December, 2008

The MusicLink family of teachers, students, and coordinators wish you all a joyous holiday filled with friends, family, and MUSIC! Are you looking for a gift for someone who has everything and may like to bring music to eager students through MusicLink? A donation online with notation that you want a card sent to acknowledge this donation is easy to do - simply click HERE or on the "Donate Now" button on our website's menu. and provide the name and address of your friend for our card.

Think this is a good idea? Click HERE or go to our website's "How You Can Help" page to download a letter explaining this idea to others.

This year is a crucial year for funding because it is the last year of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation grant, which has provided substantial support over these past four years. Our annual donation letter is in the mail asking for your help. If you have already contributed earlier this year, please pass the letter on to a friend, sharing your views of the value of MusicLink in the life of a child. We are so proud of our kids and our teachers - and truly appreciate all those who support our efforts!

Earth, Wind, and Fire
Autographed Guitar on eBay

Autographed guitar
donated by the
Gibson Guitar

Are you looking for that special present for an Earth, Wind, and Fire fan? We currently have an autographed guitar donated by the Gibson Guitar Foundation available on our eBay site in perfect time for holiday giving. The auction also includes 2 tickets with VIP backstage passes to an EWF concert during their 2009 tour. Simply go to eBay and type in "Earth Wind and Fire guitar" or click HERE. Auction ends soon!

Do you have anything that you would like to auction on our eBay site with benefits going to MusicLink? Contact Nancy Carter ( for details.

Why We Do What We Do -
A Minnesota Parent Says Thanks

Gabriel Trejo with his new cello, teacher Suzanne Lane,
and Tim Lane of Metro Music Studios
Our thanks to to Eastman Strings for this donation.

A year and a half ago I was desperately in search of HELP! I had taken in 3 young relatives only to discover that each one had unique social/developmental issues, and together their issues were compounded as they bounced off each other. Trying to manage them was like trying to organize a sit down dinner on Noah's Ark. Someone familiar with the chaos in our home gave me the contact number for MusicLink. The MusicLink Foundation and the volunteer teachers who gave us lessons have worked a miracle in our lives!

Although the children are still a handfull they have developed a level of discipline I never thought I'd see as they compete to show off who can play more of their songs with the fewest errors. Truly music has "..soothed the savage breast." As an added bonus, learning to play an instrument has raised their standing among their classmates at school and given them more confidence in their ability to learn anything else. And recently, when my own son's cello was broken (a loss I sadly could not afford to replace) they came through in the most unexpected and wonderful way for him. Life isn't always fair, but people like this who give of their time and talents to help improve children's experience are a gift. I only hope that someday I will be in a position to contribute toward the continuation of their good works.

Promise to Practice a Success at Samuel Music, Peoria IL

Samuel Music Clavinova Kids

Samuel Music of Peoria enjoyed a lively day of music at their Clavinova Fun Fest in November, with a number of students also helping our kids through a Promise to Practice event prior to the festival. Children had friends and family members sponsor their practice time with pledges that brought in a total of $610 to the MusicLink Foundation. Participating students who reached their practice goal received our MusicLink "success" pins, with tote bags going to students who raised $25 or more. One student, Owen Talbott, raised $200 and received and IPOD shuffle as thanks from the MusicLink Foundation.

Our thanks to Kerry Keck from Samuel Music, who ran the event beautifully, Bronwyn Towle for organizing the event with our business partner, and the following teachers whose students practiced so well to raise these funds: Charmine Eickhurst, Cristina Deiac, Char Fesler, Linda Schepper, and Liz Dusenbery.

A Fitting Remembrance: Edward Truslow Minor

The family of Edward Minor chose the MusicLink Foundationís Washington DC program as a fitting match in memory of their father, whose headstone reads "Oh the joy that music brought." He enjoyed volunteering to teach piano at a neighborhood school in DC and now many children in the DC urban program are enjoying keyboard lessons thanks to their donation through the Edward Truslow Fund, established through the Washington Music Teachers Association.

Funding will also help deliver and service donated pianos to homes of students showing achievement. Daughters Susan Snoots and Ann Minor note "We truly hope that the children will find that their introduction to music is something that captures their hearts and is the beginning of a long relationship with the joy that music can bring."

Portland MTA Celebrates MusicLink CD Release

Front row: Iphy and Danny Bugingo.
Back Row: Mary Hulme (state ML coordinator), Velma Schludermann, Lisa March, Sherry Poole Todd,
Eileen Knox (Northwest ML coordinator)

The Oregon MusicLink teachers and students hosted a reception unveiling the release of their 2009 CD, "Oregon Music Link Student Stars". Sixteen MusicLink students prepared their music and recorded their performances. This music was then compiled to create a beautiful full length CD with 37 different pieces. The students and teachers were given the finished CD at the reception.

The MusicLink Foundation will soon be releasing its second CD spotlighting outstanding performances by MusicLink students from across the country. We also are developing a DVD with student and teacher profiles that exemplify the variety of programs we have and the wonderful students we are reaching through MusicLink. We are quite excited about sharing the accomplishments of our students for all to see and hear. Our thanks to MTNA for funding this DVD development.

Hats off to our Graduating Seniors

The following MusicLink students graduated from High School in June 2008:

Julia Holecek

Julia Holecek (MN): Julia has been a piano student of Sister Virginia Houske for the past seven years. She has participated in many Minnesota MTA programs and has won several piano contests. She was a member of the Lincoln High School Concert Choir and accompanist for the youth choir at St. Bernard's Catholic Church, as well as a performer at nursing homes. She studies voice with Vanessa Martrell. Upon high school graduation, Julia also has completed one year of college at Northland under post-secondary enrollent options. She plans to pursue a degree with a minor in music.

Khand Sukhee and Renee Johnson

Khand Sukhee has been a MusicLink Piano student of Renee Johnson for four years. She has excelled in her piano studies. After a year and a half of lessons, she prepared an all-memorized solo piano recital. She is planning on a second solo recital to finish off her senior year. We have enjoyed duets together, Mongolian music, lots of theory, church hymns, Bach/Baroque festivals, Sonatina festivals, and lots of wonderful music. She has been instrumental in helping her younger brother practice at home and prepare for his piano lessons. She will be graduating in June from Washington-Lee High School and will be going to Brigham Young University-Idaho to study nursing.

Diana Fang and Martha Smith

Diana Fang of Centreville, Virginia has studied with MusicLink teacher Martha Smith for the past nine years. Diana is graduating June 14 from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and will attend the University of Virginia in the fall as an architecture major. Diana has won many honors for her piano playing, including the Student Excellence Award of Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (twice) and the Harry Kirkpatrick Achievement Award from Virginia MusicLink.

Diana enjoys making chamber music with her father, who plays violin, and with many friends at her school. She plans to continue being involved in music throughout her life. Diana's mother, Shirley Chang, has been very supportive of MusicLink all these nine years. At the April 27 MusicLink recital in Fairfax, Virginia, she expressed her appreciation by presenting Joanne Haroutounian with an artistic collage of the MusicLink logo that she had made.

Autumn Kovach

Autumn Kovach has been taking piano lessons from Karen Stiles for about 5 years. She is a home schooled student who had the extra challenge of helping a family member who was ill most of her life. Despite these obstacles, Autumn has pursued the study of piano with great energy and enthusiasm. She has competed in the MMTA Honors Concert twice and has participated in the National Federation of Music Clubs Festival, winning a gold cup in 2008. She has completed Level III of the MMTA theory program and Levels VIII & and IX Piano Exams. She also competed in 4-H Performing Arts and county and state fair talent shows. She attended the Northwestern College (Roseville) Music Camp for two years. In 2007, she represented Minnesota at the Music Link National Convention in Washington, D.C. Autumn's future plans are to attend a private girl's college in Georgia to major in photography and music. The Music Link program has enabled Autumn to prepare for these goals. With the support of Music Link Autumn has been able to develop her talent on the piano.

MusicLink in the News:

Madison WI: The Madison MusicLink program, initiated at the Community Music School by Jo Simons was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal. A quote from the article showing Jo's devotion to the program: "My goal is to have every music teacher in Madison accept one MusicLink student," says Simons, noting that a handful of teachers already do this on their own. "There is nothing more exciting than teaching a kid that's talented. And we can all afford to take at least one MusicLink student."

Jo Simon and student

To read the full article click HERE.

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