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August 10, 2020 Branch Meeting

The Antelope Valley Branch of the Music Teachers Assoc. of California had their first monthly meeting for the fiscal year of 2020-2021. It was our first virtual meeting ever. There were 8 members present.

Sheryl Cannon gave a few opening comments about the need for our branch to be meeting virtually. At this time it just is not safe for us to be meeting in person due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mage Lockwood went through needed Netiquette rules that are needed to make the following meeting a success. She had also made up slides for each division in the meeting to make it easier to follow.

Sheryl Cannon read the minutes form the last meeting the branch had in January. There were no corrections to be made.

The Treasurer’s report was given by Mary Zimmerman.

The Membership report was also given by Mary Zimmerman. She reported that we now a new member. Her name is Andrea Zarate – Lizarde she teaches both piano and flute. We are so happy to see our branch starting to grow.

Sheryl Cannon then gave a COVID-19 report. The state office of the MTAC is asking all of its member to stay up to date with both what the CDC and our state officials have to say about the conditions in our areas. Most of, if not all of the members of the MTAC are teaching virtually at this point. We must think about the health and safety of our students their families and ourselves.

Mage Lockwood found an Youtube video by Noreen Wenjen on how she has dealt with converting her studio to a totally visual one. Noreen gave some great ideas on handling everyday lessons to even having recitals.

Mage Lockwood then presented a small portion of one of her recent virtual recitals. This was to show that it can be done. We also discussed some of the issues of times delays, camera angles and sound quality. If you will take a moment and look on this website you will notice there are resources posted to help you have a better virtual experience with your students.


Certificate of Merit update was given by Debbie Hanson. She let us know that all of the C.M test will be done online for the year of 2021. Your parents will be going online as they have been to register their students. All information about testing times etc. will be posted there. We as the branch will not have any influence in the testing this coming year.

A.V. Branch Music Festival report was given by Debbie Hanson. Due to the COVID- 19 pandemic we had to cancel our festival that was originally scheduled for April. Everyone who had signed up still wanted to find a way to have the festival. Debbie arranged for all of the participating students to send a video to the three judges. The judges then can evaluate each students performance and then award prizes.

The Future of Branch Events: You may be asking if it is possible to have recitals and music festivals virtually. Yes it is possible but it will take a little work from all of us. Many of the big music schools as well as small studios are managing to do this. There are steps to take so that we can successfully do this.

Step one was to get our website up and running. We have now completed this. You will need to let your families know about this. Inform them about the Events page. Recitals and festivals will be posted here.


Step two was to create an place where the parents can input all of their students information for the recital. They will also be able to pay for the recital at that time too.

Step three will be having you as the teacher to go in an check to make sure all of the information is correct. We do want to be able to have a program so that every performer will be recognized properly.

With these changes, we have had to go through our bank to create the proper type of account so we can pay fees online. It is not as easy as setting up Paypal or Stripe on our personnel accounts. There are things that the IRS and the State Tax board need to know being we are a nonprofit.

Upcoming meetings – September 21st 9:30 AM via Zoom meeting. A meeting code will be posted to Google Calendar.

Upcoming recital – December 5th 2:00 PM This will be our first virtual recital. It will definitely be an experiment but it should be fun. We will all learn a lot. Information for that will be posted on the website as soon as we get the ok from the bank so we can set up our events section properly.

A quick update: Our banking inquiry is in underwriting right now. I have had to supply three years of financial reports as well as banking statements to the underwriting company. I am hoping that we will know soon. As for getting our website fees at a lower cost that is a different story. Most nonprofits are usually a 501c3 company. Well, all of the branches of the MTAC are a 501c6 companies. It looks like we don’t qualify under tax law for the reduction. I am going to keep working on this. None of these services are free so this is why we will need to keep charging for the recitals.