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

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Minutes of October meeting

The general monthly meeting was held on October 9 at Velocity Music Academy.

 Fall Theory Test
The theory test will be from 8:30 am to 11:00 am. The test will be offered
again at 4:00-6:00 pm on the same day.

Master Composers/Hymn Festival
Students may perform a piece by a master composer or a hymn, and a piece of
their choice. Pieces by master composers must be original versions. Hymns
may be arrangements.
Martha M showed the printed festival certificates. The certificates have a
critique sheet printed on the back. Martha M stated that teachers may turn in
a separate critique sheet if they prefer.
There will be no voice entries in the festival.
There will be no printed program for the winners' recital.

Christmas program
Teachers are encouraged to turn in at the next meeting an estimate of the
number of their students that will participate in the Christmas program at the
Assisted Living Facility in Wesleyan Retirement Center.
The deadline for registration for the Christmas program is November 20. Turn
in a list of student names and titles of pieces and composers to chairman
Martha Marks. There will be no printed program; the performers will just be
If there is a large number of performers, we could also perform at the
adjacent Independent Living facility.
Students should be dressed up for this event. This is our association's
Christmas party.
Sarah will be in charge of the refreshments.

Presentation - The Conscious Ear
Sarah gave a presentation about The Conscious Ear. She recommended the book
The Conscious Ear by Alfred A. Tomatis. The book is about the benefits of
music. Music can be used to make autistic children communicate. Sarah
explained that talking into one's closed hand into the web between the thumb
and second finger, we are able to hear more.
Sarah announced the Rachmaninoff concert by the Austin Civic Chorus:

A list of ensemble pieces was handed out by Martha M.

January Meeting
The January meeting was moved to Lillian's studio in Round Rock.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 am.

Lillian Simmons
Bluebonnet MTA

Sunday, September 30, 2012




Join us at the next general meeting.
Date: Tuesday, October 9, at 8:30 am
Program: The Conscious Ear. Presenter: Sarah Stokes
Where: Velocity Music Academy, 2301 S. Lakeline Blvd., Suite 200, Cedar
Park, Texas 512-782-8721.

The deadline for Fall SA late registration is October 19.  Email or mail registration forms to SA Chairman Lillian
Mail payment to Treasurer Martha Vallee. Late registration fee is $17 per

The deadline for Master Composers Festival registration is October 19. Mail
email entries to Chairman Lillian Simmons. Mail payments to treasurer Martha

Lillian Simmons
Bluebonnet MTA

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September minutes

Minutes of meeting

The monthly meeting was held at Velocity Music Academy on September 11, 2012.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, October 9 at Velocity Music Academy at 8:30 am.
The theory registration deadline is October 9.
Lillian will confirm the judge for the Master Composers Festival.
The fall theory test will be in the morning. The fall festival will be in the afternoon, Nov. 11 at Concordia University in Cedar Park.
The SA registration deadline is Sept 14.  Return completed forms to Lillian . Mail payment to Martha Vallee, Treasurer , 111 Terjo Lane, Austin, Texas 78732

Electronic copies of the yearbook are available from Martha Marks

Kathy Rabago explained the Achievemnet Program of Carnegie Hall. It is associated with The Royal School of Canada.
The exams will be held at Velocity Music Academy in late November or early December.  Date TBA.
Examination fees are around $70 for beginners, around $115 for intermediate.
These examinations are very motivational.
This is a very serious program requiring strict musicianship. They provide a well rounded, honest assessment.
Etudes are included in the performance requirements.
Students must use their program's repertoire, and must perform 3 or 4 pieces by memory., Examinations include musicianship, sight reading.
The Syllabus is on line.
All information is in their website

Lillian Simmons
Bluebonnet MTA 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


As an MTNA leader, we need your help with the 2012–2013 Membership Campaign “INVOLVE, INFORM, IN SPIRE.” The goal of this campaign is to strengthen MTNA’s membership in the coming year; the most successful states will be recognized at the 2013 conference in Anaheim, California.

Fall is a great time for recruiting. Events such as state conferences and fall local association meetings provide the perfect opportunities to introduce MTNA to new members. Research studies show that a majority of people join associations because a colleague invited them. MTNA encourages you to think of at least one person you know who would benefit from MTNA membership and reach out to that person. Then, spread the word about the campaign in your local and state associations so each one in our membership will reach one prospective member.
Looking for tips to help with membership recruitment and retention in your local or state association. Click here to view the online membership handbook for ideas of things you can do to grow membership.
Membership brochures to support your recruitment and retention activities are available from the national office, by e-mailing Melissa Curtice, member development associate, at
In addition PDF applications are available online. Click here to download.
Your efforts to reach out to your colleagues who are not a part of MTNA will help strengthen the music teaching profession and further the mission of MTNA.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

September meeting

The general membership meeting for September 2012 will be held at Velocity Music Academy in Cedar Park from 8:30 to 10:30 am on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. Velocity Music Academy, 2301 S. Lakeline Blvd., Cedar Park, Texas. Visitors are welcome.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Minutes of meeting

Minutes of meeting of Executive Board of Bluebonnet Music Teachers Association
held at International Studio of Music in Round Rock on July 7, 2012.

It was decided we will continue to meet on the second Tuesday of each month. It was decided we want to continue to meet at Austin School of Music North
because the location is most convenient.

Lillian will be the SA chair for school year 2012-2013.
We have enough funds to do events at Concordia and TSU.
The fall theory test will be held at Concordia U.
The Spring theory will be held at TSU. Lillian will make arrangements.
November 10 or 3 are best dates for theory. November 17 is too close to
The spring theory test should be Saturday February 9. at 9:00. We will need
three rooms.
Concordia events have to be on Sundays
The fee for the theory test will remain the same.
The fee for Student Affiliate will remain the same.


We can combine Master Composers and Hymn festival in the fall. The chairman will be
Lillian. Students must play a piece by a Master Composer or an American composer
or a hymn.
The spring festival co-chairman will be Sarah.
Mary A likes last year's lady judge. Ask Lauren. She was probably from Waco.
Martha M said we only need one judge.
The spring festival will be a sonatina festival. We will require one sonatina
and one piece of student's choice.
We need a voice judge. It will be held at Steinway, and it will be an open
It will be held two weeks after spring break or first Saturday in April.

Ensembles may practice at Steinway, or maybe at Strait, or at Lillian's.
No minimum number of students are required for ensemble participation.
Lillian said that second level gets the most registrations.
Martha M loves Texas composers.
Martha M and Mary A will choose piece.
Rehearsals will be held in May
The convention is in Houston.
Two teachers are required for ensemble. This is our local rule.

Recitals are a good PR. They should be held on a Saturday night.
Martha M said a recital is a good way to end a school year.
There will be no charge for the recital. Martha M will be the chairman.

There will be an Alfred piano workshop at Strait Music South on Friday August 17
from 9:00 to 12:30.
We will try to organize a carpool. Make reservations for the workshop at

Monday, June 4, 2012

Music & Arts store


My name is Henry Hart and I'm the retail district manager for the Music & Arts stores in Houston and soon-to-be in Round Rock and Sunset Valley.  Music & Arts ( is the nations largest provider of private music lessons and one of the largest sellers of sheet and print music. We will be opening a store in Round Rock later this spring on the corner of I-35 and Hwy 45 in the northeast corner of the intersection. We are excited to come to the area near the Bluebonnet Music Teacher's Association and would like an opportunity to talk with your group at some point this summer or fall.  We offer significant discounts to our customers who teach private music lessons and I'd love to share this information with you all and to give a little more info about us and who we are.  Perhaps an open house event in the summer might be a good opportunity to do this?  Have a look at our website to get some more info about us and please email or call me at your earliest convenience to talk more about how we can help grow music education in your area.  I look forward to meeting some of you in the near future and I appreciate your time.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Minutes May 2012

The Executive Board met at Friar Tuck's Pantry in Round Rock on May 8, 2012.


Lauren gave a report of the spring festival at Steinway. It was agreed that
Steinway is a good venue for festivals because it is a beautiful setting,
we're welcome there, and it is free.
She reported
that most festival participants preferred Saturday afternoons starting at


Martha M announced that Crown Trophy off 620 has cheap trophies.
She suggested we give points for superior ratings at festivals which would be
redeemable for trophies.
She suggested awarding five points to 7 points for superior ratings and
requiring 15 points to redeem for one trophy.
It was decided that this matter be presented at the first general meeting
next school year for a vote.

Martha agreed to be president next school year.
Lillian agreed to be in charge of the newsletter next school year.

Mary A agreed to be theory chair next school year.
Mary L agreed to be spring theory cochair next school year.

Lillian will call TSU in Round Rock to make arrangements for theory tests.
Martha Marks said we need five more working members in order to get enough
Martha M agreed to be in charge of membership.

Martha will contact Austin School of Music north about holding monthly
meetings there.
A teacher's recital was considered as a fundraiser.

Martha would like to have open auditions without recital.

Fall Events
Martha M suggested that we hold a hymn festival in the fall in a church the
first weekend in December. We need to look for a church.
Arrangements will be allowed at the Hymn Festival. Martha M will be the
Theory exam and fall festival will be the first weekend in November.

Spring Events
We're planning to have a spring festival of master composers and American
pieces. It will be a mixed festival of both. Students will be playing one
piece of each type. We need a list of American composers.
Lillian will be the spring festival chairman. Sarah will be the cochair.
Original sheet music must be used. Sarah suggested we have a page turner
Lillian suggested that only a tentative date be published in the yearbook.
the final date may be published in the website.

Lillian Simmons
Bluebonnet MTA

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Dear Members,
The May End-of-the-Year Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, May 8, at 11AM at
Friar Tuck's Pantry on Main Street in Round Rock.  The luncheon will be dutch
treat--most entrees are under $10.  More information about this English-style
tea house can be found
Please RSVP by Monday, May 7 so that I can adjust the reservation accordingly.
The Executive Board will meet at 10:00AM, also at Friar Tuck's Pantry, to
discuss plans for the 2012-2013 year.
Below you'll find minutes from the April meeting.
All best,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

minutes April

The monthly meeting of Bluebonnet MTA was held on April 10 at Austin School of Music North.


Natalie Gibson Grimes gave a presentation through Skype on the Frances Clark

She said students should feel the rhythms before playing the music.

The teacher should provide a model of excellence.

She recommended the book "Questions and Answers" by Frances Clark, and "A
Piano Teacher's Legacy" By Richard Chronister. They are available on line at .

There were technical difficulties and the presentation was cut short. Lauren
said she will forward the powerpoint presentation to the teachers.


The business meeting followed the presentation.

Martha M suggested that we have a sonatina festival next school year. Martha M
proposed that we have an American music festival and a hymn festival next
school year.

Martha M requested help with proofreading the yearbook and incorporating new
items into the yearbook. Please have corrections ready for next meeting.

Mary L said she would like to help with events, but would not like to chair

Lauren proposed that next month we have the monthly meeting at a restaurant so we can have lunch and then follow the lunch with the business meeting at the

Martha M requested that each teacher bring a friend to the next meeting.

Theory medals were passed out.

Music Sale: Bring music you would like to donate or exchange for other pieces.


Martha M announced that Steinway Piano Gallery will have a workshop on piano improvisation.

Martha M reported that Steinway Piano Gallery requested that teachers hold
their recitals there.

Lillian Simmons
Bluebonnet MTA

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Steinway pianos

Dear Mrs. Simmons

As the first quarter of the year is coming to its end, I would like to share with you once again our commitment and support to the performing arts in our community.

As you might know, the Steinway signature not only evokes the image of one of the finest musical instruments, but also a sign of excellence. 

In order to keep this musical tradition, we understand the great importance of music education and the irreplaceable roll of you as a music teacher; therefore, we continue encouraging the piano teacher community to consider our facilities as their recital place of choice. Our Recital Room not only embraces a very professional atmosphere, but also facilitates a Brand New Steinway & Sons model B (7") in order to make the student's music performance a memorable and positive experience. 

In our intention to enhance this foregoing tradition, we like to provide the best pianos to you and your students in order to fulfill the musical necessities that you might encounter in this process. May our services and facility be helpful to your musical endeavors, please don't hesitate to contact me.


Esteban Alvarez, M.M.
Artist Performance
Steinway Piano Gallery
Austin, TX


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March minutes


The monthly general meeting of Bluebonnet MTA was held on March 13 at Austin School of Music North.

Speaker arrangements with Yamaha representative fell through the cracks and
there was no speaker.


Lauren announced that the piano judges for the Dance Festival will be Scott
Donald and Courtney Crappell.

Monitoring plans were discussed, and Lauren encouraged teacher monitors to
register for monitoring shifts at


Martha V moved that she be appointed Treasurer. The motion was seconded by
Lillian. The motion was approved unanimously.


We're planning to take photographs of Officers at the Dance Festival and at
the next meeting.

Lauren announced that the TMTA convention for next school year will be held
in Houston.
Martha announced that she plans to attend the TMTA convention this summer.

Lauren announced that Clavier magazine can be ordered through an on line code for a group rate of $20 per person.

Lauren announced that National Center For Keyboard Pedagogy will have an on
line Facebook event about piano teaching business on March 30.


Summer Programs
Lauren announced that there is good piano camp for advanced students at
Belmont University in Nashville.
Baylor also has a summer program. SMY has a program for teachers and

Piano Sale
Nancy Strait announced that if there is enough interest, she can order a
shipment of ten acoustic Yamaha 48 inch pianos. Financing is available
through GE Capital with six months of zero interest. She sometimes offers
specials of 12 months with zero interest. She sells these Yamaha pianos for
$6,500. This price includes delivery and tuning.

Lillian Simmons
Bluebonnet MTA

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Minutes of Meeting

The general monthly meeting of Bluebonnet MTA was held at Austin School of
Music North on February 21, 2012.

The speaker was Lynn Liles from Liberty Tax Service.
The following items were discussed.
Concerts are deductible under professional development.
Traveling expenses may be deducted as per diem and do not require receipts.
Look up per diem standard amounts at
IRS is picky about mileage log.
Meeting attendance is deductible as business mileage.
Drop box computer program saves receipts.
College education is deductible at 100 %.
Liffetime learning is deductible at 50%.
Quick Books is a good program, and is not difficult to use.
Income amounts lower than $600 should be reported even if you don't get a 1099
Auditors look at income deposits in your bank account.

There were reports about theory test. The test proceeded smoothly.
The tentative judges for the Dance Music Festival are Scott Donald, Courtney
Crappel and Sky.
The program for March will be a presentation about Yamaha by a Yamaha
The program for April will be about composition.
If a studio student registration form asks about illnesses, the studio becomes
liable if there is a student health incident in the studio.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 am.

Lillian Simmons
Bluebonnet MTA

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February Meeting

Dear Members,

To accommodate our guest presenter for the February program, we will be moving our February meeting to Tuesday, February 21 at 9:30AM , Austin School of Music North location.  We are thrilled that Lynn Liles from Liberty Tax Service will be joining us to discuss tax preparation for small business owners.  Bring your tax questions and a good appetite--we'll have coffee and snacks!

See you Tuesday, February 21,


Monday, February 6, 2012

February meeting

Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 5:11 PM
Subject: Possible meeting change for February?
Hi Ladies,
First, I hope the theory test went well Saturday morning.  I was sending my warmest wishes, and I know with you all in charge, it went very smoothly!
Secondly, I have found a CPA from Liberty Tax Services who would be happy to come meet with our group to share information about tax preparation for small business owners.   Pat  especially asked about this, and I think it would be very helpful for all of us.  The only problem is that she is already booked for Tuesday February 14.  Do you think it would be possible to change our meeting to February 21 at 9:30 instead? 
For March, the Yamaha rep is coming to visit, and for April, a colleague from Arizona is going to present through Skype.  I know we previously had a business meeting scheduled for April, but we could easily do that at the May luncheon.
Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Minutes of January meeting


The monthly membership meeting was held at Austin School of Music North in
Cedar Park on January 10.
The meeting was called to order at 9:45 am.


Guest speaker Craig Headley, Employment Specialist and Trainer at the Texas
Workforce Commission, spoke about interviewing skills. He went over
things to say at an interview. Achievements should be pointed out. He said
prepared elevator speech was important. He is available to answer questions
at 223-5493.


Student Affiliate
The procedure for SA registration with TMTA was clarified. The SA chairman
should send the list of registrations and the treasurer should send the fees.

There should be a photograph release for parents to sign at each event, so
that we may publish pictures in the internet.

Sheet Music
We discussed the need for a release for sheet music printouts to be used at
Lillian said she will use the release from the Piano Guild as a pattern.

Teachers should remember to give the theory test information sheet to parents
before the test.

Spring Festival
Martha will try to set up the Spring festival for a Saturday in April,
preferably the 21st. Lauren said she will prepare the certificates. Martha
will be the co-chair.

Our deadline for ensemble registration is January 13. The TMTA deadline is
March 1. Ensemble sheets are in the yearbook. Lillian said she has four
acoustic pianos, and she offered her studio for rehearsals. An ensemble flyer
was passed out.


Martha M announced that there will be an improvisation workshop next weekend at
Bachus Conservatory. Saturday April 14 at 10:00 am-1:30 pm

President Martha M introduced new member Martha V.   Martha graciously
offered her help and assistance for projects.

Martha M reported that she has had a lot of friendly contact with ADMTA.
have discussed guidelines that they use.

Lauren said she needs five subscriptions to get a group rate for Clavier

Reavis announced that Strait Music has a 20 percent off offer in sheet music
for teachers in January and September. Christmas music is now 25 percent off.

An updated new members list was passed out.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 am.

Lillian Simmons
Bluebonnet MTA