September 2017

Celebrating 25 Years

The new school year encourages the MusicLink community of coordinators, teachers and students to see ways to reach our goals for our 25th anniversary, plan for the future, and recognize the success we have had in reaching over 6,600 students nationally and into Canada. We applaud all of our wonderful teachers, who personally want to make a difference in the lives of their special MusicLink students. We encourage teachers who have considered becoming a MusicLink teacher to go to our website and click on How to Participate and JOIN US!

We also applaud those who have already donated to the MusicLink Foundation, bringing us that much closer to our goal of reaching $100,000 during this anniversary year. Our current total is $85,589. Donations can easily be made by clicking right here!

Donate Now!

or sending a check to MusicLink Foundation, 1043 N. McKinley Rd., Arlington, VA 22205.

25th Anniversary Celebration Continues

We are making steady progress on our 25th anniversary goals. Let's check them off!


Creation of a new fund-raising website -


25 five-star reviews on We earned the 2017 top-rated nonprofit organization badge on our website.


25th new student for 2017 is Rose Ake Modesto who received a $50 gift certification and a MusicLink tote bag.


25th new teacher for 2017 is Sheila Dacus who received a group of pedagogy books by our Executive Director, Joanne Haroutounian.


25 new business partners and local music/piano dealers added to our roster. Getting there - so far we have added 14 new partners.


The state organization that adds the largest number of MusicLink students in 2017 will be featured in the eLINK. States with highest numbers so far: Minnesota (21), Virginia (13), Oregon (12), and North Carolina (12).


25th Anniversary Campaign to raise a goal of $100,000 for the MusicLink Foundation. $14,411 to go!

25th Anniversary Survey
and Strategic Plan

Now that the organization has reached our 25th year, we will be sending out a short survey through email to gather information from teachers, coordinators, parents, business partners, and donors. We plan to use this information as a starting point to help us create a Strategic Plan for the next three years. Watch for this survey in your email and help us out by completing and returning it to us. Many thanks!

Thanks All Around -- Camp Scholarships

This year 18 students enjoyed a summer music experience thanks to our MusicLink Camp Scholarship program. Students went to camps in NY, TX, WA, NH, TN, CO, with several students from Iowa enjoying a Baltic Tour with their orchestra. Here are excerpts from some thank you notes from our students:

Madeleine Thezan (Song Lyrics Immersion Camp NY): I learned about the forms of punk and country songs and how to analyze lyrics for rhyming, repetition, point of view and the meaning of the song. I was exposed to a variety of genres and this week of songwriting opened my world of songs and music that I did not realize or have not heard before. By the middle of the week, I was asked to write songs using very specific criteria.

Abril Tello Cabrio (Franklin Band / Orchestra Camp VA): "I went to the camp as a cellist. I auditioned to join an orchestra and to my surprise I got into the blue orchestra (the highest level orchestra) and got second chair cellist. The music was challenging at first but, after a while, it began to feel easier and easier. I have definitely improved since before this camp because of so much dedication everyone put in and because so much detail was put into playing the music."

Eaaron Pye (Abilene Summer Piano Camp TX): "One of my favorite parts of camp was the composition sessions because I have always enjoyed writing and making music. For the past two years, I wrote my own piano pieces by myself. This year, a friend and I wrote a two-piano piece titled "Taking Flight." Composing this song was especially fun because my knowledge of chords and melodies has expanded so by adding most of the chord progressions I was able to create a completely different color."

Thanks All Around - A Parent
thanks a MusicLink Teacher

Erika Amarkhuu and René Johnson

"Right now, my daughter Erika is practicing her music and she is playing the nicest classical pieces. I enjoy them so much. Unbelievable, and so touching. This is a miracle, to listen to your own child playing beautiful melodies and who do we thank? First of all, we thank your teachers and the MusicLink Foundation for this greatest gift to us. My daughter has something to enjoy for the rest of her life now. Thinking of this, I feel happy and calm.

I remember my mother saying she always dreamed of learning to play an instrument, but growing up as an orphan, she did not have any access to music learning. Instead, she wanted me to learn it and we decided to register for a violin class when a music teacher visited our small town. She was newly graduated from the Russian conservatoire and selected just a few whose parents were chief of the local government departments. So I was not chosen.

Nevertheless, I tried to keep up my interest in music by listening to classical music for hours on the national radio station (afternoons from 3.10- 4.50 pm) when I was a child. Today, thanks to the teachers of the MusicLink Foundation, my family's dream has come true in Erika's generation. Thank you for your hard work, and commitment to provide a music education to children from all walks of life." Bea and her family

MusicLink Seniors Graduate

Teaghan Strong

Teaghan Strong, a student of Sandra Statz of Eau Claire, WI. Teaghan is currently attending Brigham Young University in Hawaii seeking a degree in vocal performance. She has a goal of also getting a teaching certificate so she can be a high school choir teacher.

Helen Tariku studied voice with Cara Transtrom (VA) for four years and is currently a freshman at the College of William and Mary. She graduated cum laude from Bishop Ireton High School where she was a four-year varsity cheerleader. She was a two times national grand champion in cheerleading, a member of 28 clubs and a leader of seven clubs. She was the award winner of the Catholic Business' Youth Exemplifying Service (Y.E.S) award. At William and Mary, she is continuing her cheer career, is hall representative for her dorm, and is running for student body representative. She loves the college and recommends everyone to consider it during the college search process. She hopes to do more the rest of this year and hopefully have a great freshman year!

MusicLink Foundation Featured
in Associated Press Article

This August, the Associated Press featured an article about seeking private music lessons for children, including students who cannot normally afford lessons. Of course they discovered the MusicLink Foundation online and learned more about the organization from Sue Wege, our National Director of Coordinators, as well as Julie Wegener, who opened her studio to AP reporter, Alexandra Olson, for an interview with her MusicLink student, Anmy Paulino Collado. Share the link of this article with friends, colleagues, and anyone interested in what we do for our special students. Read the full article here:

AP Article

Oregon MusicLink Spreads the Word

Oregon MusicLink Booth

Debra Sostrin (Oregon state MusicLink Coordinator) did a tremendous job promoting MusicLink at the OMTA State Conference in July. She is from Portland where MusicLink is very active, so she was determined to recruit more teachers and coordinators from around Oregon. We applaud Oregon for their active program and encourage other states to use this state as a model to bring opportunities to teachers and students within their own state.

Debra: "Our outreach exceeded my expectations. There was a good deal of interest in our table and many teachers stopped by to chat with us. We distributed our local flier, giving information about ML in general and Oregon in particular. We gathered 12 signatures from teachers from all over Oregon, signaling their willingness to be contacted to consider teaching a ML student. All 5 of our Oregon ML Board members were at the conference, and we were wearing badges at all times with the message, 'Ask Me About MusicLink.' That got some conversations going. I also made a short speech at the state's general membership meeting. Likewise, we gathered a multitude of suggestions for potential business sponsors. In fact, one new sponsor has already signed up."

Fund Raising Events

Spring is always a good time for including events in the studio to encourage students to practice for that final recital or festival. Helen Hayes of the Jefferson City Music Academy held a Promise to Practice event with 11 students in her studio, raising $325 for the MusicLink Foundation. Students who reached their goals received our Success Pins, with those who raised over $50 getting a tote bag. The following students raised over $100 each: Nora Wood, Maya Wood and Holly Hackman.

Holly Hackman

Nora Wood

Maya Wood

Pedaling for Pianos 2017

The 2017 Pedaling for Pianos event took place on the morning of Saturday, August 5th with 10 bikers being led by a police escort. The 10-mile route began at the Cathedral of St. Paul after a 20-minute mini concert by MusicLink Ambassador, Lillie Imm.

There were 3 stops along the way with entertainment by Heatherlyn, Annelia Anderson and event coordinator, Eric Bell. The money raised will help get practice instruments to MusicLink students.

MusicLink Business Partners:
Making Progress Towards our Goal

We are seeing more and more business partners recognizing the benefits of being a MusicLink partner, providing discounts to MusicLink teachers and students, working with teachers in playathons, providing instruments to our students, and space for recitals and lessons.

The MusicLink Foundation set a goal of adding 25 new business partners to our roster during 2017. Thus far we have added 14 new businesses who assist in offering discount instruments, music and lessons as well as supporting fund-raising efforts.

These businesses truly make a difference by working with teachers in their community to extend MusicLink opportunities to students in need. Welcome to our new business partners: OR: West-Lane Piano Studio in Cheshire, Play It Forward, Portland Baroque Orchestra. National partner: Dempster Music.

In addition, Epstein & Co. is using social media to explain their role as our business partner in a brief video - take a look!

Epstein & Co Video

New MusicLink Teachers:

New MusicLink Teachers: The following 17 teachers joined the MusicLink Foundation in the past few months bringing our grand total to 2,685 (285 current)

BC: Colleen Branson; GA: Pamela Groberg; IN: Nancy Spahr (returning); MAN: Jennifer Harder ME: Alice Peterson; MN: Renee Pyne, Sandra Sheih, Juli Vig; NY: Jeremy Julio Laureta, Zoe Levy Serrano, Anna Upston; OR: Ramona Goddard, Alma Marianos (returning); RI: Melody Ann Albanese-Kelly; SC: Meghan Poole; TX: Sharla Van Cleave; WI: Katherine Heidi Luek.

Spotlight YOUR student!

Have you seen our student spotlight feature? So far we have featured four outstanding MusicLink students. Past spotlights can be found on our MusicLink Facebook page or on our website. On our home page click on NEWS and then Spotlight Archives. If YOU have a student who deserves some time in the spotlight, please email us your nomination at


Our MusicLink teachers receive a 4-page discount list from our business partners that includes discounts and opportunities for their MusicLink students AND for themselves, as MusicLink teachers. Many teachers do not take advantage of these offers, so each eLINK will feature a DID YOU KNOW? box sharing a few teacher incentives to link with our business partners:

  • MusicTime, Inc. - 25% discount on printed music, teacher aids and gift items
  • dxdt - free Rotary Woodwind Fingering Charts/Training Aids
  • NoteLogic - 20% discount on teaching materials