November, 2007

As we head towards the holidays, we have much to celebrate. We congratulate another MusicLink Young Scholar winner and welcome outstanding musical celebrities to our advisory board. Teachers and students are enjoying our Promise to Practice fund raising events at malls, music stores, and studios across the country. We have set a goal of raising $50,000 for the year to assist with instruments, camp scholarships, and coordinating new programs to bring at least 1000 new students into the program by the end of the school year. We have added a handy Holiday card option for charity gift-giving to that favorite teacher, friend, or family member. We are so pleased to bring music to children across the country especially at this season of the year - Happy Holidays!

Stephanie Duong, our Jack
Kent Cooke Young Scholar

Stephanie Duong with her
piano teacher, Nancy Buck

Stephanie Duong, a 2007 Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholar, is a 12 year old pianist from Riverside California who takes MusicLink piano lessons with Nancy Buck and violin lessons with Laura Balisky. Young Scholars are students with outstanding talent who receive thousands of dollars each year from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation from seventh grade throughout secondary school to provide resources to develop their artistic and academic talents to the fullest. Stephanie's reaction to winning this award:

"When I opened the mail and read the first line, I was screaming. I was so happy. My Dad was laughing at me. The first thing I did was phone my piano teacher to tell her the good news. She was teaching my cousin. They stopped her lesson and came and took my sister and I out for ice cream. Getting the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship makes me thrilled, excited and happy.

My teacher asked me what inspired me to want to play the piano. Going to my cousin's recital when I was 7 years old inspired me to want to learn piano. Also my Aunt Celine encouraged me and gave me lots of her piano books. Some of my cousins play piano, and we all play for our families at family gatherings. My favorite music is happy music. I enjoy recitals, both big and small, and I don't get nervous any more. I like playing for Guild and Certificate of Merit, except for the tests. Mostly I enjoy playing at Convalescent homes and making people happy. When I feel happy, I like to go to the piano for my own enjoyment, especially to play Christmas songs. Some day I'd like to play at Disneyland."

Schmitt Music and Jacobs Music
Feature Promise to Practice Events

Sue Wege, MusicLink Midwest Coordinator
with Barbara Ongna of Schmitt Music

Students receive totebags
for raising $25

Over 35 home schooled students enjoyed playing in a MusicLink Piano Marathon at the Mall of the Americas in Minneapolis, sponsored by Schmitt Music Company. The students loved performing on Steinway pianos and raised $2,200 for MusicLink. Kristofer Bergh, Cameron J. Day, Alec Enke, and Abby Palkert received IPOD shuffles. All students received our special MusicLink success pin for reaching their personal practice goals. The event preceded a special Schmitts MusicLink piano sale.

Autumn Kovach at the Steinway

Jacobs Music launched its first Promise to Practice event linked with its Yamaha Clavinova festivals in Philadelphia and Willow Grove. Fifty students representing the studios of Marjorie Rothmore, Lorraine Campman, Carol Angus, and Betsy Erickson raised almost $2,300 in this special event. Spencer Vogt raised over $560. Our thanks to Karen Hobbs of Jacobs Music for organizing this event.

Spencer Vogt

Music Celebrities Join
MusicLink Advisory Board

The MusicLink Foundation welcomes Marvin Hamlisch, eminent composer and conductor; André Watts, international concert pianist; and Verdine White of Earth Wind and Fire as new members to its advisory board. We are thrilled to be recognized as one of only two charities supported by Earth Wind and Fire, and thank Mr. Watts for agreeing to sign autographs at an artist-photograph signing event in Virginia. In their own words:

"Too often I have heard stories about children who display 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." -- Marvin Hamlisch

"Bringing music into the lives of our children means bringing imagination, enthusiasm, discipline and the joy of creation into their world. Expanding personal vistas for the youth of today makes for a better world of tomorrow. Music transcends fear and hate, and it is the most pleasurable duty imaginable to bring this to our young people." -- André Watts

"The MusicLink Foundation is a perfect forum for young people to learn about music, to learn about performing, and most of all, to learn about themselves. Without the arts, society can't grow and I think the MusicLink Foundation is the perfect way for young people, at the beginning of their training and the beginning of their adult lives to learn about music and the arts and have a lot of fun." -- Verdine White

MusicLink Holiday Charitable Gift Cards

MusicLink now offers attractive cards to acknowledge a charitable contribution in honor of a friend, teacher, or relative. Simply supply the address of the recipient on your check or as a dedication in a credit-card donation through the website. (click on support us). What better way to say thanks to someone who shares your love of music and children!

Suzuki Partners with MusicLink

We are thrilled to be partnering with the Suzuki Association of the Americas to encourage its teacher members to reach out to students in need. The association offers special recognition to SAA teachers who volunteer to teach through MusicLink. They provide the "Tips for Parents" booklets for any new Suzuki student enrolled in the MusicLink program. They also are working with the MusicLink foundation to offer camp scholarships to MusicLink Suzuki students.