JMTA High Notes
March 2020—Vol. 23, no. 6
JMTA General Meeting
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Time: 9:30am - Business Meeting; 10:30am - Featured Program:
Dr. Lori Rhoden, Professor of Music at Ball State University will present:
“Sightreading Boot Camp: Making our Students Competent and Confident Sightreaders”
Location: Keyboard Connection, 9912 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville 32257
From the President’s Pen
The February program was another inspiring event for JMTA members. Edie Moore Hubert’s presentation examined the significant role music plays in the lives of critically ill patients as well as the doctors and nurses who care for them. The musicians who participate in the outreach programs agreed that the blessings they receive are far greater than anything they anticipated.
On March 11th we will welcome Dr. Lori Rhoden who will share some secrets for successful sight reading. This session will have lots of ideas to take home and use that day in your studio so come ready to learn.
The latest issue of American Music Teacher magazine is a goldmine of Tips and Tricks for a Secure Memory. Save and savor this issue. Some of my favorite memory techniques include:
Hope your interest is piqued enough to read the articles and try some new techniques in your studio.
We are role models to our students – whether we like it or not!
There are days when life’s stumbling blocks seem to trip me no matter what I do.
On those days, I have to center myself, take a look inside and remind myself to do the following: Take Deep Breaths to immediately reduce stress
Be Open to my student’s ideas
Be Empathetic to my student’s situation.
In what other field could I share my love of music and problem-solving at the piano? Where else could I observe a young student discover what it means to shape a phrase or find repeated patterns in the score?
The older I get, the more I seem to use games. It’s amazing how quickly students can learn the leger line notes and musical terms if gummy bears are involved!
See you in March!
Dr. Anita Boyle Renfroe, NCTM
JMTA General Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, February 12, 2020, Keyboard Connection
Present: Anita Renfroe, Paulette Kilts, Erin Bennett, Lori Burningham, Sandra Stewart, Lynn Freeman, Betty Atkinson, Angie Holt, Michael Mastronicola, Kamila Shahtakhtinski, Joan Cordell, Sandra Roberts, Stefanie Batson-Martin, Ron Touchton, Denise Homsley
Call to Order: 9:33am (Anita Renfroe)
Treasurer’s Report: (Lorie Burningham)
Motion to accept the budget was made by Betty Atkinson, seconded by Kamila Shahtakhtinski. Unanimously approved.
Membership: (Sandra Stewart)
Deborah East is a new member. Unsure of total number of members included retired and student membership. Karen Schaffer, Vice President of Membership can be contacted for list.
Altruistic: (Sandra Roberts)
Community Service: (Joan Cordell) Sandra Stewart has an opportunity for students Sunday at 2pm for community service.
Ethics: (Maureen Rhodes) Nothing to report.
Historian: (Lynn Roberts) Nothing to report.
Programs: (Michael Mastronicola)
Scholarships: (Kamila Shahtakhtinski) Deadline is March 1. All information and application info is online.
Social: (Angie Holt) Betty Atkinson and Erin Bennett brought goodies, somebody was needed to bring pastries for March.
Student Recitals: (Sandra Stewart and Gavin Taylor)
Student Day Report: (Denise Homsley)
Adjourned: Anita Renfroe at 10:08am
- Submitted by Stefanie Batson-Martin
It is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of Dr. Merrill J. (“MJ”) Palmer on Sunday, February 2nd from complications related to lung cancer. MJ conducted the teachers’ ensembles at our Multi-Piano Festival for many years.
MJ joined the faculty at UNF in 1975 after receiving a B.S. in Music Education at SUNY Fredonia, an M.M. in Choral Conducting at Indiana University, and a D.M.A. at the University of Iowa. He was the first director of Choral Activities at UNF and he taught classes in conducting, music theory, voice, and humanities. MJ was the chair of the Department of Fine Arts from 1981 to 1984. Dr. Palmer was very active in his field as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor. He led UNF choral groups in international performances and was devoted to his students for 31 years, until his retirement from UNF in 2006.
He served as Music Director at Palms Presbyterian Church for 27 years, volunteered at Baptist Beaches Medical Center for 13 years, and was a member and past-president of the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club Men’s Golf Association.
A memorial service was held on Thursday, February 13th at 1:00 p.m. for Dr. Palmer. More information about the service and his obituary can be found here: https://www.quinn-shalz.com/obituary/DrMerrill-Palmer.
Dr. Erin K. Bennett, NCTM
JMTA Treasurer Transaction Monthly Report February 1–February 29, 2020
Premier Business Checking Total 29-Feb-20 $9,364.14
Expenses Check 1117 Lorie Burningham-Renew Florida Exempt Status $70.00
01/07/20 MTNA Dues $25.00
12/27/19 Interest (checking) $0.75
11/30/19 Interest (Business shares) $0.33
11/30/19 Interest (Money Market) $1.30
11/30/19 Interest (CD) $12.02
TOTAL INCOME $39.40
Current Checking $4,366.20
Piano Festival Fund (add to Business Shares Acct) $3,325.96
Warren Fund $1,627.73
TOTAL Checking Account as of February 29, 2020 $9,319.89
Business Money Market (Scholarship) $3,273.05
Business Shares (Festival) (add to amt in chking) $1,645.56
22-Month CD (matures 3/31/2020) $7,108.32
TOTAL as of February 29, 2020 $12,026.93
TOTAL ASSETS as of February 29, 2020 $21,346.82
- Submitted by Lorie Burningham 3/03/20
UPCOMING JMTA RECITALS
JMTA STUDENT RECITAL
Our next student recital will be held on Sunday, March 22 at 3p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church, 4171 Hendricks Avenue. Please send all student information to Dr. Sandra Stewart, email@example.com, one week in advance. There is a $5 fee per student that must be paid to her before the performance for the student to be allowed to perform. Please make checks payable to JMTA. Teachers bring a plate of cookies. For more information, go to our website, jaxmta.org, and look under Special Events and JMTA Student Recitals.
PROTON THERAPY RECITAL
JMTA will once again sponsor a community recital at the Proton Therapy Institute in downtown Jacksonville. It will be held on Tuesday, April 7, from 6:00 to 7:30p.m. for the patients and staff. All students who are upper-intermediate to advanced levels are invited to perform and can earn community service. The Institute is located at 2015 N. Jefferson Street. Please send all information to Dr. Sandra Stewart, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yunhan Shen, student of Kamila Shahtakhtinski, is the 3rd place winner of the 2020 “American Protégé” International Piano and Strings Competition featuring on-line contestants from many countries. She will perform in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 7, 2020.
She is also a winner of the 2020 Outstanding Young Pianist Competition held by Friday Musicale in her 9th-10th grade Piano Solo category.
Applications for these scholarships are due this month:
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.
All information, guidelines and applications for both scholarships can be found on the JMTA website, jaxmta.org.
- Kamila Shahtakhtinski, NCTM
Please welcome our new JMTA members!
Dr. Debra K. East Dr. Stephen J. Gosden
DISTRICT IV NEWS
2020 District IV Student Day
Denise Homsley, Mus.M., NCTM, Chair, District IV Student Activities
Twenty-one students qualified to perform in the District IV Student Day Honors Recital, which was held on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at 2:30 pm in the Recital Hall at UNF. Each of the students performed their repertoire beautifully! Thank you to everyone who brought cookies for the reception following the recital. Many thanks, as well, to Dr. Erin Bennett, Associate Professor, Piano and Piano Pedagogy, for securing the location for our Honors Recital.
The 2020 Student Day certificates and medals should be available at the April 8th JMTA meeting. Be sure to attend to receive your students’ certificates and medals.
Another year of Student Day has passed, and many students are already eagerly looking forward to 2021 District IV Student Day! It is helpful to begin preparing students for their next level very soon after Student Day.
After serving as the District Student Day Chair for 13 years, I have made the decision to step down. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving in this position! It has been especially rewarding to see many students work their way up through the levels of Student Day and accomplish so much. I know there are several students who began in the very early levels of Student Day and are now “eyeing” the Level 12 plaque. All the best to them, and every student who works so hard in the Student Day program to become more proficient in their music study. The rewards are priceless!
At the February JMTA meeting, Dr. Erin Bennett announced that Angie Holt has agreed to step in as the new District IV Student Day Chair. Angie has entered many of her students in Student Day over the past several years, and I appreciate her assistance this past Student Day. She will be a great Student Day Chair! Thank you, Angie!
Thank you to each of my colleagues for your support the past 13 years. It has been a pleasure working with each of you! Thank you for everything you have done to make each year’s Student Day very successful! We look forward to 2021 District IV Student Day!
2020 District IV Concerto Competition
Sarah Hartley, District IV Concerto Competition Chair
The District IV Concerto Competition will take place Saturday, March 14 in the recital hall at UNF. The application deadline was Friday, February 14. Please see the JMTA website for more information, under the Special Events tab, and in addition the following link will be helpful on the Florida State Music Teachers website: https://www.fmta.org/concerto-competition.html
If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Hartley, Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over Coffee With . . .
SANDRA STEWART, D.M.A.
Sandy has worn many hats in our organization over the years. She is currently the Vice-President of Membership as well as Co-chair of the JMTA Recitals.
Q: First, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I was born in southern Indiana and lived in the same place until I went to college. I was involved in music with piano and clarinet since elementary school. I learned to be an accompanist, and by 10th grade, I was hooked on music. Since I was an Indiana girl, the best and most logical place to go to study music was the School of Music at Indiana University.
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 actually did not want to play piano! But my mother insisted. It was a tradition in her family that the women all played piano for the church. So I wasn’t given a choice.
Q: Who was your favorite music teacher growing up, and why?
A: I struggled with piano through 8th grade. Then my mother took me to a retired professor who taught a lot of high school students. From the first lesson, he showed me more about playing musically than I had ever done before. He made all the difference in my music education. Without his influence, I’m not sure what I’d be doing now!
Q: Do you have any advice for someone setting up a private music studio in their home?
A: Just set boundaries and stick to them. Do you allow parents to sit in on lessons? Siblings? Is your fee due weekly or monthly? What policy do you want to have for makeup lessons? Know in advance what you want your schedule to look like. Don’t teach a student at 8:30 on Friday night if you don’t want to.
Q: What do you find to be a challenge in teaching piano and how do you suggest meeting that challenge?
A: My biggest challenge these days are the sports activities that my students are involved in. It seems that they all have coaches who want them 5 days a week after school AND on Saturday! Making them understand that regular piano lessons are important too is challenging.
Q: Do you have a story of something that happened during one of your performances and how you handled it?
A: The funniest story is when I gave my Master’s recital. It was warm in the hall, and my face was perspiring. My glasses kept falling down my nose! Nothing to do but keep pushing them up! Embarrassing, but funny now.
Q: What advice would you give to help focus before a performance and curb nerves?
A: Take time to be focused and not in a rush. I honestly think the more you perform, the easier it gets. You learn a lot from the experience of performance and how to deal with it.
Q: What is one of the most interesting places you have visited or lived in, and why?
A: My husband’s job transferred us around a lot, so I have lived in St. Louis, Chicago, Reading PA, Buffalo, and Virginia Beach, to name a few. I always loved being in a new place and learning all about it. And it was fun discovering the music community in each new place.
Q: Is there any advice you might give to a teacher struggling to keep up with their bookkeeping?
A: I hate the bookkeeping aspect of piano lessons, but unfortunately we have to do it. The thing that helps me is doing an invoice for each student at the end of the month with dates and fees for lessons the next month. The fee is due at the first lesson. If they don’t pay, there is a $10 charge. If you do this consistently, the parents will pay attention. This also means I only have to sit down once a month and work on bookkeeping. I’d much rather be teaching!
COMPASSIONATE MUSIC SERIES
Do some of your students need Community Service Hours? 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. Anyone wishing for more information please contact Sandy Stewart, email@example.com.
- Sandra Stewart, D.M.A.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.
JMTA General Meeting followed by Program:
Dr. Lori Rhoden, Professor of Music, Ball State University: ‘Sightreading Boot Camp’
Keyboard Connection, 9912 San Jose Blvd., 32257
District IV Concerto Competition
Recital Hall at UNF, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, 32224
MTNA National Conference
JMTA Student Recital
All Saints Episcopal Church, 4171 Hendricks Ave., 32207
Proton Therapy Student Recital – upper interm. /advanced students
UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, 2015 N. Jefferson St., 32206
JMTA General Meeting followed by Program: Concerto Winners will perform
Keyboard Connection, 9912 San Jose Blvd., 32257
JMTA General Meeting following by end-of-year luncheon
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.