February, 2010

A new decade for MusicLink deserves a bit of celebration in honor of the wonderful teachers and coordinators who have provided five to ten years of service to the program. We have a list of over 25 teachers who have reached this milestone of dedication to MusicLink. We will feature a few in each upcoming eLINK. Their stories reflect the rationale for being part of MusicLink– the desire to truly make a difference in the life of a child through music.

We anticipate a year of growth for MusicLink, with grass-roots attention from each local professional music organization to urge colleagues to register or take on a student on partial scholarship. We are trying to reach 1,000 students this year – so if teachers reading this issue are teaching a student on partial scholarship and NOT registered for MusicLink – do it! Also encourage your colleagues to join as well!

Playathons across the country this year will publicize what we do as well as help raise funds so more students can have lessons, music, instruments, and go to camp. Now, more than ever, we want to help students realize the joy of music lessons in their lives. We hope many of you will join us in this celebration of music lessons.

MusicLink Foundation recognized by Great NonProfits Arts Appreciation Campaign GreatNonprofits has teamed up with Guidestar and Intersection for the Arts to launch the 2010 Arts Appreciation Campaign to recognize the top-rated nonprofits that enrich communities through the arts. Non profits who have over 10 positive reviews (4 or 5 stars) by February 28th will be featured as Top-Rated Arts Nonprofits on both philanthropic sites. We encourage you to show your appreciation of what MusicLink does with a quick and easy review using the link below – with our thanks!


GoodSearch.com – Easy way to help MusicLink

If you put a post-it note next to the computer noting goodsearch. com, you will remember to click on this search engine for any search or purchase online. Result? With each search or purchase, the MusicLink Foundation receives a portion of each purchase (from 3% up to 30%). Simply be sure to put MusicLink Foundation in the charity box – it’s that easy! THANKS!

Western Illinois University MTNA
Practices for MusicLink

WIU MTNA: Darcie Flemming, Andrew Geyssens, Chelsea Maroney, Dr. Tammy Walker (advisor), Kate McGowan, Abby Chien, Anna Smith, Robby Krajewski, Emily Fishburn, Nicole Peter. The student MTNA chapter of WIU decided to sponsor their own version

of Promise to Practice, seeking sponsors in the community and WIU

music faculty to support music majors during a Promise to Practice Week. Each sponsor agreed to donate a certain amount of dollars per hour practiced. With 11 college students participating, the students practiced over 100 hours, raising a total of $459.

Secretary Abby L. Chien explains, “So often, practicing only feels like something we do for ourselves. With this, we were able to make our practice hours benefit others which was a wonderful thing.” The chapter plans to make this an annual event.

National MusicLink Playathon – May 1st – 2nd

We encourage local music organizations, music schools, college MTNA chapters, and any group interested in having fun playing music at a mall and raising money for our MusicLink kids to join our efforts in holding multiple MusicLInk Playathons across the country the first weekend in May, 2010. These performance events can reward students who have enjoyed a Promise to Practice event or simply gather people who are celebrating the joy of music lessons. For details, click on the Playathon kit on our website homepage or contact Sue Wege, swege71@comcast.net.

Promise to Practice performance event
at the Village mall in Orange CA

Welcome to New Business Partners

Each new MusicLink teacher receives a Business Partner discount list that offers specific discounts or free “thank you” items from publishers of music, software, website subscriptions, CDs, DVDs, and other educational materials. The list also contains a list of music dealers who offer discounts to MusicLink teachers and students in their local communities. MusicLink has over 130 sponsors and business partners on our website. We welcome the following new business partners:

  • Alexandria Music Store: Alexandria MN – discounts for inst. and materials
  • Animusic offers free Animusic2 DVDs and teaching tips to MusicLink teachers.
  • Downtown Piano Works: Frederick MD – discounts on lessons, materials
  • Le Grande Stereo & Music: Le Grande OR – discounts for MusicLink teachers
  • Music Teacher’s Helper: Free studio website for MusicLink teachers
  • Music Together – Discounts on teacher training
  • Ponier Music: Marietta GA – discounts and donation of instruments
  • Prime Recordings: UT – 50% discount for MusicLink teachers
  • Rieman Music: Urbandale IA – discounts for MusicLink teachers

Senior Spotlight: Fernando Gil Lamadrid and Nancy O’Brien AZ

“Creating musicians – one student at a time.” MusicLink’s slogan certainly characterizes Fernando Gil Lamadrid’s story. I recently caught up with Fernando during a break at our community’s annual piano ensemble rehearsal – the eighth consecutive year he has participated. My first question: how have music lessons affected your life? A huge grin breaks across his face and he answers, “Oh it’s helped me a lot. . . I really love music, I play like four or five different instruments--the viola, violin, string bass, bass—oh and the piano of course.”

And the piano happens to be where it all started. When Fernando was ten years old, a family friend generously provided him with piano lessons with Nancy O’Brien, a highly regarded and sought after teacher in Tucson, Arizona. When this family friend moved across the country a year later, Nancy recalls: “He asked me if I would consider teaching Fernando without compensation—out of the goodness of my heart. So I did, and then MusicLink came along, and I still kept giving him lessons.”

Now, nine years later, Fernando graduated from high school in 2009 and plans to attend college with the goal to become a doctor. Fernando hasn’t always had the perfect circumstances in which to practice. As part of a single-parent household, he has worked on and off to help support his family; with his 66-key keyboard at home, playing Bach, Beethoven, and Piazolla hasn’t worked so well. But these challenges have never discouraged Nancy from giving him thorough training in technique, theory, and composition—nor have they stopped Fernando from finding a solution to his keyboard problem: he now practices at school during study hall, explaining to his teacher, “Ms. O’Brien, I can do homework at home. I practice at school.”

Indeed, Nancy O’Brien, a National Guild of Piano Teachers Adjudicator for the past twenty years and former faculty of the University of Arizona School of Music, has continued to make a difference with her music. And judging from his confidence and instant charm, Fernando will benefit from MusicLink for the rest of his life!

- Mika Inouye, Arizona MusicLink Coordinator

MusicLink Teachers of Distinction – 10 Years of Service

Sherry Penkert Frush NCTM, TX, has been an independent music teacher in Abilene, Texas for over 40 years and currently maintains a studio with over 120 students. Frush is a Past President of Texas Music Teachers Association and TMTA 2005 Teacher of the Year. She has been a member of Music Teachers National Association since 1970, national certified since 1975 and awarded professional Lifetime Certification in 1995. She has held a state position in TMTA for over 30 years, is currently a TMTEF Trustee and writes all of the state theory tests. A frequent adjudicator, clinician, and accompanist, Mrs. Frush is a member of the National Guild Hall of Fame, National Music Link Hall of Fame, is a state and local officer of Federated Music Clubs, an officer of Abilene MTA, and was named Abilene MTA Teacher of the Year in 1988 and 2004. Frush Music students have won local, district, state, and national competitions in performance and composition; many former students are music educators. Frush strives to give her students a life-long love and enjoyment of music rather than a few years of tedious work with no long-term enrichment or gratification. Motto: Live with passion, joy and style.

Sue Krebsbach, MN: I have been teaching MusicLink students for many years. Our State MusicLink Chair, Sue Wege, has been instrumental in making me aware of this wonderful program. I co-own a music studio in Woodbury, MN, K&S Conservatory of Music. Several of my instrumental and piano teachers have also offered MusicLink lessons to needy students. I like the accountability that MusicLink offers because the parents have to verify that they are in need of financial help through the forms that they fill out.

My students have performed in the MusicLink Playathon at the Mall of America last year to help raise money through pledges and are looking forward to doing so again this May. It has been exciting to see Minnesota Music Teachers Association and MusicLink work together on projects, including the Playathon and offering reduced registration and materials fees to MusicLink teachers and students. Thanks to MusicLink for the wonderful important job you are doing for music students across America.

MusicLink Coordinators &Teachers of Distinction – 10 Years of Service

Eileen Knox, OR: Eileen Knox lives in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon where she is surrounded by a community of music educators actively supporting students in need through MusicLink. As a child, Eileen wanted to play the piano, but her family could not afford it. So, her musical education began at the age of 30. Her first lessons were with Velma Schludermann, a gifted piano teacher and founding member of Oregon’s MusicLink State Board. Eileen went on to receive her B.A in Music Education, and after 25 years of professional teaching, her Permanent Professional Certification from MTNA. She understands, on all levels, the value of MusicLink and the profound effect it has on the children, their families and our shared future. She is currently serving as a MusicLink teacher, Oregon MusicLink board member and Northwest & Southwest regional coordinator. She finds a great deal of joy in working and playing with teachers committed to the mentorship and development of our young. Given a perfect world, everyone would be as generous of heart and as gracious in nature as our MusicLink community.

Sue Wege NCTM, MN: I have been involved with the MusicLink Program for 11 years now as teacher, state and regional coordinator. I am currently the Minnesota State MusicLink Coordinator and the Midwest & South Central Regional Coordinator. Over the years it has been my great joy to teach 6 MusicLink students. My coordinating efforts have covered many states and I've made many new friends this way. I'm always impressed with how amazingly generous music teachers are in opening their hearts and their studios to children you would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn music. Though I've coordinated many after-school and Community School projects, my heart continues to lie with the one-on-one link between one teacher and one student. It's been my joy to facilitate these links and I'm grateful to the MusicLink Foundation for giving me this opportunity.

MusicLink Hall of Fame Teachers & Coordinators – 5 Years of Service

Mika Inouye, AZ: was introduced to the MusicLink Foundation in 2004 while looking for a scholarship program for some of her students in Arlington, Virginia. Throughout the next two years she taught nine students through the MusicLink program and volunteered as the Arlington local coordinator. She moved to Arizona in 2006, where she was Southwest regional coordinator until 2008. She is currently the Arizona state coordinator and has two MusicLink students. A nationally certified teacher of music, Mika holds her BM and MM degrees in piano performance from Brigham Young University and the University of Montana, where she was an adjunct instructor. Mika is a certified Orff-Schulwerk teacher and teaches elementary music at a Waldorf-inspired charter school in Tucson. She maintains an independent piano studio and is the director of the Inouye Institute for the Arts, a not-for-profit organization that partners with communities to bring a creative arts experience to children and families. Mika lives with her husband, Mark Lambert, and their three children ages two, four, and six.

Patti Nyien NCTM, IL: Patti teaches two MusicLink students in Westmont, IL. She enjoys the many aspects of teaching piano and the satisfaction of successful teaching when students begin to find joy in a lifetime pursuit of music. Her studio has about 45 students this year.

A graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, TN Magna Cum Laude, Patti is a life time member of the American Choral Directors Association and is currently conducting a small choral group, "Forever Praise", that sings concerts in a rented historic site in Hinsdale, IL as well as various retirement centers. Pattti is a Bengal cat breeder and will often have kittens underfoot much to her students enjoyment. Crocheting, swimming and snow skiing are definite priorities for health and relaxation. Patti participated as a swimmer in team Primo Donas in the Trek Triathlon July 2009 achieving 2nd place in the family team division.


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