Music Educators Association of New Jersey

Serving teachers and students since 1927

Member News

As teachers, we are always learning and honing our skills so that we can be the best we can be - whether it is in the studio or on the stage. To that end, we invite MEA members to submit photos and/or short articles about concerts, recitals and other related musical activities that may be of interest to fellow MEA colleagues. Click HERE to read the Guidelines and Submit Member News. As stated in the Guidelines, Member News will be posted on the website and submitted to The Glissando.

2022

June 2022

Sophia Agranovich will give a solo concert at the Watchung Arts Center, Watchung, NJ at 8 PM.

Members Dr. David Witten and Sondra Tammam, Co-Directors of The 11th Taubman Piano Festival 2022 at the Cali School of Music, Montclair State University, announce this annual event to be held on Fri/Sat/Sun - June 24 - 26.
MEA members Nancy Modell, Dragica Ćurčić, and Dan Crisci are Festival Presenters.

There will be Master Classes for children. Open Workshops for students and teachers every day. Guest Master Class teachers and recitalists are Robert Shannon, Oberlin College, Professor of Piano, and Dr. Mika Sasaki, Juilliard School Evening Division. Workshop and lecture by Guest Ben Steinhardt, Faculty: Father Paul Maillet, recognized Taubman Institute Faculty and former Fleisher student. Jackie Herbein, NCTM, Alexander Technique, and Certified Yoga teacher of Pittsburgh, will begin each day with Body Mapping participant warm-ups.

New events include Small Group Workshops and Healthy Computer Habits.
Single-day attendance is welcome! This year’s events are in Leshowitz Concert Hall and "live" on ZOOM.
For registration and more information visit: https://taubmanuniversalapproach.org

What you may have missed...

May 2022

As part of the Frances Clark Teacher Education Webinar Series, Dr. Patricio F. Molina will present ARABIC MUSIC AND THE PIANO: THE USE OF THE PIANO IN LEBANON AND EGYPT DURING THE GOLDEN AGE OF ARABIC MUSIC on May 11 at 11 AM.  He will discuss the introduction of the piano, and equal temperament, into Arabic music in the 1930s-60s. This new combination made a deep impact on the structure of Arabic music.  Dr. Molina will compare Western and Arabic music theory and explore how the piano influenced the composition of Arabic music. Dr. Molina is a Chilean-Syrian composer, pianist, and educator based in New Jersey. The New Jersey Youth Symphony and White Snake Projects are among the many institutions that have recognized his talents with commissioned works. Dr. Molina serves as Conservatory Director at Newark School of the Arts. He is a Yamaha Artist.

April 2022

Sophia Agranovich will be performing at the Indie Collaborative Event celebrating Earth Day at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall at 8 PM.
A limited number of complimentary tickets are available.
Contact sofilana(at)yahoo.com.

“Mixing It with Nicki Chris” on Blogtalkradio will air a pre-recorded interview and performance by Sophia Agranowich at 8 PM.  The broadcast will be available on-demand.

March 2022

Danette Whelan’s former student, Kailyn Williams, currently a student at NYU, has been accepted to NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development’s music composition program. 

Kailyn won first place in both the 2020 NJMTA State Composition Competition for her string quartet, Silver Bells & Golden Sand, and the 2021 ESOCC for her piano composition titled Metamorphosis. Silver Bells & Golden Sand was also performed professionally by the Montclair State Orchestra’s string ensemble last summer at the Morris Museum. 

Nancy Modell’s student, Ella Zhang, won the Young Maestro Composition Competition silver medal after performing her composition, Under the Night Sky, at Merkin Hall, NYC.

Nancy Modell is teaching Suzuki student masterclasses, group classes, and a teacher workshop on creative composing at the Massachusetts Suzuki Festival, March 12-13.

The album, Ludwig van Beethoven – In Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of his Birth by Sophia Agranowich, is nominated by the One World Music Radio as the Best Classical Album 2022.

Members Dr. David Witten and Sondra Tammam, Co-Directors of The 11th Taubman Piano Festival 2022 at the Cali School of Music, Montclair State University, announce this annual event to be held on Fri/Sat/Sun - June 24 - 26.
MEA members Nancy Modell, Dragica Ćurčić, and Dan Crisci are Festival Presenters.
 
There will be  Master Classes for children. Open Workshops for students and teachers every day.Guest Master Class teachers and recitalists are Robert Shannon, Oberlin College, Professor of Piano, and Dr. Mika Sasaki, Juilliard School Evening Division.  Workshop and lecture by Guest Ben SteinhardtFaculty: Father Paul Maillet, recognized Taubman Institute Faculty and former Fleisher student. Jackie Herbein, NCTM, Alexander Technique, and Certified Yoga teacher of Pittsburgh, will begin each day with Body Mapping participant warm-ups. 

New events include Small Group Workshops and Healthy Computer Habits. 
Single-day attendance is welcome!  This year’s events are in Leshowitz Concert Hall and "live" on ZOOM.
For registration and more information visit: https://taubmanuniversalapproach.org

February 2022

Nancy Modell is teaching online Suzuki student masterclasses and group classes at the NJ Suzuki Workshop, February 26-27.

Sondra Tammam has been awarded the 2022 Steinway Top Teacher Award

Beginning on Feb. 13, Sophia Agranovich is one of the featured artists on ‘Lite Lounge with Dimitri K.’- a podcast and live show on multiple US and international radio stations. 

January 2022

Sophia Agranovich is one of the featured performers on ‘Piano Matters’ with David Dubal at 12 PM on WWFM.ORG radio station, playing works by Schumann and Scriabin.

Sophia Agranovich is one of the featured performers on ‘Piano Matters’ with David Dubal at 10 PM on WWFM.ORG radio station, playing works by Schumann and Scriabin.

Registration is now open for Piano Pedagogy - Exploring the Taubman Approach, a course taught by Sondra Tammam at the Cali School of Music of Montclair University from January 18 - May 10, on Tuesdays from 4 - 5:40 PM. The class is open to auditors, high school age, and teachers, via ZOOM and In-Person (proof of vaccination required).

The 15 classes for $150. Auditors receive a certificate upon completion. MUPR-437-01 (2 credits)
Contact either Sondra or the Extension Division Director, Letitia Stancu,  stancul@montclair.edu for the registration form.
tammams@mail.montclair.edu    www.montclair.edu/~tammams

 

Nancy Modell is teaching Suzuki student masterclasses and group classes at the Levine School in Washington, D.C., January 15-16.

The album, Ludwig van Beethoven – In Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of his Birth by Sophia Agranovich, is in the Top 10 Albums chart across all the genres on One World Music Radio - one of the top European stations.
It is listed in the top 10 albums for 8 consecutive months.

2021

November 2021

Sondra Tammam will present a “bite-sized” presentation at the NJMTA Annual State Conference on Saturday, November 13, held on ZOOM.
For more info: www.njmta.com

Sophia Agranovich was one of the featured performers on ‘Piano Matters’ with David Dubal at WWFM.ORG

On November 5, Sondra Tammam will be a guest presenter for the Piano Teacher Forum (PTF).  Her topic will be “Solving Technical Complexities in Piano Repertoire.” For further info: www.pianoteachersforum.org

Sophia Agranovich was one of the featured performers on ‘Piano Matters’ with David Dubal at WWFM.ORG.

October 2021

Transcendental Etude No.9 ‘Ricordanza’ by Franz Liszt, performed by Sophia Agranovich, was selected as the Juilliard School Alumni video for the month of October.

August 2021

Sophia Agranovich received 2 Silver Medals for Outstanding Achievement from the Global Music Awards for her latest albums:
‘Ludwig van Beethoven – In Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of his Birth’
and ‘Frédéric Chopin – In Celebration of 210th Anniversary of His Birth.’

July 2021

Sophia Agranovich was one of the featured performers on ‘Reflections from the Keyboard’ with David Dubal at WQXR and WQXR.org.

Nancy Modell will teach ECC! (Every Child Can!) ONLINE at the NJ Suzuki Workshop, July 8-9 (12:30-5 PM both days).

June 2021

Members David Witten and Sondra Tammam, Co-Directors of The 10th Taubman Piano Festival 2021 at the Cali School of Music, Montclair State University, held its annual event t on Fri/Sat/Sun - June 25-27. Three daily sessions were held from 9 am until 5:30 pm. Free Concerts on Friday and Saturday with Yilan Zhao, 2019 Prizewinner Viotti International Piano Competition and  Dr. Lisa Yui, Yamaha Artist and Faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music.

MEA members Dan Crisci, Dragica Ćurčić, and Nancy Modell were Festival Presenters featuring Open Workshops and Presentations for students and teachers. Daily Master Classes for children. Guest Master Class teachers were Dr. Lisa Yui, Yamaha Artis, Dr. Cristina Gerling, Dept. Chair Porto Allegre University, Brazil, and Father Paul Maillet, recognized Taubman Institute Faculty and Leon Fleisher student.

Jackie Herbein, NCTM, Alexander Technique, and Certified Yoga teacher, began each day with Body Mapping participant warm-ups.

This year’s events were in Leshowitz Concert Hall and "live" on ZOOM.
For more information, visit https://taubmanuniversalapproach.org

May 2021

Sophia Agranovich is one of the featured performers in ‘Piano Matters’ with David Dubal at WWFM.ORG. She will play Scherzo No.3 in C-sharp minor by Chopin in comparative performances.

Sophia Agranovich will perform a solo recital via ZOOM on Sat., May 22 at 8 PM, sponsored by the Watchung Arts Center.

In the program:

Sonata No. 17 in D minor ‘Tempest’ by Beethoven, Hungarian Rhapsodies No. 6 and 13 by Liszt, works by Schubert/Liszt, Schumann/Liszt, and Mendelssohn. 

Tickets are $20. The box office will close on May 22 at 6:30 PM. The Zoom link will be sent via email to the ticket holders by 7 PM on the day of the event. Buying tickets in advance is strongly recommended and can be purchased securely through Eventbrite:
https://tinyurl.com/yjst8eb8

Sophia Agranovich is one of the featured performers in ‘Piano Matters’ with David Dubal at WWFM.ORG. She will play Scherzo No.3 in C-sharp minor by Chopin in comparative performances.

Christopher & Michelle Kuo announce the launching of their Two Piano Journey YouTube channel. Their vision is to record the entirety of the two-piano repertoire and they hope it can serve as a resource to pianists and students who are interested in learning piano chamber music.

April 2021

Nancy Modell will present Creative Composing: Embracing Creativity, Nurturing Musicianship, to the Piano Teachers Forum of NJ at their online meeting.

March 2021

Members Dr. David Witten and Sondra Tammam, Co-Directors of The 10th Taubman Piano Festival 2021 at the Cali School of Music, Montclair State University, announce this annual event to be held on Fri/Sat/Sun - June 25 - 27. MEA members Dragica Ćurčić, Dan Crisci, and Nancy Modell are Festival Presenters and there will be Open Workshops for students and teachers, including Master Classes for children. Guest Master Class teachers are Dr. Lisa Yui, Yamaha Artist and Associate  Dean of Assessment and Academic programs at MSM, Dr. Cristina Gerling, Dept. Chair Porto Allegre University, Brazil, and, Father Paul Maillet, recognized Taubman Institute Faculty and former Fleisher student. Jackie Herbein, NCTM, Alexander Technique and Certified Yoga teacher of Pittsburgh, will begin each day with Body Mapping participant warm-ups. 
Included are three daily sessions (live at Leshowitz Concert Hall, or virtual, TBD), free concerts on Friday and Sunday at 5 pm, and a Saturday Gala Concert at 8 pm with Yilan Zhao, 2019 winner of the Viotti International Piano Competition.
New events include Small Group Concept Workshops and Healthy Computer Habits. 
Single-day attendance is welcome!  This year’s events are in Leshowitz Concert Hall and "live" on ZOOM.
For registration and more information visit: https://taubmanuniversalapproach.org

On Sunday, March 7 at 12:00 PM Sophia Agranovich will be again one of the featured performers at WWFM Classical Network program 'Piano Matters', hosted by David Dubal. She will play 2nd movement; Scherzo' of Sonata No. 3 in B minor by Chopin. This program was also aired on March 3.

An interview with Sophia Agranovich and 3 excellent reviews are published in Fanfare Magazine for her CD 'Beethoven: In Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of his Birth'. It is very popular on all the major distribution sites. From February 12 to February 28 this album was streamed 14000+ times just on Spotify. For more information and review quotes, see http://sophiagranovich.com/discography.

Sophia Agranovich received a wonderful review from the American Record Guide for her CD album 'Chopin: In Celebration of the 210th Anniversary of his Birth'.  For more information and review quotes, see http://sophiagranovich.com/discography.

Nancy Modell gave her online presentation, Creative Composing: Embracing Creativity, Nurturing Musicianship, to the Piano Area class at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

February 2021

Judy Kessler is excited to announce that her CD, Secret Words, is now available on Amazon Music.  It's  9 original songs with music and lyrics that she composed. Judy hired a musical director/producer to put her studio band together, write parts for the other musicians, and handle the recording details. For more information about Judy, click HERE.

Judy Kessler was honored to recently be interviewed for her town's podcast, called Hawthorne Towncast.  The interviewer, Flavio Romeo,  a professional actor, and international businessman, made it a very fun and interesting conversation. Please click HERE to listen to it.

On February 14 at 12 PM Sophia Agranovich will be one of the featured performers at WWFM Classical Network program 'Piano Matters', hosted by David Dubal. She will play Nocturne in C minor Op. 48 No.1 and 1st movement of Sonata No. 2 in B♭ minor, Op. 35 by Chopin.

Nancy Modell is the instructor for the NJ Suzuki Workshop's online course, Every Child Can!, as part of the NJSW WinterFest. She will also conduct master classes as part of WinterFest, a one-day workshop for Suzuki music students.

Sophia Agranovich's new CD album dedicated to Beethoven's 250th Anniversary is released. Program: Fantasia in G minor/B Major, Op. 77; Sonata No.8 in C minor, Op. 13 'Pathetique'; Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor ‘Quasi una fantasia’, Op. 27, No. 2 'Moonlight'Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2, 'The Tempest'. This album will be available in hard copies, downloads and streaming via all the major distributors and online radio stations. It already had received multiple rave reviews.  Purchase link: https://amzn.to/3j75dnI

Brazilian composer, Daniel Rofer, announces the publication of Experimental Works for Children, Strange Lands, a book of new repertoire featuring a great variety of new compositions for the young. In order to write such creative and educational pieces, Daniel Rofer draws inspiration both from his abilities as an excellent pianist-improviser and also from his broad experience as a music teacher. The fifteen songs he presents in Strange Lands are refreshingly imaginative, highlighting many of the most important technical and theoretical aspects of piano pedagogy at its best. There are many correlations in Strange Lands to other works for children: from the structures and textures of Robert Schumann’s Album for the Young; glimpses of the wittiness and calmness we normally hear from Erik Satie; the experimentalism, proportionality, and daring of Bela Bartok’s Mikrokosmos; or even the mischievousness and innocence of Villa Lobos’s Cirandinhas. In a more practical sense, many of these songs are very catchy, which is a plus for piano teachers who are looking for compositions their students will enjoy practicing. In Strange Lands, Daniel Rofer works with a large range of techniques and emotions, opening a window where we can visualize his brilliant future as a composer for all levels of players, as well as presenting us with a fun and relatable new set of songs. Experimental Works for Children, Strange Lands is available at Amazon. The playlist is here.

On February 10 at 10 PM, Sophia Agranovich will be one of the featured performers at WWFM Classical Network program 'Piano Matters', hosted by David Dubal. She will play Nocturne in C minor Op. 48 No.1 and 1st movement of Sonata No. 2 in B♭ minor, Op. 35 by Chopin.

January 2021

Nancy Modell is teaching Suzuki student masterclasses and group classes at the Levine School in Washington, D.C., January 15-16.

2020

December 2020

Judy Kessler is pleased to announce the launch of her new website!  Please visit http://judykesslerpiano.com/ to learn more about her studio, her arrangements, sheet music, and more. 

November 2020

Ingrid Clarfield is thrilled to announce that her newest book with Phyllis Lehrer, Classics for the Developing Pianist Study Guide Book 5, is finally available at Sheet Music Plus!!  This book contains great teaching tips for everyone's favorite advanced pieces. Ingrid believes MEA members would enjoy using both the Repertoire and Study Guide Books.

Artist, Kathy Knittel, continues her collaboration with Producer, Joan Bujacich, releasing two new holiday favorites, My Favorite Things, and Christmas Time  Is Here. In addition to all the major digital distribution centers (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify), both songs were also picked up on Pandora Radio which only accepts 3 to 5% of submissions!  The recordings feature Kathy Knittel-vocals, Joan Bujacich-Piano, Joe Bilotti-guitar,  Phil Butler-upright bass and Kevin Ellman-drums. (Kevin is on many recordings with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia.)
Kathy released a complete CD of holiday music in 2018, A Songbird's Christmas.  For easy access to digital distribution centers visit: https://kathyknittel.hearnow.

October 2020

In NJMTA's 2020 Composition Competition, Danette Whelan's student won in the Senior division and Nancy Modell's student won in the Elementary division. Both students move on to compete in the Eastern division Competition! Nancy's student also received Honorable Mention in the Senior division and Sondra Tammam's student received Honorable Mention in the Elementary division.
https://www.njmta.com/news/2020-mtna-student-composition-competitions-results

Sondra Tammam was a guest at a PIANO STAR Master Class for PIANO LEAGUE "Live" on Restream on October 20, 2020. For the event, "Sondra Tammam discusses the Taubman Approach", Sondra presented Master Class lessons on Chopin - Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. posth., and Granados- Andaluzza, Op.5, No. 5 from 12 Spanish Dances. It can be viewed here on YOU TUBE.

Sophia Agranovich will release a new CD this month dedicated to Chopin's 210th Anniversary: Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, complete 4 Scherzi, Polonaise 'Héroïque'. It will be available in hard copies, downloads, and streaming via all major distributors. Two excellent reviews will be published in the November/December issue of the Fanfare Magazine.

Michell Kuo and Christopher Kuo performed in the virtual concert for Minds Matter San Francisco. They are excited to share the great news that $311K was raised! Their program included:  Rachmaninoff: Waltz from Suite no.2; Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations; and, Rachmaninoff: Russian Rhapsody.

 

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