February, 2011

What better way to celebrate this Valentines Day month than sharing stories about the special people who are reaching out to our MusicLink students – through fund raising events, teaching, and support in their communities. We thank all those who contributed to our annual holiday giving campaign. For those who are enjoying this newsletter and would like to show your support, simply click on the DONATE HERE button below. We look forward to a great year of student accomplishments and we hope to send many of our students to camp this summer through our camp scholarship program, as well as assisting local programs and teachers through our Grass Roots grant and Teacher Reimbursement programs.


MusicLink Goal 5000; February
total 4,375: Getting Closer!

The MusicLink Foundation has set a goal of reaching a total 5,000 students by the end of 2012 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the MusicLink program. Our student totals reached 4,375 as of February 15th with 1,000 students currently in the program. We added 285 students to MusicLink in the past 2 months, thanks to the efforts of our coordinators at local, state and regional levels. Thus far, our teachers have contributed 282,000 hours of instruction, equivalent to $6.8 million in scholarship donation.

We welcome and thank the following 28 new MusicLink teachers who joined or returned to the program in the past two months: AZ Anna Gendler, Michele Hill, Dieter Schodde, Mutsuko Tatman, Alexander Tentser; GA Anna Herrington, Kathy Stanley, Nora Martin; IA Lucinda Lear; IL Susan M. Berry; KY Patricia Prues; LA Donna Clavijo, Stephanie Hoffpauir; MN Chris Chelgren, Shawn Foster, Teresa Kelly, Betsy Murray, Michelle Porter, Stephanie Tesch, Heidi Zimmerman; MO Lauren Carlisle; NV Wendy Honaker; NY Chris Losee; TX Jenny Walls; VA Rosanne Conway; VT Kelley Lyon;WA Mary Foster Grant, Irena Kirova.

Dale Howe, owner of Frederick Johnson Pianos,
receives a MusicLink Business
Partner plaque from Judy Vanesse.

We are excited to welcome two new business partners from Vermont who are supporting programs cropping up across the state, thanks to Judy Vanesse, our new Vermont MusicLink coordinator. Frederick Johnson Pianos, Inc. of White River Junction supports their local MusicLink program with discounts on music & materials, instrument donations, assistance in fund-raising events, store space for recitals & lessons, reduced piano delivery charges and in-store discounted & scholarship lessons. Advance Music/Musicraft in Burlington and Waitsfield offers MusicLink students and teachers the following benefits: Discounts on music & materials, assistance with instrument rentals and donations, in-store scholarship lessons, donated store recital space and assistance in fund-raising events.

Reaching Nevada Students
through Piano Marvel

The Duckwater Shoshone Elementary School, a one-room school of eleven students on a Shoshone reservation in Duckwater Nevada, recently started a MusicLink program, thanks to school administrator, Keith Honaker and his wife, Wendy Honaker, who will be teaching through the program. They decided that each student should receive piano instruction so the community could grow their own musicians; however, due to the isolation of the community, there were no teachers available in the area.

Wendy found the Music Link Foundation on the internet, and before long, the school received five keyboards to begin their program, donated by the foundation. We put DSES in contact with Aaron Garner, a new MusicLink business partner, who provided the school with free accounts to receive piano instruction through his Piano Marvel computer- online piano course.

Keith notes: “Students have demonstrated their passion and dedication for music by completing their academic workload in a timely manner so that they can practice everyday. They have convinced Mrs. Honaker to stay afterschool and to even come in on the weekends so that they may practice and learn.”

Wendy notes: “I have one student that stays after school one day a week plus comes in on Saturday with me just to learn “Color My World” by Chicago with several other students learning the flute part to the song with keyboard sounds. Another has a 10% hearing loss and after a single try could play a simple song correctly. This has been the greatest experience for this little Shoshone Elementary School ever.”

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and support MusicLink.

Belmont Concert Series Benefit
Recital Raises $3000 for MusicLink

MusicLink Foundation Executive
Director Joanne Haroutounian with
Paul Dolinsky at Belmont Mansion

The Batzorigt MusicLink family
enjoy the Belmont Mansion concert

The IBIS Chamber Music Society presented a Benefit Recital for the MusicLink Foundation in October at the historic Belmont Mansion in Washington DC. The recital was sponsored by the Admiral Richard C. Byrd Masonic Foundation and Federal Lodge No. 1 FAAM and raised $3,000 for the MusicLink Foundation. The afternoon of beautiful music performed by extraordinary musicians in a magnificent setting was enjoyed by a sold-out crowd. Our thanks to Paul Dolinsky, who initiated and developed this benefit recital as well as Lodge members who worked tirelessly to create a true music-ballroom setting for the recital, complete with champagne. The Masonic Foundation hopes to plan future annual events to raise funds to bring music to the lives of our MusicLink students.

Playathon and Promise To Practice Events for MusicLink

The Fairfax-Loudoun Music Fellowship in northern Virginia sponsored a wonderful Playathon event during the holiday season at the Dulles Mall. The event included performances all day by 127 students of fellowship members and raised $874 for the MusicLink Foundation. The students enjoyed the performance experience and the organization distributed MusicLink brochures to shoppers who enjoyed the concert at the mall. Our thanks to Libby McConnell and all the teachers who worked so hard to bring a successful event to their community.

The MTNA student chapter of Western Illinois University has decided to have a “Promise to Practice Week” annually to help raise funds for our MusicLink kids. These college students, who practice a LOT during a single week, found sponsors within the community ranging from WIU music faculty to other friends who volunteered to sponsor music majors during the week. This is the second year of their Promise to Practice Week, which involved seven students who practiced several hundred hours (in one week!) and raised $250 for the MusicLink Foundation. Many thanks to Abby L. Chien, president of the WIU student chapter, for organizing this event.

This SIMPLE idea would work in any college campus - perhaps as an incentive for those final juries in May! Simply download the Promise to Practice packet from our website or contact joanne@musiclinkfoundation.org for ideas on how to get started.

MusicLink Helps Teachers, Programs, Coordinators

The MusicLink Foundation provided Grass Roots Grants to the following organizations in 2010 to assist with their MusicLink programs: (MN) Minnesota Music Teachers Association, (GA) The Sage School, (NY) Music School at the Dutchess Community College, and (GA) the Grace Piano Academy. Twelve teachers requested funding that totaled $1,000 over the past six months from our Teacher Reimbursement program, which assists with music and event fees paid by teachers for their MusicLink students.

Local and state coordinators received training through our monthly email “how tos” that helped guide them in locating new MusicLink students for volunteer teachers in their area as well as how to acquire instruments for students through local dealers and community donations. We are pleased to see new activity in many states thanks to these helpful guidelines. Our thanks to Sue Wege who developed this training and has helped guide many coordinators through the MusicLink process.

In Memoriam - Diane Delk

If you needed to describe the true spirit of MusicLink, with its mission to nurture the potential of underprivileged students wherever you can find them, Diane Delk's work with MusicLink would be a shining example of what a single person can do to truly make a difference in the lives of children.

Diane stopped by the MusicLink booth at an MTNA convention in 2003 and explained how she developed and implemented a music school for underprivileged students in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico at the Imagina community school. From that day on, our affiliation with this special school and Diane's tireless efforts brought music to many students in a small Mexican village. One of Diane's Music Link students from Mexico received several MusicLink summer camp scholarships and performed in summer if 2005 at the National Music Link Summit in Washington, D.C. We have many fond memories of Diane and offer our sympathy to her family at this time.