Virtual Local Music Teachers Association – VLMTA

VLMTA of North Carolina: Year Three in 2023-24!


Email: for more info

July '22 VLMTA meeting snapshot


The VLTMA of North Carolina meets online on the last Friday of each month at 10:00am Eastern Time. Note: November we will meet the 3rd Friday to avoid Thanksgiving, and no May or December meetings.

Mark your calendars for Spring 2024 meetings:

Next Meeting: Friday, April 26, 2024 10am EST

Presenter: Leila Viss

Missed a meeting?  Recording links can be found in the Archive section below!

Meeting Link: Use for all regular VLMTA Monthly Meetings

Next Meeting: Friday, April 26, 2024 10am EST

Topic: Does your Feedback Need Fixing? How to Find Words That Matter

Presenter: Leila Viss

Program: Communicating meaningful feedback is directly related to student progress  Learn three reasons why typical feedback often falls short and takeaway six steps to flip feedback to effective “feedforward” that keeps students coming back for more.

Leila Viss generates creative-based resources for her Denver studio and She is the past coordinator of the University of Denver’s Piano Preparatory Program and held 88 Creative Keys events with Bradley Sowash for six years. Leila is an organist and pianist and arranges and composes in her spare time. She serves on the American Music Teachers Magazine editorial committee, is published in most music industry magazines, and is in frequent demand for speaking engagements. Leila offers Composiums where she inspires pianists to nurture their creative voice through composition. Viss is Colorado’s 2024 MTNA Foundation Fellow. She lives with her husband, Chuck, and enjoys hanging with their three grown sons, significant others, and precious granddaughter.

Meeting Archives

Meeting DatesTopic / PresenterRecordingMaterials
6/28/24Business MeetingMinutes of 4/26 Meeting
4/26/24Does your Feedback Need Fixing? How to Find Words That Matter
Presenter: Leila Viss
Meeting RecordingMinutes of 3/29 Meeting
3/29/2410 Tech Hacks for the Modern Studio
Presenter: Ryan Greene
Meeting RecordingMinutes of 2/23 Meeting
2/23/24Teaching Strategies and Repertoire to Use on Your Next Teaching Day
Presenter: E.L. Lancaster
Meeting RecordingMinutes of 1/26 Meeting
1/26/24The Transposed Musician: Teaching Universal Skills in the Music Lesson to Improve Performance and Benefit Life
Presenter: Dylan Savage
Meeting RecordingMinutes of 11/17 meeting
11/17/23Finding the Voice in the Music Lesson-Oh, the Things That Might Mean!
Presenter: Cathy Pescevich Kreplin
Meeting Recording
10/27/23Studio Refresh!  Essential Business Topics to Revisit Annually
Presenter: Karen Thickstun
Meeting RecordingMinutes of 9/29/23 Meeting
9/29/23Transforming Struggling Students With Pure Tones
Presenter: Karen Knight
Meeting RecordingMinutes of 8/25 Meeting
8/25/23Double Feature:
1) Fun pieces from NCMTA Junior rep lists you may not know 2) Sneak peek at an upcoming 3-volume pedagogical edition of the complete keyboard works of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Presenter: Doug Jurs
Meeting RecordingMinutes of 7/28 Meeting
7/28/23Scale Olympiad: Our Fall 2023 FundraiserMeeting Recording: Please Refer to this recording for information about the Scale Olympiad!Minutes of 6/30 Meeting
6/30/23Meet your NCMTA State Leadership/Officer reportsMeeting Recording
4/26/23Expanding Repertoire Choices
Presenter: William Chapman Nyaho
Meeting Recording Minutes of 3/31 Meeting
3/31/23MTNA National Conference recap
2/24/23Our Students Have Something to Say! 
(Exploring Student Creativity in Your Studio from Start to Finish) 
Presenter: Diane Higgins
Meeting Recording
1/27/23Storm in the Studio:  Pedagogical Strategies for Teachers Instructing Students with Hyperactivity, Disruptive Behaviors, and Inattention

Presenters: James Douthit, DMA and Kathryn Douthit, Ph.D.
Meeting Recording Minutes of 11/18 meeting: Click here
11/18/22Why Didn’t I Think of That?
Presenter: Dennis Alexander
Minutes of 10/28 Meeting: Click Here
10/28/22The Joy of Teaching “Typical” Students
Presenter: Martha Hilley
9/30/22Arranging your Students’ Success: Incremental Steps to Teaching Scales and Chords 
Presenter: Dr. Vicky Fischer Faw, NCTM
Minutes of prior meeting-Click Here
8/26/22Evaluating (and composing) Pedagogical Repertoire. Presenter: Dr. Andy Villemez, CCMMeeting RecordingPresentation Handout-Click Here
7/29/22Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Ideas for Productive Lessons When Students Don’t Practice. Presenter: Laura Chu Stokes, NCTMMeeting RecordingPresentation Handout-Click Here

Minutes of prior meeting – Click Here

6/24/22ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETINGMeeting Recording (Email if prompted for passcode) Minutes of Prior Meeting
4/29/22 A Seat at the Piano: Mindfully Changing the Canon – Presenter: Annie Jeng, DMA
3/25/22Ask-me-anything – Presenter: Kevin Chance, DMA
1/28/22Real World Approaches to Sight-Reading – Presenter: Leonidas Lagrimas, PhD

Did you miss the inaugural Scale Olympiad? The event was widely supported throughout NC – thank you to all participating teachers, students and judges!

VLMTA will be sharing details on the 2024 Scale Olympiad next summer!

In the meantime, see further info below or email us with questions:

Click here for a video overviewing the Scale Olympiad – with video examples of a student performing different levels!

Click here for the minutes from the July 28 meeting, explaining the nuts-and-bolts of Scale Olympiad.

Click here for a chart detailing the levels and requirements of the Scale Olympiad

Link to final draft of Bylaws.

VLMTA Meeting #2 Friday, February 25, 2022 11:00 am EST

Unable to attend the most recent meeting? Click the button below to view the video recording. Password required – please contact one of the VLMTA leadership team.

VLMTA, 1/28/22 – Inaugural Meeting

The inaugural Virtual Local Music Teachers Association – VLMTA of Western North Carolina – held its official organizational meeting and launch party Friday, January 28, 2022, 11am-noon on Zoom


  • President – Vicky Fischer Faw, Alleghany County,
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Laura Chu Stokes, Watauga County,
  • President-Elect and Vice President – Leonidas Lagrimas, Jackson County,

Who was invited 

All interested NCMTA members in Western North Carolina. The organizational meeting targeted western NC teachers who are already members of NCMTA/MTNA.  If you couldn’t make it but are interested in joining, or if you know of NCMTA members not yet on our radar, please let us know!


  • Organization and Ceremonial signing of the charter
  • Discuss goals and next steps in moving forward together to serve the specific musical needs of our region
  • Presentation by Dr. Leonidas Lagrimas, NCTM, DMA, NCMTA Collegiate Chair, Assistant Professor Western Carolina University) “”

What was accomplished

  • 18 members signed the charter
  • 4 VIP guests from NCMTA were in attendance
  • Officers were elected
  • Plans for the next meeting were announced:  FRIDAY, FEB 25, 11:00 am (Save the date!)
  • Before that meeting we will share two things:

                Draft of our new bylaws for discussion and approval

                A survey to learn more about each other, share ideas and lay the groundwork for future. That survey is on its way soon—I’m not sure it was clear that we didn’t have it ready to go today.

What else?

Reach out to music professionals who are not yet NCMTA/MTNA members. While it is a challenge for us to identify potential members across such a large area, you know who your neighbors are.  MTNA and VLMTA are offering substantial financial incentives for first-time new members, so please invite them to contact us, and invite them to the next meeting. 


If you’re an NCMTA member and would like to join VLMTA, you can always add our Virtual Local MTA by logging into your MTNA account – annual dues are $10.