MusicLink would not exist without the dedication of our wonderful
teachers who provide hours of instruction each year to MusicLink
students on partial to full scholarship. They choose to be part
of MusicLink to bring music into the lives of deserving students.
We receive "thank you" calls from them for our role in linking them
with these very special students, like the students featured in
this issue. Together, we "create musicians, one student at a time."
The MusicLink Foundation thanks the many donors who gave to our mail
campaign in December. As we head towards our camp scholarship and
grass roots/teacher reimbursement grant season, we hope to raise
funding as well as spread the word about MusicLink through a simple
"charity badge" widget campaign. You can place the charity badge
in this issue in any blog or website of people who share interest
in bringing music lessons to student in need. Donations are a click
away and another click can place this badge on your own personal
blog or home page. A simple way to help bring lessons to hundreds
more kids this year. Try it!
MusicLink Student Wins Scholarship from Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Vanessa Woodard, a 12-year-old MusicLink student of Brandy Pancoast
of Colville, Washington, is our second recipient of this year's
Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholar Award. In her own words:
After weeks gathering and compiling information to complete the
Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholars application, the foundation scheduled
a phone interview. "I was so nervous, I fumbled for answers and
thought for sure I bombed the interview and any chance of being
chosen." Months later, she received a large large, stuffed envelope.
"My mom opened the parcel and read the enclosed letter to me. My
mom started screaming, 'You got the scholarship; you were chosen
as a Young Scholar!' I couldn't believe I had actually
been chosen out of all those applicants," Vanessa immediately
e-mailed her friends and posted it on Facebook. She found herself
wondering "...what opportunities were awaiting me?"
Vanessa has studied piano with Brandy Pancoast for 5 years. "I love
the piano. I play whenever I get the chance; it is so relaxing and
peaceful. There are so many, many, many pieces I am longing to learn.
Brandy Pancoast said, "I am thrilled for Vanessa. She is the type
of student who works extremely hard and you are excited when that
effort is recognized and rewarded. This scholarship will open up
many possibilities for her that would not have been possible without
the extra financial help. This is a wonderful gift for her."
MusicLink Receives Grant from MTNA Foundation
The MTNA Foundation Fund Development Committee awarded the MusicLink
Foundation a grant of $5000 to develop a new Student Showcase CD
and revise its current promotional DVD. The purpose of the grant
is to assist in reaching the next level of major support from donors,
businesses, and foundations.
Earth Wind and Fire Guitar Auctions
We are thrilled to be one of three charities supported by Earth Wind and
Fire. We have auctioned a total of six guitars autographed by the band
on EBay that raised over $8,000 for MusicLink. The guitars were
donated by the Gibson Foundation.
TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: Nancy Buck Giving Back Through MusicLink
Without the luxury of piano lessons, my first public performance
was at the 5th grade talent show where I played "Valse Sentimentale,"
a beautiful Chopin-like waltz by George Dudley Martin, and "The
Old Piano Roll Blues." As a result of this small town public exposure,
my parents somehow had to find money for piano lessons. I learned
fast and excelled quickly, earning a piano scholarship to the University
of Idaho. Once away at college, I turned from my natural talent
and love of piano because I wanted desperately to be financially
successful, not yet fully understanding that the field of music
was much broader than my young mind could fathom. I stayed active
in music throughout my adult life, including teaching part time
for personal enjoyment.
After a full and satisfying career in Corporate Accounting, I decided
to teach piano full time. I quickly had more students than could
fit into a full time schedule. I never forgot my upbringing and
saw myself in my students when finances were an issue, and wanted
to offer relief to families who had had trouble paying throughout the year.
The real test for me came when two very talented sisters, Stephanie
and Emily Duong, underwent more than anyone should have to endure,
with both parents incurably ill, significant financial problems,
and the children needing to rotate through other relatives' homes
for adequate care. Although I sometimes questioned my decision while
I was driving to teach them in their relatives' homes, often commuting
for two hours as they had no transportation, I know my sacrifice
and volunteerism in teaching them over the last 5 ½ years has been
truly worth it. They love learning and love music, and that is a
lifelong gift - for them and for me.
At an annual MTAC convention, I was thrilled to discover MusicLink
Foundation whose mission is to work with professional teachers to
provide lessons to financially disadvantaged children. This resonated
deeply within me. Through MusicLink, I found out about the Jack
Kent Cooke Scholarship and applied for Stephanie, whose family so
desperately needed the help. We learned in November 2007 that Stephanie
won the Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholars Award, This scholarship will
pay for her piano lessons throughout her high school years and provide
individualized mentoring to give her the life and opportunities
Additionally, MusicLink has generously supplied violins for my
students who were intensely interested in studying violin. In order
to help fund these additional lessons for my students, I joined
in as a student too! We have been taking group violin lessons together
with another MusicLink teacher, which has been a tremendous amount
of fun for us all and gives us yet another reason to be thankful
Stephanie continually reminds me that she wants to pay me back for
everything when she grows up. I simply respond: "After you've grown
up and are financially successful, and we know you will be, your
job is to be ready when someone wants to learn piano but cannot
afford it. That's how you can pay me back."
-- Nancy Buck - Corona, California
HALL OF FAME TEACHERS
MusicLink would like to recognize the following teachers who for
five years or more have dedicated their time and talents to instruct
Coila Robinson graduated from Utah State University with a
Bachelor of Music in Choral Music with Secondary Education Option.
Along with vocal and choral studies, she studied piano with Irving
Wasserman. Coila joined Utah Music Teachers Association (UMTA) and
Music Teachers National Association in 1973, and has been active
through the years. She served as President of the Walla Walla, Washington,
MTA chapter for three years and has held several UMTA positions,
including state historian during which she helped compile Through
the Years, a 50 Year History, published in 2006. Coila belongs to
National Federations of Music Clubs and the International Association
for Jazz Education. She was a UMTA annual conference presenter in
2001 on seasonal and ensemble music. Coila is currently a church
choir director. Other interests include various forms of needlework,
quilting, family history, photography and reading. She and her husband
love to travel, and Coila has thus far visited 35 states and territories
of the USA, and two provinces of Canada, taking pictures and compiling
scrapbooks of their travels.
"The reason I enjoy teaching through MusicLink is that it makes
music lessons available to everyone. I have taught four MusicLink
students over the years and have learned a lot from them -- everything
from finding time in a challenging schedule to practice to practicing
on an instrument that had challenges of its own. My students and
their parents have been so appreciative of what they are receiving
and that has kept me motivated.
It's a wonderful program."
MusicLink Applauds the Oregon Music Teachers Association
The Oregon Music Teachers Association celebrated its 10-year affiliation
with MusicLink by recognizing and honoring our Oregon MusicLink
teachers and coordinators at the OMTA Portland District meeting
in May 2007. Each teacher was presented with a certificate for their
dedicated years of service to the program. Coordinators Lisa Marsh
and Mary Hulme have served as coordinators since 1997 -- the beginning
of MusicLink's national program.
New Business Partners
Support from local music dealers helps provide instruments, music,
and discounts for MusicLink teachers and students. We welcome the
following new business partners to MusicLink:
Keys to Imagination (MN), Santa Monica and Culver City Music Centers
(CA), Heirloom Piano Co. (UT), Jacobs Music (PA), Piano Trends (IL),
Adams Music (CA) and the Old Piano Shop (IN).
Paul Fernandez and
Bethany Rubin, LA MusicLink Coordinator Tim and Bobbi Paul, Marie Ann Vos,
Crystal Lake, IL, MusicLink Coordinator
Jack Kent Cooke
Young Scholar Deadline
Do you know of a talented 7TH GRADER in financial need who may
qualify for the Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholar Award? Students do
not have to be enrolled in MusicLink but must meet the JKC