February, 2013

The idea of "kids helping kids" is taking off across the country in many different ways - all with the goal of bringing music into the lives of our MusicLink students. This issue includes fund-raising events such as benefit recitals, playathons, mall performances, promise to practice events, and even gift wrapping at Barnes and Noble! Everyone had fun and these events helped support the MusicLink Foundation in bringing lessons, instruments and camp experiences to our kids. Interested in joining in the fun? Check out www.musiclinkfoundation.org for ways to get started.

We also celebrate our colleagues to the north, introducing the growing MusicLink presence in Canada, thanks to conscientious coordinators and supporters. MusicLink has now reached over 5,500 students in all 50 states and 3 Canadian provinces. And it all began with the simple idea of linking one teacher with one student - amazing.

MusicLink Donates $2,200 to
Hurricane Sandy Relief in Long Island

Long Island Playathon

The MusicLink Foundation donated $2,200 to help the many homeless families in the Long Island area devastated by hurricane Sandy, thanks to the wonderful performances of over 60 Long Island students representing the studios of 6 teachers. Patricia Cestaro organized the playathon, which was held at Faust Harrison Piano Store in Huntington Station Long Island on December 2, 2012. The funds raised were designated to Habitat for Humanity and the Family Service League of Huntington NY.

"Kids Helping Kids" Events Raise
Over $4,300 for MusicLink

The holiday season was busy for MusicLink teachers and their studios, where hundreds of students performed to raise funds for the MusicLink Foundation. This issue includes pictures of students who raised over $100 in pledges from these events.

CA: Sally Sumner (San Diego) sponsored a Christmas benefit recital at Greene Music recital hall, involving all of the students in her studio, and welcoming others to participate as well. The recital raised $1,022 to benefit MusicLink students.

MD: Mary Ranke Tamplin (Annapolis) enjoyed a rich semester of practice using the Promise to Practice event in her studio over a period of 8 weeks, raising a total of $455.

VA: The Fairfax-Loudon Music Fellowship enjoyed a three-day playathon by 170 students representing 20 different studios of teacher members of the fellowship. They have enjoyed this event annually, and this year's performance raised $2000 for the MusicLink Foundation. Our thanks to Sandy Baker for organizing the event.

Ann Lee (Fairfax) and several of her students raised $100 for MusicLink by wrapping books and gifts at the Barnes and Noble store in mid December.

Ann Lee with students

VT/NH: Judy Vanesse, Northeast Regional MusicLink Coordinator organized the Upper Valley MusicLink Playathon, held at the United Methodist Church of Lebanon NH on February 2nd . Despite illnesses of many students in the area, 10 students representing 3 studios raised $764 for the MusicLink Foundation.

MusicLink Spreads to Canada

We are pleased to see MusicLink sprouting in Canada, thanks to conscientious coordinators and the support of the Music for Young Children program that has spread the word of MusicLink to its early-childhood teachers. Our thanks to Olivia Riddell, President and International Director of MYC for her interest in MusicLink that literally brought all of our new Canadian teachers on board. MYC is also making an annual donation to the MusicLink Foundation to support lessons and opportunities for our students, with our thanks. For more information about the program, click on this link: www.myc.com

MusicLink currently has coordinators in five provinces - Florence Graham (British Columbia), Diane Briscoe (Quebec), Tanya Bostick (New Brunswick ), Kimberly Charron (Nova Scotia) and Glory St. Germain (Manitoba). We feature several of these coordinators in this issue:

Glory St. Germain, our MusicLink Canadian Coordinator, has multiple interests in music. She is the author and facilitator of the Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course for Teachers as well as a private teacher in piano, theory, pedagogy, and Music for Young Children in her studio in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has graciously donated UMT theory workbooks from prior editions to MusicLink students. Contact her personally for more information by clicking on this link: UltimateTheory.com

"I grew up in a home filled with music. My mother played the violin and accordion; my father played the guitar, piano, banjo, violin, and mandolin and also sang with a gospel quartet. I was blessed to have music in my life and the opportunity to learn from professional teachers. Every child should have the opportunity to learn, enjoy and grow to their full potential with the guidance of a professional teacher. Many children do not have this opportunity due to their family's financial situation. I was so pleased to learn about the MusicLink Foundation and the wonderful organization that brings students and teachers together and provides the "MusicLink" so every child has an opportunity to learn. I am very proud to be part of the MusicLink family."

Diane Briscoe grew up in northern Ontario, Canada. For several years she studied piano and accompanied ballet classes at the Conservatoire régional de Lorient in France. Upon returning to Canada she completed an Associate, Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto (ARCT) and a Master of Music at the University of Ottawa, Ontario. Her articles have been published in American Music Teacher and Clavier Companion. She is a faculty member of the Suzuki Piano Association of Ottawa/Gatineau. Diane believes that every child should have access to a musical education, and not be denied because of economics or family circumstances. dianebriscoe@gmail.com

In Memoriam - Emily Meier

It is with deep gratitude that MusicLink honors Emily Meier. Emily Meier was a fiction writer from St. Paul, Minnesota who lost her battle with cancer in January. Emily received her Bachelor's and Master's degree in American History as well as a Master's degree in Creative Writing. She published several books, including the Civil War historical novel "Suite Harmonic: A Civil War Novel of Rediscovery." Other novels include, "Time Stamp," "The Second Magician's Tale," and "Clare Loving." She also published two collections of short stories. Emily won national fiction contests at the Florida Review and Passages North and was a recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship, a Loft-McKnight fiction award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In her later years, Emily created an independent publishing house, Sky Spinner Press. In addition to her fiction writing, Emily had a lifelong love of music. As a result of this passion, Emily personally reached out to Executive Director, Joanne Haroutounian, and requested that all memorial contributions be dedicated to the MusicLink Foundation in order to help MusicLink students. MusicLink celebrates Emily and her love of the arts.

Student Profiles

Wiliana at 7

Wiliana at 12

Wiliana Lundy, whose photo, at age 7, is on MusicLink literature, continues, at age 12, to be a MusicLink student at The Music School at Dutchess Community College. Her teacher is Nettie West. Wiliana will be performing at DCC's annual Sing-A-Thon/Play-A-Thon to benefit MusicLink. She says: "Thank you to MusicLink. Without this opportunity I would never be able to be playing the violin."


Harp Group

Alana Merly (right in the photo above), a MusicLink student of Rebecca Fay Squire, was featured as first harpist with the group, Harpeggios, in the premiere work "Three Sparkles for the Season," composed by Dr. Thomas Duffy of Yale University. The project took two and a half years from conception to premiere, Squire acquired a grant from the American Harp Society to commission the work.

Amber Howard

Tara Brooks (FL) shares a story: Meet Amber Howard, age 17. I began teaching her piano at age 9. By age 12 she was diagnosed with a ganglioglioma brain stem tumor, although all during this period she had a multitude of health problems. As soon as I got the diagnosis from her mom I quit charging her for lessons and put her on MusicLink. To make a long story short, Amber has gone through serious brain surgery and two times on chemo. Her tumor is inoperable but she can live with it as long as it doesn't grow. It has been stable for some time now and Amber is doing great. But the one thing I want everyone to get from this story is that when the doctors were trying to figure out why her fine motor skills were intact when they should not have been, her mom piped up and said, "Amber's been taking piano lessons." Her primary doctor, Dr. Pinkus, said, "OMG! Her brain rewired itself because of piano!" So to everyone reading this, take heart. Your study of music can help you in many ways you never even thought of. I feel so blessed to have worked with Amber. I have learned so much about how the brain works and how music is so beneficial. You have permission from Amber's family to follow her story online at:


Teacher Reimbursement and
Grass Roots Grants Awarded

The MusicLink Foundation awarded a $300 grass roots grant to the Tickled Ivories MusicLink program in Lakewood CO. Teacher reimbursement grants were awarded to the following teachers for student event fees and music: Linda Butler (WA), Karen Stiles (MN), Julie Swienty (WA), Penni Daun Eads (UT), Kimberly Gumucio (UT), Phyllis Twedt (WA), Heather Forbes (WA), Cheri Sykes (MN), Carole Gauthier (MD).

New MusicLink Teachers

We are pleased to add 19 new and returning teachers to the MusicLink roster bringing our current teacher total to 355 teachers and our overall total to 1,958:

AR: Linda Dale Kennedy; CA: Catherine Behrenst; GA: Deborah Brady; IA: Nancy Cree; MI: Annetta Vander Lugt; MN: Cathy Arnfelt, Jean Bostrom, Ann Cader, Bruce Jackson, Matthew Mindeman, Ben Prohaska; NE: Doris Kirke; NH: Mark Cecchini, Joe Mitchell; NJ: Anna Kroik; ND: Kathleen Marsh; OR: Carol Ratzlaf; VT: Margaret Stephens. ON Canada: Caroline Peska.

New MusicLink Business Partners

The MusicLink Foundation welcomes the following new MusicLink business partners: Darrell's Music Hall, Nashua NH; Faust Harrison Pianos, Huntington Station NY; Rockley Music Center, Lakewood CO.

Students Who Raised Over
$100 for MusicLink

Annapolis: LeeAnn Nguyen & Caroline Gilliard

VT/NH: Amala Hickey

VT/NH: Clara Smyrski

VT/NH: Paul Bundy

NY: Maria Constant

Students Who Raised over $250

VT/NH: Reese Armstrong

NY: Olivia Gotib