February, 2009

"Yes we can!" We have heard this upbeat cry over the past months, noting the conviction shown in the faces of the crowd that truly believe, with a bit of effort from each of us, that we CAN make a difference. The teachers and coordinators of MusicLink have been living this philosophy for the past 16 years. Can a single teacher make a difference in the life of a child through MusicLink? Yes you can. Can our MusicLink students reach long-range goals through their interests and efforts in music? Yes, they can. Can MusicLink parents see their children grow in self-esteem and pride in their musical accomplishments? Yes they can. Can the MusicLink Foundation and their business partners bring opportunities through camp experiences and instruments that can last a lifetime to our students? Yes we can. A simple, positive idea that works - that is what lies behind every MusicLink program.

MusicLink has reached over 3,300 children, with teachers contributing $5.6 million of in-kind instruction to the program. Can we reach even more children in more states, bringing lessons to students in the inner city, rural areas, as well as suburbs across the country? Yes, we can.

Virtuoso Music Holiday Concert

Virtuoso Music sponsored a winter holiday concert at one of Atlanta's major malls highlighting student performances while raising money for the MusicLink Foundation. The student performers raised $455.00 for the MusicLink Foundation while doing something they love! Many thanks to Debra Shilling from Virtuoso Music for coordinating this event.

Hall of Fame Teachers

The following teachers have taught through the MusicLink Program for five years.

Janisse Foresti received her Master of Music Piano Pedagogy/Performance from The University of Utah and a Bachelor of Music Piano Performance University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, California. She is presently a National and State Certified Music Teacher and holds a Professional Teaching Certificate in Piano. She was faculty of the Preparatory Division at the University of Utah from 1991 - 2000. Presently, Janisse serves as State Vice-President of the Utah Music Teachers Association (UMTA) and presides over the MTNA Performance Competition. Janisse has a unique passion for teaching piano. Her students are high achievers in academics, piano, and life. Her philosophy promotes a life long skill and love for music. She believes that students should be challenged to perform at their fullest potential. She has participated in UMTA Musiclink Program for 5 years. Her students are award winning and have performed with orchestras, State Honor's Recitals, winners of UMTA State Concerto Competition and National Guild Auditions.

Cheryl Peterson Norman, NCTM, has been a MusicLink teacher in American Fork, Utah since 2001. She has a M.M. in Piano Performance & Pedagogy from Brigham Young University (1994) and a B.A. in Applied Piano from Pomona College, Claremont, California (1962). She is currently an adjunct instructor of piano at Utah Valley State College and Brigham Young University. Cheryl has been a public school teacher as well as an independent piano, theory, and composition teacher since 1975. Actively involved in professional teacher organizations, Cheryl has served as MTNA President of SPAC, state president of Utah Music Teachers Association, and has traveled and performed extensively. Her latest publication, Certify or Petrify, is scheduled to come out in the American Music Teachers' Aug-Sept, 2007 issue.

Grass Roots & Teacher
Reimbursement Grants

The MusicLink Foundation provides Grass Roots Grants up to $300 to new local programs or for projects of existing MusicLink programs. Applications are available through the website for current MusicLink teachers and coordinators. Next deadline: May 15.

Our Teacher Reimbursement grants provide up to $150 annually for music and materials paid by the teacher and used for Music Link students. Teachers must send receipts. Application is on the website. Next deadlines: March 15th and June 15th.

Grass Roots Recipients:

  • Columbia Music Teachers Association, South Carolina - funds used to supply books and other materials to MusicLink students taught by members of the organization.
  • Walla Walla Music Teachers Association, Washington - funds used to help move a piano to a MusicLink student's home.

Teacher Reimbursement Recipients:

Carol Ferney   Logan, UT
Linda Judiesch   Iowa City, IA
Beatriz Levi   Northfield, IL
Julia Proleiko   St. Louis, MO
Bonnie Wiley   Spartanburg, SC

Thanks for Holiday Donations

At a time when foundation and grant support is challenging, we are so fortunate to have a wide base of contributors who remember the MusicLink Foundation each holiday season.

We set a goal of reaching $30,000 in individual contributions this fiscal year (July 08 - June 09). Our holiday giving brought in almost $20,000, 65 percent of this total. Many thanks to all who contributed.

The foundation relies on this support to network nationally through our coordinating system, bring camp and performance opportunities to students, provide instruments and music as needed, assist new programs through our Grass Roots Grant program, and reimburse individual teachers who pay for materials for their MusicLink students. Because of our strength in grass roots volunteerism, each $100 that is contributed to the foundation equates to $400 in lessons and services to our students. With a bit of help from a lot of people across the country, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of our MusicLink students.

Instrument Thanks from our Kids

We are always pleased when we can send a new instrument to a MusicLink student through our business partner connections, or see local programs making connections with dealers and public donors to place keyboards and pianos into student homes. When we receive photos and notes, we are extra proud of helping out in this way. Emily and Sadie Fillmore, students of Linda Judiesch, seem to love their new violins! Five year old Samuel Kenney wrote to us to personally thank us for his 1/10 size violin!

Samuel Music holds
another successful
Promise to Practice event!

Following the lead of Samuel Music of Peoria, Samuel Music of Springfield, IL, sponsored a Promise to Practice event prior to their Clavinova Festival. Students participating in the event received pledges for their practice time leading up to the festival. These dedicated students raised $1,134.00 for the MusicLink Foundation!

Our thanks to Al Murphy from Samuel Music, who coordinated the event, and to all the students who worked so hard to achieve this goal. Two students received IPOD Shuffles for raising over $200.00 and students who reached their practice goal received MusicLink pins and tote bags. Thanks to the following teachers whose students participated in this worthwhile event; Kathy Sees, Brenda Peck, Sharon Faust Tammie Walker, and Paulette George.

Upcoming Events

MTNA: Look for our MusicLink Foundation Booth at the upcoming Music Teachers National Association conference in Atlanta from March 28 - 31st. We will be unveiling our brand new program profile video as well as a double CD of MusicLink "Shining Stars." Our thanks to the MTNA Foundation for providing funds to produce and distribute these new media packages. We will also be signing up many new teachers and training coordinators through this national conference.

Randolph Choir MusicLink Trip: Choirs from the Randolph School in Huntsville, AL presented a program of classical, jazz, and pop music on Friday, February 13. They sang at noon in the Savannah Mall and at 6:00 PM in the Oglethorpe Mall. An additional concert was held at the Atlanta Underground Mall on Sunday, February 15th at 1:00 PM. These free performances were part of their annual project to raise awareness for music charities throughout the southeast. This year, the choirs are supporting the MusicLink Foundation, in providing musical instruction for students who cannot otherwise afford it. More information is available at www.randolphschool.net.

Mall of America Play-a-thon: On the weekend of March 21st/22nd, music students from around the state will be coming to the Mall of America to participate in a Play-a-thon sponsored by Minnesota Music Teachers Association and Schmitt Music. The students will be performing in the Nordstrom Court raising money to benefit the MusicLink Foundation which strives to bring musical instruction to children in need. Students of all ages and levels will perform throughout the weekend on a variety of instruments, demonstrating their love of music and their generous spirit in helping to bring the gift of music to those children unable to afford lessons. All proceeds will go to benefit Minnesota children and all donations are tax deductible. Schmitt Music will be holding a piano sale concurrently with the Play-a-thon with special pricing for all participants of the Play-a-thon, their families and teachers. A portion of the proceeds of this sale will also benefit MusicLink.

New MusicLink Memorial Funds

Several memorial funds were established over the past few months for family members whose love for music was appreciated by friends and family members. Contributions were made to the MusicLink Foundation in memory of these individuals:

Cesar Bruno Porcino (Chet) [Feb. 20, 1922 - Nov. 28, 2008] Chet died surrounded by his 6 loving children and 8 grandchildren. He was 86. He is pre-deceased by his beloved wife of 57 years, Jane, his eldest son Joseph (a violinist in the Syracuse Symphony), his granddaughter Emily and his five brothers and sisters.

Chet was a string music specialist in the Commack Public Schools (NY) for 36 years. He taught and performed classical, folk and jazz violin until his last days. The publication of "Flying Fiddles" a string class method series, was the culmination of his work and of his deep commitment to sharing his experiences and expertise in string education across our country and internationally. Chet was one with the violin and his music. His joy in making music, his bright, caring personality and his dedication to building a happy and just world left him with many loving students and friends. He loved his life and the people, dancing and music that filled it.

Jeffrey Bart Marcus passed away on December 30th, 2008. He was an avid trumpet player who took great pride in playing his horn and in sharing his passion for classical music. His love of music was most apparent when he taught his family—Barbara, Michael, and Brittany — how to make music on their respective instruments. While the music community suffered a great loss with his passing, his memory will live on each time the trumpet is sounded in a band, orchestra, or brass ensemble.

Welcome to Our New
Business Partners

The MusicLink Foundation is pleased to welcome the following business partners to our list of businesses that provide discounts, donations, and general assistance to the MusicLink programs in their communities, through the internet, and through offers to our volunteer teachers. Find out more about these businesses on our website sponsor page:

  • Audobon Strings, New Haven CT
  • Kapok Press, Fredericksburg, VA
  • John Lee PIano Tuning, Minneapolis MN
  • Legacy Productions, Minneapolis MN
  • Metro Music Studios Inc., Roseville MN
  • Noteable, Minneapolis MN
  • NoteLogic, Red Oak TX
  • PIano Movers Extraordinaire Inc., Braham MN
  • Rice Music House, Columbia SC
  • wholeoctave.com
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