Joyce Grill presents at the Forum meeting this Friday!

Well known composer and professor Joyce Grill will be at St Anne’s Episcopal Church Friday, October 4th, at 9:30 am, after the 9:00 meeting. The morning concludes with a lunch at Graystone Ale House. All are welcome! Following is her bio; we hope to see you there!

Joyce Grill is a retired emeritus faculty member of UW-La Crosse.  (I taught with Weekley and Arganbright for 25 years!) Grill’s extensive hands-on teaching experience, which she brings to her clinics, conveys not only course-related applications but also practical and tangible approaches to instruction and student development.

She is a well-know composer whose various compositions introduce students to the styles of several musical eras.  She especially hopes to attract young teenagers with her music to continue their study of piano!

With degrees from the UW-Madison, she did advanced study at the School of Fine Arts in Fontainebleau, France, studying with Nadia Boulanger, (theory and composition) and Robert and Jean Casadesus, (piano).  She is an active member to MTNA holding the MTNA Master Teacher Certificate and she is an MTNA Foundation Fellow.

On a fun and personal note, Joyce wrote a less official bio for us:  “I never know what teachers are interested in knowing about me!  Things not usually put in bios are that I like all kinds of music!  I played in a polka band in high school, a jazz band in college and loved accompanying most of all!!!!  This is what I concentrated on in my years of teaching, instead of solo playing, which I did, but loved accompanying best!  I was the mid-west accompanist for Columbia Artists who came here but didn’t want to bring an accompanist!  Thank goodness I was a good sight-reader because they rarely sent the music ahead of time.   Sigh!!!! ” Thank you Joyce, for that view into your life! You made us all smile.

Catherine Kautsky, on “Music in Context: The Arts That Surround the Music You Play”

The Forum had the great pleasure of hosting Catherine Kautsky, Chair of Keyboard at Lawrence University, for our April meeting. From Baroque to Impressionism, Catherine connected the music we love to the visual arts, literature, and culture of the period. Her knowledge, skills as a pianist, photos, and vivid and enthusiastic speaking style immersed us in the composer’s worlds, as though she had been there herself. For a too short hour, we could live those times too. Thank you Catherine!

…An author also!

2019 All Star Festival

The Forum recently held the annual All Star Festival! There were 73 students performing solos, as well as 13 duets and a trio. A fun feature of the event is our Music Fair, with art projects on composers and other music topics. In addition, 26 students tested their knowledge of theory. Although the Wisconsin weather put a stop to the Honor Festival for the students who earned 5 stars at their performance, all who participated in the Festival grew musically from their practice and dedication.


The NEWPTF recently participated in the first Gathering. This event was a gathering of interested piano teacher groups, businesses, and institutions, assembled for the purpose of developing communication and creating a network to mutually benefit issues of improving the status of the teaching and learning of piano in Northeast Wisconsin. An annual newsletter will be published in August, 2019. The Gatherings are sponsored by NEWPTF, and the second Gathering will take place in January of 2020. New participants are always welcome. For more information or to be included in the Gathering, please contact Maggie Charnon at

Welcome to a new Forum season!

Dear Teachers,

Spring is traditionally the season to think of new and fresh beginnings, but as I view this fall for the Forum, I see so many ways to bring that sense of spring “newness” into our group and our events.

First of all – our new website! New graphics, new format, a new step forward. I’m excited to let you know when it is ready to unveil. Secondly, our new locations! This year we will enjoy our meetings at St Anne’s, and partner with UWGB for the Classical Recital at Fort Howard Hall. Another new event joining us together are the October presentations by two UWGB music students.

Here’s a question for you…what can you bring that’s new to your lessons? If you are like me, too many of the notes from our excellent Forum programs and Shares last year are still waiting to be organized and incorporated into new best practices at my studio. Now I plan to take time to look them over again, and use these new ideas and knowledge to grow as a teacher.

Bringing that question to our organization, what can you bring that is new to the Forum? Is there a committee you haven’t worked on? Is there a leadership position you have never volunteered for? Do you have an interesting new idea to offer at our Share meetings?  Last year, there was discussion about “partnering up” – the idea of encouraging any teachers you know to join you for a Forum meeting.  Can you partner up and bring a new teacher, or a member we haven’t seen in a while?

If we all stop and think for a moment, there is one thing we would all realize for certain – every year our connection to the Forum brings each one of us something new. It may have a small impact on our teaching, or it may be large. It could be just a few ideas, or it could be an eye-opening new concept or technology. But one thing that isn’t new – being a member of the Forum makes teaching piano a whole lot easier.

See you soon!

Your president,

Deb Teegarden



playing piano


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