AIM seeks member input

The Indiana Music Teachers Association Achievement in Music program continues to be very strong, with six festivals around the state serving over 700 students each year.  In an effort to keep this program serving the needs of all teachers and students, IMTA will be updating the syllabus for release in 2015.
Currently, we are using the syllabus which was first published in 2005.  There have been no changes to this syllabus since that date.  In 2010, the Board of Directors reaffirmed the use of this syllabus for the period 2010-2015.  If you own a syllabus dated 2005-2010, or a syllabus dated 2010-2015, you own the current syllabus.
The current Board of Directors has authorized the formation of a committee to oversee the upcoming revision process.  Many of our members have made helpful suggestions over the years concerning possible changes they would like to see in the syllabus.  As AIM Coordinator, Douglas Sperry has maintained records of all suggestions for consideration in our review of the syllabus.  At this time, he would like to encourage all who participate in the AIM program to submit any additional suggestions they might have to either to him or their festival coordinator.
In addition, if you have a desire to serve on the committee which will conduct the syllabus revisions, please contact Doug at <>.  We will begin our work later in the summer of 2013.
Douglas Sperry, NCTM
AIM Coordinator

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

2013 IMTA Conference Call for Proposals

The Indiana Music Teachers Association is pleased to announce its 2013 Conference at Butler  University, Indianapolis. The conference will take place November 1-2, 2013.
The Conference Committee welcomes proposals on all aspects of music teaching, learning, creation, performance, pedagogy, technology, scholarship, career considerations, entrepreneurship, and other areas of interest to independent and college music teachers.

  • Membership in IMTA is not a requirement to submit a proposal or present a session.
  • Participants must be willing to present on either day of the conference should their proposals be accepted.
  • Electronic submissions are required.
  • Conference sessions are generally 50 minutes including Q & A time.
  • Complete proposals include the following:
  1. Name, institutional affiliation if applicable, email, mailing address, telephone.
  2. The proposal title.
  3. The proposal format:  paper, performance, composition, workshop, or lecture-recital.
  4. An abstract from 200 – 500 words.
  5. A brief biography of all involved persons (250 word maximum per person).
  6. A list of required audio-visual equipment.

Proposals must be submitted by 12:00 midnight EST on Monday, April 1, 2013.
Submit proposals online at

Northern Indiana Music Teachers learn about Indiana Piano History

In November NIMTA (Northern Indiana Music Teachers Association) met for a meeting in Huntertown at the Piano Shoppe owned by piano tuner and technician Larry Merriman. Merriman has been a piano technician in the area for over 45 years. His shop is in a warehouse that houses a large amount of pianos both ready to be restored or ready to be sold after having been restored by himself. Since piano students often go to their teacher for advice regarding the purchase of an acoustic piano, he discussed basic things one can look for to determine their quality. Larry also explained different issues one may have with an acoustic piano (such as sticking keys) that may be easily fixed without a tuner/technician. Did you know Indiana was the home to several piano manufactures including two in Northern Indiana? Merriman gave the group a unique look at one of those factories. In 1871 the Packard Piano & Organ Company was in Ft. Wayne 1871 – circa 1935. The Estey Piano Corp. manufactured pianos in Bluffton from 1935 – 1982.

SBMTA Announces 2013 Hartman Stickley Piano Competition

Announcement is made of the eighteenth annual Hartman Stickley Memorial Piano Competition, which will be held on March 1 & 2, 2013 in the Spencer Gallery, Downtown Mishawaka Penn Harris Library, Mishawaka, Indiana.  The competition is open to pre-college students, ages 4-18.  The four winners in each of four divisions will each win cash prizes:  $150 for ages 15-18, $100 for ages 12-14, $75 for ages 9-11 and $50 for ages 8 & under, plus the opportunity to play in a winners recital on March 10, 2:30 pm, in the Kroc Center’s Auditorium, South Bend, Indiana.  Contestants who receive Honorable Mention will win cash prizes as well.
The competition, which is sponsored by the South Bend Area Music Teachers Association, is open to piano students residing in Berrien, Cass & St. Joseph counties, Michigan; and Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, St. Joseph, and Starke counties, Indiana.  Prize money is made available through the Elnora Hartman Stickley Scholarship Fund.
Judges will be Dr. David Abbott from Albion College, Dr. Winston Choi from Roosevelt College, and Dr. Lia Jensen-Abbott from Albion College.
The purpose of the competition is two-fold: 1) to honor the memory of Elnora Hartman Stickley, and 2) to reward talented pianists in the Michiana area.  The competition’s goal is to provide a performance venue for piano students in this area.  Music is a performing art, and all musicians need many chances to practice the art of performance.  This competition provides an excellent opportunity to do just that, along with getting feedback from highly-qualified judges.
Competition applications must be postmarked by January 25, 2013.  Brochures and applications are available at Shirk’s Piano in Mishawaka, as well as on the South Bend Area Music Teachers Association website at  For further information, please contact the competition chair, Hyeja Chong Gahahl, at (574) 271-0625.
Event:  Hartman Stickley Memorial Piano Competition
Dates:  March 1 & 2, 2013
Place:  Spencer Gallery, Downtown Mishawaka Penn Harris Library
Times:  approximately 10 AM – 6 PM on Friday Mar. 1, and approximately
9 AM – 4 PM on Saturday Mar. 2
Free and Open to the Public

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 Fall Events

The South Bend Area Music Teachers have had a great start to our year themed – The Classical Period starting with Dr. Rhein of Bethel College giving a program on The Classical Period; In October our VP-Paula Laskowski gave a program on ” Making Games to Supplement & Reinforce Theory”; and in November Linda Witchie gave a program on  “Student Motivation & Retention”. Our AIM festival at Bethel College was a huge success with 102 students entered. In December we have our “Classical Cameos” recital and we end the year with our Christmas Luncheon

West Virginia School of Music announces Summer Festival

The WVU School of Music Keyboard area seeks proposals that would address the 2013 Festival topic, “The Intersection of Jazz and Classical Music.” Sessions of interest for pianists on jazz, classical music, or both, study and performance at all levels are welcome. The Festival is June 24-28, 2013. More information is found at

NCIMTA Monster Concert a Success!

About a year ago one of our NCIMTA members, Michelle Roeske, had a dream of our local association sponsoring a Monster Concert.  She pictured up to eight pianos filled with students on stage at McHale Performing Arts Center in Logansport and a guest conductor of national stature.  That dream came true on Saturday, October 20.
Late last spring three of us met to consider whether and how we might undertake such a venture.  We are a very small local association; could we pull it off?  We decided to go for it.  We consulted with a variety of groups throughout the state who had undertaken similar projects.  Their suggestions and advice were a huge help.Continue reading

Bill Hughes named 2012 Teacher of the Year

Dr. Claudia Bossard, IMTA president read the following presentation at the Friday evening banquet honoring Bill Hughes, Teacher of the Year

Good evening.  It is my pleasure to reveal the name of the 2012 IMTA “Teacher of the Year.”
As is customary with this annual presentation, during my remarks, I will attempt to keep the identity of our recipient “secret” as long as I can.  What follows are testimonials to this person’s career from former and current students and colleagues.
This individual is an extremely dedicated and inspiring  teacher.
This person is a “master teacher” in our state and community.
This human being is active in support of IMTA programs and colleagues.
By putting each student “at ease” in their lesson by focusing on the discovery process – of what is in the score and what it takes physically to produce the right sound – this individual makes learning contagious and gets students engaged in the process of learning.
Everyone is fond of this person!
As a teacher, this dynamo has that special combination of knowledge and personal warmth that I aspire to have!
This individual has earned my admiration as a musician, my respect as a teacher, and my friendship.
The disciplines HE has taught me have helped me as I face the challenges of work and life.
I commend his holistic approach to music and life as an example of how music can enrich multiple areas of life.
The commitment to his students and his art are extraordinary.
This gentleman has to be one of the most genuinely nice human beings on the planet!
This person has an endless reservoir of anecdotes and stories about composers and performers that add so much to the learning experience with him.
He is skilled in creative methods of teaching the piano.
It is a privilege to be one of his students.
He is one of the most complete musicians I know and he has dedicated his life to sharing it with students.
I consider the time I spent with him in his studio not only important to my development as a musician but as a leader.
I was prepared to quit playing the piano until I met this motivating teacher.
A former university professor, he is always supportive of pre-college students as he shares his knowledge and expertise with enthusiasm and a refreshing approach.
I consider my life to be abundantly richer for having him as a teacher and friend.
In case you do not know who this individual is yet, please join me in honoring Dr. Bill Hughes as our 2012 IMTA Teacher of the Year!