Our NVMTA spotlight member for May is Amy Rothstein. She has a Mus.B in Piano Performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and an MM in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Amy has been a long-time member of NMVTA and has contributed in so many ways.
One of Amy’s proud musical moments was playing with the Baltimore Symphony at age 13. She performed at the Commencement Recital at Oberlin during graduation weekend!
“In my Baltimore Symphony appearance, I played Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm Variations. I had entered a competition in Baltimore where there was only one other contestant besides me. It was open to people of any age, so the other contestant, being a woman in her 20’s was the winner. The assistant conductor of the Baltimore Symphony judged and event. When he announced the competition outcome, the woman, of course, was the winner. But then he offered me an appearance in one of the symphony’s Youth Concerts.
Amy is currently the membership chair and has served in this capacity for many years. Other leadership positions include serving as co-chair of Fall Festival, ombudsman, co-chair of Piano Achievement Awards Competition, organizing YAM performances and being the MC. In addition, she has been the treasurer of Spring Festival, area chair of Spring Festival, and organized member get-togethers for teachers living in her area. Her favorite events are the General Recitals and Spring Festival because they are good opportunities for students’ appearances outside the studio. (see Event Overview)
When Amy isn’t practicing or teaching, she enjoys T’ai Chi, taking walks, chatting with friends and family on the phone, reading novels, and studying Spanish on Babbel.
“I became interested in Spanish several years ago when my son and daughter-in-law were living in Guanajato, Mexico. If we were going to visit them there, I wanted to have some familiarity with the language. So that’s why I turned to Babbel to learn it. They had been living in Seattle before going to Mexico, but then they decided to return to Seattle. I was still interested in learning the language. After a brief break from learning it, I returned to Babbel. I figured it’s a good language to know if we go to Mexico or another Spanish speaking country. It also comes in handy for talking with workers who come to the house who speak little or no English.”
Classical music from solo, orchestral, chamber music, and choral are some of Amy’s favorite types of music. “Lately, I’ve been listening also to wonderful opera performances of well-known operas.”
When asked what Amy likes about the piano, she says, “I like all I can do on the piano: to play musically and to have been given the capability of learning a piece on my own without having a coach.” She is currently working on Beethoven’s Op. 110 Sonata. One of her music goals is to always keep learning new repertoire.
If Amy had the chance to go back and do things differently, she would have wanted to know all she knows now about teaching. “It continues to be a learning experience that will continue as long as I teach piano,” she said.
Advice to New NVMTA Members
Amy’s best advice to new members is to get involved! If new teachers are looking to establish a studio, I can think of no better way than helping with an event. One gets to meet and interact with other teachers, and even casual conversations can lead to great ideas to take to the studio.
My ability to teach well has risen so much as a result of being an NVMTA member. I had pedagogy courses in college, but I’ve learned so much more from other NVMTA teachers and guests who have given programs for NVMTA.
“The most challenging part of Covid was the back and forth between virtual and in person. “
“I love that Covid has given more teachers the opportunity to use ZOOM for Talks about Teaching and LATTE. I hope these continue even when Covid is no longer the issue it is now.”
“One of my favorite parts of teaching are the playing classes I have monthly. I want the kids to get comfortable playing for one another but also want them to hear outstanding performances;so before each of the classes, I give them a listening assignment so we can discuss what they heard before listening on YouTube to the performance they heard. I also like that teaching is not a “cookie cutter” approach, and figuring out the material to teach each one depends upon what their strengths and weaknesses are. My teaching for each one is heavy on analysis of the pieces they are playing based upon the theory and technique they have learned beforehand.”
What are some ways you have participated in NVMTA?
⭐Attended in-person NVMTA meetings,
⭐Attended NVMTA zoom meetings (general meetings, TAT, or LATTE),
⭐Entered students in an NVMTA event,
Entered a new NVMTA event this year
Entered students in an NVMTA competition
⭐Participated on an NVMTA committee at any level
⭐Written an article for the NVMTA website blog
Given a presentation at an NVMTA meeting
Received an NVMTA scholarship
Certified as NCTM with MTNA
Congratulations on being the May NVMTA Spotlight member, Amy! Thank you for all your work and contributions to NVMTA!