JMTA High Notes
May 2020—Vol. 23, no. 8
There is no May JMTA General Meeting this month
From the President’s Pen
Inside activities: Cooking, puzzles, books, PBS and Netflix
Outside activities: Gardening, walking the dog and long-distance conversations with neighbors
What keeps me sane: Practicing the piano, teaching online lessons, planning for next year
What I miss the most: Teaching students sitting next to me, playing for choirs, going to church, attending JMTA meetings and local concerts, hugging family and friends, shaking hands with new neighbors, aqua-gym, walking on the beach, dinner at a favorite restaurant, seeing my middle granddaughter graduate from university.
Like you, I miss the rhythm of life that has flowed through and around me all these years. I believe the rhythm will return but the cadence will be changed. As we plan for the coming year for JMTA let’s consider all of our programs and activities. We need viable contingency plans in place so if our regular monthly meetings are hijacked, we can attend in a different format. Brainstorming about student recitals, festivals and competitions may open up some different opportunities for us and our students.
At this time, since we know that schools cannot meet until the end of May, I assume it is best to cancel our May meeting. Let’s look forward to a June Board meeting. Time TBA.
Meanwhile, please share your ideas for JMTA with me and I’ll collect these for the June Board meeting.
Dr. Anita Boyle Renfroe, NCTM
There are no Meeting Minutes since there was no meeting in April.
JMTA Treasurer Transaction Monthly Report | April 1 - April 30, 2020
Expenses Debits Credits
04/06/20 Check #1119 Lori Rhoden (presenter) paid from $100
04/07/20 Check $1116 Edie Moore Hubert (presenter) $50
04/07/20 Check $1120 Anita Renfroe (scholarship judge) $100
04/24/20 Hanh Nguyen (scholarship winner) Money Mkt. fund $1,000
04/14/20 Deposit MTNA Dues $25.00
04/30/20 Deposit Interest Checking $0.76
04/30/20 Deposit Interest Business Shares $1.81
04/30/20 Deposit Interest Money Market $0.63
Current Checking $4,291.20
Piano Festival Fund (add to Business Shares Acct) $3,327.52
Warren Fund $1,527.73
TOTAL Checking Account as of April 30, 2020 $9,146.45
Business Money Market (Scholarship) $2,274.80
Business Shares (Festival) $8,768.55
TOTAL as of April 30, 2020 $11,043.35
TOTAL ASSETS as of April 30, 2020 $20,189.80
- Submitted by Lorie Burningham 05/02/20
2020 JMTA High School Senior Scholarship Winner
Due to Coronavirus “stay-at-home” policies, the 2020 JMTA High School Senior Scholarship auditions were held online. The judge was Dr. Anita Renfroe. Applicant Hanh Nguyen Nguyen, Douglas Anderson School of Arts senior and student of Dr. Sandra Stewart, presented a recorded performance of a program of three contrasting pieces from different periods:
Bach - Prelude & Fugue A Flat Major WTK Book I
Beethoven - Sonata Op.10 No.1 C minor 1st. mov.
Chopin - Mazurka Op.68 No 4 F Minor
She was declared the winner of the 2020 JMTA High School Senior Scholarship. The check in the amount of $1,000 of established scholarship money was mailed to Hanh Nguyen Nguyen.
Below are the links to her recorded audition pieces.
https://youtu.be/ytlrSDk1w0M Bach.Prelude A-flat Major WTK Book I
https://youtu.be/ublyLOALRwQ Bach Fuge A-flat Major WTK Book I
https://youtu.be/PDFCE762YjU Beethoven.Sonata Op.10 No.1 1st mov.
https://youtu.be/PYbe4r98gIo Chopin. Mazurka Op.68 No.4
Kamila Shahtakhtinski, NCTM
JMTA Scholarship Committee Chair
Please welcome our newest JMTA member!
Dr. Lois Gurney
DISTRICT IV NEWS
2020 District IV Student Day
Once the State and District medals have been received, we will be contacting the appropriate teachers to distribute them, as there will be no May JMTA meeting. Thank you for your patience.
Over Coffee With . . .
Maureen has been involved in the JMTA for many years and is currently the Ethics Chair for our organization.
Q: First, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I was born in Northwestern Ohio - Fremont, to be exact, as one of the Baby Boomer generation. My background was rural mid western America of the 1950s and 60s. My grandfather was a farmer, and like many families after WWII, my parents lived with their parents after the war. My father was a very brilliant man and had many occupations. He was a licensed funeral home director, but also worked in business. Both my parents were musical - as are my 3 siblings, 2 brothers and 1 sister. Only my sister and I entered the music profession. To appreciate part of how I entered the music field, my mother was a choir director for 35 years. She was well known in the area and directed several music festivals with choirs.
Q: What made you want to start piano lessons as a child and what inspired you to make music your life-long career?
A: Well, as I related above, I lived in rural America and kids did not have as many choices in extra curricular activities as they do now. As to why I started piano, my mother tells me I started "playing" with the piano keys when I was still a toddler. My mother taught me piano until 2nd grade and then gave me to another teacher who I had through high school. It really wasn't a matter of me wanting to take piano - it was expected of me.
As far as deciding on music as a career, it was a long, difficult journey which would take more space to tell than I have available here. Suffice it to say, it was expected of me. I resisted for a few years and wanted nothing to do with music - but God had other plans for me. When I finally stopped resisting my parents’ wishes for me, and stopped fighting God's plans for me, I yielded to the fact that this was what was meant to be my life's work. I have worked mainly in private teaching and church music - but I did spend a few years teaching in public schools, as I had a Music Education degree.
Q: Who was your favorite music teacher growing up?
A: That is somewhat of a difficult question for me. I had my piano teacher, Mrs. Helen Cox, for 11 years. She was an Oberlin graduate and a very fine teacher. I also admired my band director (I played clarinet), and my high school choral director. They were my 3 music influences while growing up, Of course, having a musical mother and father, I was submerged in music all of my formative years.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone setting up a private music studio in their home?
A: When I finally began my private teaching, it was because of my church position at the time. Many of the parents wanted me to teach their children and that's how it started. I traveled to homes first, then taught out of a music store (some of you remember Lippos's music), and also taught from my church. There are many resources now that advise young teachers how to start a studio, so I will yield to their expertise. When I began to teach, computer teaching was way in the future and I am still working on getting into the 21st century!! Carolyn Lippo of Lippo's music introduced me to JMTA in the early 80s and I have been a member ever since.
Q: What do you find to be a challenge in teaching piano and how do you suggest meeting that challenge?
A: I have been very blessed over the years with many wonderful students and parents, so my challenges have really been at a minimum. One challenge for teachers that I hear most often is keeping your students after they hit middle school and beyond. I have found two things that have helped me have staying power with my students. Flexibility is number one. I really try to work around student's other activities, and sometimes have to make up lessons on different days that might disrupt my usual schedule. I try to stay interested in their other activities and work around schedules, especially when they reach middle school and high school. When possible, I try to attend other activities they participate in. For example, my husband and I often go either to a football game to see their marching band - or to one of their other concerts or sporting events. The other thing that has really worked for me is ensemble playing. It gives a social aspect to their piano studies, and most of my kids love to do it. I do duets, duos, trios, and quartets. It creates more work for me, but I love the work - and it really seems to help keep them playing.through those tenuous years. They will stay in piano because they want to be in the quartet, for example.
Q: Do you have a story of something that happened during one of your performances and how you handled it?
A: When I was in high school, our choir was performing a medley of Broadway musicals and I was the accompanist. My page turner, who was very good and also my cousin, flipped my music to the next musical and placed the music upside down and at the end of the piece, rather than the beginning. I was only 17 at the time, so it was rather traumatic!! By the time she found the beginning and straightened out the music - most of the song was over - but, I picked up the piece and came back in right on cue when the music was straightened out. Everyone had a good laugh about that.
In my post baccalaureate recital in college, I played the G major French Suite of Bach. Dr Yessin was my instructor, and I was told that I must take all repeats. As sometimes happens, my mind wandered - I couldn't remember if I had taken the repeat or not. Since I was being graded, I know I had to repeat and so I thought, "Here goes - I'll find out later how many times I played it!" Turns out I repeated it three times!
Q: What advice would you give to help focus before a performance and curb nerves?
A: Again, there are many resources to aid teachers with this problem. One thing I try to do is make sure they know the piece backwards. forwards, and in the middle. I also have them play for other students in my studio, and rehearse the walking in, being seating, taking a good breath, bowing, etc. I also encourage them to play in any extra thing they can - e.g. church services, jazz bands, nursing homes, family gatherings, etc. The more they play, the easier it is for them to control performance nerves. I also try to add a good bit of humor when we are working on those skills, As long as the humor is funny and not demeaning, it helps them relax.
Q: Is there any advice you might give to a teacher struggling to get students to practice more each week?
A: I tease my students about my different sermons I "preach" to them. One of them is how they will hate piano if they DON'T practice. If their schedules are very full, I try to work out a practice schedule with them to try during the week. Again, humor always helps. If it drags on too long, I talk with them seriously, then go to their parents as a last resort. I try to pick music that they like to play, hopefully motivating them to practice. But I also, tell them basic skills are necessary and we CANNOT neglect those.
Q: What is one of the most interesting places you have visited or lived in?
A: I am mostly a home body, but I am interested in many things. I have been to Europe twice - as an accompanist and singer in my college choir and once with M.J. Palmer when he took his North Florida singers to Europe.
One of the most interesting things that happened to me was in the college tour to Germany. At the time, the Berlin wall was still standing. I was attending a Lutheran college and the year was 1967 - the 450th anniversary of the Protestant reformation. Because Martin Luther lived in what was then East Germany, they were allowing tourists to go in and visit the churches and countryside of the reformation. We had to go through "Checkpoint Charlie" - that was an experience. Check your history if you don't know about "Checkpoint Charlie." Also, as an extra "bonus" our bus driver took us off of the main street of East Berlin to some of the side streets. It was only 22 years after WW II and he showed us some of the rubble left over from the bombings that had not yet been cleaned up. It was a sobering experience. West Berlin was so beautiful and modern at that time, but East Berlin was still broken down from the war. That was a very life changing experience.
Find A Teacher Section on Jaxmta.org
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Need a Sponsor?
Does anyone in the JMTA need a sponsor or need help in any way? If so, John Scott, owner of Great Scott Music School, is interested in helping our organization. If interested, contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have too much music collected in your studio? Is there some you think you'll never use? Let's have a music exchange! Bring your unwanted music to any JMTA meeting. Bring home something new to you! Look for the "Free Music" spot. Music does not have to be brand new.
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Please view our website for any updates or additions to these events, as well as for more details including application deadlines: www.jaxmta.org.
The following is CANCELLED:
DATE May 13
EVENT JMTA General Meeting followed by end-of-year luncheon
LOCATION Keyboard Connection, 9912 San Jose Blvd., 32257
Stay tuned for more events to come! High Notes is distributed on the 1st of the month excluding June-August and December. All submissions are due by the 20th of the month prior to distribution. Submissions may be sent to email@example.com