THE COUNTDOWN TO 5000! We are planning to open that bottle of champagne as we reach 5000 students hopefully by the MTNA national convention in New York City at the end of March. We are working very hard to also reach our 20th anniversary goal of having MusicLink programs in all 50 states (and four Canadian provinces), with emails and flyers sent to music teachers in Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, and West Virginia to complete our national MusicLink map.
Our thanks to everyone who provides ongoing support for MusicLink. We are enjoying more and more playathons, with “kids helping kids” while sharing music with others by performing in public venues or benefit recitals. We are heading towards the summer scholarship season, so online or mailed donations will help us bring more summer music fun to MusicLink students with a click on the button below or mailing to MusicLink Foundation, 1043 N. McKinley Rd., Arlington VA 22205. We are so proud of our kids, our teachers, and our coordinators who share our mission to bring music into the lives of promising students in need. Many thanks!
Grace Piano Academy Recital
Grass Roots Grants Make a Difference
– Nora Martin & Kathy Stanley
One year after receiving a $300 grass roots grant from MusicLink Foundation, Nora Martin and Kathy Stanley of Lawrenceville, Georgia, are still bouncing with enthusiasm. They teach group and private piano lessons at half tuition or less to 24 students who could not afford lessons otherwise. The creativity and resourcefulness in acquiring keyboards, pianos, music and a curriculum has been rewarding and is ongoing. The “Grace Piano Academy” was established, operating out of a church. Natalie Hardy joined them in teaching a summer piano camp for 12 students, a composer (J.S. Bach) camp for 20 students as well as a spring and Christmas recital.
The spring recital featured up to five ensembles while the beautiful Christmas recital was played on one piano and included solos and duets. By the Christmas recital, the students demonstrated improved confidence. The young, mostly Hispanic, children were dressed up in their Sunday best demonstrating their respect for the musical occasion. The parents and relatives filled the small church with excitement, photo snapping and obvious pride in the children's success.
The unmistakable value the families place on receiving piano lessons was demonstrated by two children who happily explained to Kathy that the lessons, which began in January, were their only Christmas presents this year. How fortunate that later, through a special donation, an acoustic piano was given to them.
Every week, Nora and Kathy take home the joy of knowing they are teaching more than a musical skill. They are teaching the sweet taste of success that follows hard work and they believe that these positive experiences in early life will have a powerful effect on the children as they become teenagers and adults. For these reasons, they begin 2012 in full force with assurance that their work will expand, bring in more students, more donations and result in a more musically enhanced community.
New MusicLink Teachers
The following teachers were added to our roster in the past three months, bringing our active total to 353 and our overall total to 1860:
CA: Sharon Halverson;
IL: Ching-yun Huang;
MN: Elizabeth Ericksen, Sr. Gretchen Johnston, Danielle Hance, Carolyn Spargo, Elizabeth Stavrou (returning), Katherine Warner;
MT: Brenna Hyvonen;
NM: Mary-Lynn Brown, Rick Lohmann;
NV: Margie Nuttall;
NY: W. John Knight, Darron Logan McNutt;
RI: Gerri Lajoie;
OR: Farah Heath;
TX: Christine Duncan;
VT: Vera Kushner, Judy Vanesse;
WA: Kari Hasbrouck, Anna Rapagnani, Phyllis Twedt;
WI: Ezelda Hasapopoulos;
WY: Ruth Henderson.
New Business Partners
Thanks to conscientious efforts by Judy Vanesse, whose story follows, the MusicLink Foundation welcomes the following new business partners, who supply discounts to MusicLink teachers and students, assist with instrument donations, repairs, and moving, and serve as a community resource for our programs:
NH: Jerry Thompson, Guitar Center, Nashua; Andy Verdi, Earcraft Music, Dover; Allegro Piano Movers, Nashua;
ME: Jill Starbird Clarke, Starbird Music Shoppe, Portland; John Johnstone Stringed Instrument Repair, Portland; Nick Noiseux, Mid-Town Music, Biddeford;
NJ: Paul Simone, Vienna Piano Co., Hackettstown;
RI: Beekman Violins, Peace Dale;
VT: Brian Hobbs, Be Music, Rutland; Eric Brinkerhoff, Melody Hill Farm, Danville; Ruth Richards Piano Service, Cabot; David Gaillard Piano Tuning, Hardwick; Lowell Trecartin, Green Mountain Piano Movers, Barre; David Ellis, Ellis Music, Bethel; Emily Hilbert, Hilbert Pianos, Ltd., Bristol; Lucy Allen Piano Service, Rutland.
Emily Hilbert (Hilbert Pianos)
Brian Hobbs (Be Music)
Jill Starbird Clarke (Starbird Music Shoppe)
Lowell Trecartin (Green Mountain Piano Movers)
Coordinator Spotlight: Judy Vanesse Northeast MusicLink Coordinator
Judy and Paul Vanesse
The surge of new business partners, teachers and students in the Northeast region this year is largely through the conscientious efforts of Judy Vanesse, who joined MusicLink this past year. She enjoys traveling with her husband, who is also actively interested in MusicLink's efforts to bring music to eager students. In Judy's own words:
"I have found through MusicLink MY 'missing link.' With Paul, and his great love of children and seeing them progress and his faithful help in taking me to teachers and students no matter what state, I have the very best of two worlds! Paul loves MusicLink as much as I do, and he proves that every day! Together, we hope to be involved in MusicLink for a very long time! Thank you Joanne for introducing us to such an exciting and worthwhile adventure!"
Portland MusicLink –
A History of Commitment and Support
Portland MusicLink Coordinators: Laura Jauregui Wynter,
Velma Schludermann, Susan Franzen, Mary Hulme
(Committee Chair), Lisa Marsh (not pictured: Eileen Knox).
In the spring of 1997, The Oregon Music Teachers Association began its long history with MusicLink .Portland District was the first local organization to seek out deserving students for lessons and support efforts on the local level. Enthusiasm for the program spread rapidly throughout Oregon and currently there are MusicLink teachers and students in almost every district in the State. They regularly present MusicLink recitals.
Portland District even developed a CD featuring performances by MusicLink students. MusicLink has local and state support from Sherman and Clay's Pianos in Portland, Portland Music Store and Weatherly's Music in Salem to assist with instruments, music purchase and performance space. Portland District recently gifted the Oregon MusicLink program with $10,000. The Board decided to purchase a dividend returning and use as scholarships for High School students for continuing education.
MTNA Convention in the Big Apple
We will again have a MusicLink booth at the MTNA convention held at the New York Hilton in New York City from March 24 – 27. We look forward to a 20th anniversary celebration breakfast with MusicLink teachers as well as signing up lots of new teachers and students.
Benefit Recital and
Music Sales for MusicLink
We are so grateful to the Fairfax-Loudoun Music Fellowship in Virginia who held a benefit recital by their students and raised $1,000 to help our MusicLink kids.
This is the second year this organization held a benefit for MusicLink.
Martha Smith and Jeri Bennett at Music Sale
Northern Virginia also held a mammoth music sale at the home of Martha Smith, a member of the MusicLink Foundation board. Several rooms full of music were donated from three piano studios – Constance Chesley, husband of the late Betsy Perkins, and the children of Jean Arthurs, whose story is told below. We raised over $700 for MusicLink through this sale.
In Memoriam: Jean Arthurs
Jean Arthurs of Arlington, VA was involved with piano and music for over 85 years. Thoughout her life, Jean taught piano lessons at Campbell's, Jordan Kitts, the Falls Church Contemporary Keyboard Studios and always lessons at home. Her students, teaching music, helping others and gardening were the passions in her life.
The family connected with MusicLink Foundation after Alice Jeanne Arthurs passed away April 6, 2011 at the age of 90 at her home in Arlington, VA. It was very important to the family that her collection of piano & organ music ended up in the right hands. She was born in Grangeville, Idaho and she grew up in Spokane, WA. Her mother was a concert pianist and Jean inherited her talent, then went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of Washington. She married Marvin Michael Arthurs, Navy Commander & Aviator, together they had four children and they moved to several stations around the world. During WWll she played the piano in many USO clubs. In 1975 she established "The National Association of Military Widows" and worked endlessly and successfully to finally have the "Forgotten Widows Bill" passed in 1997.
We are grateful that Jean's legacy will continue on through her music - donated to the wonderful teachers and students of MusicLink Foundation.
In Memoriam: Sister Virginia Houske
It is with great fondness that the MusicLink Foundation remembers Sister Virginia Houske who died on January 3, 2012 in Crookston, MN at the age of 79.
Sister Virginia's love of music and teaching was evident throughout her life and she made it her mission to help children nurture their musical talents.
She received her bachelor's degree in music from the University of North Dakota where she was inducted into the music honor society of Pi Lambda Theta.
She was also named to Who's Who of American Women. Sister Virginia went on to teach elementary school.
However, she dedicated herself to teaching piano and organ, in particular to those less fortunate.
She fulfilled this through her many years as a MusicLink teacher.
Sister Virginia became a MusicLink teacher in 1992 and over the years has taught over 56 students.
She was recently honored as a MusicLink Teacher of Distinction for her many years of teaching.
When speaking with Virginia, it was always evident how much she loved her students and how proud she was of their accomplishments.