August, 2013


At the close of each school year, those working in the MusicLink Foundation reflect on what MusicLink has accomplished during the past year. Our dedicated coordinators have helped us reach over 5,500 students in all 50 states and several Canadian provinces. Our ongoing research confirms student success and the importance of the teacher-student long-term relationship at the heart of MusicLink lessons. Lots of students and teachers joined in the fun with Playathons across the country - expanding in number year by year.

We love to see our MusicLink students grow through summer music-making in our camp scholarship program. We also appreciate that extra step teachers take to help their students through our teacher reimbursement program. Our MusicLink business partners at the national, state, and local levels continue to provide music, instruments, and discounts for teachers and students. We are proud that we can bring these ongoing opportunities to our students and teachers.

Our goal this year is to secure these opportunities and this support for many years to come - sustaining the strength of MusicLink as we "create musicians, one student at a time.

MusicLink Legacy Partners

The MusicLink Foundation is in the enviable position of being able to sustain the costs of the program with a remarkably small budget for a national organization. Our teachers donate in-kind instruction equivalent to $700,000 annually - quite incredible. And that does not include the in-kind instruments and music provided to students, which is estimated at $30,000 - $50,000 annually. Due to the grass-roots organizational structure of the MusicLink Foundation, we can sustain the basic ongoing operational costs of MusicLink at around $70,000 annually. - again, incredible for a national organization. That equates to leverage of 10% operational costs to services provided to students and teachers.

Our goal in 2013-2014 is to establish a way to secure these ongoing operational costs as well as expand our scholarship and grant programs to students and teachers. To achieve this goal, we are establishing MusicLink Legacy Partners - a group of prominent donors who share our mission and will pledge to support the foundation with an annual donation of from $5,000 to $10,000 or more for the next three years to secure a financial base for the organization. As the program grows over the next three years, we will renew these pledges from our MusicLink Legacy Partners. In return, these partners will be recognized with logos and signage at MusicLink events and be featured in our publicity and communications.

If you know of an individual, business, organization, or foundation that you feel would welcome the opportunity to be part of this prestigious group of donors, please contact Joanne Haroutounian 703-534-9490,

Miss Virginia Features MusicLink on Website

Shannon McAnally

The current Miss Virginia USA, Shannon McAnally has always held a passion for music and is an avid supporter of music education and promoting independent musicians. The MusicLink Foundation will be featured as the charity of the month on her upcoming music blog, during September allowing readers to donate directly to MusicLink.

Senior Award Winners

Sun Chang

Sun Chang, a student of Dr. Peter Mack from Auburn WA, received the 2013 MusicLink Senior Award of Excellence. This award of $1000 recognizes a MusicLink student who has shown ongoing commitment to lessons, has made significant progress in lessons, and demonstrates outstanding achievement in music. Sun shares her achievements and goals:

"I'm extremely delighted for the upcoming years at Northwestern University in Illinois. As a dual degree candidate, I will be working towards degrees at Bienen School of Music and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Over the last few years, thanks to the excellent teaching provided to me by Dr. Peter Mack, there has been much success in my competitive piano career. In 2011, my brother, Shin Chang, and I won the first prize at the MTNA National Senior Duet competition. In 2012, I was a finalist for the MTNA National Senior Solo division. This year, I was given the opportunity to perform with two amazing orchestras, Philharmonia Northwest, and the Utah Symphony, directed by Julia Tai and Vladimir Kulenovic, respectively. I am so thankful to MusicLink, Dr. Peter Mack, and other generous organizations and people for impacting my life in wondrous ways; I would not be who I am without their kindness. Thank you again for your support."

Jessica Bremseth and Kathleen Van Doeren

Jessica Bremseth, a piano student of Kathleen Van Doeren, received the Ruth Stenson MusicLink Award for 2013. This $1000 award recognizes a graduating high school senior from Minnesota who has shown outstanding achievement in musical training through MusicLink. Jessica has continually achieved superior plus ratings in the National Guild Auditions and passed the MMTA theory examinations with distinction. This year she was a winner in the MMTA SRA contest, performing in their honor recital. Jessica will be attending the University of St. Thomas.

MusicLink Breakfast at NCKP

MusicLink Breakfast in Lombard, IL

A group of MusicLink teachers from 10 different states gathered for breakfast in Lombard IL at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. They shared stories about their MusicLink students and were eager to see MusicLink grow in their individual states.

MusicLink Foundation Website

MusicLink Senior Graduates

Tram Bui

Tram Bui is a graduating senior from Grant High school in Portland, Oregon and has studied piano with Barbara Parker for over 7 years. She plans to attend Portland State University where she will be enrolled in the University Honors Program. She plans to major in Biology and pursue a professional degree in the medical field. She plans to keep up with her music at Portland State by getting a minor in music.

"My experience with the MusicLink foundation has been nothing but encouraging, supportive, and positive. The foundation has helped me overcome the financial obstacles that my family was faced with when they first came to America and allowed me to go above and beyond with music. I was fortunate enough to be linked with Mrs. Barbara Parker who was willing to give me lessons at a reduced price. The foundation also encouraged me to enter as many competitions and music festivals as I could with the Oregon Music Teachers Association covering the entrance fees of events. Their support is so meaningful to me and it has been one of the major factors in pushing me to keep going and try my best with music.

Aside from the financial support that MusicLink has continuously given, the foundation also gives moral support by keeping in contact with my piano teacher to talk about my progress as a musician. This shows that there is much more beyond the monetary assistance that the program has to offer. The support, care, and willingness to walk with me in my journey with music contributes to the foundation's mission of preserving the musical talent and potential of any child who is not able to pursue their music studies because of financial need. I am forever thankful for what MusicLink has done for me and will never forget the impact that music has made in my life."

Other Graduating MusicLink Seniors: Shiloh Bertrand (MA), Sara Balogh (IN),Holly Cox (UT), Hailey Davis (OR), Hannah Dokupil (OR) and Sonja Urquidi (WI).

MusicLink Sends Kids to Camp

Nygel, Imala and Alastair Witherspoon

The MusicLink Foundation summer camp scholarship program provided over $5,200 in funding to help 25 MusicLink students attend camps in 10 different states. We enjoy reading the thank you letters from students who are sharing their camp experiences with us. Kaytlun Dardar enjoyed a LA camp experience by participating in a large ensemble, playing "The Pink Panther" with 11 other students. Mariana Pye composed an impressive piano solo, "Catching Shooting Stars," using computer notation software at the Abilene TX Summer Piano Camp.

Kaytlun Dardar (Middle)

The Witherspoon family - Imala, Alastair & Nygel - have enjoyed MusicLink camp scholarships to Bravo! String Institute at the Un. of MN for the past 7 years. They have grown into fine musicians, performing in violin, viola and cello, as you can see on the youtube link below. Alastair has been accepted at the Un. of MN School of Music as a PSEO student, receiving college credit while a junior in high school.

Witherspoon Youtube Link

Teacher Reimbursements
& Grass Roots Grants

This year, the MusicLink Foundation provided teacher reimbursement grants to 30 teachers from 15 states totaling almost $2,200. These grants reimburse teachers who have paid for event fees and music for their MusicLink students. Grass Roots grants were provided this fiscal year to the Judy Vanesse Studio (VT), Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MN), Tickled Ivories (CO), and Sweet Potato Music (WA).

New Teachers

We welcome the following teachers to our national "family" of MusicLink teachers, bringing our overall total to 2,052. CA: Sue Field. CO: Tina Vernon. GA: Janet Will. MT: Carla Bell. UT: Cheryl Rytting. VA: Marion Baker. WA: Emily James. TX: Shelly Davis. NE: Lori Supernaw.

Correction: We incorrectly spelled Ursula Emond (NH) in our last eLINK.


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