MTAC Newsletter (May 2020)

President’s Message

The month of April has been quite the month. For all of us, this is a brand new journey, one that none of us have ever experienced. I have heard from several of you on how this is affecting your music studios, and times are difficult in the world of music everywhere. But together we will get through this time. This too shall pass, and we will all come out stronger, more knowledgeable, more creative and more appreciative when it is all said and done.

As promised last month, in this newsletter you will read about what some teachers are
doing in their studios as they teach online and try to keep kids motivated. If you have
something that you would like to share with your fellow teachers, please send it to me
for our final newsletter of the year in June. And speaking of June, our year-end potluck is also canceled due to the Covid-19 situation. However, we would love to hear from you and know how you are doing. You can contact me via email, preferably (LNRESR@GMAIL.COM) or text (951-312-7733).

Our branch is looking for a teacher that is willing to chair the Bach Festival event next
year. We really need the help and hope someone steps up to chair the event. I have co-chaired this event for the last 2 years with Tatyana Maslova, but we are both so busy with other responsibilities that we cannot continue in this capacity. I am willing to train whoever is willing to step up, and help them this year. Please contact me if you are willing to help in this capacity or would like to know more information about the position.

As most of you already know, Convention will be online this summer, and the date has been changed to July 10-14. For MTAC members, the convention will be FREE this year. Students and non-members will pay $20. Please support the convention during this difficult time, as our organization is hiring presenters and artists to make this a memorable event, even amidst this difficult time. Watch your emails for more
information from our state office very soon.

Even though the key word for everything these days seems to be “change,” some things don’t change. May is the month when the system opens for online renewals of MTAC membership. These membership dues must be received by July 31st in order to
participate in Certificate of Merit for next year.

May the gift of music continue to inspire all of us, and encourage us to discover new
ways to share it and enjoy it with our students. Blessings and courage to each of you,
and be safe!

Linette Rodriguez


Thank you to the teachers that shared their experience with online teaching. Here is what they had to say:

Elizabeth Beck – I am also teaching on line, but via FaceTime…my kids are very attentive and think it is fun when I “give them a little prize through the screen at the end of the lesson (they know the real thing will be forthcoming when we are “back in-person mode!”)

Alma Batista – Steinway & Sons presented a very informative video conference with teachers from Juilliard and NYU among others on how to transition to virtual lessons. Here is the link to this and other of their webinars:

I mostly use Zoom for teaching at the College and my private students.  I also use WhatsApp, FaceTime, Facebook, and Google Duo.  Basically, whatever my students feel more comfortable with.  It takes about three virtual lessons for the student to get used to this new way of teaching.  It also requires more preparation and discipline from both sides.  For my advanced students I require that they send me a video of their practice (no more than 5 mins. ) on a specific piece or a section of a piece so that I can see them perform without any glitches.  This way I am better prepared to tackle interpretation/technical problems and I can specifically show them on a video playback where the problems happened.  This is actually a requirement I will continue to implement once this nightmare is over.  For their theory homework, I ask them to send me scans or photos of their work for me to correct.  This is easy to do with an iPad and an Apple pencil.  I then send the corrected homework back.  Both the video recording and the theory is best done before the lesson so that you have specific material to work with during the virtual lesson. I prefer Zoom because it makes it easy to switch from iPad, to iPhone, to screen share, to whiteboard, etc.  Anyway, I thought of sharing my virtual lesson ideas.

Angela Rosser – The tips are useful and I am doing much of the same. I purchased a

new iPad and pencil … any excuse, lol! . I am using mostly FaceTime and Zoom. I too, am asking for recordings in advance and have students scan or screenshot their theory work for me to correct and return. I have certainly become a bit more tech savvy during this challenging time and have learned some new tricks in the process. I hope everyone is doing okay.

Cindy Abts – Cindy sent an email that was forwarded to all the teachers with a document titled “MTAC Virtual Lesson Suggestions.” It is very detailed and informative, and if anyone wants the link again, let Cindy or Linette know and it will be re-sent.

Linette Rodriguez – I find that online teaching definitely takes a lot more time and

preparation than teaching students in person. I have been typing the lesson notes in my computer as I teach the students, and then at the end of each day, I email these notes to the parents so the students know what they have to work on. I also have found that using ear phones saves my voice from the strain of talking online all day. I have found creative ways to play theory games with my younger students to make the lesson more motivating and fun. I usually leave 5-10 minutes of the lesson (depending on the length of the lesson and the attention span of the student) to break the routine. While I am grateful to be able to continue teaching online, I am looking forward to seeing my students face to face, as I really miss them!



We want to wish the following teacher a VERY happy birthday for the month of April. Enjoy your day to the fullest:

Jessica Higdon (5/6)
Christina Guin (5/10)



For those who would like to make announcements in the newsletter, please send all of your info to Victoria Wooldridge at by the 25th of the month. Thanks.

MTAC • Riverside County Branch
Victoria Wooldridge, Newsletter Editor
2005 Garretson Ave
Corona, CA 92789