October, 2016

2017 will mark 25 years since the beginning of the MusicLink program, initiated by the Virginia Music Teachers Association in 1992 as a program that would "provide lessons to students in financial need who show sustained interest in music and may have musical potential." Virginia teachers opened their studios to these students, offering ongoing lessons at a substantially reduced rate. The program blossomed to the national level in just a few years through MTNA assistance, culminating in the establishment of the MusicLink Foundation as a 501 C(3) non-profit charitable organization in 2001.

Every eLink reflects the continual success of MusicLink on a personal basis - recognizing teacher commitment, showcasing outstanding students, realizing the joy of music-making and supporting our mission through playathons and Promise to Practice events. If you surf our website, you can find details on our impact in the lives of our students. Here are a few details that are worth sharing as we celebrate a quarter of a century of linking students and teachers to "create musicians, one student at a time."

  • MusicLink has reached over 6,500 students in all 50 states and 4 Canadian provinces.
  • MusicLink teachers have provided over 460,000 hours of instruction, equivalent to $11.7 million in-kind donation ($700,000 annually).
  • Research findings of past MusicLink students (18 yrs. & older):
    • 99% attend college (including Juilliard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, Berklee)
    • 40% receive partial to full scholarships for college
    • Interview studies reveal the importance of trust and close relationship of the teacher/student link over years of study.
    • Students have a passion for music in their lives, with organizational skills learned through musical training impacting their careers as successful adults.

Join us in celebrating this special anniversary year by contributing to our Silver Anniversary Campaign online (fundmusiclink.com or musiclinkfoundation.org) to help us reach $25,000 in the next few months to begin 2017 with a much-deserved ENCORE!
- Joanne Haroutounian

Silver Anniversary Celebrations

The MusicLink Foundation has many plans to celebrate our Silver Anniversary and encourage you to be part of this celebration. Here are details to check out:

  • A new fund-raising website that easily shows what we do and how people can support us - www.fundmusiclink.com
  • Our Silver Anniversary Campaign starting NOW to raise $25,000 by the end of January 2017. Contributions online through www.fundmusiclink.com or www.musiclinkfoundation.org or sending checks to MusicLink Foundation, 1043 N. McKinley Rd., Arlington VA 22205.
  • Adding 25 new business partners and local music/piano dealers to our roster. Plans are underway to encourage MusicLink linked sales with all of our business partners.
  • Reaching 25 fund-raising events nationally - including playathons, Promise to Practice studio events, benefit recitals, and business-sponsored events.
  • 25 five star reviews on www.greatnonprofits.com
  • The 25th new student in 2017 will receive a $50 gift certificate and MusicLink totebag.
  • The 25th new teacher in 2017 will receive a group of pedagogy books by Joanne Haroutounian, MuscLink Foundation's Executive Director.
  • The state that adds the largest number of students in 2017 will be recognized with an article in the eLINK and receive a plaque.

MusicLink Foundation to Receive the
MTNA 2017 Achievement Award

The Music Teachers National Association Board of Directors will recognize the MusicLink Foundation with the 2017 MTNA Achievement Award at its March national conference. The award recognizes individuals or organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to music and music teaching. The MusicLink Foundation is only the second organization to receive this award in its 27 year history.

In a letter from Executive Director, Gary L. Ingle, he notes that "it was obvious to me that MusicLink was one of the most important programs in music teaching. The partnership we forged between MTNA and MusicLink to expand its influence nationally was exactly right at the time. It has been such a pleasure to watch the program grow under your vision and leadership and to see it benefit thousands of at-risk and needy children across the country."

2016 Pedaling for Pianos Event
Raises $485 for MusicLink

The annual Pedaling for Pianos event took place in St. Paul, MN the morning of Saturday August 13th and what a beautiful morning it was for a bike ride! Twenty bikers participated, riding a route from the Cathedral of St. Paul to several St. Paul stops and back to the Cathedral. At the Keys 4/4 Kids store, six students performed a mini-recital on one of their signature painted pianos followed by a performance by "A Piano in Every Home" at Shadow Falls Park. It was then on to the Red Balloon Book Store for a performance by Robb Henry, a local jazz guitarist and back to the Cathedral for a mini-concert by six student performers.

The bikers raised $485 for the MusicLink Foundation and our thanks goes out to Eric Bell, the coordinator of the event and to Keys 4/4 Kids for their collaborative support. It was a great morning enjoyed by bikers and performers alike.

New MusicLink Teachers

We welcome the following 29 new and returning teachers to MusicLink. This brings the total of current teachers to 309, with a total of 2,510 overall MusicLink teachers.

CA: Rebecca Dhand, Melody Garber, Celine Gietzen; FL: Anthony Laudato, Laura Wilcox; GA: Maggie Frick, Rachel Halverson; IL: Karen Brockman, Karen Shimkus; KS: Emily Quiles; MD: Patricia Blanchard (returning); MN: Pat Dymacek, Bethanne Holthaus, Bruce Nolden, Carolyn Selden, Jonas Westover; MO: Helen Haynes; NC: Jenniffer Campbell, Cathy Pescevich Kreplin; NS: Michelle Cook; NY: Tamara Slobodkin (returning), Jeffrey Hoe Yen Lee, Katherine Vitevich; OR: Sonja Myklebust, Mary Swanson; TN: Sarah Stickland; VA: Dave Belazis (returning), Rachel Winograd Sarrano (returning).

MusicLink Students Enjoy
Camp Experiences

We have received some wonderful thank you letters from students who had the opportunity to go to camp this summer thanks to our donors and our newly established Camp Sponsorship Program, with donations of $250 or more to assist students seeking summer experiences. This year's applicants enjoyed camp experiences in NY, TX, MI, MO, and WA. Look for details of this program on www.fundmusiclink.com. We share one of these letters with you:

Madeleine Thezan attended the Annual Summer Performing Arts Institute at the Music School at Dutchess Community College with these comments: "I am most grateful that this program has helped to fuel my growth as a performer by allowing me to participate in new activities and learn from professionals about music, acting and dancing. This camp has inspired me to continue to pursue a career in the performing arts… I will never forget how I made my counselors cry when I first presented my voice solo to them. I enjoyed interacting with students like myself who enjoy musical theater. Thanks again for bringing me one step further in my education by sponsoring me and allowing me to go to such an amazing summer camp this year."

MusicLink Graduating Senior

Robert Laporte Jr. has taken MusicLink piano lessons with Anna Kroik for four years at the Rhapsody Academy in Elizabeth New Jersey. He has performed in auditions and recitals at Seton Hall University and Bloomfield College and is currently a pianist in the youth group choir at Christ the King Church in Hillside, New Jersey. He enjoys all different types of sports and helping out in his community. He is currently attending Kean University as a Computer Science major and continues to take music courses in college.

"Music has impacted my life in various ways. Whenever I am stressed or bored, I would just look at my piano or keyboard and start playing pieces, whether they are pop, classical, or church music - playing for more than an hour really getting into it. Music has been a passion for me that is basically part of my life now. Learning music has made me have such a great interest that I wish someday I could actually perform in gigs and just simply have fun doing so."

Student Spotlights & Coordinators Needed

Have you seen our new student spotlight feature? So far in 2016 we have featured three outstanding MusicLink students. The spotlights can be found on our MusicLink Facebook page or on our website. On our home page, it is on the far right, under the Business Partner Spotlight. Click on "Read More!" to see all of them. If YOU have a student who deserves some time in the spotlight, please email us your nomination at info@musiclinkfoundation.org and put Student Spotlight as the subject line.

We are also seeking MusicLink Coordinators for the Southwestern Region (CA, AZ, NV, UT, HI) and Northwestern Region (WA, OR, MT, ID, WY, SD, ND, CO, AK) to recruit teachers and link students. The position includes a small stipend, may require up to 15 hours a month, with work done completely online. We would love to see our regional coordinator positions complete! Contact Joanne Haroutounian if interested, joanne@musiclinkfoundation.org.

MusicLink Legacy Partner
Supports DC MusicLink

The Louise P. Zanar Fund, a MusicLink Legacy Partner, continues to fund the Shining Stars MusicLink program in Washington DC with a generous contribution of $10,000.

MusicLink Business Partners

Paul King, Gabriella Ryan, and Wesley Pollard

Gabriella Ryan, MusicLink Richmond, VA coordinator presents a MusicLink Partner plaque to Rhapsody Piano and Guitar. Paul King and Wesley Pollard are co-owners of this fine establishment, which has stated their support for MusicLink both now and in the future. They have already given pianos to students in need, and have been supportive of the Richmond Music Teachers Association in their endeavors as well. Thank you to Rhapsody Piano and Guitar!

The MusicLink Foundation, with the generous support of Carol Matz, offered a promotion to start off the new school year: any MusicLink teacher, new or existing, who registered a new MusicLink student between September 15th and October 1st would be eligible to receive a new Carol Matz piano book plus a download of two of her solos. The response was wonderful, with 29 teachers registering new students. Thank you, Carol, for your generosity and to all our awesome MusicLink teachers!

The MusicLink Foundation has formed a partnership with the JKM Music Group, which includes Jordan Kitts Music stores in Virginia and Maryland and the Steinway Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. Jordan Kitts plans to promote the program through MusicLink piano sales combined with student performances as well as providing pianos and digital pianos for MusicLink students in the location of their stores. Christoph Syllabi, President and CEO of Jordan Kitts would like to see this partnership serve as a model for other piano dealers to follow - possibly new dealers across the country in MusicLink's Silver Anniversary year.

Bigel Music in Tampa FL offers in-store scholarship lessons for MusicLink students. www.bigelmusic.com