October, 2015

It's back to school time! We are looking forward to a vibrant year for the MusicLink Foundation -- fund-raising events, student opportunities, and new teachers, coordinators, donors and businesses as the foundation continually grows!

MusicLink overall totals:

  • Students: 6,211.
  • Teachers: 2,337.
  • Active US States: 48
  • CA Provinces: 3
  • Hours of Instruction: 434,500
  • Total ScholarshipS: 11,028,880

We encourage you to visit our Facebook page to read and "like" our ongoing Teacher of the Month features as well as the new monthly spotlights for students, businesses and Legacy Partner donors. These articles are also found on the home page of our website, www.musiclinkfoundation.org.

The season of giving is coming soon - which might inspire a MusicLink Promise to Practice event, Playathon or Benefit Recital to encourage students to seek personal goals through practice, share music with the community and help our kids in the process. Details are on our homepage. Let us know of dates of these events so we can add them to our website's Events Calendar. All of these donations help support our mission "to create musicians, one student at a time."

MusicLink Playathons

Top Rated Nonprofits

Our thanks to all of our readers, teachers, and supporters for helping the MusicLink Foundation be recognized as one of the Top-Rated Nonprofits for 2015. We have received over 80 5-star reviews with 12 just since September 1st. You can add your own rating and comments about Musicink at greatnonprofits.com and watch our numbers climb!

Pedaling for Pianos Raises
over $500 for MusicLink

On a beautiful Saturday morning in August, fifteen bikers took off from the St. Paul Cathedral in St. Paul, MN, on a 10-mile route around the St. Paul area to raise money to purchase practice keyboards for MusicLink students. The bikers stopped at several sites along the way to rest and enjoy musical performances by ten students and two local artists.

Keys 4/4 Kids, a valued partner of the MusicLink Foundation, annually places pianos in outdoor locations around the Twin Cities for the public's use and our piano students performed on two of these pianos - outside the Keys 4/4 Kids store and outside the Red Balloon bookstore on Grand Avenue. Local artists Chris Koza and Annelia Anderson performed at Shadow Falls Park and the Red Balloon respectively.

The ride concluded at the St. Paul Cathedral with a final mini-recital and the awarding of $425 in gift cards from local businesses to the bikers. This event, organized by Eric Bell (a local piano teacher and musician), raised $530 and provided a wonderful morning for the bikers, performers and passers-by who stopped to enjoy the music. Enjoy a YouTube video of the event HERE.

MusicLink Students Enjoy
Camp Experiences

There is really nothing like the special experience of enjoying music with peers in a camp atmosphere! We are so pleased to bring that opportunity to MusicLink students through our Camp Scholarship program. Nineteen MusicLink students enjoyed camp programs in 10 different states and one Canadian province this summer.

We love getting thank you notes - with one student simply writing " I HAD SO MUCH FUN!! It was so much fun and a great experience. Thank you for sending me to camp" - with a smiling heart in bright pink at the end.

Enjoy videos of piano performances by Eearan and Mariana Pye, MusicLink students of Sherry Frush, at the Abilene TX Summer Piano Camp:

Eearan Pye Mariana Pye

Joanne Haroutounian and Hanna Kibbede

This year we initiated a Camp Sponsorship Donor program, offering the opportunity of having a camp scholarship in the donor's name with a contribution of $250 or more over the summer months. Donors are kept informed about the student and summer program chosen for this scholarship. We want to thank Hanna Kibbede and the Emahoy Tsege Mariam Music Foundation for their donation of $500 to provide camp scholarships for two MusicLink students this summer. We will continue this program to seek donations for camp scholarships, with contributions made in the spring through summer.

New MusicLink Teachers

We welcome 30 new MusicLink teachers to our roster, all joining in the past few months. This brings our overall teacher total to 2,335 with 300 currently teaching MusicLink students.

AL: Christina Mathis; AZ: Michael Eastin; CO: Treese Kjeldsen; FL: Lisa Barwell; HI: Raphaelita Justice; GA: Gayle Bates; MN: Benjamin Alle, Christina Ali, Andre Bronson, Michael Burton, Martha Chateleine, Jenna Hennig, Sharon Kapeluck, Sara Langmead, Tamir Nolley, Tracy Parks, Jessie Rolfe-Platte, Emily Rudquist, Bernie Spaudie, Emily Valine; NH: Jennifer McBain; NV: Brenda Pazar; NY: Amy Deal, Christine Pulliam Melamed; OK: Jennifer Tripi; OR: Angel Falu-Garcia, Marjorie Janove; PA: Ashley Radcliff; TX: Teresa Crawford; WA: Barbara Borries.

New Business Partners

We welcome the following new business partners. Look for their particulars on the Business Partner page of our website. We are pleased to see business interest from as far as Australia!

  • Purrfect Practice, New South Wales (Australia)
  • Supersonic Piano, Queensland (Australia)
  • Jacobs Music Center, NY
  • Carol Matz Piano

Special Opportunities
for MusicLink Students

From the Top (an organization "dedicated to celebrating the stories, talents, and character of classically-trained young musicians") is seeking outstanding young musicians with financial need for both their NPR radio show, From the Top with host Christopher O'Riley, and for their wonderful scholarship, the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. Deadlines for the scholarship application are December 15 and February 1. For more information about either of these wonderful opportunities, go to www.fromthetop.org/apply.

MusicLink Featured at NCKP

Students with Joanne Haroutounian and Peggy Newhall

The National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy was held in Lombard, IL, in July, and included an informative session about the MusicLink Foundation. Executive Director Joanne Haroutounian was joined by Peggy Newhall, a MusicLink Teacher of Distinction with Honors and local coordinator, who shared her years of personal experience in the program. The session also featured a wonderful performance by MusicLink students of Phyllis Calderon, a Chicago-based MusicLink teacher. Bravo to these wonderful student performers - Amani Gladney-Jackson, Alicia Williams, Ciproquio Williams, Couladrino Williams, and Yapree Williams.

MusicLink High School Graduates

We congratulate the following MusicLink High School graduates, adding to those featured in our June eLINK.

Daniel Jones and his parents

Daniel Jones (UT) studied piano with Cheryl Norman for 10 years. He graduated from the Llahona Preparatory Academy and is currently employed by American Lazer Crafts in Orem, Utah.

Ana Belén Elliot (WA) studied piano with Julie Swienty for five years. She is currently attending Green River College in Auburn, Washington, and has begun an intensive piano pedagogy course with Chris Rogers in Gig Harbor. Ana thanks her teacher: "I would not be where I am today as a pianist or as a person were it not for her inspiring dedication and encouragement during my piano studies."

Dorian Degrandez

Dorian Degrandez (VA) enjoyed cello lessons with Drew Owen for four years. In his own words: "Before the lessons, people just told me I was a talented cellist. Four years later, "skilled" has come to replace "talented". Those lessons helped me grow and become more responsible. He also helped me realize that music is very important to me. I've managed to win several awards at competitions and helped improve my high school's orchestra. The newfound confidence helped me grow as a musical composer as well, and in my senior year I composed a minimalist piece entitled "Blue Ink" which our orchestra played in a concert.

I will be attending George Mason University in the fall. I'm not entirely sure about my major yet, because I love music but I'm also interested in criminal justice. I know Mason offers Music Technology as a minor, which focuses on the more technological side of music. I write my own music on my laptop and mix my own songs so I feel that would be a good option for me."

Allison Smith and Sherlon Orth

Allison Smith (MT) studied piano for 10 years with Sherlon Orth and was an exemplary student. She rarely missed a day of practice and usually practiced for several hours. Her progress was astounding and she feels piano will always be an important part of her life. She is presently helping as a teacher's aid in music classes for young children.

New MusicLink Facebook Group

Our thanks go out to MusicLink state coordinators, Karen Monroe (WA) and Susan Ryan Chesser (FL) for initiating a new Facebook group for active MusicLink teachers and coordinators and businesses serving the MusicLink Foundation. Simply look up "MusicLink Foundation Teachers" to join the group.

From Karen and Susan: "We hope it will help serve as an easy way to communicate amongst each other regarding any questions or concerns, etc. Please keep in contact with your state coordinator too. She/he is there to help you also, but I know coordinators get busy too with their own studios and personal lives. Hopefully we can help each other out. Please help us keep this a friendly and helpful group. Looking forward to see you soon on the Facebook group page."

Thanks to Instrument Donors

The MusicLink Foundation receives a generous amount of musical instruments each year from the general public. Pianos are moved into student homes by local organizations and piano dealers with our thanks. The young children enjoying MusicLink lessons at Hopewell North are most grateful for the generous donation of a Yamaha Disklavier grand piano by a private donor and thank Schmitt Music for arranging and donating the move. Two of our outstanding MusicLink students, Alistair Witherspoon and Nygel Witherspoon, have received expensive string instruments from the Virtu Foundation for their advanced studies, with appreciation from the MusicLink Foundation. The Virtu Foundation encourages other MusicLink students who have reached an advanced level to apply for instruments at www.virtufoundation.org.

Hopewell North Thank You Note


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