IMTA Celebrates the Life of Longtime Member Margaret Strong

IMTA celebrates the life of longtime member Margaret Strong who was awarded (posthumously) a 50-year membership at the Fall 2016 IMTA State Conference at Goshen College. This excerpt from a recent obituary in the Bloomington newspaper highlights Margaret’s wonderful life of service as a piano teacher.

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Margaret Ann (Schofield) Strong, 91
FEB. 23, 1925-OCT. 1, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Margaret Ann (Schofield) Strong, 91, a lifelong music teacher and promoter of civil and human rights, died October 1, 2016, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The cause was complications from pneumonia.

Born on February 23, 1925, in Lockhart, Texas to William M. Schofield and Ethel (Lawrence) Schofield, Margaret attended Baylor University, where she studied Music (clarinet).

During World War II, she left school to work at the San Marcos Army Air Force Base. After that service, she attended the University of Texas, where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree (1949) and met her future husband, Douglas Ray Strong.

Margaret and Douglas were married in 1949 and settled in Houston, TX, where Margaret performed and taught piano and where their two children, Narissa and Fred, were born. Margaret was one of only two piano teachers in Houston who taught both black and white students in the 1950s.

The family moved to Bloomington, Indiana, in 1959, when Douglas was hired to be the Head Piano Technician at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In Bloomington, Margaret built her private piano practice and became active in the Indiana State Music Teachers Association and Mu Phi Epsilon, the music sorority. Margaret and Douglas were active politically and in the Unitarian Universalist Church, where Margaret was the Religious Education Director for many years and one of the regular musicians who played for services.Continue reading

IMTA congratulates Erin Peyer on selection of RMM Studio Fellowship Award

Congratulations to Erin Peyer, second year graduate student in Piano Pedagogy at Butler University, for her selection as recipient of an RMM Studio Fellowship Award, presented by the National Piano Foundation. “The RMM Studio Fellowship Award is presented annually to new or established independent piano teachers who demonstrate a clear understanding of Recreational Music Making (RMM) philosophy and practices, and a proven passion for creating new music makers with RMM-based teaching.”  The award includes 2 new digital pianos from Yamaha or Kawai. Additionally, recipients will be assigned to an RMM teacher/mentor who will consult with them in all facets of starting, developing, and teaching an RMM program.  After graduation next month, Erin plans to launch an independent studio in her home town of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and will include RMM classes for teens as a focus of her teaching.

Karen Thickstun candidate for MTNA National Office

Indiana Music Teachers Association Past President Karen Thickstun is on the slate for the 2013 MTNA elections.  Thickstun served as director of the East Central Division and member of the MTNA Board of Directors from 2008–2010 and chaired the Local Association Forum. Thickstun has served on the MTNA nominating committee, Standing Rules committee, Local Association of the Year committee and is currently chair of the Affiliate Grants committee. Thickstun is currently on the faculty at Butler University where she serves as the director of the Butler Community Arts School.

To read more about Karen Thickstun and vote on her behalf, visit http://www.mtna.org/about-mtna/elections/secretary-treasurer/

Virginia Adye honored for 45 years of membership

Venita Hooper, president of the Greater Evansville Music Teachers Association presented Virginia Adye with a certificate honoring her 45-year membership in the Indiana Music Teachers Association. Hooper commented “Virginia has been a real influence in my life. During those exciting high school years, she afforded me many cultural opportunities, prepared me for college, and introduced me to many great piano works I love to this day. She has continued to be a friend and mentor in my life. She still has an active studio of about 20 students, with an enery level and attitude that is energizing” IMTA extends its warm congratulations to Virginia.

South Bend Area Music Teachers Association names Snyder 2011 Member of the Year

Bonnie Snyder, (right) SBAMTA Member of the Year, 2011

The South Bend Area Music Teachers Association named Bonnie Snyder Member of the Year. Bonnie began piano lessons at the age of six. She was the accompanist for her junior high and high school choirs and attended Moody Bible College as an organ performance major, where she received instruction in both organ and piano. Following graduation, Bonnie was the first music teacher at Grace Baptist Christian School.  She directed the high school choir and taught elementary music classes for many years. Currently Mrs. Snyder is an independent piano instructor.  She also gives lessons at Community Baptist Church and School, where she has been teaching and accompanying church services for the past twelve years. Bonnie is an active member of the South Bend Area Music Teachers Association. Bonnie was recital chair in 2004-2005, and on the ensemble team 2006-2007. Bonnie chaired the Stickley Piano Competition for the past five years and served as the association’s Vice President last year. The award was presented by SBAMTA president Juliana Lockman.