DVMTA members and friends gathered at Panera Bread for a relaxing brunch. We socialized, and took a breath during this busy holiday season. Thanks to Lacy Range for organizing the event, we love this annual tradition!
The annual Original Composition Festival offers students the opportunity the compose, notate, record and perform their own musical compositions and arrangements. This year, 103 talented and determined students submitted their pieces for evaluation, and performed them at one of three recitals. Such an amazing display of originality and musicality! Thank you to these students for their hard work, and to their teachers for helping and guiding them along the way. Special thanks to the Original Composition committee, Toni Tetreau, Debbie Engelsman and Jessica Heidt.
Prelude music was provided by DVMTA members, who performed their own compositions.
As I was holding extra lessons to help students finalize their compositions, scrambling to collect fees and registrations for Cavalcade and Original Composition Festival, passing out flyers and encouraging families to attend our Organ Stop Event, preparing holiday music for my students, organizing my next group lesson, preparing to direct a piece at our Cavalcade read-through, and preparing for the general meeting and board meeting all in the midst of Halloween festivities, I finally took a deep breath and accepted the fact that the holidays are once again upon us! So much is going on both inside and outside of our organization, but fortunately, I thrive on the busy-ness! It keeps me motivated and helps me grow as a teacher and a person. I never cease to be grateful for the many opportunities DVMTA provides for me and my students even though at times it really has pushed me out of my comfort zone!
I can’t help but think back to about 1998 when I bravely walked into my first DVMTA meeting. I was so worried that I would not measure up to the standards of the organization as a new, and at the time, somewhat untrained piano instructor! Lucky for me, the people I met that first day were incredibly warm, welcoming and eager to help me understand all there was to know about our special organization! Gradually over the first few years, I stepped out of my comfort zone and began trying out the different events. First, it was Marathon – simple enough. It has now traditionally become my fall recital. Next, I tried out Cavalcade which was familiar to me having participated in a similar event in Phoenix for many years as a young piano student myself. Achievement Day scared me to death my first year, but I put in a few students just to try it out. It turned out to be anything but scary! Along with Cavalcade, it is my favorite event and I require all of my students to participate in it each year! It not only provides the perfect end-of-year thermometer to measure each students progress throughout the year, but it keeps my teaching well-rounded and educationally sound. Eventually, I was more or less “forced” to try out Awards in Excellence and Original Composition Festival, because I had students interested in the Devoted Performer and Senior Scholarship awards! These two events certainly took me out of my comfort zone, but they each provided me with excellent tools that absolutely made me a better teacher!
What will you do this year to step out of your comfort zone as a member of DVMTA? I’m so proud of so many of our newest members that have embraced the organization and stepped into service positions. For example, we have several new directors for Cavalcade which I found to be one of scariest things I ever agreed to! I admire both their commitment and their courage! I am also so proud of these new members who are taking advantage of all our organization has to offer by signing students up for our various events! This is why our organization was created – to give students performance opportunities and teachers learning opportunities. I believe we successfully do both! If there is any way we can help you get the most out of DVMTA, let us know! We are all happy to help, just like so many helped me many years ago!
DVMTA President 2018-2020
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Music Marathon was our first student event of the new DVMTA year and it was a huge success! Over 300 students of DVMTA teachers performed during the all-day recitals. This year's venues included Superstition Springs Mall, Towerpoint Resort, Brookdale-Park Regency, Generations at Agritopia, Arizona Piano, and Legacy Retirement Residence. What a wonderful opportunity for students to perform in the community and to brighten the day for so many. Thank you to Dana Rodgers, Penny Carpenter and Tammy Shorts for making the day so memorable!
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