May, 2012

Well, we did it! We reached student number 5000 fittingly at the MusicLink booth at the MTNA convention in New York City in March. Linda Dorsey of Atlanta, GA signed up her new student with lots of celebration by us all! She described the scene, when the young boy came to the door with his mother and grandmother who both spoke very little English. He was quite shy and she asked him what he was "good at." He said, "Soccer." "Anything else?" With a shrug, "Well, music, I guess." He came with no music in hand but said he liked Beethoven and Chopin. He then proceeded to play a Chopin Waltz very well - self taught. With a smile and a nod to mom and grandma, link number 5,000 was in place.

Signing up student #5000

Joanne Haroutounian and Linda Dorsey

This issue celebrates the wonderful teachers who have taught through MusicLink for five years in our Hall of Fame, and for ten years as Teachers of Distinction. We also honor several MusicLink teachers in memoriam, remembering their sincere devotion to teaching our kids.

Playathons abound this Spring – in Minnesota, New Hampshire/Vermont, and Virginia! Teachers and students enjoyed performing at malls for the public while raising funds through pledges to help our MusicLink kids. Playathons are a win-win situation, with kids helping kids and sharing the love of music through public performance. Why not join us for a summer playathon project? Details are on our website homepage:

The summer brings opportunities for MusicLink students to go to camp through our scholarship program, with a donation of $250 sending a student to camp. Now is the perfect time to donate any amount to MusicLink – with a click of the button below, or sending a check to MusicLink Foundation, 1043 N. McKinley Rd., Arlington VA 22205. Many thanks!


MusicLink Teachers & Coordinators:
5 and 10 Years of Service

The commitment of our teachers and coordinators has allowed MusicLink to successfully mark its twentieth anniversary this year. MusicLink currently has four teachers or coordinators who have devoted 10 years to the program this year and 13 who have reached their five-year anniversary. Their stories illuminate why they have continued to be a part of the MusicLink Foundation and why it has been successful for twenty years.

Hall of Fame – Five Years of Service

Not pictured: CA: Laura Chang, Mehry Cohenzad; MN: Heidi Hansen, Michelle Porter; ND: Carole Flatau, Cheryl Rostad; NY: Heeja Questad; OR: Virginia Hawley, TX: Pablo Aguilar; WA: Diane Worthey.

MN: Linda Smith (teacher/coordinator):

I have been a Suzuki piano and guitar teacher for the past fourteen years and a MusicLink teacher for the past five. I am a member of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association and am active in my local MMTA group. I am also an accompanist at my church. I teach students from three years on up and I have taught over eleven MusicLink students. It gives me great pleasure to be a MusicLink teacher.

Linda Smith

OR: Pauline Eidemiller, NCTM:

Pauline Eidemiller

I have been an active member of Portland Oregon District for forty years and Tualatin Valley for three years. During that time, I have served as Portland District Secretary, Syllabus Chairman and President. I have served the state in a way that touches almost every OMTA teacher. I was on the Committee of Four in 1985 that put together the current format and requirements for the OMTA Piano Syllabus.

I have also served on the state level as Chair of Scholarships and Awards, Convention, Education, Budget, Syllabus, and the Russian/OMTA Exchange. I co-chaired the first Adjudicator Conference and was State President in 1996-98. I have been a piano adjudicator for more than twenty years. I have been a MusicLink teacher since 2006 and have taught several outstanding students.

MN: Ruth Borash (teacher/coordinator):

MusicLink has always given me joy and much fulfillment. I love teaching others to play and enjoy music, to sing, dance and let the music lift their spirits. I am not one who enjoys solo performances, but I do love to play and lead sing-a-longs at the local healthcare facility. My students also perform at these homes several times a year. To see the smiles on the resident’s and the student’s faces makes it all worthwhile. In the past ten years that I have given free or discounted lessons to students my income has remained constant.

Ruth Borash

I believe that when we give, it comes back to us double and overflowing in one way or another. It is wonderful to see students thrive who would otherwise be unable to learn an instrument because of financial difficulties. In these economic times, I am so proud of the parents who make music a priority when they have to cut their budget in other areas. I am so proud to be a part of the MusicLink Foundation to bring music to anyone who has a desire to learn.

Teachers and Coordinators of Distinction
– Ten Years of Service

Not pictured: AZ: Homero Ceron, Nancy O’Brien; NJ: Tammy Holloway.

WA: Brandy Pancoast, NCTM: I am a licensed Musikgarten teacher and teach about eighty students per week, many of whom are MusicLink students. I love teaching my students and am so glad to be able to help some talented kids receive lessons that otherwise could not afford them. I am the mother of three children and about to add two more! There is no doubt that I love kids. I am also passionate about music and the motto of my school is "Music for a Lifetime" for every one of my students.

Brandy Pancoast

MusicLink at the MTNA Convention – NYC

Sue Wege, Joanne Haroutounian, and
Peggy Newhall at MusicLink's MTNA Booth

The MusicLink booth was a magnet for activity at the MTNA convention, with new states added to our list and reaching our 5000th student. The celebration continued with a featured performance by a MusicLink alumni, Hanbo Liu, currently a college student at Juilliard. Hanbo performed beautifully at the Kawaii booth, seen below, as well as performances at Yamaha and Steinway booths. We are quite proud of this young man, who exemplifies the success of MusicLink "creating musicians, one student at a time."

Hanbo Liu performs at MTNA

In Memoriam

Marian Weaver (center) with Greg Billings of the
Steinway Piano Gallery who donated the piano,
and Hobnir Laventure, MusicLink student.

Marian "Bergie" G. Weaver studied with Dr. Karl Haas, providing her with a piano teacher lineage that contributed to her love of Chopin as a concert pianist and teacher. Marian devoted her life to giving the gift of music to her three children and untold numbers of her piano students. In her last years, Marian donated her time teaching underprivileged children through the MusicLink Foundation. Providing the joy of music to others was her greatest gift and will remain as her greatest legacy. Memorial funds in her name provided funding for the MusicLink camp scholarship program.

Mary Ellen Bock began teaching through MusicLink in 2004. She earned a Masters degree in Business Administration from James Madison University and returned to earn a Masters degree in Music Education through George Mason University, studying with Joanne Haroutounian. Mary Ellen devoted her life to her students, always seeking ways to bring creative experiences to their studies, including mentoring them to become piano teachers themselves. Funds were donated to the MusicLink camp scholarship fund in her name.

Mary Ellen Bock

MusicLink Playathons Raise a Total of $15,000

We are seeing a growth in MusicLink Playathons as music teachers and communities realize the value of sharing music with the public. Students enjoy performing in malls while raising funds through pledges from friends and family for the MusicLink Foundation. We applaud our Minnesota MusicLink teachers and coordinators for spurring on this idea to other states.

All playathon performers receive our MusicLink "success" pin. Those raising $25 or more receive a tote bag, with those raising $100 or more having their photo featured in our LINK newsletter. Students raising $250 or more receive an iPod Shuffle. Those interested in bringing a MusicLink playathon to their community can check our website homepage for details:

The following states enjoyed playathons that promoted the idea "kids helping kids" through music:

MN: On the weekend of February 11th/12th, 234 students performed at the Mall of America raising over $10,813 for the work of the MusicLink Foundation. This was the largest Minnesota Playathon to date including 14 students from Wisconsin who joined in the fun. 48 teachers were represented and participants performed on piano, guitar, violin, flute, saxophone and voice. Natalie Davis, the reigning Miss Minnesota, emceed and performed two vocal selections on Saturday and Minnesota composer & clinician Melody Bober also performed along with 5 of her students.

This event was sponsored by Minnesota Music Teachers Association and Schmitt Music, who provided a beautiful Boston grand piano for our performers. 35 students raised $100 or more and 7 students raised over $250. The studio of Dr. Marianne Bryan raised $1,469 giving them the top spot for money raised by a single studio.

NH/VT: The Upper Valley MusicLink Playathon 2012 raised a total of $1,726, with six teachers presenting 21 of their students at the Powerhouse Mall in West Lebanon on May 6th. Four of the teachers were MusicLink teachers- Susan Downing (Lebanon NH), Carleen Graff (Plymouth NH), Kelley Lyon (Pittsford VT) and Judy Vanesse (Wilder VT). Omega Haehnel, a MusicLink student of Susan Downing, raised $250 and three other students raised $100: Ian Soderberg, student of Carleen Graff, Hailey Fahey, student of Judy Vanesse, and Monica Theriault, student of Susan Downing. Everyone who participated is eagerly awaiting our next event!"

VA: The Virginia MusicLink Playathon raised $2,461 for the MusicLink Foundation through ongoing performances at the Tyson Corner Center in Vienna, with a Steinway grand piano provided by the Steinway Gallery. The playathon included 71 student performers from the studios of 19 teachers who are members of Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association and the Springfield Music Club. The playathon featured performances on piano, violin, cello, flute, and even Chinese harp, ending the day with an ensemble orchestra from the studio of Esther Kwon. Six students raised over $100 for the playathon. Special thanks to Lai Lan Ko, whose studio boasted a total of 29 performances by her students, raising a total of $730.

Playathon Students Raising $250
for the MusicLnk Foundation

Omega Haehnel NH

William Stutzman MN

Sophia Zook-Stanley MN

Gita, Soumya & Ajay Raman MN

Julia & Jennifer Meles MN

Mallory Evans MN

Playathon Students Raising $100
for the MusicLink Foundation

-- NH/VT Playathon --

Ian Soderberg

Monica Theriault

Hailey Fahey

-- VA Playathon --

Rohan & Ishan Parikh
(with Joanne Haroutounian)

Sabrina Martin
(with Joanne Haroutounian)

Kaitlyn PHam and teacher Mimi Kim
(with Joanne Haroutounian)

Katherine and
Madison Nguyen
(with Joanne Haroutounian)

Hera Leung
(with Joanne Haroutounian)

-- MN Playathon --

Abigail, Allison & Audrey Faust

Allison Lundborg

Alyssa Priebe

Madilyn Ross

Michelle Bergh

Seoyon Sussanna Lim
with teacher Barbara Rogers

Soren Danelius

Ethan Hyman

Geri Hamrock

Amber Olson

Jenna Nielson

Lorenzo A. Cerda

Alanna Moe

Alex & Adrienne Weaver

Carley Mumm

Collin Jinks

Jacob Basil

Monica Rampetsreiter

-- MN Playathon (cont'd) --

Emma Archbold

Brooke Norman and teacher Melody Bober

Lewis, Lily, Lauren & Luke Holmberg

Lucas Stevenson

Madeline Budde

Jack Archbold

Paul & Grace Keller


-- Other Playathon Photos --



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