January, 2015


Margaret Clark and Student Number 6000

We celebrate another milestone reached by the MusicLink Foundation! We had set several goals to reach by the end of 2014 - to reach 6000 students and to raise $6000 in 60 days. Both were surpassed with applause all around for those who supported our efforts during their holiday giving (we raised over $12,000 by Dec. 31st) and for teachers who brought new students into the program to reach 6003 on Dec. 31st.

Meet Margaret Clark, our Minnesota MusicLink teacher of student number 6000! Margaret has been teaching for 50+ years from her home studio and for many years at Rochester Community and Technical College. She is a member of the Rochester Area Keyboard Club and the National Federation of Music Clubs, as well as MMTA. Her student is very excited about piano study. She likes to be challenged with more difficult pieces than are in her method books. She also finished in third place in the Middle School spelling bee this year. Margaret states: "I really appreciate what MusicLink is doing to assist students who may not be able to afford private music study." Margaret received several publications by Executive Director, Joanne Haroutounian as our thanks to her. Her student received a MusicLink tote bag, pin, and a $50 gift certificate from Schmitt Music as a congratulatory gift.

Minnesota - A MusicLink Gem of a State

Sue Wege & Sue Krebsbach at the MN playathon

We are not surprised that our winning teacher came from Minnesota because this is the most active state for MusicLink, thanks to the energy and commitment of Sue Wege, our Director of Regional Coordinators, who has personally coordinated the state's MusicLink program for the past 15 years. She pairs her efforts with conscientious teachers from the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, an organization that supports MusicLink by waiving fees for state events for MusicLink students. MMTA organizes an annual playathon at the Mall of America where hundreds of children venture out in Minnesota winter weather to enjoy sharing music at the mall in a festive event featuring several Miss Minnesota personalities plus other TV celebrities. These playathons annually raise over $10,000 for MusicLink. Minnesota MusicLink has established an annual $1000 senior scholarship in memory of Ruth Stenson, an outstanding MusicLink teacher.

Minnesota's first MusicLink student was linked with Sue Krebsbach in 1998 and Sue is still an active teacher in the program. A total of 356 Minnesota teachers reached over 1,340 students overall through MusicLink. That is equivalent to 63,000 hours of instruction, equivalent to $1.5 million of in-kind scholarship. The current student total is just over 200, so you can see why this state is a gem of a model for MusicLink!

A Piano Winner for Teacher and Student!

What a happy surprise for Peggy Newhall, a long-time Virginia MusicLink teacher and coordinator (15+ years) who learned that she was a winner in Jordan Kitt's piano give-a-way! To celebrate one hundred years of partnership with area music educators, Jordan Kitts offered a Yamaha 2b Professional Upright piano to one area music teacher and one of her students. A double win! Peggy chose to give the second piano to a family that had two children who were her students and were former MusicLink students. They were delighted to get this brand new piano. Of interest, the piano that was then in their home was provided to them by the MusicLink Foundation from a local donor. They "gave it forward" to another new MusicLink student family who was in need of a piano. Winners all!

Julie Wegener - Our New York City
MusicLink Coordinator

Julie Wegener

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Wegener of Washington Heights as the MusicLink Coordinator for New York City. This newly established coordinator position is funded by the Kanter Kallman Foundation. Julie will be a welcome addition to our network of coordinators, with a goal of reaching teachers and students in a major city for links that will provide lessons for students in need.

Prior to moving to NYC, Julie served as Music School Director of the Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, where she established and coordinated a MusicLink program which is enjoying its 15th year of success. Her immediate plan is to organize upper Manhattan, reaching professional teachers who are interested in offering low-cost lessons and schools who can nominate eligible students for these lessons.

Julie states: "Having worked with MusicLink for many years, I am always deeply touched to meet professional musicians who are willing to help students who otherwise would have no opportunity for music lessons. MusicLink brings out so many excellent teachers who share an amazing community spirit and a genuine commitment to help equalize access to music education." For more information about joining NYC MusicLink, contact Julie at jweg360@gmail.com.

Kids Helping Kids - Holiday Events
Raise Over $4,600 for MusicLink

Illinois Clavinova kids

Steven Trawford and Deborah Meier

The holiday season is a perfect time for students to come together to perform for others, with teachers and organizations pairing these occasions with a way to help other kids get music lessons through MusicLink. You may get ideas of your own from these successful and enjoyable events:

IL: A Clavinova Festival was held at Piano Distributors in Fairview Heights IL, featuring performances by 27 students from 4 participating teachers (LeAnn Halvorson, Katie Hanley, Pam Masching, and Deborah Meier). Our thanks to Yamaha and manager Steven Trawford for organizing this annual event, cooperating with Gateway Arch East MTA and Illinois MusicLink Coordinator, Deborah Meier. Every student received a T shirt, certificate and goody bag. Mitch Baldwin, a student of LeAnn Halvorson, won the grand prize of a Yamaha digital keyboard. The event raised $500 for the MusicLink Foundation.

IL: Our college "kids" from the MTNA Student Chapter at Western Illinois University held their fourth annual Promise to Practice week, with music major students practicing as they usually do, but gathering pledges from the community, faculty, and friends for one week set aside to raise funds for the MusicLink Foundation. A wonderful, easy way for college student chapters to make a difference, WIU students raised $455 for our MusicLink kids by simply practicing! Our thanks to Amy Broadbent, Vice President of the college chapter, for organizing this event. Student chapters interested in starting their own events should contact AA-Broadbent@wiu.edu for pointers.

IA: Yes, a single teacher in a single studio CAN make a difference for MusicLink, thanks to our Promise to Practice event, which provides students with a goal of practicing while raising pledges for MusicLink. Dr. Elaina Burns had 20 students practice to reach a goal in December and raised $345 for the MusicLink Foundation. Grant McDonald and Cathleen & Tess Breslin received MusicLink tote bags for raising over $100 in pledges and all participating students received mini-flashlights for reaching their practice goals. Check our website, clicking on Promise to Practice for a packet to get started in your studio.

VA: Fairfax-Loudoun Music Fellowship enjoyed another Holiday MusicLink Fundraiser at the Dulles Town Center, where 141 students performed for mall shoppers, raising a total of $2,000 for the MusicLink Foundation. Our thanks to Sandra Baker and participating teachers for organizing this annual event.

NY: Faust Harrison Piano Store in Melville, NY, again hosted a MusicLink fundraiser featuring piano students of Patrica Cestaro, Tami Levy, and Helena Almberg. Students performed a variety of music including classical, popular, holiday and more! Student volunteers ran the entire event under Patrica Cestaro's supervision. The program raised $845 for the MusicLink Foundation.

Washington MusicLink
-- Our Thanks to Marcia Wilke

Marcia Wilke began teaching with MusicLink in 1999 and served as Washington state MusicLink coordinator for 10 years. She continued coordinating at the local level through Walla Walla MTA up until a few months ago. However, she is still teaching and has reached a total of 16 years with MusicLink, qualifying her as a Teacher and Coordinator of Distinction with honors. Her tireless efforts to bring lessons to students in need are greatly appreciated by her colleagues in her state and local association. She was instrumental in bringing pianos into the homes of 7 MusicLink students and connecting with the Walla Walla Symphony to provide tickets to their concerts.

In 2005, Marcia related why she was a MusicLink teacher: "I want to help spread the love of music to those who are talented but can't afford to take private lessons. To see the determination to learn a new concept and the joy on the child's face when they hear the beauty of music as it reaches his/her soul." When you work with someone like Marcia over many years, you understand the value of our teachers and coordinators and their passion to truly make a difference for our MusicLink students. Our thanks to Marcia for all she has done for Washington students.

MusicLink Legacy Partners

Another goal we have set for the foundation is to add 6 new MusicLink Legacy Partners to our prestigious list of donors by the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2015). Legacy Partners recognize the need to secure the future growth and expansion of MusicLink through annual donations of $5000 - $9,999 (Bravo Tier), or $10,000 or more (Encore Tier). We have thus far reached out to former grantors and corporate business partners and welcome any inquiries about how a business or private foundation can be part of this donation level.

We applaud our current Legacy Partners - Bill and Brigid Brakefield, the Louise Zanar Fund, and the MusicLink Board of Directors. Please consider how you or your business can join this extraordinary group of donors. Download our Legacy Partner information below for more details about the program.

MusicLink Legacy Partners