Sally Sansbury named NCTM Teacher of the Year

April 17 was the day that our “Best In The Nation” local affiliate of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) was to have held our Spring Conference. Instead, we were at home.

At this spring meeting each year, we announce the Nationally Certified Music Teacher of the Year for our district. Our local winner then represents us when the  Ohio Music Teachers Association (OMTA) selects its state winner later in the year.

The 2020 Central-East Nationally Certified Music Teacher of the Year is Sally Liew Sansbury, NCTM.  Sally started teaching at a young age and is now recognized as a Master Teacher, with a home studio in Northwest Columbus. She became nationally certified by MTNA in 2004. Area piano teachers seek Sally’s help with their own playing and teaching, and with their advanced students. Sally has earned three Diplomas from Trinity College, London; a Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance and Music Education from Ohio Wesleyan University; and Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the Ohio State University School of Music.

Sally has been very actively involved in OMTA and MTNA for over 20 years. She served four years Co-Chair of the Graves Competition, five years as chair of Buckeye Auditions, four years as Publicity Chairman, two years as Co-Chair of Summer Music Scholarships, and is currently Vice President of Student Competitions. She is a leader in the field of music teaching, giving freely of her time to MTNA. In her acceptance of this award, Ms. Sansbury says. “It was divine providence that brought me to Ohio Wesleyan University, because one day I happened to see this plaque on the walls of Sanborn Hall and instinctively knew it was something significant –

A Landmark of American Music
Site of the Founding of
Music Teachers
National Association

Monnett Hall, 1876
By Theodore Presser
100th Anniversary

Going through graduate school at OSU, I worked with fabulous teachers and made life-long musician friends.  Then I got involved with CEOMTA and realized what a vibrant organization it was.  I learned tremendously from all the conferences and workshops I’ve attended over the years, worked alongside music colleagues and made friends along the way.  All of this have helped mold me into the person I am today.  I am so thankful that someone like Theodore Presser had the foresight to start a music department at OWU and then to establish the first music organization in America.  The fact that CEOMTA is recognized as the Best District of the Year in 2020 perhaps reflect its roots in the founding place of MTNA. “ 

Sally Sansbury is an active performer in the Central Ohio Community. She is a collaborative pianist with Simply Classique and the Trois Femmes de Musique chamber music trio, and accompanist for vocalists, instrumentalists, and choral groups. She is also active in Columbus Piano Guild, Women in Music, Worthington Music Club and Ohio Federation of Music Clubs.

Congratulations to Sally Sansbury, NCTM.  We salute you as our Nationally Certified Teacher of the Year and thank you for being such a fine role model for our profession.

Janice Cook, CEOMTA Certification Chairman

April, 2020

Sally’s acceptance speech can be found below.

Congratulations to Miriam Brown, NCTM

Hearty Congratulations to our newest nationally certified member, Miriam Brown.

Miriam earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree (piano) from Wittenberg University and her Masters in School Counseling from the University of Dayton. She studied piano through high school with Mary Sue Schlegel of Sugarcreek, Robert Wynne at Wittenberg and later added harp studies with Jean Harriman, additional studies with Alice Chalifoux and also Jeanne Norton.

She taught elementary music in Gahanna where she incorporated music techniques of Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze. WOSU AirFare Magazine featured Miriam, with a description and photos of her exemplary teaching project in which her mission was to foster music appreciation and creativity in her students and families.

Miriam maintains a piano studio at her home and enjoys teaching students of all ages including adults. She is a member of the American Harp Society, MTNA, National Guild of Piano Teachers and Central East OMTA where she is Vice President of Student Activities and the Out and About Chairman. As Out & About Chairman, Miriam sets up volunteer playing opportunities for students at local hospitals, senior living places, Malls, recital events, and more!

As a professional harpist, Miriam regularly performs for weddings, fundraisers, corporate events, and private parties in the greater Columbus area. Her long-term engagements have included Franklin Park Conservatory Candlelight Tours, Sunday Brunches at the Hyatt Regency (five years), and FiftyFive at Crosswoods (eight years). She also performs in a flute-harp duo with Valorie Adams-Hildreth.

Miriam recently submitted the five projects to the MTNA Board of Certification Examiners. After evaluation, she was named an NCTM, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, in Piano. She will be honored and awarded a certification pin at the OMTA Spring Conference on April 13, 2018.

Any member wishing to become nationally certified should visit


Congratulations to Bernice Tamkin, NCTM

Congratulations to our colleague Bernice Tamkin, who recently earned her national certification through MTNA. Please take a moment to read about her journey:

Bernice Tamkin has been captivated by the piano ever since her older sister began taking lessons. She taught herself the rudiments of reading music before beginning lessons at age 9. This was just AFTER her dairy farmer dad traded in their very old upright and bought a NEW piano off the back of a truck following a drawing attempt to win a piano at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. What an unbelievable and exciting day!

She took lessons off-and-on through high school, and always had a strong desire to play well, and continued working on her own. After moving to Ohio, as an adult she found a teacher, Beatrice Iseringhausen, who was instrumental in filling in a lot of gaps in her music education. She also attended a series of theory classes at Capital University and the Pedagogy Series taught by Laura Beauchamp and Mary Craig Powell.

During her high school years, she began accompanying hymn singing in her church and playing offertories and piano duets. She has filled in at several Pataskala churches and presently is the pianist for the Classic Service at her church. She has also collaborated as a duet partner playing Christmas music for a fund-raiser.

Bernice has taught at her home studio in Pataskala for twenty-five years, where she currently has eighteen students. She enjoys teaching all ages and especially loves teaching and playing duets. All of her students play a solo and at least one duet at Christmas and Spring recitals. Her students participate in National Piano Guild and Scale Olympics.

When asked about the certification process, Bernice said, “The certification process was an invaluable challenge for me. I decided to memorize the piece I played and then decided to perform a Piano Guild program – something which I had never even heard of when I was taking lessons as a child. So I played two memorized pieces – 14 pages! This project also motivated me to take some private lessons with Ashley Wise in preparation for my performance. Analyzing the four pieces of music was also an excellent challenge for me. Completing the five required projects for certification is a splendid way to re-evaluate one’s teaching and studio operations.”

In addition to teaching on and playing her 1897 Stultz & Bauer beautifully restored grand piano, Bernice is an avid reader. She is also a gardener and a quilter.

Bernice has a BA in English and is a seasonal, on-line scorer for Pearson, scoring the SAT and other essays. She has also taught writing classes at Central Ohio Technical College as an adjunct instructor.

Bernice and her husband, Ron (who plays a little piano and bass guitar), have five sons, including two sets of twins. They now have three grandchildren. Bernice’s sons have varying degrees of music interest, some of which include piano, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, and bagpipes.