JMTA High Notes
September 2021—Vol. 25, no. 1
JMTA General Meeting and Program (over ZOOM):
September 8, 2021: 9:30am - General meeting
10:30am - Program: Interactive Musical Potluck
From the President’s Pen:
Welcome back from your travels, your walks to the beach or reading in your favorite spot on the porch! JMTA is ready to go with some terrific plans for this fall! See the articles in this newsletter and on the website to find out what’s available for you and your students.
Over the summer we have all examined the progress of our students over the past year and the changes we want to employ for better success this coming year. We often question ourselves and wonder how we are doing as teachers.
We are role models for our students, but who do we look to for guidance and musical inspiration? Look at the life of Nadia Boulanger, (1887-1979). In a recent (8-1-21) article in The New York Times, Classical editor William Robin shared some insight into this famous teacher’s world. She lost her musical support system - both her composer sister, Lilli, and her husband, virtuoso pianist Raoul Pugno by 1918.
Boulanger gave up her career as a performer/composer and turned to teaching! Virgil Thompson described her as “a one-woman graduate school so powerful and permeating that legend credits every US town with two things: a five-and-dime and a Boulanger pupil.” We could all list some of those students: Aaron Copland, Philip Glass, Quincy Jones, Maurice Hinson, etc… Her influence on teaching and composing in the 20th century is without parallel.
This quote from Nadia expresses the essence of why we pursue music. “We know in ourselves and in our art such hours that so many don’t know. These feelings open so many doors - give, even when we aren’t aware of it, such meaning to our lives.”
We may not have Boulanger’s reach but we have the ability to influence the musical lives of many people of all ages. Sharing our art keeps us centered and feeds our souls. Honing our teaching skills keeps us engaged and open to new ideas.
Check out the exciting plans on the JMTA calendar for 2021-22. In our September meeting, each member will share a musical meal comprised of three favorite teaching pieces – one for an appetizer, one entrée and one dessert. See Lisa Barwell’s article for more info about this. It should be fun and a great way to meet new folks and share ideas.
Please join us for our ZOOM meeting on Wednesday, September 8th at 9:30 am. The Musical Potluck will follow the business meeting.
Dr. Anita Boyle Renfroe, NCTM
JMTA President firstname.lastname@example.org
JMTA General Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 9:30am, Zoom
Present: Anita Renfroe, Lynn Freeman, Sandra Stewart, Kama Rasmussen-Li, Michael Mastronicola, Paulette Kilts, Denise Homsley, Stefanie Batson-Martin, Sandra Stewart, Lisa Barwell, Sandra Roberts, JohnWillard Utuk
Call to Order: 9:32 (Anita Renfroe)
Parliamentarian: (Lynn Freeman)
Nothing to report
Secretary Minutes: (Stefanie Batson-Martin)
Kama motioned, Paulette seconded
Treasurer’s Report: (Lori Burningham)
Not present, the April
$11,359.40 money market and business
Total assets $20,540.41
Vice-President/Membership: (Sandra Stewart)
Three members renewed
Officers being voted in:
Vice President: JohnWillard Utuk
Secretary: Stefanie Batson-Martin
Altruistic: (Sandra Roberts)
Nothing to report
Nice for a card to Denise
Communications/Internet Media: (Angie Holt)
Community Service: (Joan Cordell)
Ethics: (Maureen Rhodes)
Historian: (Lynn Roberts)
Programs: (Michael Mastronicola)
Concerto Winners will be presented today
Scholarships: (Kamila Shahtakhtinski)
Social: (Angie Holt)
Nothing to report
Student Recitals: (Sandra Stewart and Gavin Taylor)
Went very successfully, 19 students were present, videos are done and ready to go
We need a point person to help with getting those videos out to the public and how exactly we should do that
Student Day Report: (Angie Holt)
Wellness Liaison: (Joan Cordell and Stefanie Batson-Martin)
Nothing to report
Congrats to Denise for students Farelli and Prasu
Installation of JMTA Officer candidates for 2021-2023
Adjourned: 10:19am (Anita Renfroe)
- Submitted by Stefanie Batson-Martin, Secretary
T H A N K Y O U !
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for your prayers, texts and cards during my recent bout with the latest strain of Covid. I nearly died. I am SO grateful to be home. I still feel like a limp rag doll, but I am slowly regaining my strength. I appreciate everything you all did. I am now able to resume my duties as JMTA Altruistic Chair. If there is anyone who needs a card or other contact, please let me know.
Dr. Sandra Roberts
Proposed JMTA Budget 2021-2022
Income Proposed Actual Proposed
2020-2021 2020-2021 2021-2022
Dues 1,300.00 700.00 1,300.00
Interest 8.00 7.99 8.00
Scholarship Aud Fee 0.00 0.00 0.00
Student Recitals 200.00 0.00 200.00
Total 1,508.00 707.99 1,508.00
Proposed Actual Proposed
Expenses 2020-2021 2020-2021 2021-2022
Altruistic 75.00 0.00 75.00
Comm Serv Award 100.00 0.00 100.00
D4 Dues 275.00 480.00 275.00
FSMTA Conf Fund 100.00 100.00 100.00
FSMTF 15.00 0.00 15.00
Gifts 0.00 0.00 50.00
Incorporation Fee 70.00 70.00 70.00
Membership 0.00 0.00 0.00
Misc 15.00 0.00 15.00
Piano Camp Scholars 500.00 0.00 500.00
Programs (JMTA presenters $25/each) 50.00 ??? 50.00
Reception 50.00 0.00 50.00
Social 20.00 0.00 50.00
Scholarship Judges 300.00 0.00 300.00
State Conf Pres 300.00 200.00 300.00
Student Recitals 50.00 22.22 50.00
Treasurer 0.00 0.00 0.00
Warren Fund (Outside Presenters $100/each) 200.00 400.00 300.00
Website $200 one-time pmt to Amy Turon 164.00 0.00 164.00
Total 2,284.00 1,272.22 2,464.00
Budget Difference ($776.00) ($564.23) ($956.00)
BUSINESS MONEY MARKET - As of….. 5/26/21
$1000 paid to Scholarship Winner $2,274.80
22 MONTH CD - As of….. 5/26/21
Transferred balance to Savings on 3/31/20 $0.00
SAVINGS (USED TO PAY FOR PIANO FESTIVAL) - As of….. 5/26/21
Includes money from CD that came to term $8,768.55
Decision on Reinvestment of CD money. $7120.78
Options: Reinvest in CD (Lorraine says we can’t combine with other accounts)
6-11 months = .50%
12-23 months = .55%
24-29 months = .60%
30-35 months = .65%
submitted by Damon Martin, Treasurer
JMTA MONTHLY PROGRAMS
September - 9/8 at 9:30am (mtg) & 10:30am (program) over Zoom
We have a fun, interactive program in store for you in September! Because we are unable to do our traditional potluck due to the necessity of meeting on Zoom, we’d like for you to join us in creating a ‘meal’ of our favorite teaching pieces. Before the next meeting, please think of three pieces that would represent:
1 A starter
2 An entrée
3 A dessert
We’d like for you to share the titles of these pieces with the group and then go into some detail about one of your choices and describe to us:
1 Why you like to teach the piece and
2 A couple of teaching tips that would help others teach this piece to their own students.
If you feel inspired, you may also perform the piece (or a portion of it if it’s long) or share a recording of it. Thanks for joining in on the fun this September! Be creative and have fun!
September Zoom Meeting Link:
Meeting ID: 985 3513 9053
- Lisa Barwell, Programs Chair
October - 10/13 at 9:30am (mtg) & 10:30am (program) over Zoom
Music and Health: Every Teacher’s Business
This session explores the relevance of health-conscious teaching for all music teachers, regardless of the age or skill level of their students. Strategies will target four age groups: pre-adolescents, high school/college, career-age and seniors/retirees.
October Zoom Meeting Link:
Meeting ID: 961 5734 1249
- Lisa Barwell, Programs Chair
Leslie McAllister has been featured often in MTNA news recently, but have you listened to her podcast with Leila Viss? Check out part 1 here:
I am appreciating how movement in the music lesson is becoming more widely used than it was when I was a student! Let’s continue to encourage our students to move and breathe mindfully.
– Lisa Barwell
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD NEWS
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,
JMTA IN-PERSON STUDENT RECITAL
Sunday, December 5, 2021 has been set for the JMTA in-person student recital, at Arlington United Methodist Church. It will convene at 3pm. More details including social distancing protocol will be in the next newsletter. Thank you.
- Sandra Stewart, Student Recitals Chair
JMTA BOARD MEMBERS AT WORK
Even with the challenges of Covid, our Music Teachers Association is busy at work to support our members and to keep our events and activities humming along. Here is what some of our board members do:
The Altruistic Board member for JMTA handles correspondence such as cards for get well, sympathy, congratulations and any other special needs. This person also purchases gift cards, flowers, and gifts as needed. This is a “personal touch” position to reach out to people in time of sorrow and celebration. Money for these purchases, including postage stamps, is in the budget.
- Dr. Sandra Roberts, Altruistic Chair
As a Recording Secretary, my primary role is to document what happens in meetings. This includes when and where the meeting takes place, who was present, who makes a motion and seconds items, and anything else discussed during the meeting. My job is particularly important to keep those who were not present up-to-date on what they missed, and a good reminder to those who have been given something to do once the meeting is over. This job has become easier to do with Zoom meetings as I can use a recording of the meeting to fill in anything I may have missed in real time. Once I have the notes typed up, I email the report to communications and keep a hard copy in a notebook.
- Stefanie Batson-Martin, Recording Secretary
In the past we have sponsored student recitals in October, December and March. We also had the additional community recital held at the Proton Therapy Institute. This year we may have to cut back again on in-house recitals. At this time in August, we have a date of December 5 at Gavin Taylor's church, Arlington United Methodist Church. At our first September meeting, we will have a discussion about having a virtual recital again as we did in the spring. All retirement homes I have contacted are not allowing outside groups to come in yet.
- Dr. Sandra Stewart, Student Recitals Co-Chair
The Communications Chair prepares the High Notes newsletter each month, collecting input from contributing members, and emailing it out to membership in PDF format, as well as inserting it on the website. The newsletter is published eight times a year: September through November and January through May. In addition, the communications chair handles the JMTA email address, sending out “e-blasts” of information to members, and forwarding emails received to the appropriate members.
Angie Holt, Communications Chair
The Internet Media Chair updates the JMTA website, jaxmta.org, with event dates and descriptions, board and committee member information, document changes, calendar updates, and anything else that needs to be added. Also, the internet media chair handles updating the Facebook page of JMTA (under Jacksonville Music Teachers Association, Inc.).
- Angie Holt, Internet Media Chair
2021 MTNA Competitions
Registration for the 2021 Florida MTNA competitions is now open on MTNA's website at https://members.mtna.org/MTNACompetitions2021/Registration/.
The competitions will take place in-person (with masks and social distancing precautions) at Hillsborough Community College, Ybor City, [Florida] on October 16-17. Competitive events will be held in the following divisions: Young Artist (Ages 19-26), Senior (Ages 15-18), and Junior (Ages 11-14). Students may enter in the following categories: Piano, Piano Duet (Senior only), String, Woodwind, Brass, Voice, and Composition. All national final rounds will be held in March, 2022 in conjunction with the MTNA National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
For repertoire requirements and more information, please visit the MTNA website at https://www.mtna.org/MTNA/Engage/Competitions/Competitions.aspx.
The registration deadline is 3:00 P.M. (Eastern) on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. We look forward to many wonderful performances, and please email email@example.com if you have questions about the competitions.
VP of Florida MTNA Competitive Events
Over Coffee With . . .
This month we are getting to know JohnWillard Utuk. JohnWillard is our new vice president for JMTA. Thank you, JohnWillard, for taking the time to share your experiences with us!
Where were you born and raised?
I'm from Southwest Florida, where I grew up in Cape Coral, FL. I was born in New Jersey, though!
When did you begin in music and what prompted you to start lessons?
I officially started taking formal lessons at around 8 years old, with the late Eleanor Morgan. She was very experienced working with young students (I started lessons with her when she was 83!), with her undergraduate degree from Oberlin Conservatory, and Masters from University of Miami. She was heavily involved in FSMTA (holding officer positions), FL Federation of Music Clubs, and Piano Guild. I know I was playing before then, as I watched my older sister practice and I casually attended her lessons. I even have baby pictures of me near a keyboard, and one picture as a toddler "stretching my hands, getting ready to play." I was also self taught with trumpet and did marching band/concert band from middle school through college.
How I started playing was by observation, and by ear. Basically, I heard all the pieces my sister was practicing at home, and memorized their melodies (and the way she played them, with phrasing, etc.). During her piano lessons, while my Mom read in the car in Mrs. Morgan's driveway, I would be playing outside, exploring the house, then go inside and explore the studio (a converted garage), with all of the piles of music books on the floor, music catalogs strewn on the music-patterned folding table and accompanying chair, as well as peek into all the shelves of her random items. Now as a teacher/adult, I realize what all that paperwork was for! (And I really wish I had a video tape of how Mrs. Morgan was teaching my sister!)
At home, occasionally my sister would show me where to put my hands to play along with her. One duet I learned by her instruction was "Sidewalk Cafe" by Gillock. At around 6-7, I played the Primo part from Sidewalk Cafe (by rote and memorized) and we would always play it for family friends that came over and one time for my elementary Talent show! My parents asked Mrs. Morgan if I could study with her, but I remember her response was something like "he's playing by ear but needs to read music, and he has double jointed fingers..." However, also around that time when malls had piano stores in them, Mrs. Morgan had her studio play (I think it was actually a multi piano event) and while my sister was part of it, I wasn't exactly. One of the duets on the program was "Carillon: A Great Pealing of Bells" by Katherine Beard. Somehow, there was a student missing to play the Primo part and suddenly I stepped in to play it with the group. I was a little kid, sitting next to an older student, and I was also trying to manage the pedaling! After this event, Mrs. Morgan was so impressed I kept along with everyone that she agreed to take me on as a student.
Who was your favorite piano teacher/instructor?
I've only had a few instructors, so I'd say they each had something different to offer. I had Mrs. Morgan from when I started to when I graduated high school. She gave me pieces that were slightly different from everyone else. "I give pieces that match my student's personalities" she told me once. (I went into lessons wanting to play all the [same] standard Classical rep my sister was playing) So I got to "stand out" on programs, since my pieces were usually not like the others. I played works like "Scotch Poem" by MacDowell, Scherzo from Charles Griffes Fantasy Pieces, Op. 6, Schumann's "Prophet Bird."
I studied with the late Robert MacDonald of Florida Southern College-he was interesting, since I saw he could improvise and create original medleys, all while still playing Classical Repertoire. I was impressed he could do both and he would be supportive of what I brought to him-like Brahms and Rachmaninoff I heard from competitions. He was admired throughout Lakeland and his Fine Arts Series brought in world class artists-because he also traveled to Germany every summer. He and Andy Griffith were good friends, I like to tell everyone! I loved his sense of humor, too!
Dr. Smart and Dr. Bennett gave me different styles of teaching when I went to UNF. (and I had a few lessons with Dr. Mastronicola prior). They all showed me that a teacher's perspective and approach can be different on the same piece of music, whether it be more focus on detail and technique or a bigger picture approach of a narrative.
What are some interesting and/or funny experiences you’ve been through?
One interesting fact is that when I was around 2, just learning to stand up/walk, I was trying to stand up and accidentally burned both my hands on a radiator. There is a picture of me with both hands bandaged up in a high chair, and the story goes that the Dr.(s) said I might not use my hands well again or they'd be in a permanent "shape." Thankfully, with my Mom's care of applying the creams, etc. my hands healed perfectly, and there's no scars!
Another cool experience is that at 15, I was passionate about the 1997 Van Cliburn competition after my Mom showed me a Reader's Digest article about Jon Nakamatsu and how he won the gold, despite majoring in German Education. I followed his career and wanted to be like him-I got to meet him twice in person, (he was the reason I played Brahms' Sonata No. 1 for my Junior recital), and in college, I got to play for the silver medalist from 1997-Yakov Kasman, and he liked my performance of the lesser known Schumann Romanze in F#. I went to TX to see the 2005 preliminaries and one evening my Mom spotted Van Cliburn before he got into his car, and I got a picture with him, and he signed my program!
Tell us about some things you’ve been involved in musically, and some places you’ve been.
This Fall, I'll be starting a new position teaching Orff general music to K-5 , and teaching middle and high school students beginning piano. I've also been uploading classical piano tracks to a mediation app called "Insight Timer" since May 2020. In college I got to go to Italy and do a music program there for 2 weeks. My fondest memories were competing in a Beethoven Sonata competition in Memphis TN, and going to play at Carnegie Hall via American Protege competition. I've also composed an original 3 movement work called "The Etherea Suite" for solo piano, based on characters from a friend's Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel. While I only have recordings of myself playing them on my YouTube channel, I'm working on transcribing the sheet music for intermediate-advanced students to play.
What is some advice you can give to fellow music teachers?
1. I think it's important to listen to your students and ask a lot of questions. Whether it's "what makes you like or not like this piece" to "What do you want to do in the future with piano" it really helps to know what your students are about. Especially with those that don't say much, what they come into the lesson with (prepared or not) can show a lot and over time you can get a sense of how a student operates. A book on this is "That's a Good Question: How to Teach by Asking Questions" by Marienne Uszier.
2. I'd also say it's fun and helpful to get inspiration for your teaching outside of piano/classical repertoire. What are your students doing/listening to that you can relate back to piano? As a kid, I looked for Disney soundtrack piano music, liked video games, and learned the music on my own. Now I think I would've enjoyed composition at that age. Before formal lessons, my early years explored sound and creating at the piano, aka playing by ear before reading. While I understand my first teacher's views came from conservatory training, my advice would be to be open to teaching things away from the page, allowing for more exploration of sound and experimentation, even if technique isn't the focus. Dance, movies, even current events can be ideas to bring into lessons or how you describe musical interpretation to students. NCKP is also a fantastic resource/conference to attend for inspiration.
3. Allow students to struggle before helping or showing them the "correct" way. Give them time to try, try again, and then once they look at you, ask them what they think was the problem/what seemed difficult. I've noticed eventually they get something, then they have to figure out and then reinforce what they did to be successful (e.g. "I started counting as I was playing”).
“Michael Torke and Robert Schumann”
by Florida Chamber Music Project
Date: Sunday, September 12th, 3-4:30pm
Location: Beaches Museum Chapel on Jacksonville Beach
Click on link for details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/michael-torke-and-robert-schumann-tickets-165343044497?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
“The Cummer Family Foundation Chamber Music Series presents UNF Classical Faculty Scholarship Concert”
by UNF School of Music
Date: Tuesday, September 21st, 7:30pm
Location: UNF Fine Arts Center, Recital Hall
Click on link for details and vaccine protocol: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-cummer-family-foundation-chamber-music-series-unf-classical-faculty-registration-168465018405?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
“UNF Wind Symphony presents A Chamber Recital”
by UNF School of Music
Date: Wednesday, September 22nd, 6:30pm
Location: UNF Fine Arts Center, Recital Hall
Click on link for details and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unf-wind-symphony-chamber-recital-registration-168466193921
“Jacksonville SINGS: Choral Finale Concert with Andrea Ramsey”
by UNF School of Music
Date: Saturday, September 25th, 5:00pm
Location: UNF Lazzara Performance Hall
Cost: $15 adults/$5 for teachers & children under 10/Free for seniors & students with I.D.
Click on link for details: https://www.unf.edu/coas/music/Calendar.aspx
“Friday Musicale’s 132nd Opening Night: Fanya Lin, Classical Pianist”
Date: Friday, October 1st, 6pm - pre-concert reception
7-9pm - concert
Location: Friday Musicale
Click on link to RSVP and for details:
Find A Teacher Section on Jaxmta.org
Teachers, please take a moment to check out your information on our Find a Teacher page. If you would like to edit, add, or delete your information, please send whatever you would like changed to our Internet Media chairperson Angie Holt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music Exchange (Will be on again once meetings are in-person)
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.
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 email@example.com.
Have you found us on Facebook?
Follow JaxMTA on Facebook for the latest happenings, photos, videos, and more!
Please view our website for any updates or additions to these events, as well as for more details including application deadlines: www.jaxmta.org.
Stay tuned for more events to come! High Notes is distributed on the first 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.