Associated Press:
Some things to know
about music lessons
for children

Teacher Spotlight

Sally Ritchie
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MusicLink Legacy Partners:
William & Joanne Haroutounian
William & Brigid Brakefield
Louise P. Zanar Fund
MusicLink Board of Directors



MusicLink began in 1992 as a program of the Virginia Music Teachers Association, seeking a way to offer private music instruction to students in need by linking them with teachers willing to provide low- or no-cost instruction for as long as students wish to learn. MusicLink initially worked with schools in the DC metropolitan area, asking school music teachers to nominate students who could benefit from private music instruction, using eligibility for the free or reduced school lunch program as a guideline to financial need. MusicLink would then "link" them to professional music teachers located in the community who agreed to teach on partial to full scholarship.

After six successful years spreading the program throughout Virginia, MusicLink expanded to the national level in 1998 through support from the Music Teachers National Association Foundation. In September, 2001, the program was restructured into the MusicLink Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, to provide more freedom to seek funding for the specific needs of the program and expand possibilities beyond a single professional music organization.

The grassroots nature of MusicLink encourages businesses in communities across the country to support the program by providing local funding and in-kind donation of instruments. Our business partners include major music companies with stores in multiple states, such as Schmitt Music and Jordan Kitts Music, as well as local music businesses offering lessons, music, instruments, and general support to MusicLink programs in their communities. A majority of the major music publishers provide free music for students and discounts to teachers in the program. These in-kind business donations amount to $50,000.00 annually.


Facts & Statistics
65% of students stay in lessons
99% of students (18+ with 4 years in MusicLink) go to college
39% receive college scholarships
Over 6,600 students
Over 2,600 teachers
Over $12,000,000 in scholarship
Over 480,000 in instructional hours
MusicLink teachers in all 50 states and several Canadian provinces
Over 800 active MusicLink students at any given time
All teachers receives a criminal background check

MusicLink Research

MusicLink is proud to have worked as a pipeline organization for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation from 2005-2009. More...

MusicLink is proud to have received the Non-Profit Profile Seal of Transparency from Guidestar.

MusicLink is proud to have been named a Top Rated Non Profit for 2013-2017.

MusicLink is proud to be the recipient of the 2017 MTNA Achievement Award, MTNA’s highest honor to those who have made significant and lasting contributions to music & music making.


Enjoy performances by our outstanding students who are featured on our double CD, available for purchase through the website.

Vladislav Boguinia (CO) has studied piano, violin, and viola through MusicLink for the past three years. He was winner of the Boulder Arts Academy Merit Scholarship Award in 2007 and has performed in the Boulder Youth Symphony, and Novous Amadeus String Quartet. MusicLink awarded him the Alfred Talent Search Camp Scholarship in 2007 as well as providing a violin and viola for his musical studies. Multiply talented, Vladislav’s dream is “to become a concert pianist to share the joy of classical music to people around the world.”

Listen: Vladislav Boguinia - Etude op. 25 no. 12 by Chopin

Yuri Boguinia (CO) has studied piano, violin, and composition through MusicLink for the past three years. He won the prestigious ASCAP Morton Gould Composition Competition in 2008, one of nine national winners in the category from ages 6-18. He also won first place in the Pike Peak Composition Competition, which featured performance of his Ukranian Dance with the Colorado Spring Philharmonic Orchestra. MusicLink awarded Yuri the Alfred Talent Search Camp Scholarship in 2007. “My goal is to become a professional musician and composer. I simply want to pursue a career that I am passionate about, and it is music.”

Listen: Vladislav Boguinia - La Danse de Bataille by Yuri Boguinia

Tram Bui (OR) began music lessons in Viet Nam as a 6 year old, immigrating to America in 2004. Now in eighth grade, Tram has studied with Barbara Parker through MusicLink for five years, with a piano loaned for study through the Piano Santa Foundation. She has won numerous awards in OMTA’s festivals and competitions. “Playing piano has been one of the things I love doing since I was young. I wish to share my love with other people to be enjoyed by everyone.”

Listen: Tram Bui - Puck from Preludes Book 1 by Debussy

Diana Fang (VA) began piano lessons with Martha Smith at age nine. “It was the best decision I could ever have made and my parents were thrilled that I was given this opportunity.” Diana received a piano for study through MusicLink and was awarded the Harry D. Kirkpatrick Award for outstanding achievement as a graduating senior in 2008. She is currently pursuing a career in architectural engineering at the University of Virginia. “I try to incorporate music into the lives of all my friends and I think they have grown to feel the same way about it as I do.”

Listen: Diana Fang - Rondo Capricciosa by Mendelssohn

Ik Hoon Jung (OR) was born in Seoul Korea and has studied the piano since he was five years old. He is a student of Linda Barker and was winner of OMTA’s Romantic Festival in 2007 and Classical Festival in 2008. By his own admission, “I like to play fast pieces.”

Listen: Hoon Jung - Allemande from Partita 1 by Bach

Kevin Lu (VA) is a student of Theresa Compos Falk and was chosen as a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholar in 2006. This prestigious award provides thousands of dollars annually to support his talent throughout his secondary school training. He received MusicLink camp scholarships to assist in attending the International Institute for Young Musicians for three years. When he was 11, he was chosen to play on From the Top, an nationally syndicated radio broadcast. “From my MusicLink lessons I have learned a variety of things about expression – how to paint music with shapes and colors. I can share this with friends and impress them! The most important thing is to get better at my music and to have fun!”

Listen: Kevin Lu - Rigoletto Concert Paraphrase by Liszt

Dasha Poroshina (OR) was born in Russia and moved to the United States in 2001. She started studying with Elizabeth Stern at the age of eight. She has been a winner nine times in the Oregon Piano Festival and has multiple interests in music through classical piano and composition. Her goals in life are to “pursue a career in the medical field specializing in plastic surgery as well as becoming a pianist.”

Listen: Dasha Poroshina - Nocturne, op. 27 #1 by Chopin

Araxi Sayadian (IL) is a student of Laura Knight and, by her own request, has studied the classical guitar for 13 years. She has played the cello in advanced orchestra in her high school for three years. She received a camp scholarship from MusicLink to attend the Ann Arbor Suzuki Guitar Institute in the summer of 2008. “This camp really inspires me to become the best that I can be. When I meet other guitarists around the same age as me that are more advanced they make me want to get to reach that level.” She is currently looking into colleges with music programs.

Listen: Araxi Sayadian - Prelude No. 4 by Villa Lobos

Kai Talim (OR) started studying piano at the age of 6 and has been studying with Kelli Stephens since 2005. He received a grand piano through the Piano Santa Foundation. MusicLink awarded him camp scholarships to attend the Texas Music Festival for several years. He has won first place in the Suzanne Raines Young Pianist Competition in 2008 and the OMTA Junior Piano Competition in 2007. Kai also studies trumpet with Micah Wilkinson of the Oregon Symphony and plays in the Portland Youth Philharmonic Conservatory Orchestra. Kai realizes the value his performances bring at Sunday services at church. “I think I am special because I am able to express my feelings on the keyboard and put life into music.”

Listen: Kai Talim - Jeux d'eau by Ravel

Alastair Witherspoon (MN) has studied the violin and viola through MusicLink since 2004. He began lessons with Lucia May in 2007 and attended Bravo Summer Strings Institute for several years through camp scholarships provided by MusicLink. Alastair performed at the MusicLink National Summit in 2007 where he received a new viola for his musical studies. He has performed in numerous master classes as a sololist and in chamber music performing with his siblings. “Some day I would like to be the principal violist in an orchestra. I would also like to be in my own quartet and, most of all make people happy with my music.”

Listen: Alastair Witherspoon - Concerto No. 23 in G Major – Allegro by Viotti

Imala Witherspoon (MN) has been studying violin with Lucia May through MusicLink since 2007. She received a MusicLink camp scholarship to attend Bravo Summer Strings Institute in 2008. She enjoys performing chamber music with her brothers. “I like getting better on my violin. At camp I learn more in chamber music and get to play with other kids. It’s fun to play in recitals at Bravo and seeing other kids play their instruments. I love being able to play the violin.”

Listen: Imala Witherspoon - Allegro Brilliante by Ten Have

Nygel Witherspoon (MN) is a cello student of David Holmes. He is involved in music on a daily basis, playing trios with his siblings. Last year Nygel received a cello from MusicLink to further his musical studies through our business partnership with Eastman Strings. When asked how he feels about playing his cello with his brother and sister, he replies “It’s a lot of fun.”

Listen: Witherspoon Trio - Sonata in G Major by Vitali


National Office:

MusicLink Foundation
1043 N. McKinley Rd.
Arlington VA 22205
FAX 703-534-1740

Executive Director:

Joanne Haroutounian, Ph.D.
FAX 703-534-1740


Ginny Gutierrez

Grace Jean


Executive Director

Joanne Haroutounian, Ph.D.

Founder of the MusicLink program and director of the program since 1992. International consultant in musical talent identification. Adjunct professor of piano and pedagogy at George Mason University for over 20 years. Author of numerous music texts and Kindling the Spark: Recognizing and Developing Musical Talent, Oxford University Press. For more information:

National Staff: Assistant Director: Andrea Shore, Annandale VA
Board of Directors: President: Dr. Joanne Haroutounian, George Mason University, Fairfax VA
  Secretary: Andrea Shore, Annandale VA
  Treasurer: William Haroutounian, National Symphony Orchestra, Washington DC
  Charles KinneyAttorney, Washington DC
  Grace JeanJournalist, music critic, Washington Post, Washington DC
  Sue Wege,Independent music teacher, Director of MusicLink Coordinators, Cottage Grove, MN
  Virginia Gutierrez Public Relations Director - Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Miami FL
Advisory Board: Andre WattsPA: Internationally known concert pianist
  Verdine WhiteCA: Bass guitarist with Earth Wind and Fire, director of the Verdine White Foundation
  Scott McBride Smith KS: Director of the International Institute for Young Musicians
  Carolyn CallahanVA: Chair, Dept. of Educational Leadership, Foundations and Policy, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia. Leading research and expert on gifted education.
  Doug SchmittMN: Vice President of Schmitt Music Co., a major music dealer in the West and Midwest.

In Memoriam – Quote from Marvin Hamlisch - Advisory Board: “Too often I have heard stories about children who display a a musical gift at an early age, but because of lack of funds in their family they were unable to pursue that gift. So it is a wonderful thing to know that MusicLink is an organization that comes to the rescue of these talented kids.”

MusicLink Regional Coordinators

Director of Coordinators: Sue Wege, Cottage Grove MN
  Canadian: Lisa Frederick, Milestone, Saskatchewan
  Midwest and South Central: Sue Wege, Cottage Grove MN
  Mid-Atlantic: Sonja Scadden, Arlington, VA
  Northwest: Amy Vanacore, Portland, OR
  Southeast: Nora Martin, Lawrenceville GA




Student Spotlight

Teresa Sanchez
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THANKS for helping us reach our Silver Anniversary goal of $100,000.00. Help us raise funds for instruments and lessons in 2018! $35,312.32 so far.
35.31% of the way!