Music Educators Association of New Jersey

Serving teachers and students since 1927

Welcome to the Music Educators Association of New Jersey Website!

Celebrating 90 Years of Music Excellence

The Music Educators Association of NJ is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of private piano teachers founded in 1927. Our mission is to raise the standards of private music teaching throughout New Jersey, while encouraging musical excellence and instilling a love of music in our students. To achieve these goals, we provide continuing education opportunities for our member teachers through monthly lectures, workshops, recitals and master classes. For our students, we offer auditions, competitions, recitals, scholarships and master classes given by artist teachers. Our current President is Yudit Terry, 2019-2021. Click here to read Messages from the President. (These can also be found under Membership on the main menu.)

We invite you to browse our website and discover the exciting world of music MEA offers.

Please note that hyperlinks are noted in Bold Red and when clicked will bring you directly to related pages or forms.

JUNE 11th GENERAL MEETING: A Historic Event!
Via Zoom, MEA Presented
Concert Pianist,Composer, Teacher and Author of
"The Russian Technical Regimen For The Piano"

Read the Highlights written by Bertha Mandel Here
 The June 11th meeting was held via the Zoom platform. This was the first time in MEA history that a general meeting was held virtually, online!  It took place at the usual 10:00 a.m. and featured Concert Pianist, Composer, Teacher and Author of "The Russian Technical Regimen for the piano", ALEXANDER PESKANOV.  Our President, Yudit Terry, had everything in place for a smooth maiden voyage.  Many teachers joined this online event, it was very exciting and successful! It paved the way for future on-line presentations.  Many thanks go to Sophia Agranovich for using her extensive contacts to engage Mr. Peskanov at such short notice.  Be sure to read the highlights, click on the  link posted in the title section. 

The Glissando
The May 2020 edition is waiting for you!

Many thanks to Richard Allaway, Marcia Maull and their staff for stepping up and putting this historical edition of The Glissando together!  The Glissando can always be found and downloaded from our website under Forms /Downloads. Click here for your copy: The Glissando


The Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce that James Bally, student of Sondra
Tammam, has been awarded an MEA-MJN scholarship to William Paterson University for the fall 2020 semester. A jazz performance major, James enjoys composing and performed two of his original jazz compositions at recent Honors Recitals. In addition, he performed during the “virtual” jazz class conducted by Dan Crisci at the 9th Taubman Festival in June 2020. To read more about this talented student, please click
The MEA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations to the MEA-MJN Scholarship Fund are fully tax-deductible. The scholarship fund relies solely on generous individual donations, matching contributions from employers, and music sales at the monthly MEA General Meetings (when they are held in person). Making a contribution to this fund is a meaningful way to honor a person with congratulations (birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc.), get well wishes, or in memoriam. An announcement of your tribute, including your personal message, will be sent to the honoree. Please donate generously so that MEA can maintain and expand this supportive program!
Charlene Step & Sondra Tammam
Scholarship Committee Co-chairs

2020 Annual Piano Auditions
Deadline to submit grades: July 15

Registration is now closed. 

If you missed any of the important email blasts sent over the last 2 months, no worries! Visit your Member Homepage, under Downloadable Documents you will find the following:

1. 2019/20 Annual Audition Portal Tutorial
2. 2020 Annual Auditions Information and Guidelines
3. 2020 Annual Piano Audition Syllabus
4. 2020 Auditions: Zoom Audio Tutorial
5. 2020 Auditions: April 4th Announcement
6. 2020 Auditions: April 13th Announcement
7. 2020 Auditions: Frequently Asked Questions, Final Version
8. 2020 Auditions: Tech Tips, Preparing and Performing Auditions Remotely

Be sure to check your email regularly for Audition updates.  Also, check back to the MEA website homepage for the latest announcements.



All MEA events are cancelled through June with the exception of the Annual Piano Auditions, which are being held remotely, online MEA Board Meetings and the June 11 General meeting which will be presented online via zoom.


Please check the Homepage regularly for the latest news.

2020 Eric Steiner Recognition of Merit in Composition

Composition Committee Chair, Kathy Knittel reports that there were fifteen students representing seven teachers entered in the Eric Steiner Original Composition Competition this year.  The judge for the Senior Level was Dr. Stefan Young and the judge for the Junior and Elementary levels was Amir Mortezai. There were five students enrolled in each category.

Congratulations to all the students and teachers for a job well done!  The awards are as follows:

Senior Division:

First Place Winner a  student of Eric Olsen
Nighttime Prowl for viola/piano by Kedhar Narayan

Second Place Winner a student of Kay Tsuji
Dancing Raindrops by Shuchi Patel

Third Place Winner a student of Kay Tsuji
Bell (Spring is Coming) for voice/piano by Yutong Lin

Honorable Mention a student of Bo Eun Kim:
Suite for the Piano 4 hands, Lost in a Dream by Anyah Kumar  

Honorable Mention a student of Danette Whelan 
Dimitri the Spooky Domovoi
, by Rhea Kapur 

 Junior Division:

First Place Winner a student of Nancy Modell
Rocky Mountain Suite by Joseph Uglialoro

Second Place Winner a student of Nancy Modell
Space Escape by Jayden Adams

Third Place Winner a student of Nancy Modell
Endless Frontier by Charles Love

Honorable Mention a student of Nancy Modell
Double Space by Nathan Crisci

Honorable Mention a student of Lisa Casia
Trips by Vinayak Sinha 

 Elementary Division

First Place Winner a student of Sondra Tammam
Wind Chimes by Emi Simonds

Second Place Winner a student of Nancy Modell
The Astronaut's First Vacation by Ella Zhang

Third Place Winner a student of Nancy Modell
Far Away and Back Again by Chloe She

Honorable Mention a student of Lisa Casia
Skating for the First Time by Ira Sinha,

Honorable Mention a student of Kay Tsuji 
Singing Birds
 by Nitya Suresh 

 The ESOCC 2020 Booklet will become available in the near future for all current MEA members to view.  It will posted under downloadable documents.



We are pleased to present the MEA-NJ Annual Piano Competition Winners' Recital in video this year! A special thanks to Youn-Hee Kim, a competition committee member, for  taking on this huge project. The recital is presented in three separate video clips from Youtube. To start enjoying these wonderful performances, click on one of the following links. We hope you of course watch all three segments!
 Congratulations to Barbara Landi Hause and Anna Katznelson, Co-chairs, and their entire committee for holding the competition under such challenging circumstances. BRAVO!!!

February 20th,  Spencer Myer
"Muscle Memory - Friend or Foe?”

Read The Highlights  written by Charlene Step Here.

Sophia Agranovich, Chair and MEA’s Program Committee brought us another gem  of a pianist for our general meeting on February 20th. Treating muscle memory as a friend and a foe is the best route to a solid memory. The most effective techniques in strengthening memory are those that change one’s routine physical sensation, essentially removing the “autopilot” variable. How does one make a passage ‘feel different’ so the brain is forced to engage? This presentation will examine practice techniques geared toward strengthening non-muscle memory through the playing/practicing of musical excerpts from the piano.

If you check Spencer Myer’s upcoming 2020 schedule, you will find quite an impressive concert listing. I stopped counting after 17, and that was only through July! Four concertos were scheduled in upcoming performances, including the Ravel G major, the Gerswhin and the Saint-Saëns No. 5, Op. 103 and No. 2 in G minor.  Spencer was featured on the cover of the January/February 2019 issue of "Clavier Companion" magazine in an up-close and personal interview with Lynn Worcester Jones. Here is a link to his website where you can explore more about this 21st Century Pianist: Here.   

Joan Bujacich

JANUARY 16, 2020
Kathleen Supove
Contemporary Experimental Piano:
Accessibility for All

Check out the Highlights HERE.

 Some of the works she  explored included:

A Face In The Crowd---program music about a single bird caught up in a mass migration and touchdown in a roosting place (part of a project I did about a real bird migration in Portland Oregon. Metal Works---uses the metal chopsticks.

Suspensions for Miyo Sensors and Piano, Red Hot Polka--where I do all sorts of crazy movement, including pushups at the piano.

Douglass Etudes ---for speaking pianist, using a text of Frederick Douglass; very fast blues with tricky rhythmic coordination.

Moving On---a piece where the pianist makes decisions about how the piece will be structured. 

The Randolph Performing Arts Center resounded with glorious music at the MEA Honors Recitals presented November 10, 2019. Be sure to check out the highlights Here.
Charlene Step
Chair, Honors Recital Committee


The 2019-20 Membership Directory has been uploaded to your Member Homepage. Log on and take a look.  Membership Chiar, Lisa Gonzaleaz, did a great job. Thank you Lisa!  It is listed under Downloadable Documents on your Member Homepage. You can view or Download. 

November 21, 2019
Donald Isler
Great and under-appreciated pianists of the 20th Century: Adrian Aeschbacher, Constance Keene and Bruce Hungerford

A very special lecture/performance was in store for us on November 21st. Check out the the Highlights from this meeting written by Bertha Manndel, Here.

Mr. Isler spoke about Constance Keene and Bruce Hungerford as teachers as well as performers. The third person he spoke  about was the Swiss pianist Adrian Aeschbacher (1912-2002), a Schnabel student, who had quite a busy concert career in his young and middle years.  He made a lot of records, but never performed in this country. Mr. Isler considers him to be a fantastic Schumann player. Aeschbacher actually lived in Mr. Isler’s  grandparents' home in Berlin for a while when he first went there in 1932 to study with Schnabel.  At that time his father to be was a ten year old student of Aeschbacher.

Here is Mr. Isler’s  account of what recordings he shared:

“I have released recordings of all three of these pianists on my KASP Records label, and will play examples. The two KASP Aeschbacher CD's are from his 1950's era records on Deutsche Grammophon, and other labels (for which I obtained the rights). They have music of Schumann, Schubert and Beethoven. The Keene CD is a live, never before released recital she played in Houston in 1995. It includes the Rachmaninoff Corelli Variations, a MacDowell sonata and some short pieces by him as well as some short pieces of her husband, Abram Chasins, and (perhaps most important) her only recording of the Chopin Ballades. She also makes some comments to the audience. 

 There are three Hungerford recordings on the KASP label. The first two are never before released live recitals which are long enough to require two CD's each. The first is a five sonata, all-Beethoven recital which he played in Germany in 1965 . For me it is one of the all-time great recorded Beethoven recitals. The second Hungerford project is his last recital, given in Calgary a month and a half before he died in a 1977 auto accident. It has music of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. 

 The third Hungerford project is something I was hoping to find for over 20 years until someone posted a bit of it on Facebook two years ago. It's a DVD, a live, made for TV concert from East Germany in 1964 in which he plays the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto. I'm planning to play the first movement. This is the only known video of his playing and having been able to produce this DVD is one of the projects I'm proudest of. “

If you would like to learn more about Don Isler, visit his website Here .

Featuring Jerome Lowenthal 
And Our Annual Potluck Luncheon

Highlights now posted!

Rebecca Eng and Naomi Takagi, our Hospitality Co-chairs, organized a wonderful Pot Luck Luncheon! The meeting was a great success.  Jerome Lowenthal — concert pianist, chamber musician, and longtime revered Juilliard faculty member — presented a fascinating talk on the Neo-Classical Synthesis of Scriabin’s Sonata No. 6. Known as the “cursed” sonata, it is described as intense, dark, desolate, haunting, otherworldly and dark velvet all over. Mr. Lowenthal uncovered its secrets and shed a new light  on this mystical masterpiece.  Be sure to read the wonderful Highlights written by Beverly Shea!

2019-2020 Welcomes New Executive Officers!

The MEA extends a very warm welcome to new President, Yudit Terry. In addition to Yudit, we have Marcia Maull replacing Beverly Shea as 2nd Vice President and Rebecca Eng and Linda Petrocchi replacing Yuly Verbitsky and Lisa Cassia as Co-Recording Secretaries. Salvatore Mallimo, Lynne Rogerson, Bertha Mandel and Clarisse Kant continue uninterrupted in their Executive Board positions and Nancy Modell now serves as Immediate Past President, replacing Joan Bujacich. With this great line-up, we continue to be in valued hands! You can see a full listing of our Board Members and Committee Chairs HERE.


2019 MEA College Scholarship Awarded

Kelsey Lee, an eight-year student of Beatrice Long, was awarded the MEA-MJN College Scholarship for 2019. She will be studying piano performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.  She was a first-place winner in the MEA 2019 Annual Piano Competition, 2nd-place winner in 2017 and performed in the 2016 Young Artist Master Class.  She served as the piano accompanist for the Summit High School Concert Choir and Treble Choir from 2015, among other notable activities. Principal oboist for the Summit HS Wind Ensemble, Kelsey performed with the NJ All State Wind Ensemble and the NJ Youth Symphony Orchestra. She was also a 2019 National Merit Scholar.
Kelsey was awarded an MEA Camp Scholarship in 2018 and attended the two-week Interharmony International Music Festival in Germany. Read her write-up of this inspirational experience Here

The MEA-MJN (Mary Jean Nelson) Scholarship Fund relies solely on the generosity of our donors, matching contributions from employers, and music sales at the monthly MEA general meetings. MEA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax-deductible. Making a contribution to the scholarship fund is a wonderful way to support aspiring musicians and perpetuate the beauty inherent in the arts. With your donation, you can also honor a person with congratulations (birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc.), get-well wishes, or in memoriam. Please help us continue our scholarship efforts!

 The MEA Scholarship Committee:  Sondra Tammam and Charlene Step, Co-chairs and
Sal Mallimo

 For more information on the scholarship program click Here.