News and Announcements of Bluebonnet Music Teachers Association, Williamson County Texas, USA

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The monthly meeting of the Bluebonnet MTA was held at Austin School of Music
North on December 13, 2011.

Present were:
Mary A, Mary L, Sarah, Martha, Lillian, Reavis, Lauren and Kristi, guest.

There was discussion about electronic keyboards versus acoustic pianos.
Lillian mentioned that electronic keyboards do not have surface resistance,
which allows the non-playing fingers to rest lightly on top of the keys, thus
allowing the hand to relax.

Lillian said she will send out motivational ensemble info.

The spring theory test and the dance festival were announced by their
respective chairs.

Graded fall theory tests were passed out.

Sarah said she will send out Christmas cards to local music companies.

Lillian said she would send out blank SA registration form.

Ensembles were explained and discussed, and proposed duets were played by
Martha and Sarah.
Proposed duets are Sailor Son from Duet Favorites level 1 by Bastien
and Ancient Lantern from Treasures for Two (level 2) by Martha Mier.

Attendees enjoyed a nice potluck breakfast.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

November minutes

> Subject: minutes
> For general membership
> The monthly meeting of Bluebonnet MTA was held at Strait Music North on
> November 8, 2011.
> "New Music for the Piano Studio: 20th Century Avant-Garde Piano Literature
> for
> the Intermediate Level Student," was presented by Dr. Sallye Jeffcoat York by
> internet video.
> She said that avant garde music is motivational for students.
> She went over some suggested music. One of them was
> "Lyado is seriously ill" from The Adventures of Ivan by Khachaturian, also in
> Pictures of Childhood.
> Lauren said she will email the powerpoint presentation.
> We will be using the study lounge for office, close to the bookstore.
> Concordia does not want signs taped to walls. Signs may be placed on music
> stands only.
> Mary Adams suggested that teachers bring their own lunch, the idea was
> approved.
> Mary A requested a teacher to bring an extra CD player.
> We will put certificate packets in manila file folders.
> Lillian will bring photocopies of critique sheets to use as program
> worksheet.
> Lillian will draw up a schedule for monitors.
> We will have a potluck breakfast at the December meeting. Teachers are asked
> to bring a friend.
> We will play Christmas music.
> Lauren announced that at the meeting next month she will be offering Clavier
> group subscriptions.
> Lauren announced that she is planning to get a speaker about small business
> at
> the January meeting.
> Sarah offered her whiteboard for powerpoint projection.
> Theory
> January 5 will be the deadline for spring theory registration.
> Mary Lee accepted the job of Spring theory chairman.
> Two weeks are necessary to get theory tests.
> The theory committee will be Mary Lee, Mary Adams and Pat Dolan.
> Ensembles
> The ensemble deadline will be the day of the January meeting.
> Mary A announced that ensembles require a minimum of two teachers
> participating.
> The national convention of MTNA will be in new York and early registration is
> $275.
> Martha announced that James Dick will perform in Georgetown.
> See poster at:
> Sarah announced Revel free concerts in Austin. See:
> Sarah announced that there will be a sing along of Messiah on December 4 at
> St. Matthew Episcopal Church by Chorus Austin. See:

> Lillian Simmons

December Meeting: 1st Annual BluebonnetMTA Holiday Breakfast Potluck

Join us at Austin School of Music North on Tuesday, December 13 at 9:30AM for the 1st Annual BluebonnetMTA Holiday Breakfast Potluck!  Bring a breakfast dish to share and prepare to reflect on our Fall activities, brainstorm for the future, sing your favorite holiday tunes, and more.  If you have a fellow music teacher that may be interested in joining our group, this would be a wonderful chance for them to meet our members.  

Let us know what food or drink items you'll be bringing by using the "Comment" feature below.  Coffee will be provided, as always.  

Happy Holidays from Bluebonnet Music Teachers Association!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Meeting: New Music for the Piano Studio

Join us at Austin School of Music North on November 8 at 9:30AM for the program "New Music for the Piano Studio: 20th Century Avant-Garde Piano Literature for the Intermediate Level Student," presented by Dr. Sallye Jeffcoat York. Via Skype technology, Sallye will
introduce contemporary literature that uses avant-garde techniques appropriate for intermediate level piano students, such as clusters, aleatory, and extrapianistic activities. Specific pieces and collections will be discussed as well as creative ideas on how to easily incorporate this music into your piano studio.

Sallye Jeffcoat York recently earned her DMA from the University of
Alabama, where she studied with the former MTNA Teacher of
the Year, Amanda Penick.  Dr. York holds a Master of Music in Piano Performance with an Emphasis in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma as well as a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Louisiana State University. She has studied under the instruction of Mrs. Constance Knox Carroll, 
Dr. Ed Gates, Dr. Jane Magrath, Dr. Ronald Shinn, and Dr. Lynn Faulkner.  Sallye has taught applied piano, class piano, and aural skills for the past six years at the collegiate level and has also served as an accompanist in multiple states and institutions. Dr. York has served on the faculty at the Tennessee Valley Music Festival and the Huntingdon College Junior Piano Camp.  She has participated in summer programs such as Brevard Music Center and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Muskegon, Michigan. Dr. York currently is the accompanist for The Montgomery Academy and runs a private piano studio in Montgomery, AL.

Coffee and light refreshments will be provided, and the program will be followed by a short business meeting. Interested in a one-year subscription to Clavier Companion magazine? If at least 5 of us subscribe, we can get a group membership for just $20 a person! Read more about Clavier Companion and view the latest digital issue at

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Minutes of October meeting

Minutes of Meeting.

The monthly meeting of Bluebonnet MTA was held on October 11, 2011 at Austin
School of Music in Cedar Park.


Theory Test
Fall Theory tests will be held 8:30-10:30 am and will be repeated again at
4:00-6:00. Students can choose the most convenient time for them.
The Fall Theory chairman announced that she has received registrations from
two teachers, Lillian and Karen.
There will be no Fall theory makeup test.

Lauren will schedule the judges.
Lauren will schedule two judges in each room for the Fall festival.
Tentatively, the Masters Composers festival will be held from 1:00 am to
There will be no Fall Festival make-up auditions.
Tentatively, the Spring Festival will be held at Steinway Piano Gallery.


Fall events
The Fall reservation at Concordia is from 8:00 to 8:00. Four rooms have been

All members should personally ask other teachers to join Bluebonnet MTA. And
they may follow up by asking Lauren to send them an email invitation.
Two members have dropped out, Lisa Maher and Patti Irwin. Please cross them
out from your yearbook.
It was decided that musicianship requirements be added to the yearbook. We
will use the guidelines set up by ADMTA.
Price of yearbook was set at $10 for nonmembers. The yearbook may also be
downloaded for $10.

Strait Music will donate refreshments next meeting. Martha will bring juice.
Refreshments are considered a donation expense, and can be deducted in tax

Lauren will announce Clavier magazine group membership next month.
The speaker Courtney Crappell announced that there is a collegiate chapter

Lillian Simmons
Bluebonnet MTA

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hiring Educational Sales Representative

From: Strait Music <>
Sent: Thursday, October 6, 2011 2:26 PM
Subject: Hiring: Educational Sales Representative
Strait Music is looking to hire an Educational Sales Representative for band and orchestral outside sales.  Applicants should be educated at the college level in band or orchestra, sales and/or retail experience preferred, must have a clean driving record, and must be able to easily lift/handle 40-50 lbs.  Please send cover letter and resume if you're interested to
Strait Music <> 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October Program: Accessible Audio Recording Techniques

You won't want to miss our next Bluebonnet MTA meeting on Tuesday, October 11, when the University of Texas-San Antonio's Dr. Courtney Crappell joins us to share about accessible audio recording.  His presentation incorporates lessons learned from research on the use of practice recordings with modern recording and audio editing techniques to offer a comprehensive guide to creating effective practice recordings.  We'll start promptly at 9:30AM at the Austin School of Music North, 13945 N. Hwy 183.

Read more about Courtney's presentation--
As audio recording and playback technology grew popular in the mid-twentieth century, researchers in music education began exploring the effectiveness of its use in music study. One of the pedagogical applications of this technology was to create recordings to which students listened and played along. Decades of research showed that practicing with recordings increased performance accuracy more than “traditional” practice and that they improved students’ listening abilities. Reflecting their popularity today, modern teaching materials frequently include recordings that function as practice and performance models outside of formal lessons. The common format includes a performance tempo and practice tempo of the entire notated work. However, playing along with the entire piece at a fast or slow tempo can be an inefficient practice strategy when learning new and challenging material. Our beginning students need more varied and intermediate steps. Fortunately, we now have access to inexpensive recording hardware and editing software and can edit recordings we own and create in countless ways. We can easily change the tempo, splice in repetitions, and even add verbal cues.  Incorporating lessons learned from research on the use of practice recordings between 1950-2010, this presentation examines how we can produce recordings that will help our students learn music faster and make them better listeners. Attendees will leave with a brief introduction to audio hardware and software along with a comprehensive technical and pedagogical guide to creating effective practice recordings for their students.

Dr. Courtney Crappell serves as Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at UT San
Antonio where he coordinates the class piano program and teaches piano and piano

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bluebonnet Music Teachers Association Meeting
Tuesday, October 11, 9:30AM
Austin School of Music
13945 N. Hwy 183, Suite D124
Austin, TX 78717
Bluebonnet Monthly Meetings--Program 9:30AM, Business Meeting Immediately Following
We understand the busy schedule of a music teacher, so in order to be respectful of your time, Bluebonnet will start its monthly program promptly at 9:30AM with a business meeting immediately following. Please be courteous to our program presenter by arriving on time. Coffee and refreshments will be served at 9:15AM, so please come early to meet and mingle!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

 The general membership meeting was held September 12, 2011 at Austin School of
Music in Cedar Park.

The annual teacher dues have been increased from $25 to $30. The new $30
registration amount will show in the TMTA records next school year. In the
meanwhile, new members should pay the $5 increase to the local treasurer.

The correct title for the fall festival is Master Composers Festival. This
title was discussed and approved last school year.

Teachers who wish to enroll students in two local associations of TMTA must
submit student registrations and pay SA student registration to one local
association. Then submit a copy of the registration to the second association
without payment. Because as far as TMTA is concerned, students are enrolled in
one primary association. And with that primary registration, they may
participate in events of other secondary associations.

The fall theory test has been changed to Concordia University in Cedar Park. It
will be held November 13 at Concordia University.

Next month the speaker will be Dr Courtney Crappell, UT San Antonio. He will
speak about accessible audio recording technique .

Lillian Simmons
Bluebonnet MTA

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ann Lawry's Workshop

Bluebonnet Music Teachers Association Meeting
Tuesday, September 13, 9:30AM
Austin School of Music
13945 N. Hwy 183, Suite D124
Austin, TX 78717

Join Ann Lawry for an interactive workshop, where teachers will gain new insight into the Just the Facts series, learn teaching tips for some of the more difficult theory concepts, and get answers to frequently asked questions about the TMTA theory exams.  Free packets of books and information will be given out, while supplies last!

Ann Lawry  is author of the original Just The Facts series (correlated to the Texas examinations) and co-author of Just The Facts II (correlated to the C/M curriculum.) Since 1995, over 750,000+ copies of Just The Facts books have been sold, attesting to the popularity of the series which is used in private studios, music schools, as well as preparatory departments of numerous universities.

An active member of TMTA and MTNA, Ms. Lawry maintained a large private studio for over 31 years. She is also in demand as an adjudicator and clinician. Her students participated in annual state examinations and competitions where they frequently earned top honors. Ann has served as President and theory chair of Plano Music Teachers Association, one of the largest local organizations in Texas.


By Lauren Thompson, Program Chairman

Friday, July 8, 2011

Announcements July 8, 2011

------ Original Message ------
Received: 10:36 PM CDT, 07/07/2011
Subject: FW: TMTA Convention Highlights & President's Report

TMTA 2011 Convention Highlights & President's Report

TMTA-SA Ensembles

Bluebonnet MTA had eight students perform with ADMTA students in the ensembles at the state convention. These students attending all of the local and state practice sessions in preparation for their performance.  Each student received a $75.00 stipend check for their performance in this event.

Student's of Mary Katherine Bakiris

"Stoptime Rag"
   Ashneen Rahman - 6 years participant               
        Neha Satapathy - 8 years participant                       
    Diksha Verma - 2 years participant

"Coconut Shuffle"
Sloka Chandrasekaran - 2 years participant    
                      Anwesha Ranabijuli - 2 years participant

"Maizy Dotes"   
  Anika Satapathy - 2 years participant           
                 Sourav Dhar - 2 years participant                
          Shivesh Razdan - 1 year participant

TMTA-SA Performance Contest

Bluebonnet MTA had  3  students represented our association in the state semi-finals.

There were 3 students - Jessica Hwang, Wells Leng, and Edward Wang -  sent from Bluebonnet MTA with 2 of them chosen to go on to the final round and one of them receiving a 1st Honorable Mention award.

1) 8th grade Piano Solo:    Edward Wang, an 8th grade student of Dr. Eric Hicks was chosen as one of 10 finalists out of 39 semifinalists.     Edward performed the 1st movement of Bach's Italian Concerto and Brahms Capriccio op. 116 #3.

2) 10th Grade Piano Solo:    Jessica Hwang, a 10 grade student of Ms Irina Chernysheva-Hicks was chosen as one of 10 finalists out of 23 semifinalists.     Jessica performed Scarlatti Sonata L. 449 in b minor and Poem by Arno Babajanian.    Jessica received the 1st Honorable Mention Award in her category (essentially 4th prize). 

TMTA-SA Publication Contest

Bluebonnet MTA had 4 students receive "Outstanding" for their article which was published in the annual Publication Contest winner's magazine. These students were honored at the awards ceremony held on saturday.

Students of MaryKatherine Bakiris

Div. IIA       Kartikeya Kotamraju   "Boldly Baroque: (Characteristics of Baroque Music)"
Div. IIIB      Neil Chaudhury           "Anton Diabelli"              
   Ashneen Rahman         "The Father of the Symphony"
Div. IVB     Varsha Madipadga       "Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky"

President's - Convention Report

The 97th annual T.M.T.A. convention held in Arlington, Texas was a my first convention and was it ever a blast!

It began with the beautiful arrangements of the keyboard orchestra presented by Kilgore College at the first session.

Many student performances were presented by the ensemble groups. Bluebonnet had students participating with Austin DMTA. They were fabulous!

Randall Faber presented several classes, as well as, John and Nancy
 Weems which gave many informative teaching tips.

Workshops were given on theory, 12 steps to successful practice, improvisation, overcoming anxiety of performance, and many others. The convention's guest artist, Tony Caramia, performed many pieces about America.

On Sunday a leadership workshop was led by Sharon Callahan, the TMTA president. She offered ideas for being a positive, supportive, and reliable leader. Other officers gave helpful ideas to other officers. We viewed each other's yearbooks to observe the organization of their associations.

On Sunday there were ceremonies presenting graduating seniors with more than $42,000 in awards.

As the lights were going off and the steering committee was planning the 98th convention, I was looking forward  to participating on the ensemble and theory committee . Until next year, when "T.M.T.A. can play it again!"

Martha Marks, President