 
 6) Each session will have THREE judges; each single judge will judge every third student.
 7) Judges will have scores of each of piece they will be commenting on.
 8) After the Festival, judges will return all judge comment sheets to Lilly.
 9) Lilly will mail or deliver all completed judgement comment sheets, ribbons and certificates to teachers in one mailing. 
10)  A $10 registration fee is required.

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. 

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


(Burlington Branch of the Vermont Music Teacher's Association)
Remote Zoom Student Winter Recital, Sunday, February 14, 2021,
2:30 and 4:00 pm

Email Sarah Williams at sarah5432@gmail.com if you would like to attend!

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!
Membership Information

Did you know?
There is a "Find a Teacher" feature on the website to which teachers are welcome to have their name added if you have openings. Please email Sarah Williams if you wish to have your name listed there. sarah5432@gmail.com
Membership changes have been made to the website. Please double check to be sure your listing is to your liking. The VMTA website can be reached at
vermontmta.net . If you would like changes please email them to Patty Bergeron ( pcberg86@gmail.com ).
If you have not renewed your membership please do so now.
If you need help renewing or if you need the password for the members only section, please email Patty.
Member News
Elaine Greenfield... It is a blessing to report a robust year throughout the pandemic! It has been an amazing learning experience and call for innovation! Although concerts have been cancelled, it has spurred more audio and video recordings to share, plus given time to finish the editing of my Ravel recording project. It now stands ready for final production with a Netherlands recording company. This has, unfortunately, been stalled due to Covid. The Adamant Music School was cancelled last summer; however, it is slated to proceed this year, given the state of the pandemic later this spring. Teaching has been, surprisingly, blessed during this crazy time. Most area students have returned to the studio for lessons, masked and distanced. Our GPA classes, having moved to Zoom, have afforded people from around the world to take part! How wonderful to see and hear them again. (Even though the sound on-line is not always ideal, it is still possible to make a musical connection) Some students who moved away decades ago have begun studying again, privately, on-line. FaceTime and Zoom have become our friends! It is probable that online study and participation will remain with us as part of our work, even when Covid is long gone. So, as difficult and precarious things are for us due to the pandemic, we keep our focus on the positive and watch for better days ahead. Hopefully, all VMTA members are well, safe, and sane! Happy music making to all! 
Paul Orgel...
I’m looking forward to performing “Out of Darkness/Into the Light”, a program featuring soprano Mary Bonhag presented by the UVM Lane Series, on Friday, Feb. 19th at 7:30 pm. The featured work is Shostakovich’s “Seven Romances” for soprano and piano trio. I’ll play a Bach Prelude and Fugue (B major from the WTC, Bk. 2), and also included are songs and chamber music by Bohuslav Martinu, Arvo Pärt, and Comitas. Also taking part are violinist Mary Rowell, and cellist Emily Taubl.
The concert will be live-streamed from the newly renovated UVM Recital Hall. Ticket information is on the Lane Series website. 
Elizabeth Borowsky... cordially invites YOU to test out works from 100 Solos for Piano Prodigies. "For the past few years, I have been writing music for my students. I jokingly refer to these pieces as gummy vitamins - they're delicious, yet technically and artistically nutritious. Each piece was custom crafted for a student I taught, so they are tested and approved by this generation of students! During the pandemic, I have finally had time to take this project to the next level: editing the scores, creating descriptions and goals for each piece, and recording them, and I'm excited to finally share them. The styles range from Neo-Romantic to Modern, Minimalist, and Jazz - there truly is something for everyone. I'd like to invite my VMTA colleagues to receive this music for free! Simply email me at info@pianoprodigies.com and I'll share digital/printable selections with you. All I ask is that you fill out a short survey for each piece that you receive. The music is yours to keep and enjoy, with the hope that you might consider assigning it to your students in the future (note: students must purchase the music). Thank you for being part of this project!


Claire Black...
Greetings from my studio to yours! I hope that your teaching lives continue to be fruitful and active despite the challenges of long-term remote instruction. 
I rejoined your membership last fall, but not in time to extend these greetings in the fall newsletter. Having left Spokane, WA to reestablish my musical life in VT, I've made it most of the way back, to upstate NY. I am honored to have developed, via Zoom, a bustling studio of 18 piano playing Vermonters. To see that number increasing as the weeks go by is beyond exciting; the interest speaks to the vitality of the musical community.
Maximizing my teaching hours will provide me the means to return all the way to Vermont. As grateful as I am for Zoom, etc., this "virtual" residency won't cut it for much longer! If any piano teachers in this readership have more prospective students than you can accommodate, I would be so grateful for referrals, specifically for students ages 5 through ~25, from the wider Burlington area to Middlebury. I am available to answer any questions about my teaching style and experience, and invite you to direct such questions to pianistclaireblack@gmail.comThis email address can also be used for referrals. I am eager to return the kindness through service to this organization, and by refreshing my network of teachers for mutual referrals. Student/teacher (and performer/gig!) matchmaking is a gratifying part of my musical day-to-day. Please feel free to write to me about the status of your studio, and, if you are accepting new students, too, details about what you are seeking--or just to say hello! 
I wish you all energy, intuition, and inspiration in your teaching. My deep thanks for your consideration and professional kinship.
Please Note:
There is a now a button on our website to donate! Spread the word to local businesses or individuals who may wish to support our organization.

VMTA Website: vermontmta.net

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

Geoghegan Company
Michael Geoghegan, owner
396 Howes Rd.
Moretown, VT 05660

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

“Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.”
-Oscar Wilde