April, 2016

With the arrival of spring weather, MusicLink teachers and students are planning events to share music with family, friends, and the community. We look forward to local recitals and fund-raisers for the MusicLink Foundation in upcoming months, spearheaded by the MusicLink Playathon at the Mall of America in Minnesota. Please let us know of any events in your community so we may put them on our events calendar on the home page of our website. This issue also shares a few personal stories of student/teacher links that highlight the value of music lessons for our special students.

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:

MusicLink Foundation

MusicLink Camp Sponsorship Program

The MusicLink Foundation provides camp scholarships of $250 to any MusicLink student who has taken lessons for over six months and shows an interest in the opportunity of a summer music program experience. Students choose the music camp they would like to attend and the MusicLink Foundation works with the teachers and camps to help fund these valuable summer experiences.

Individuals who wish to support a specific student or group of students for these camp scholarships can request to be a camp sponsor with a donation of $250 or more. The organization will provide the name of the student and camp that he/she will attend to personalize the donation. Donors should specify Music Camp Sponsorship Program when they contribute online or with a check in the mail.

Individuals who wish to sponsor one of our more advanced students may wish to make a contribution of $1,000 or more to help these students attend the more prestigious camp programs that last for multiple weeks and can often cost $5,000 or more. Contact the national office at 703-534-9490 or info@musiclinkfoundation.org.

A Piano for Rain,
Thanks to MusicLink!

The smile says it all, but a mother explains the impact of a piano and a caring MusicLink teacher in the life of her daughter:

MusicLink is truly a blessing because my daughter has been asking for piano lessons for over a year and I did not think I would be able to afford it. Last year I explained to her that we would have to make sacrifices so I could stop working for a year to complete my graduate degree and the required internships. However, I still felt guilty when I had to tell her piano lessons were not in our budget. She was so happy to find out we could now afford the lessons and she would be getting a free piano....thanks to MusicLink! She has been practicing every day and loves Mondays because that's her piano lesson day! Thanks again for everything you did to match my daughter with an awesome teacher!

A Very Special Link

At age 8, Anmy Paulino Collado was very determined. She had been interested in playing the piano since the age of four, but funds in her family were very limited. So last May she sat down and wrote her own personal email to the Music Link Foundation, asking about free piano lessons.

"Anmy's sweet, delightful personality jumped right out of her email and I knew immediately that I would happily accept her as my student," states Julie Wegener, MusicLink coordinator for NYC (Manhattan). Julie's friend German Rodriquez spoke by phone with Anmy's mother in Spanish to make the arrangements and in just a little over a week Anmy was on her way to learning the fundamentals of piano technique and tone production.

After only one lesson, she performed "Twinkle Twinkle" beautifully in Julie's Spring 2015 studio recital. Another very early project was to learn "Happy Birthday" for a relative's party, which she continues to play at birthday celebrations, most recently for another student in Julie's studio.

Now a very determined 9-year-old, Anmy practices every morning before school and is working toward Piano Explorer Magazine's 100 Day Practice Challenge, which recognizes students who practice for 100 consecutive days. She also studies violin through WHIN, an El Sistema orchestra located in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.

Minnesota's Playathon Raises over
$9,000 for the MusicLink Foundation

On the weekend of February 13th & 14th, the Mall of America hosted Minnesota's 8th Annual MusicLink Playathon. Sue Wege, MusicLink Director of Coordinators, organized the event. The weekend activity was a great success, with 247 students performing, raising over $9,000 to support the MusicLink Foundation. Forty-eight teachers were represented, with seven emcee performances.

The piano dominated the stage, but there were also many string and vocal performances, as well as flute, guitar and harmonica. It was fun to have some larger string and vocal groups included this year. MMTA had a presence also with a table dedicated to MMTA information along with instruments for the Mall guests to check out.

The Playathon included a Popular Styles Hour for the second year. Sixteen students took part performing either piano solos or opting to perform with "The Katzen Jammers", a live band which included James Towns on bass, Beth Varela on drums and led by Doug Rohde on the keyboard. Special thanks to Doug for coordinating and emceeing this special hour. What a treat for these students to have this opportunity!

Many MMTA teachers volunteered at the event and even some Minnesota royalty helped out. The reigning Miss Minnesota Outstanding Teen, Rachel Wyandt, and the NAM Miss Minnesota Jr. Teen, Michelle Bergh, served as emcees along with many other local artists.

The top three fundraising studios were Marianne Bryan with 17 students ($1,165); Doug Rhode with 9 students ($1,050); and Kim Nichols with 15 students ($755).

Many thanks to Schmitt Music for providing a beautiful Boston grand piano and a Roland keyboard, to the MMTA Office for helping with online registration and publicity, to Gary Wege our loyal photographer and to all MMTA teachers who participated by sending students and volunteering. The money raised at this event will go a long way in providing more lessons, music, instruments and other musical opportunities to students in need.

This issue of the eLINK contains photos of all students who raised over $100 for the event. Students who raised over $250 received a $50 gift card as a reward for their efforts.

Shop with AmazonSmile
to Help MusicLink Kids

The MusicLink Foundation has registered as a charitable organization that you can choose when you shop on Amazon. Simply go to smile.amazon.com, sign in using your email address and Amazon password. Then enter MusicLink Foundation as your charity of choice and 2.5% of your purchase price is donated to help us pay for repairing and moving instruments, camp scholarships and bringing more students into the program.

Students Raising $250+
for the Minnesota Playathon

Cassie Wagener

Waylon Bockly

Julie & Jennifer Meles

Students Raising $100
for the Minnesota Playathon

Channing Klein

Paw Wa

Wiliam & Elizabeth

Berit Klein

Madison Issacson

Cindy Pichotta

Michelle Bergh

Lillie Imm

Ada Joy Gerhardt

Jenna Nielsen

Aksel Reid

Joe Taylor

Jonathan McMery-Brummer

Isaiah Meldinger

Students with no photo:

Nathaniel Hasse, Sundhya Alter

Eileen Knox - Thanks
for All You Have Done!

During Eileen Knox's 20 years with the MusicLink Foundation, she served as Oregon state coordinator and Northwest Regional coordinator, always ending her emails with the word, "smiles" which describes Eileen's personality in a single word. Eileen is retiring from teaching and MusicLink this Spring and we will miss her and wish her well. She will be moving to Nashville, Tennessee to become a full time grandmother. After 40 years of dedication to her students and working with MusicLink, she is passing her baton into the gifted hands of Dr. Debra Sostrin. Oregon has been very fortunate to have the support of the Oregon Music Teacher’s Association. This is thanks to our Oregon founder, Mary Hulme. Eileen's new motto comes from George Addair. "Everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear."

New MusicLink Teachers

We welcome 12 new MusicLink teachers to our roster, all joining or returning in the past few months. This brings our overall teacher total to 2,410 with 338 currently teaching MusicLink students.

  • MD: Christoffer Fyhr
  • ND: Sr. Bernadette Trecker
  • OR: Kelli Clark, Suzanne Gaye, Anne Young, Amy Vancore
  • RI: Gerri Lajoie
  • VA: Teresa Falk, Barbara Gholz, Tatyana Hearne, Tana Ray
  • WA: Diana Dallal

New Business Partners

We welcome the following new business partners. Look for their particulars on the Business Partner page of our website.

  • Gabriel Kaiser Piano Tuning, Tucson AZ
  • Tom Sheetz PIano Tuning, New Brighton MN