Letters from our president detailing current issues in the teaching of music in Manitoba.
May 1, 2015
Dear MRMTA Members,
The last few months have been flying with many wonderful activities and fun events. I am always so honoured to be President of an organization that works for its members. It truly engages so many people on both sides of the teaching profession; students, parents and teachers.
As you all know, the Musicthon was once again at the Forks. In its 25th year, it has matured into a fun, successful event with many teachers participating. Many thanks to all who came out and volunteered but especially to committee chair, Gina Wedel. She has become the backbone to this event and runs it with great efficiency and confidence. It runs smoothly under her hard work and dedication. Gina and I had the pleasure of an outing to see where all the money raised for the Variety goes to and I can honestly say the cause is very worthwhile. We attended a class held by Margot Harding at Harstone Dominion Daycare in the inner city. There, we participated in 2 classes of the Musictanz Programme and had a great time. Inner city Nursery and Kindergarten aged children are taught music aurally through rhymes, rhythm and song. It is a wonderful programme and we really enjoyed our visit.
Our last workshop of the year was held in January with Melanie Whyte as our guest clinician. Thank you to her for this fine learning/teaching experience and to the participants who learned so much. Leanne Hiebert kindly worked at making this event happen and I am indebted to her and the executive for making sure the MRMTA continued to serve its members during my time away due to illness.
Another year has passed and the Scholarship Competition too is completed. Thank you to Susan Kirton, a new member to the MRMTA who worked extremely hard running this annual event, along with her fabulous committee. The word is that the Gala Concert was an excellent one. Congratulations to all of the participants and their teachers. Pianist Megan Dufrat, under the tutelage of MRMTA member, David Moroz was the winner of the advanced piano competition. She is off to represent Manitoba at the National Piano Competition in Vancouver during CFMTA/FCAPM Convention in July. We wish her the best of luck!
The new website is up! The executive spent many exhausting hours to get the website up to par and we hope everyone will reap the benefits of being found and seen easier on the new site. Did you have a chance to upload your biography and photo yet? I just love the photos taken by Garnie Ross at the photo shoot we offered to all members. They are fabulous and fun. Enjoy perusing the new site…..and if anything is missing, let us know.
Meanwhile, come on out to see the executive chez moi, Sunday June 21st at the second annual “Wine-Up”! Sign up online (give it a try!) or just show up. The more the merrier… all the details are on the home page of the MRMTA website!
Tiffany A. Wilson, President
December 1, 2014
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes from the Executive!
We have had a very eventful start to the year, beginning with the election a wonderful new executive at the Annual General Meeting. I’m so excited to have such enthusiastic members on board for the next 2 years. We have been brainstorming a lot of wonderful new ideas and can’t wait to get them started.
September started the new season with a big bang…lunch at the St. Charles Country Club, the Young Artist Concert and our Annual General Meeting. Special guest, Charline Farrell, President of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers, joined us for the weekend. She spoke at the AGM and had encouraging words for the MRMTA concerning the upcoming One Hundred Year celebration of our organization in 2019. That will also be a Convention Year to be held her in Manitoba. Charline had encouraging words and has generously offered that the CFMTA help us in any way possible over the next 5 years in planning the Canadian Federation Convention! It should be mentioned that the sandwiching of the Young Artist’s Concert between the luncheon at the St. Charles Country Club and the AGM was a sure fire way to increase attendance at all of the events. The audience was pleasantly surprise and really enjoyed the concert and the performers did an outstanding job. A special thank you goes out to members who signed up for their volunteer hours at this big event.
November we had 2 more events, Workshop #1 by Mary Hawn “Introducing Yoga in the Music Studio” was very well attended. Everyone felt the benefit of this morning of movement and camaraderie. Canada Music Week concert was a fun time for all involved. Once again, I must mention that the volunteers really went the extra mile to make the occasion a special one. They had posters, prizes, cake and even honoured composers at the concert. It truly was an excellent student concert.
The Pre-Diploma group is working very hard and presenting some great workshops this year. All members are invited to attend, and remember, if you have a student studying in Gr. X or at diploma level, this is a wonderful group to join! Michelle Leclerc is currently president of this group. Please read her article further on in the Take Note Magazine about their recent workshop.
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! We are proud to announce a fundraising adventure for our members in anticipation of the 2019 CFMTA Convention. As you know, it will cost a lot for such a small organization to host up to 1,000 teachers coming to Winnipeg from across the country and we want to really do a great job. So, brush off your instruments and tune up your vocal chords! May 3rd, 2015 we invite teachers to donate their talent to a mega concert. This will be a grand “SERATA” of Italian music and food! Pick your favourite Italian composer be it Rossini, Scarlatti, Verdi, Tosti, Morricone and get creative. Choose your favourite colleagues and start planning duets, trios…..ensembles? Anything goes. I’m imagining a little “Soave il vento” trio from Cosi fan tutte! Or Vivaldi’s “Le quattro stagioni”. Do we have 4 violin soloists ready for the performing of all four seasons? Anything goes! Why not some Cinema Paradiso music, or Andrea Boccelli’s popular Italian classics! The list stops only with one’s imagination. Start telling your students about the event and get them hyped up! This is a fundraiser, so let’s fill the hall.
Tiffany A. Wilson, President
August 1, 2014
Dearest Friends and MRMTA Members,
Happy Summer Vacation to all! Since our last issue of Take Note, the MRMTA activities have been winding down and gearing up for the next season of important events. It was so much fun to wrap up the MRMTA at the Wine-Up in June. Thanks to all who came out for the fun. If you missed it this year, don’t worry and make sure you come for the next “June Wine-Up” in 2015.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who have helped me through this first year as President. Without this executive and the energy behind every event, I’m sure that things would have been more daunting than they were. A big warm thank you especially to Eleanor Lwiwski (I spelled it right!) for serving this year as Vice-President. Your help and guidance have been inspiring to say the least and I don’t know what I would have done without your advice and patience. I’m particularly pleased that despite all of your other commitments, you have let your name stand for the next election as PastPresident.
Last month, Eleanor Lwiwski and I were in Toronto for the CFMTA meetings. As representatives of Manitoba, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet teachers who volunteer from all across Canada and are dedicated to the bigger, world wide picture of teachers of music. The officers and delegates were all kind and encouraging. One result of our meetings is that a committee is being formed to help Manitoba with modernizing our Association and helping us gear up towards hosting the 2019 Conference in conjunction with our 100 Year Anniversary. We hope that with their help, we will be able to hold the Conference and sustain the financial and volunteering pressure it will inevitably create. We are thankful to the CFMTA for this gesture and will not let them down. President Charline Farrell will be in Winnipeg in September to start those talks and to address our members at the AGM.
Our biggest event of the year happens in September at the AGM. In one fell swoop you can meet CFMTA President, Charline Farrell who gives the opening address to us at our AGM. Held at the St. Charles’ Country Club, we have also invited the Young Artist winners to perform after the luncheon, just before the AGM. It will be a lovely afternoon chalk full of activities. Get your tickets soon!
Finally, I’d also really like to thank the teachers who helped get the Holtby Scholarship back up on its feet. There were so many wonderful applicants. Six scholarships of $2,000 were awarded to very deserving recipients. We have received many thanks you letters, so please turn the pages and read more about our teachers and students in Manitoba in this, our online Take Note Magazine.
The Executive has been working hard to prepare a full calendar of upcoming events. Please take time to mark your calendars with important dates in the 2014-2015 teaching season. The annual Musicthon, Scholarship Competition and Canada Music Week® are huge opportunities for students to perform in front of an audience. Attendance has been waning over the last couple of years, so hopefully knowing the dates now will help you prepare your own calendar.
Tiffany A. Wilson, President
December 1, 2013
Dear MRMTA Member,
Welcome to our new Take Note Magazine! You may be reading it in your email box; on our Website, via Facebook, or you may be holding one of the 30 printed copies for those members who still prefer reading a good, old hard copy. No matter where you read the magazine, it will be informative as well as entertaining. There will be some new features such as a Q & A section for examiners and the “Feature Teacher” page which will appear in our second issue, (one of 3 issues per year). The executive welcomes, Dina Pollock, our new editor. You, as a member, are welcome to help us make this magazine vibrant with pictures, stories and any original ideas. Are you a writer in Manitoba? Why not submit an article? All input is welcome.
It was a privilege to be asked by the Royal Conservatory of Music to host the Gold Award Ceremony for Manitoba in November. Not only was it a celebration of the student’s achievements, but it also encouraged the recognition of their teachers. To my delight, I knew most of the teachers listed next to their students’ name, in the program. There were many teachers who are members of the MRMTA and I was thrilled to see the accomplishments of so many of our members. So often, we as teachers feel a need to be modest and humble about our success… I too had a student win gold, and couldn’t be more pleased. Some may say that it is bragging, but building a successful studio takes a lot of work and dedication. A pat on the back between colleagues is well deserved when we as teachers get out of the studio. This was a big reward for my student and for me as a teacher in Manitoba. It was the same for every teacher that came out to the ceremony. We were all beaming from ear to ear with pride, and yes, it was as much for ourselves as for our students!
Did you know that you have a chance to win a free trip anywhere in North America from the MRMTA? Yes! I’m so excited. Open to all MRMTA teachers and executive members, Verna Wiebe, in conjunction with our annual Musicthon is upping the anti! The teacher who enters the most participants will win the tickets. Variety, The Children’s Charity has successfully secured 3 consecutive days at THE FORKS for our annual MUSICTHON! Starting February 14th through the 16th, 2014 we will have a fabulous, highly visible location to perform in and raise money. Sign up your students, get pledges and volunteer for our booth! We encourage our members to attend along with their students and help promote this fundraiser and the MRMTA. How exciting that our students have the opportunity to perform in such a popular space. It will certainly be a vibrant place to play or sing, especially right before the big Winnipeg Music Festival.
This year, the executive is glad to continue many of the annual events such as the Canada Music Week concert, the Scholarship competition, the Young Artists Series and the Musicthon. We have noticed a significant decline in volunteering at venues when an event is happening. If you plan to attend, ask the organizer of the event if you could help out by handing out programs, organizing student performers or getting a reception ready. Every little bit helps.
Don’t forget to note the 2013-2014 Calendar of Events. It is continually evolving and has undergone many changes since the directory came out. Deadlines and events have been listed chronologically for your convenience. Mostly, come out and support this wonderful organization. Get involved with the MRMTA! Believe me, if I, a single music teaching mom can do this, anyone can find the time!
Tiffany A. Wilson, President
September 1, 2013
Dear MRMTA Member,
A warm welcome back to another year of teaching and inspiring our students; as we forge ahead with energy and determination to make this another successful year for our music studio and students! I’ve always enjoyed getting advice from members who have many more years of experience than I, and I’m never afraid to ask for help, as I know it can only help me improve and grow wiser. What a wonderful thing it is to be a part of an organization full of opportunity such as the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association.
* BIG NEWS for us this year: The MRMTA, in association with Variety, The Children’s Charity has successfully secured 3 consecutive days at THE FORKS for our annual MUSICTHON! Starting February 14th through the 16th, 2014 we will have this fabulous, highly visible location to perform in and raise money. Gina Wedel, Verna Wiebe and I are so pleased that we took time out of our summer holidaying to make this happen. We hope that you too will be excited and help to promote this event. Sign up your students, get pledges and volunteer for our booth. We encourage our members to attend along with their students and help promote this fundraiser and the MRMTA. How exciting that our students have the opportunity to perform in such a popular space! It will certainly be a vibrant place to play or sing…..and we may have a few surprise entertainers joining the stage with our students!! But that is TBA!
Thank you for your patience in receiving the new directory. It has taken some time to be readied this year due to being re-printed. It will be delivered to the usual stores and all the school divisions in the next few days. The new directory is also on-line, thanks to the hard work of our new web person, Bernadette Geras. Do take time to look at our website to see your information pop up when searching either for a specific area, a specific instrument or a specific teacher. What a great addition to our website!
The Scholarship Competition is still at high risk of being cancelled. We desperately need volunteers to help organise and run the competition. In particular, we need people to be at the venues to receive students and music, help the adjudicator and manage the entrance fees for the performances. These people can be parents or members or someone’s grandmother! We just need help. Let us know if you can help in anyway, as soon as you possibly can.
Take Note Magazine update: 2 candidates have come forward for the Editor’s position. The next publication should be ready by January, the winter edition, if not sooner. The magazine will still be printed and mailed to those members who do not wish to read it online. Otherwise, we hope to save this organization a lot of extra costs incurred with the printing of our magazine.
Inside the directory is the 2013-2014 Calendar of Events. It’s on the last inside page. Deadlines and events have been listed chronologically for your convenience. Our first event is a Meet & Greet on October 6, 2013 from 2 – 4pm in Wildwood Park, 621 South Drive. Consider this your invitation to come join the Manitoba executive and share your ideas and stories with us! Bring a friend! Bring a spouse! Bring your music!
Tiffany A. Wilson, President