February 11, 1919 ~ April 29, 2017
Betty M. Nolting, piano teacher, 98, of Atlanta died peacefully Saturday, April 29, 2017 at home, surrounded by family. She was born Betty Margaret Ferris on February 11, 1919 in Waukesha, WI, as the only child of Harry Louis and Florence Kissell Ferris. She was proud that her mother was a suffragette and a best-selling author of English grammar textbooks; her father ensured the survival of the Gibson guitar company in his brief tenure as its director. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Rev. Fred Logan Nolting, in 2009. She is survived by her children Barbara Jennings of Conyers; William Nolting and his wife Donna Parmelee of Ypsilanti, MI; James Nolting of Sugar Hill; Larry Nolting and his wife Barbara of Atlanta; and John Nolting and his wife Alison and grandson Alan of Belmont, NC, and grandson Eric and his wife Alecia of Apex, NC. Betty Nolting graduated from Lawrence University and Eastman School of Music. She studied with renowned teachers Joseph Lhevinne, Adele Marcus, and John Elvin. Throughout her 75-year teaching career, she exemplified the qualities of the ideal teacher: wisdom, patience, high professional standards for herself and her students, commitment to the growth and welfare of her students and fellow teachers, and a profound love of music. She had many winners in the Georgia Music Teachers Association (GMTA) and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) auditions and competitions. Several of her former students currently have distinguished careers in music, including an accompanist with a major opera company, an orchestra conductor, the chair of a university music department, and the founder of a music school. Most recently, a former student, now a saxophonist on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, performed with Yo-Yo Ma. The father of one of her former students wrote, “In an age of MTV, email and everything else, Betty Nolting has anchored our progeny to one of humanity’s finest traditions, and so, to a meaningful life. Her students grew up to be not just fine musicians, but happy musicians, and fine citizens as well.” For more than 30 years, her Teachers' Classes provided a venue for fellow teachers to perform, work through and discuss piano pedagogy, and share music with each other. Through this program, Betty had an influence upon hundreds of students. She presented sessions at many state conferences and local association meetings, and was the recipient of the first GMTA Teacher of the Year award in 2002. Betty also served as president of the Atlanta Music Teachers Association and Metropolitan Atlanta Music Teachers Association and was GMTA President from 1978-1980. Betty has made an indelible imprint on the music community, the music teaching profession, and the lives of her students. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to The Georgia Music Teachers Association Composition Fund, www.georgiamta.org, and to the Atlanta Music Club, https://atlantamusicclub.org. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, May 20, at St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church, 3110 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE, Atlanta. Following the service, a reception will be held in Gable Hall at the church.