Category Archives: Announcements

Clavier Companion Special Offer

clavier_companion_logoI heard one of my younger colleagues jokingly (I hope!) refer to me as a “dinosaur”. He’s not far wrong: like many of my aging colleagues I still wonder what happened to the 1980s and how time could possibly have gone by so quickly since then.

With age, though, comes experience, and that’s priceless. I’ve been an Associated Editor of the magazine Clavier Companion (formerly Keyboard Companion) since the early 1990s. My original purview was the section of the magazine focusing on piano technic. I have learned a lot over the years interacting with some of the world’s top authorities on piano technic, and readers have told me that they have absorbed much, too. It’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Clavier Companion is a wonderful resource for all piano teachers.

For that reason, I am including here part of an email from my good friend and colleague Pete Jutras, Clavier Companion Editor-in-Chief. We need your help! Please read and listen to Pete’s words. If you’re not a subscriber, now is a good time to start. If you already subscribe, help spread the message to others.

From Pete:

As you may have heard in the media in recent years, print publication is an increasingly difficult business. Productions costs continue to rise, and younger generations are much less likely to subscribe to magazines.

I’m writing today to ask for your help in spreading the word about Clavier Companion. We are a small, non-profit organization with virtually no budget for advertising. We know, however, that word-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful and effective means of letting people know about our publication.

I’m hoping that you would be willing to take a few short moments to mention Clavier Companion to your teachers’ association at your next meeting. You could show the video at your meeting, and you could also distribute the video via e-mail to your members. Anyone who subscribes or renews with this offer will receive a special discounted rate that is lower than our regular renewal discounts and usually reserved only for conference attendees.

Click here to subscribe or renew

Use coupon code ccspringoffer for new subscriptions or renewals

With your help in spreading the word and signing up new subscribers, Clavier Companion can continue to provide you with the articles and ideas you’ve come to know and trust. I thank you for your time and your support.

With best wishes,

Pete Jutras
Editor-in-Chief, Clavier Companion

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Rocky Ridge Scholarships Available!

rrmclogoI am excited to share that SoYoung Lee, Executive and Music Director of the Rocky Ridge Music Camp, has announced that scholarships are available for the Rocky Ridge Adult Piano Seminar. I will be teaching at the Adult Seminar at Rocky Ridge for two sessions from May 30-June 7, 2015.

Attending students will have the opportunity to take private lessons with me and perform in Masterclasses. I will be giving a lecture on J.S. Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue and offering a multi-part series of talks on “Fundamentals of Basic Piano Technique”.

If you would like to know more, or want to inquire about scholarship availability, please send me a message.

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A New Faculty Member at Rocky Ridge—Me!

rrmclogoI’m a firm believer in taking on creative challenges at any age, including mine. I think it keeps you fresh, helps you learn new skills and builds forward thinking. So I’m going to follow my own advice.

I am proud and honored to inform you that I will be joining the faculty of the Rocky Ridge Music Center Adult Piano Seminar, for two sessions from May 30-June 7, 2015. I will be teaching lessons, giving masterclasses, a lecture on J.S. Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, and offering a multi-part series of talks on “Fundamentals of Basic Piano Technique”.

Longs Peak, CO
Longs Peak, CO

Rocky Ridge is an extraordinary place. It is one of the oldest summer music programs in the country, located in the lovely Colorado Rockies at the foot of Longs Peak. Its natural beauty inspires even more artistic music making.

Amateur aficionados of the piano, piano teachers and college or conservatory students will all benefit from this program. I hope you’ll consider joining me!

Click here for more information, including an online application page.

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MTNA: The Opportunities Continue!

Scott AwardWhen I started my campaign to become President of the Music Teachers National Association, my first blog was about opportunity: the opportunities I felt that MTNA has always given music teachers, and some ideas about what we need to do to build even more favorable possibilities for MTNA members—and the future members!—of our great organization.

As I write you today, I have accepted an opportunity of my own. I am honored and humbled to report that, at the Annual MTNA Business Meeting on March 24, 2015, my name was announced as MTNA President-Elect for the next biennium. I will become MTNA President in two years.

I want to thank every MTNA member who voted in this election, whether this was your first time, or the latest of many, as it was for me. I have the utmost respect for my worthy opponent, Martha Hilley, and I know we will work together to continue to move MTNA forward, as we have many times in the past.

Many thanks for your involvement, your suggestions and your support. I’ll need all three in the years ahead! Thanks again.

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Update on MTNA Election Results

MTNA logoIn 1876, a group of music teachers met in Ohio to form an organization dedicated to making music available to every American. They called it the Music Teachers National Association.

Today, almost 140 years later, MTNA’s mission continues. We move forward because of the dedication of each and every MTNA member. It’s your commitment to our noble mission and your big, bold dreams that make MTNA such a profound force for good in music education. Thank-you for everything you do; I’m honored to be your colleague.

Many of you have written to ask about the election results. I wrote Dr. Gary Ingle, MTNA Executive Director and CEO, with the same question. He informed me that it is MTNA tradition to make no announcement until the MTNA Annual Business Meeting, which will take place this year on Tuesday, March 24 at 1:00 p.m. Naturally, I will respect this decision.

During the election process, I appreciated the chance to interact with so many of you through my blog. Let’s carry-on the dialogue, and continue our journey together into a bright musical future for all Americans. Your support means a lot.

Thanks for all each of you does for music, for children and for the future of music in the United States.

See you in Vegas!

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Thank you…and let’s keep making music

My run for the presidency of the Music Teachers National Association has been an adventure. Today is the last opportunity to vote, and it’s been a positive experience. I’ve learned a lot.

To those of you who have voted for me: thank you! For those of you who are supporting my opponent, thank you, too. I appreciate everyone’s commitment to the important mission of MTNA.

To me, one of the most valuable aspects has been the interactions with my blog readers. I’ve enjoyed the feedback and your fresh and creative ideas. Win or lose, I plan on continuing a dialogue on the important issues that affect all of us.

Thanks for all each of you does for music, for children and for the future of music in the United States.

See you in Vegas!

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An Open Letter to My Colleagues

Over the last few weeks, I have received many messages from fellow MTNA members. Many are supportive, but others raise some valid questions about what constitutes appropriate activity by a candidate for MTNA President. Today, this came to light in a thoughtful email from Dr. Gary Ingle, CEO of MTNA, to the MTNA membership. You can read his message here.

It has always been my goal share the love of music study with as many people as possible. I was honored and excited to receive a nomination for the MTNA presidency, because I truly believe in what this organization stands for. I feel MTNA is one of the most powerful advocates for music education in the United States today. I am also a music teacher, just like every one of you, and I wish to share with you what I have found to be most effective during my teaching career. My hope is that you may also find some of this to be helpful, and even perhaps use it as an opportunity to begin constructive conversations about ensuring that music education continues to flourish for many years to come.

Before starting my campaign last fall, I spoke to MTNA to ensure my plans would not conflict with any MTNA guidelines. I would like to clarify for my own part that the MTNA organization has not contributed information or resources of any kind to my effort. I apologize to anyone who may not have not found this clear in my communications, and if you do not wish to hear from me, simply remove your address from all future messages using this form.

I invite you to read about my hopes and dreams for the future of MTNA, and glance through the blog posts I have written over the past few months. I believe raising awareness about these issues is critical, and the most important thing is not whether we agree on every point, but how we as an organization continue to remain relevant in the modern, changing world. I would welcome any opportunity to discuss any of these issues or concerns with you. Just send me an email: mtna@scottmcbridesmith.org.

And please, be sure to vote. Your voice and viewpoints are important to our organization.

As always, I appreciate what every one of you does in service of our shared love of music.

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Interview on 88 Piano Keys

88_pk_logo_3I’ve enjoyed my experience running for MTNA president. I view it as a chance to have a dialogue with the music teachers of the United States about the key issues in teaching today, and how MTNA can help all of us address the challenges we face in creating a more musical tomorrow. So I am very appreciative of Leila Viss, who sent a set of questions to both candidates for the MTNA presidency and offered to post the answers on her outstanding blog, 88 Piano Keys. I found her queries thought provoking, to say the least, and I value the opportunity to share my ideas. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, I recommend it!

Click here to read the interview.

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“Money Talks” — The MTNA Foundation

MTNA Foundation“Money talks,” as my grandmother used to say. How we as an organization of music teachers spend our money tells us what our priorities are and what programs we find worthy of support. There are so many legitimate needs, so many great ideas—and never enough money to fully sustain all of them.

Donations to the MTNA Foundation go a long way to filling the void. Many of us have devoted our lives to our great mission of music teaching, depending on the programs and services that MTNA offers. Giving back through a donation to the MTNA Foundation makes many of these programs possible.

It is with great pleasure that I formally congratulate you on your designation as an MTNA Foundation Fellow. This honor is bestowed upon outstanding individuals who have made a significant difference in the music world.

Scott, you are very loved and respected by your colleagues and friends. This is evident from the generous donations we have received on your behalf. Your contributions to the music profession have inspired and will continue to inspire teachers and students everywhere.

Gary L. Ingle, MTNA Executive Director & CEO

So it was a source of great pride to me when the president of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, Jennifer Snow, contacted me and let me know that CAPMT was nominating me as an MTNA Fellow.

MTNA Fellows are nominated by colleagues and friends who wish to honor a teacher, colleague and friend with a donation to the MTNA Foundation.

“Your contributions to California as a leading teacher and pedagogy specialist combined with your many years of service to CAPMT, MTNA, and the broader teaching profession make you an obvious choice for all of us,” Jennifer wrote.

The MTNA Foundation chair for California, Sharon Townsend said, “Scott and I have worked together on many projects, from summer music programs to major conferences. He is a dynamic leader, and a wonderful colleague and friend. We are delighted to honor him as a 2015 MTNA Fellow.”

Thank-you, Jennifer and Sharon, for your generous words. I hope CAPMT teachers’ substantial gift will inspire others to donate to the MTNA Foundation.

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MTNA Elections are Live! Who can Vote?

The big day has finally come: the MTNA Officers Election is now open! There are four easy ways to submit your ballot:

Ballots will be accepted until March 2, 2015.

Many of you have contacted me asking how to vote. The first prerequisite is: you have to be an MTNA member.

If you are not, MTNA has a great deal for you! If you have never held an MTNA membership, or if your membership has lapsed, now is a perfect chance to join.

MTNA has a variety of other membership types, and not all types of membership are voting-eligible. I have checked with the MTNA Head Office to confirm the following information, which I hope you may find helpful:

MTNA Membership Voting Rights

  1. Active Members

    If you know you are an MTNA member but are not sure what type, this is most likely you! Active members can vote. Active Membership information.

  2. Collegiate Members

    If you are a currently a student and joined MTNA through your school, this is you. Collegiate members cannot vote. Collegiate Membership information.

  3. International Members

    If you are a member of MTNA but do not currently live in the US, this is most likely your membership type. International members cannot vote. International Membership information.

  4. Patron Members

    If you are not a music professional but hold an MTNA membership, this is you. Patron members cannot vote. Patron Membership information.

  5. Retired Members

    If you were a member of MTNA for at least 20 continuous years, are over age 65, no longer maintain an active studio, and have petitioned the MTNA Executive Director, you are a Retired member. Thank you for your long service! Retired members can vote. Retired Membership information.

  6. Former Members

    Former Members. If you previously held MTNA membership, but have let it lapse in recent years, I invite you to rejoin the organization and be a part of the movement of change I hope to lead. You may renew your membership online, and newly-renewed Active members can vote.

  7. Non-Members

    Non-Members. If you have never held an MTNA membership, now could be a perfect chance to join! The Six-Month Membership is a special discount for first-time members, and counts as an Active membership. You may also join as a standard Active member for the remainder of the 2014-2015 membership year (until June 30th, 2015) for prorated dues of only $35. New Active members through either option can vote.

I invite you to continue checking this page over the next few weeks. I have a lot of ideas to share!

Thank you for your support. It would be an honor to serve as MTNA President.

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