Indiana-specific Conference Events

The 2017 MTNA Conference in Baltimore, MD is just around the corner. If you’re attending, here is a listing of all events that are related to Indiana and our members. Please join us in supporting our fellow Indiana colleagues and students!

Saturday, 03.18

8:45 am – Maya Kilburn, competing in the Junior Strings Competition (Galena Room)

9:15 am – Karen Thickstun (et al.), The Socially Active Music Teacher (Grand Ballrooms VII and VIII)

4:30 pm – Ball State University AND Butler University Collegiate Chapters present during Collegiate Chapters Activities Poster Sessions (Waterview Ballroom)

5:00 pm – Announcements of Junior Performance Winners (Grand Ballrooms VII and VIII)

Sunday, 03.19

9:15 am – Karen Thickstun, Business Planning for the Independent Studio: Trends Worth Noting (Laurel ABCD Room)

5:00 pm – East Central Division Meeting (Essex ABC Room)

6:30 pm – Indiana Dinner (rsvp required, contact Christina for details)

Monday, 03.20

9:15 am – Claudia Bossard, Avoid the House of Corrections: Use the Simultaneous Learning Method to Develop Musicianship and Artistry (Grand Ballroom II, III, IV)

Tuesday, 03.21

11:00 am – Christina Whitlock, Adult Students: Playing for Keeps (Dover ABC Room)

Indiana Student to Compete in National Performance Competition

IMTA congratulates Maya Kilburn, WINNER of the East Central Division MTNA Performance Competition in Junior Strings!

2016 ECDA winner Maya Kilburn

2017 ECDA winner Maya Kilburn

Miss Kilburn along with her collaborator and father, Dr. Ray Kilburn of Ball State University performing the following works:

  • Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216, Movement I
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 105, Movement I
    Robert Schumann
  • Scherzo-tarantelle in G Minor, Op. 16
    Henryk Wieniawski

Maya will now advance to the MTNA National Performance Competition, to be held at the National Conference in Baltimore, MD. The competition will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017.

Please join us in celebrating this fine young musician!


Maya’s bio is as follows:

A native of Muncie, IN, Maya Kilburn is 14 years old and studies with Mimi Zweig at the Indiana University Jacobs School String Academy. She began her violin studies at age 4 under Anna Vayman, and subsequently studied with Chin Mi Kim. Maya has won first place in a number of concerto competitions including the junior divisions of the Ft Wayne Symphony, Muncie Symphony, and the New World Youth Orchestra. As a result, she performed movements from the Kabalevski and Wieniawski 2nd concerti in concert with orchestra. She also took second prize in the 2016 Carmel Symphony Competition, and was a national finalist in the MTNA junior strings competition in the spring of 2016. Maya has also won 1st prize in the Indiana Music Teachers Association Competition strings division in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015, and the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale in 2013. She has been active performing on many recitals with the IU String Academy Violin Virtuosi, including a performance at Circle Theatre in Indianapolis, with IVCI Laureate David Chan at the Indiana Landmarks Center, with Atar Arad and Joseph Swenson in Bloomington, and with the Bloomington Symphony. She has also performed in master class for such artists as Jinjoo Cho, Blair Milton, and Jonathan Swartz, Vadim Gluzman, and Sarah Kapustin. Maya has performed on many recitals with her parents in the Midwestern US, Japan and Central America, and was featured on an Indiana Public Radio broadcast.  She completed a 3-week concert tour with the Violin Virtuosi in Argentina this past June. In her spare time, Maya enjoys reading, writing books, , and spending time with her dogs Cocoa and Sophia.

Former Butler Collegiate Member Wins MTNA Studio Fellowship

Congratulations to former Butler Collegiate Chapter MTA member Karen Lien, winner of the Mary Sue Harris Fellowship, awarded annually by MTNA!

The $3,000 grant, funded by the MarySue Harris Endowment Fund, is presented annually to a recently graduated independent teacher who demonstrates commitment to the music teaching profession and outstanding studio development.

Read more below about Karen including details on her active role in the Butler Collegiate Chapter and the wonderful Indiana teachers with whom she studied.


Karen Lien is living her dream life as a piano teacher and owner of You LOVE Piano studio.  Before receiving her Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy from Butler University and starting her teaching career at You LOVE Piano studio, she was a software developer and an instructor, who had the opportunity to teach programming and website design.  In 2009, the passion of playing music and being a piano teacher called her to pursue a career in piano teaching.  Through the support from her family and friends and many respectful mentors like Dr. Courtney Crappell, Prof. Karen Thickstun, and Dr. Kate Boyd, her lifelong dream finally became a reality. 

Karen resides in San Antonio, TX and she enjoys teaching Little Mozart program for 4- and 5-years-old, Achievement program for school-age children, and Recreational Music Making (RMM) program for teens and adults.  Now, she dreams to bring the enjoyment of music-making to more children in her community.  This dream of making piano lessons accessible to children comes from her own childhood experience.  When Karen was 5-years-old, she could not continue piano lessons because of her family’s financial difficulty.  However, her love for music and piano playing has never ceased, and eventually, she found her way back to playing the piano.  Karen has never forgotten her childhood dream that children who love piano playing (like she did) will also have the opportunities to enjoy the many benefits of music. 

A passionate teacher, Karen continues to seek and advance her professional development by completing certification program, attending and presenting in national and state conferences.  In 2015, Karen earned the NCTM designation through MTNA’s Professional Certification Program and is honored to be a nationally certified teacher of Music.  In 2014, under the guidance of Professor Thickstun, Karen and her colleagues from the Butler University MTNA Chapter presented “Creating a Musical Wonderland: Teaching Composition Through Storytelling” at the MTNA National Conference and Indianapolis Piano Teachers Association (IPTA) meeting.  In 2013, Karen attended MTNA national conference and presented a poster session with Butler University MTNA Chapter.   Karen served as vice president in the Butler University Collegiate Chapter of MTNA and helped coordinating a member recital, the annual Children’s Music Festival, conference presentation and volunteered at AIM and Hoosier Auditions.

In addition to teaching, she served as pianist and choral accompanist for First Chinese Baptist Church in San Antonio and has accompanied theater productions and choirs in Texas, Ohio and Japan including Spring Creek Untied Methodist Church, Dayton Chinese Christian Church, Tokyo Presbyterian Church, Yokota Middle School, Missoula’s children theater and Yokota Theater.


For further interest in the MTNA Fellowship Award vist the MTNA website

East Central Division (E.C.D.) Competition Results

Indiana is proud to announce we have several winners, alternates and honorable mentions that were named in the East Central Division Competition!


East Central Junior Performance String

Winner – Maya Kilburn, Violin; Student of Mimi Zweig


East Central Senior Performance Piano

Honorable mention – Gabe Brunner, Piano; Student of Fred Hammond


East Central Senior Performance Woodwind

Alternate – Kacie Brown, Saxophone; Student of Otis Murphy


East Central Senior Piano Duet

Honorable mention – Rebekah Rexroth, Piano; Student of Dawn Hopkins


East Central Young Artist Composition

Honorable Mention – Da Som (Emily) Yoo; Student of Michael Schelle


2016 ECD Composition Competition Winners Named

Music Teachers National Association is pleased to announce the results of the composition competition for East Central Division.

Indiana MTA would like to thoroughly congratulate one of our students who received an honorable mention! Da Som (Emily) Yoo, student of Michael Schelle awarded an honorable mention in the Young Artist division!


Winner: Aaron Wang, Student of Catherine Rollin, MI
Honorable mention: Joshua Wolford, Student of Matthew Hagle, IL

Winner: Greta Thoresen, Student of Drea Wagner, WI
Honorable mention: Lucas Huang, Student of Bradley Sowash, OH

Winner: Charles Berofsky, Student of Logan Skelton, MI
Honorable mention: Weston Gilbert, Student of Jessica Madsen, OH

Young Artist:
Winner: Kristopher Bendrick, Student of Christopher Goldston, IL
Honorable mention: Da Som (Emily) Yoo, Student of Michael Schelle, IN


This year, the East Central Division judges were:
Jenny Conner
Martha Horst
Thomas Wells


The winning compositions automatically advance to the national competition as national finalists. The results of that competition will be announced by the end of January.