JMTA High Notes
November 2019—Vol. 23, no. 3
JMTA General Meeting
Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Time: 9:30am - Business Meeting; 10:30am - Featured Program:
“Using Technology to Make Lessons Fun and At-Home Study More Interactive and Successful” – Josh Mills, UNF graduate and PianoMarvel Social Media Manager
Location: Keyboard Connection, 9912 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, 32257
From the President’s Pen
WOW! WOW! WOW! The FSMTA 2019 Conference in Gainesville was sensational, inspirational, motivational, educational, inclusive and thought-provoking. The headliners for this event included leaders in medical and musical research. Here are a few highlights:
*Gail Berenson (former MTNA president) & Charles Turon (Past president of FSMTA) set the tone with “Music & Health is Every Teacher’s Business.” Gail & Charles are leading the way for a statewide committee on “Wellness” for Florida. (More on this will be coming soon!)
*Dusty Narducci gave a fast-paced, eye-opening session on “Common Musculoskeletal Conditions in Musicians.” Her slides depicted affected muscles, tendons, ligaments associated with specific conditions. (And, yes, I was able to self-diagnose my shoulder issue.)
*Heather Malyuk’s session, “Staying in Tune with Hearing Health: Lessons from a Music Audiologist” was very educational. She is one of only five music audiologists in the COUNTRY!
She gave us valuable information to have when we go for Hearing tests. (Tests for musicians should be different than those for the general population.)
*Ingrid Clairfield is always an entertaining and motivational speaker. She shared many teaching tips about fingering, tone color as well as introducing some beautiful repertoire at many levels.
*Louie Nagel gave a heart-warming program with some of the best rendering of Haydn and Schumann I’ve ever heard.
*Julie Nagel is so good at planting little seeds in our brains that make us ponder the way we teach. Her challenge to enlist us to think about the whole child and the environment from which they come was brought home in a video clip she shared showing a six-year-old little girl expressing her pleas for people to get along and love each other. She said it “made her heart hurt to see people be unkind to each other.” (The child’s parents were in divorce proceedings.)
In addition to the sessions above, there were wonderful concerts, a masterclass and mini recitals prior to the general sessions and special dinners. One of our members, who is also president of the Gainesville MTA, Kama Rasmussen-Li played beautiful chamber music selections with violinist, Linda Weltner.
The conference gave me the opportunity to meet so many teachers from all over Florida. Several JMTA members attended this year’s conference and will be happy to tell you about their favorite events. Join us in November to hear from them as well as enjoy another outstanding program.
Dr. Anita Boyle Renfroe, NCTM
JMTA General Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, October 9, 201
The meeting was called to order at 9:37 a.m. by Anita Renfroe, President
The minutes from the September meeting were not read because Martha McKie, Secretary, did not bring a copy of the minutes.
There was no Treasurer's Report because Lori Burningham was not at the meeting.
Sandy Stewart stated that JMTA has 44 members.
Michael Mastronicola announced that Josh Mills will present the program for the November meeting.
High Notes online format. Some have experienced problems reading the High Notes online. Erin Bennett advised that by scrolling down the legible format appears.
Kamila Shahtakhtinski messaged to the meeting the details about the High School Senior Scholarship, as follows:
The event is March 21, 2020.
Students must perform 3 pieces.
The entry deadline is March 5, 2020.
Information about Summer Music Camp Scholarship: the entry deadline is March 28, 2020.
Angie Holt announced that the Communications section on the internet website is updated. Also, Angie has added a Facebook e-blast. Angie is adding a new High Notes section, a column which features an interview every month.
Maureen Rhodes reports that the Ethics section has no news.
Sandy Stewart announced that October 27th will be the first JMTA recital of the academic year. It will be held at River Garden at 3:00 in the Cohen Auditorium. The location address is 11401 Old St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville FL 32258. Participating students qualify for community
service credits. Students should pay $5 to JMTA to play. Recent JMTA recitals have been disappointed about a lack of "compliance" with the recital participation payment. A noticeable drop in the public recitals income section of JMTA has been the result.
Sandy Stewart also noted that the Hospice on Sunbeam Road has been hosting student musicians with popular results. Contact Sandy if you would like your students to participate.
Michael Mastronicola announced that Josh Mills, a UNF graduate, is a "piano marvel". Mr. Mills will present a talk titled "Using Technology to Make Lessons Fun and At-Home Study More Interactive and Successful" at the JMTA meeting November 13th 2019.
Sandra Roberts reminds the JMTA members that sending cards to members and to people who have played for, presented for, or who have other connections to JMTA appreciate receiving cards that acknowledge their contributions to the community. Sandra Roberts likes to send cards and invites us to let her know when a card should be sent to a member of the community.
Denise Homsley announced that Student Day will be held Saturday, February 1, 2020 at the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville.
Erin Bennett installed the slate of officers.
New Business: Looking for members who feel strongly about publicity and advertising to take up this work.
Donor Grants: A plea for the return of or the initiation of a new project to continue in the vein of the multi-piano concerts now dormant.
Anita Renfroe would like to honor the long-standing former music teachers of our community with a public presentation of some kind. An event like this would include the attendance of the many former students of these retired teachers.
Grants are available from MTNA. The timeline for applications is typically the end of Spring or beginning of Summer. Researching and applying for these grants could rejuvenate such projects as the Multi-Piano Festival.
Anita Renfroe reminds all that the upcoming FSMTA conference, titled "Music Meets Medicine" is October 17-20, 2019 at Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, Gainesville FL.
Thank you to Lynn Freeman for bringing fruits for the JMTA snack.
- Submitted by Martha McKie, Secretary
2020 JMTA Scholarships
JMTA High School Senior Scholarship Competition is scheduled for March 21, 2020 at the First Christian Church of Jacksonville, 11924 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, 32223, starting at 9.30 a.m. This audition is for high school seniors that will be attending college as music majors. The repertoire must consist of 3 pieces of different periods (example: Bach Prelude and Fugue, Beethoven Sonata movement, piece by Debussy). Entrance fee is $25, and there will be three judges on the panel. The deadline for entrance to the High School Senior Scholarship Competition is March 5, 2020. Send 3 letters of recommendation for the student, a check with $25 made out to JMTA, and the repertoire list to Kamila Shahtakhtinski, 7990 Baymeadows Rd. E unit 202, Jacksonville, 32256. For more info, email: email@example.com or call Kamila, 904-645-6481.
JMTA Summer Music Camp Scholarship will be awarded annually to the students of JMTA teachers to attend the summer music camp of their choice. Scholarship may be awarded in full or partially and will be based on family need. Teachers must submit short outline of their students’ qualification for scholarship along with their name(s) to the JMTA Scholarship Committee for consideration by the JMTA board. Students must show evidence of attendance at a camp. Students who receive money for summer camps from other organizations are not eligible to receive assistance from JMTA. Applications should be submitted by March 28, 2020 by mail or e-mail to JMTA Scholarship Committee Chair Kamila Shahtakhtinski.
- Kamila Shahtakhtinski, NCTM
DECEMBER JMTA STUDENT RECITAL
Our next student recital will be held on Sunday, December 8 at 3 p.m, at the Arlington United Methodist Church, 1400 University Blvd North. Please send all student information to Gavin Taylor, at firstname.lastname@example.org one week in advance. There is a $5 fee per student that must be paid before the performance for the student to be allowed to perform. Please make checks payable to JMTA. Teachers, please bring a late of cookies.
COMPASSIONATE MUSIC SERIES
Community Hospice has begun a music series at their facility on Sunbeam Road. There is a "Music Minors" performance program for teen volunteers who wish to play piano for an hour in the patients wing on Sunday afternoons. Flyers were handed out at a recent JMTA meeting; anyone wishing for more information should contact Sandy Stewart, email@example.com.
- Sandra Stewart, DMA
JMTA COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
The Jacksonville Music Teachers Association participates in the Community Service Awards program. These awards are given to deserving 9th and 12th grade students in recognition of their leadership, achievements, and service to the community in the field of music. The applicants must also be students in good standing with their music instructor, a member of JMTA who recommends them for this award.
This award encourages young musicians to use their music talents and skills within their community for the betterment of the community and society as a whole. It also helps them become more responsible and caring citizens as they reach out to others through their music activities.
Winning at the county level, the student receives a certificate and a plaque, which is an honor that can be placed on future college or employment applications. The ninth grade state winner receives a plaque and $100, while the twelfth grade state winner also receives a plaque and $500.
For more detail, please go to the website. Under competitive events, you will find the application and detailed instructions. You must have all paperwork in to the state chair by December 31st.
Please encourage your lower grades to journal all their musical activities and volunteering to make the application process much easier.
JMTA Community Service Award Chair,
DISTRICT IV NEWS
2020 District IV Student Day
Denise Homsley, Mus.M., NCTM, Chair, District IV Student Activities
The 2020 District IV Student Day is planned for Saturday, February 1, 2020 at First Baptist Church, 119 W. Beaver St, Jacksonville. The Student Day application deadline is Saturday, December 14, 2019. Please include one check for all fees, payable to FSMTA District IV. Individual student fees are $30 for all levels. Please add $15 to the total for your continental breakfast and lunch.
There are four events; three of which are graded. The events for which the student will receive a grade are: Written Theory, Aural Theory, and Audition. There is no grade for the Recital performance (fourth event); however, the Recital is a wonderful opportunity to share a Student Day piece and polish performance skills.
An independent teacher in Florida has devised a curriculum to help you prepare your students for the technique, aural theory, and written theory portions of Student Day. The guidelines follow the same leveling and guidelines that is provided in your Student Activities Handbook. These materials will assist students in mastering the revised FSMTA guidelines for Student Day. Contact information is as follows: Music Master, 4111 NW 79 Ave, Coral Springs, FL 33065 954-752-2856 (teacher Sue Colvert) firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Student Day Handbook may be found online on the FSMTA website under Student Activities, Non-Competitive. There is no charge to print all, or any portion, of the Handbook. Please use the new password, which was emailed to you recently, to access the information. **Please refer to your student’s specific level in the Handbook, which will include any new requirements instituted last year.**
Participation in District Student Day really helps advance a student’s music education. While the preparation is comprehensive, the rewards are great! Students, parents, and teachers are all pleased to see the student learn so much about theory and performance. As certificates and medals are awarded to the students, it is exciting for everyone to see the merits of their effort and how much they have progressed. Additionally, students often remark that school music classes are easy because of what they have learned from Student Day.
Please contact me by email (email@example.com) with any questions you may have regarding Student Day. Participating teachers will receive their students’ schedules approximately January 15, as well as an email regarding the day’s schedule and responsibilities. Thank you, in advance, to everyone for their assistance toward making this day a great success!!
I will look forward to seeing many of you and your students at Student Day on Saturday, February 1!
2020 OUTSTANDING YOUNG PIANIST COMPETITION
Registration is open for Friday Musicale’s annual Outstanding Young Pianist Competition and Concert. "Talented young students from around the First Coast are nominated by their piano teachers to audition for a performance slot on the recital at Friday Musicale. Pianists in 5th to 12th grades are welcome to compete in solo piano, concerto, piano ensemble, and chamber ensemble categories. All competitor’s benefit from adjudication by a panel of distinguished artists.”
"The Friday Musicale Outstanding Young Pianists Competition is now entering its 18th year. Founders Mary Lou Krosnick and Joyce Adams began the competition to highlight young pianists who were performing classical music at the highest level. The competition, now coordinated by Michael Mastronicola [firstname.lastname@example.org], continues to attract extraordinary young pianists to Friday Musicale’s wonderful venue."
Application Deadline: Friday, January 10 Competition Date: Saturday, January 18 Winners' Concert Date: Friday, January 24 at 7pm
To apply, go to https://fridaymusicale.com/outstanding-young-pianists/.
Over Coffee With . . .
This month we’re getting better acquainted with our JMTA Altruistic Chair, Sandra Roberts. Dr. Roberts was also the JMTA president for the past two years.
Q: First, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in northwestern Pennsylvania in the Allegany Mountains, in the oil fields near Duke Center. There were times that our area had the distinction of being the coldest spot in the US. We lived on a dirt road on the oil lease where my father worked for the Quaker State Oil Company. I graduated as Valedictorian of my high school class, then earned my Bachelor of Music Education and my Master of Music Education at Mansfield State College (now Mansfield University), Mansfield, PA. I worked my way through college to pay the cost. Then I was accepted as a Graduate Assistant which paid the cost of my Masters Degree. In 2003 I earned my Doctor of Worship Studies from the Institute for Worship studies, Jacksonville, FL.
Q: What made you want to start piano lessons as a child and what inspired you to make music your life-long career?
A: I started piano lessons while in first grade. My dad was a baritone and sang often in our little country church as well as in other local churches. He had much difficulty finding accompanists, so he suggested that it would be great if I learned to accompany his singing. I thought that idea was fantastic. So, every Saturday morning at 9:00, my dad took me to piano lesson. Sometimes he had to shovel snow out of the driveway to get the car and sometimes we would have snow up to the bottom of the car traveling to the lesson. Every week he would tell me, "Soon you will be playing the piano for your ole' dad." However, I had just reached the level where I could "sort of" play some of his music selections, when he was killed in an industrial accident on the oil lease. I was eleven years old and his passing changed my life forever. I never got to accompany him. My church was very encouraging, letting me play for the mid-week Bible Study and the Sunday evening Youth Fellowship meetings. By the eighth grade, my high school choral director asked me to be the senior-high choral accompanist. I felt so honored!
Q: Who was your favorite music teacher growing up, and why? A: My favorite music teacher was not my piano teacher, but my high school choral director. I was not very good at reading music for the senior-high chorus. I did not know basic music theory: key signatures, time signatures, major/minor scales, etc., etc. My choral director called my mom and advised her that I needed a new piano teacher, one that would be sure that I learned the basics. That took a lot of courage on his part: He was the music director at the local Methodist Church and my current piano teacher was his friend and church musician. But she was not a trained music instructor. Instead, she had taken piano lessons and decided to teach to supplement her ceramics studio income. As a result of his intervention, I changed to the new band director's wife, who had a degree in music education. She became my music teacher and taught me the theory basics that I needed. At least, she tried. I was used to a teacher who said, "Play it like this." But my new teacher insisted on scales, arpeggios, cadences, sonatinas, etc., which I did not like. I grumbled and griped until my mom said, "Fine. Let's just quit lessons and sell the piano." Well, I wanted to continue playing in church and for the school choir, so I grudgingly continued the lessons. Because of my new teacher, I was able to pass the audition test to enter college as a music major (just barely). When I got into college theory classes, I said, "Why didn't someone teach me this a long time ago?" I love theory to this day. Understanding what I was playing made all the difference.
Many years later, I was able to visit my former choral director after he retired and thank him for what he did for me.
I never considered any college study other than music. It is my life, especially the music of the church. I have several previous piano students who are now church musicians (in various types of services). For that I am eternally grateful!
Q: What do you think is one of the most important things to have in a piano studio? A: A PIANO! one in excellent shape and well-tuned. In my house, I have a mid-sized grand piano, a studio upright piano, and a digital piano. It is handy to have more than one keyboard so to play duo piano selections.
Q: What do you find to be a challenge in teaching piano and how do you suggest meeting that challenge? A: One challenge is motivating students. Some students are self-motivated. But beginners and the majority of students need continuous motivation. Piano practice is a lonely activity. I try to incorporate a lot of "duet" parts, whether written or improvised. I also have a "point" system where students earn points for practice and can then get awards for their points. I am generous with my praise, not praise that makes students think they are outstanding students if they aren't, but praise and encouragement for their efforts. I also keep before them goals of various sorts: JMTA recitals, multi-piano festival, studio recitals, and Federation Festival.
Q: Do you have a story of something that happened during one of your performances and how you handled it?
A: Many years ago, at a studio recital, one of my young students forgot her piece that she had memorized. I think nerves got the best of her. I tried to reassure her, but she was very embarrassed and her mother was livid! The little girl never resumed her lessons. The student forgot to bring her printed music to the recital. That taught me a lesson: Whenever students are to play from memory, I ALWAYS INSIST that they bring their music to the program. If their memory fails them, I will give them the printed music and tell them to play from the page. I want performances to be a positive experience.
On a lighter note, at another recital at the Friday Musicale, I was wearing sandal heels. All the straps broke on both sandals as I walked onstage to the piano (they were cheap shoes). I just stepped out of my shoes, played the programmed duet as though nothing happened. Fortunately, I don't embarrass easily. Another time, at one of the Multi-piano Festivals, somehow one piano had been taken off stage and there weren't enough pianos for the teacher selection. I was left with no piano. I just looked around, found a teacher playing the part opposite mine and slid onto her bench. Sandy Stewart looked very surprised, but we played together for that number.
Q: What advice would you give to help focus before a performance and curb nerves? A: Before a performance I suggest focusing on the music, relax and don't try to play the selection over and over right up until the performance. If a student has practiced faithfully, they don't need "panic" practice right before a program.
Q: What is one of the most interesting places you have visited or lived in, and why? A: I have visited so many interesting places that it is hard to decide. But I would say my favorite was the Holy Land. I was reminded of the song "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked." Even though where he walked is underneath many layers of earth, it is still awesome to think of being in Bible Lands. Having Communion in the Garden of Gethsemane; riding in a boat on the Sea of Galilee; standing among the ruins of Masada; being near the Christian Temple; being baptized in the river Jordan. What a privilege!
Q: Is there any advice you might give to a new music teacher starting out? A: Be unflappable. Stay on a steady course with students. Treat them fairly, but firmly. Enjoy the music!
Find A Teacher Section on Jaxmta.org
Please take a moment to check out your information on the Find a Teacher page of our website. If you would like to edit, add, or delete your information, please send whatever you would like changed to Internet Media Chair Angie Holt at email@example.com.
Have you found us on Facebook?
Follow JaxMTA on Facebook for the latest happenings, photos, videos, and more!
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.
Please view our website for any updates or additions to these events, as well as for more details including application deadlines: www.jaxmta.org
DATE TIME EVENT LOCATION
November 13 9:30am JMTA General Meeting followed by Program:
Josh Mills of PianoMarvel Social Media Keyboard Connection, 9912 San Jose Blvd., 32257
December 8 3pm JMTA Student Recital Arlington United Methodist Church, 1400 University Blvd. N., 32211
January 8 9:30am District IV Meeting followed by Program:
Sarah Hartley with new and motivating repertoire University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, 32224
January 18 As Scheduled Friday Musicale’s Outstanding Young Pianist Competition Friday Musicale, 645 Oak St., 32204
January 24 7pm Friday Musicale’s Winners’ Concert Friday Musicale, 645 Oat St., 32204
February 1 As Scheduled District IV Student Day First Baptist Church downtown, 124 W. Ashley St., 32202
February 12 9:30am JMTA General Meeting followed by Program:
Charlotte Mabrey-‘Sharing Good Vibes Through Percussion: Learning, Improvising and Teaching Rhythms.’ 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