Meet Nina Markle from Middletown, OhioNina Markle is a retired music teacher from Middletown, Ohio. She requested $3,000 for a piano lab to teach music to low income children in her area. Nina’s dream of opening a Performing Arts Academy came to fruition this month as the Academy just opened its doors last week in a space provided by a local church. They will teach all ages, grouping them by age and skill, and hope to serve up to 100 students per week. “I feel God has blessed me with talent, energy, a love for children and a passion for the arts,” said Nina. “I am 67 years old and am fortunate to be able to bless others as I was blessed.”
The piano lab will allow a group of 8 to study piano at the same time with an instructor. “It is a known fact that music helps develop the mind and we feel if we can help when the children are young,” wrote Nina, “it will make them better equipped to face the future. We feel this lab would be a great gift to the families who are out of work and their children could enjoy learning the skills of reading and playing music.”
With her grant, Nina will be purchasing the Yamaha LC2 Plus Lab to accommodate 8 students plus one teacher. We admire Nina for bringing music to underprivileged children.
Diary Starts Here
March 23, 2009
Nina had received an email through us last week from former student Scott Lairson which said... "Hi there, I would like to send a message to Nina. If it hadn't been for Nina, I wouldn't be able to sing! I was a voice student of hers for a lot of years in OHIO. She was the most influential person musically and personally in my life. She will ALWAYS be in my heart! I continue to sing to this day in church and different functions. Being a professional chef, I sometimes sing to my clients. If Nina hadn't taught me how to sing and how to keep a song in my heart, I don't know if I would have made it in this life some days. Please tell her I love her and am so very proud of her for still giving back to so many people!"
Well we forwarded it to Nina, who contacted Scott and had this to say... "Hi Damon. I just wanted to thank you for forwarding Scott Lairson's email. What a complete joy reconnecting with him! You and Jenny Jones have brought so many joys our way. Thank you! We are ready to open our ninth piano lab. We have a waiting list for adults and one for children. Can you believe in such a short time we are serving 64 children and adults! May God continue to bless you for your wonderful work."
January 12th, 2009
Piano classes start in just three days! (on January 15th)... Below is the article that appeared in the Middletown Journal today.
September 18th, 2008
Nina tells me that a few days before I called, a very lovely lady who retired after 60 years of piano teaching, gave the Academy ALL of her music. Now the children will not have to buy books!
September 15th, 2008
Nina got quite a surprise today when I called to tell her about her grant. The Academy’s Assistant Director, Dawn Cooke, assembled quite a crowd of 15 to 20 people who were hiding in the sanctuary of the church getting ready to surprise Nina. Then, when everyone was in place and she walked in, I was already on the speakerphone. When I gave her the good news, I could hear everyone applauding in the room.
When I asked Nina to explain how the keyboard works, I realized they still needed 8 additional keyboards for the students which would have cost an additional $3,000. I asked her why she didn’t ask for more and she said, “I didn’t want to be greedy.” So I doubled the grant on the spot to another round of cheers and applause in the room. I told her she had to have the whole package. It was so much fun to talk to Nina and she was very happy. I also told her that I took piano lessons as a child and I was kind of mean to my teacher so I felt doubly good about this grant. Plus, she is right about the value of learning music. Because of my knowledge of piano, I was able to write the theme song to my own talk show.
9/15/08: Jenny & Damon wrote... "Congratulations on becoming a part of our special Teachers' Month and for realizing the importance of music and the arts for children."
9/27/08: Imogene wrote... "Nina, you are working so hard to establish your dream of a Middletown Performing Arts Academy. Congratulations on receiving the funding for a piano lab!. This will offer another musical advantage to our area children and adults. The academy is filling a void in our community when funding for Fine Arts in the public schools seems to be slipping away. Keep up the good work!!"
9/27/08: Martha wrote... "Hi Nina, so God never quits. He keeps giving as we do. Dreams do come true when we wish upon a star. Or how ever you want to look at it. You never retired when you left the school, you kept on giving. Some times it is given back. Congratulations girl. Keep up the good work, keep touching people lives through music and Give it all back to the the Lord."
9/27/08: Jess Wilson wrote... "Congratulations Nina! You never cease to amaze us. Thank you for all you have done, and all that you continue to do."
Jess and Hilda
9/28/08: Jon & Angie wrote... "Nina, there is not a "hero" more deserving of this grant! We are so excited for you and all those who so faithfully contribute to your ministry with your endless hours of enthusiasm and dedication. We know the community and those surrounding you will be blessed by the talents and gifts God has given you and your willingness to share them. We know our kids are proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of your summer community theatres. We know you are just the person God would have to lead such a wonderful academy in this area. We wish you all the best and congratulations on this grant that will help bring to fruition the wonderful things we know God has in store for your vision in the performing arts!"
The Hoover Family
9/29/08: Yolanda Cooper wrote... "Hi Nina~ I just read the information re: the grant received for the piano lab~ I was so impressed when I met you for the first time last week when I brought my little guy in for Kindermusik. As I told you I am new to the area but feel really good about what you all are doing with our kids. May God continue to bless your vision~"
9/29/08: Dawn Beals wrote... "Dawn Cooke told me the news last week about the piano lab and grant. I am SOOO thrilled. I read the Middletown Journal and Jenny’s Heroes page for all the details. This is awesome and I’m so happy you are in our community. Thank God for Nina and for your visions and dreams."
9/29/08: Tisha Patton wrote... "Nina Markle and Dawn Cooke have a love for music and a love for children. Those of us at Community Development Professionals who have worked and prayed with Nina and Dawn regarding the Middletown Performing ArtsAcademy could not be more proud or more grateful of what these women have brought and will bring to the children of the Middletown, Ohio, area. Congratulations, Nina, Dawn and the MPAA!" Tisha Patton
3/19/09: Scott Lairson wrote... "Hi there, I would like to send a message to Nina. If it hadn't been for Nina, I wouldn't be able to sing! I was a voice student of hers for a lot of years in OHIO. She was the most influential person musically and personally in my life. She will ALWAYS be in my heart! I continue to sing to this day in church and different functions. Being a professional chef, I sometimes sing to my clients. If Nina hadn't taught me how to sing and how to keep a song in my heart, I don't know if I would have made it in this life some days. Please tell her I love her and am so very proud of her for still giving back to so many people!"