November, 2006

We begin our 06-07 school year with a fresh start to MusicLink - a new slogan, new brochures, new coordinator packets, several new regional coordinators, and expansion of our programs to major cities to reach more children through group lessons in pop/rock/jazz.

Last year we celebrated reaching 2005 students by the year 2005. Our new goal for 2010 - 7,500 students and 750,000 hours of instructional time, which is equivalent to $9.5 million in scholarship donation by our teachers. These goals could never be achieved without the commitment of our wonderful teachers and the support of our corporate and business partners. So let's get started!

Juan Peralta wins
Senior Award of Excellence

MusicLink Foundation has initiated a Senior Award of Excellence to a graduating high school senior who has shown outstanding achievement and commitment in musical study through MusicLink. This year's award recipient is Juan Peralta, a percussion student of Homero Ceron in Tucson, Arizona. We thank Schmitt Music Company for sponsoring the 2006 Senior Award of Excellence in the amount of $1,000. We also thank Gail Fischler, our Arizona MusicLink Coordinator, who worked diligently with the Tucson program.

Percussion has been Juan Peralta's passion ever since he can remember. He has participated in school concert band and jazz band and is very active as a church musician. He and his sisters have a group called Gethsemane that performs for weddings, family gatherings, and holiday events throughout southern Arizona.

Juan has won many awards over the years, including a PEACE Award, the Sunnyside High School Principal's Scholarship, ACE Scholarships, Sunnyside Neighborhood Association Scholarship and Presidential Scholarship Awards. His ACE Scholarships enabled him to simultaneously begin his college work and finish his high school degree. Juan currently attends Pima Community College, focusing on music and pastoral studies.

His biggest dreams are to record a CD and opening first an independent studio, and then a music school for kids. He says, "taking music lessons is sometimes hard for many people. I want to make it easy for other people that can't afford or don't get the opportunity to learn music." He feels that without the chance to learn from good musicians he would have had only a hobby, but now has a gateway to a real professional career. "I just don't want to make noise," says Juan, "I want to make good music that provies an influential message to others."

Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award deadlines are approaching. Do you know an outstanding student from age 8 to 18 who may be eligible for this award? Deadlines: NOV. 1st and JAN. 31st. Contact Jennifer Kitchin, talent coordinator:

Promise to Practice - Try it!

Here's a perfect way to have fun with practice for that upcoming holiday concert or festival and help our kids in the process! All the students in a studio or music school ask friends and family to sponsor their practice (a certain amount per hour) for one week or more and fill out a practice chart to reach a certain goal they have set for themselves.

MusicLink provides a "success" pin for everyone who reaches this goal, a tote bag for students who raise $25 through pledges and a special award of an IPOD Shuffle for any student who collects $200 in pledges. Every teacher who participates in the Promise to Practice event also gets a tote bag with our thanks.

It is a winning combination - solid practice for the students prior to a performance and contributions to help with instruments, materials, and camp scholarships for our kids. Email us for details or download our Promise to Practice packet from the website.

Yamaha Clavinova Festivals are including the Promise to Practice event with their festivals at dealerships across the country. Our thanks to Lori Frazer and Sue Ogilvy for this partnership. These contributions will help build new MusicLink programs in areas served by these festivals. Check with your local Yamaha dealer!

Kevin Lu chosen as a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholar

Kevin Lu, an outstanding 13 year old pianist from Newport News, Virginia, was one of 43 students chosen nationwide as a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholar. The Young Scholar program provides ongoing support and guidance worth thousands of dollars annually for musical and academic needs lasting throughout high school. Students apply in May of seventh grade.

Check www.jackkentcookefoundation for details.

Kevin is a MusicLink student of Theresa Compos Falk of Yorktown, VA, and has won many awards ranging from winning first place at the Old Dominion University Classical Period Piano Competition to winning scholarships from the Williamsburg Music Club for the past four years. For the past three years, Kevin has attended the International Institute for Young Musicians, thanks to scholarships from IIYM itself and from the MusicLink Foundation. When he was 11, he was chosen to play on From the Top, a radio broadcast that plays all over the U.S.

When Kevin is not studying or practicing piano or playing violin in his school orchestra, he likes to play soccer and basketball.

MusicLink provides over $2,750 in Grants

Each year, the MusicLink Foundation awards Grass Roots Grants to organizations to help initiate a new MusicLink program or assist with a new project. The following organizations received grants of $300 in 2006:

  • Westside Music Foundation Inc. (CA)
  • Anchorage Piano Teachers Association (AK)
  • Eastern Heights MusicLink Program (MN)
  • Partnership Academy (MN)
  • Boulder Arts Academy Young Artists Program (CO)

The MusicLink Foundation also provides Teacher Reimbursement Grants to assist individual teachers who have paid for music, events and materials for their MusicLink students who are not reimbursed by local funding. Grants up to $150 went to:

  • Kathy Miller (PA)
  • Valerie Evenson (UT)
  • Coila Robinson (UT)
  • Anna Jeanne Flesner (MN)
  • Cheryl Norman (UT)

The MusicLink Foundation also contributed $500 to the Louisiana MTA for assistance to teachers and students devastated by hurricane Katrina.

New Corporate Sponsors Provide
Instruments to MusicLink Students

We are pleased to announce a new corporate sponsorship by Gibson Guitars and Gibson Education. They have donated $7,000 in electric guitars and amplifiers for use by our inner city group lesson programs (DC and LA). In addition, they have provided two professional-level guitars that will be signed by Verdine White of Earth Wind and Fire and auctioned through the Internet to help raise funds for these programs. Our thanks to Nina Miller of Gibson Foundation for providing this wonderful opportunity for our MusicLink kids.

Eastman Strings and Eastman Winds, a major supplier of string, wind and brass instruments to hundreds of dealers nationwide, has formed a partnership to provide instruments to MusicLink students who show a commitment to lessons. The MusicLink program works diligently to provide assistance to teachers and organizations seeking instruments that are not available through local business partners. We thank Eastman Strings for their generosity.