Piano Teacher Institute, Professional Development

Upcoming 2015 Sessions from Piano Teacher Institute

This information was just sent out to those on the email list for the Piano Teacher Institute with Joy Morin. I’m blogging it here as well, just for your interest!

PIANO TEACHER INSTITUTE - join email list

Greetings!

A year ago, I began writing the coursework for my online course, Introduction to Piano Teaching. I’ve now offered the course three times: Summer 2014, Fall 2014, and Winter 2015. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed designing the course and interacting with the teachers who have enrolled each time! I believe this course fills an important need for teachers who have a desire to increase or refresh their current knowledge to gain further education in piano pedagogy, i.e., the art of teaching piano.

I’m preparing to offer two more sessions this year, so I asked the most recent registrants if they would be willing to write testimonials to help others decide if my online course is right for them. Here is what they had to say:

“This course was excellent!  For several months, I had been looking for some kind of training for piano teachers.  There are many university level, longer term programs available, but I needed something I could do from home.  This course was exactly what I needed.  I am a new teacher, and this course really helped steer my efforts toward the most important things that I should be focusing on–including the business side of teaching and the actual teaching.  Ms. Morin was prompt about both responding to my questions and leaving feedback for my assignments.  I also appreciated being able to interact with the other members of the class.  Their ideas and experience were wonderful!  I feel I am more organized and have clearer direction as a teacher because of this course.” 
          — Michelle Marchant, piano teacher in Utah

HIGHLY (*****) recommend Piano Teacher Institute by Joy Morin.  This class was fantastic for me!  My formal education came many years ago and I have taught many students over the years.  But with a relocation of my studio to another state, I felt it was a great time to update my piano pedagogy skills and to enroll in the course.   Ms. Morin did an EXCELLENT job with the design of the course as well as conducting the one hour weekly chat sessions with the other enrolled students. … She is a very professional instructor but at the same time is very personal and insightful in helping each student in their piano teaching journey.  The materials from the course will be an excellent resource for future usage.  If you are looking for a great piano teacher class, I would encourage you to enroll in Piano Teacher Institute.   
          — Phyllis Bowers, piano teacher in Alabama

Dear Joy, Observing the way you take such pride in your role as an educator has made a huge impact on me. You have truly helped me to look at what I do in a dramatically different way. You have helped me to treat my job more like a career. The changes I have made in my business approach have been exciting, but I’m even more enthusiastic about the way I FEEL about the piano. Watching you love music has helped me rekindle my love of the piano! I’m playing again and actually enjoying it! Thank you for being a great mentor and for being a new friend! 
          —Susan Honey, teacher in North Carolina

You can read the rest of the testimonials here. Introduction to Piano Teaching is an intensive course that lasts for six weeks, with each week dedicated to a certain topic (business topics, piano methods, technique, etc.). The ideal registrant is an individual with a passion for learning, a dedication to teaching, and the time and energy to spend 10-15 hours each week reading and completing the assignments.

Here are the dates for the two upcoming sessions:

  1. Summer 2015: May 25 through July 12. (I’ve allowed seven weeks instead of the usual six, to help both you and I accommodate any summer travel plans.) 
  2. Fall 2015: August 25 through October 4. 

Registration for the Summer 2015 session will open at 9AM EST on Tuesday, May 5 and will appear on this page of the website. Registration will automatically close after the first 10 teachers have registered. Last time, registration filled within two hours — so if you are interested in taking the course, I recommend that you mark your calendar!

Read more about the course or sign up for the email list (I promise to send no more than 10 email updates each year) on the website here.  If you still have questions, please feel free to send me a message.

 

Games, Group Classes

Easter Egg Matching Music Game

Earlier this week, I blogged about my April 2015 studio class “Piano Party.” We concluded our Piano Party with a new game, which I created based on a teacher’s idea posted in the Piano Teacher FunMakers group on facebook.

The game is simple: buy a package of plastic easter eggs and draw music symbols and terms on each half with a paint pen (permanent marker will rub off over time). Students are supposed to mix up and then match together the halves.

I did not have any plastic easter eggs in the house, so I asked my husband to buy some on clearance when he went to the grocery store. He came home with these really interesting ones from Meijer that break into three sections…!

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At first, I wasn’t sure if they were going to work well for my game, but then I realized that having three separate parts for each egg could work out to my advantage. On each part of the egg, I wrote a music symbol, the meaning, and the Italian music term.

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Having three parts to match into an egg makes the game more challenging. My students enjoyed working together for this game at my Piano Party.

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I’m going to leave this game out in my waiting room for awhile. When students arrive, they will enjoy matching a few eggs before their lessons.

Music History, Printables, Technology

Lesson Plan: The History of Audio Formats

As blogged yesterday, my husband and I recently acquired a 1929 Victor Victrola gramophone. Researching our new “toy” inspired me to create a lesson plan about the history of audio formats for this month’s group class “Piano Party” for my piano students. The lesson plan, craft activity, and slides are available as a single PDF freebie…so continue reading!

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Announcements, Music History, Technology

My New Victor Victrola Gramophone

Last week, one of my adult students gave my husband and I an old Victor Victrola gramophone. Isn’t it lovely?!

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I knew very little about gramophones prior to this. Internet research revealed that our Victrola was manufactured in 1929. It isn’t a particularly valuable one, but it is a great historical piece and it has a great sound!

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I was able to find a scan of the manual for a similar model so that I could learn about how to properly operate our Victrola and maintain it. Learning about the history of the gramophone was fun, too!

Here is a video I made demonstrating my Victrola:

All of this research inspired me to create a lesson plan to teach my students about the history of audio formats. Stay tuned to hear more about it!

Conferences

MTNA 2015 (5): W March 25

mtna 2015 conference logoThe last day of the MTNA conference was Wednesday, March 25.


8:00–9:00 a.m.: Elementary Imagination, by Wynn-Anne Rossi

71DeI-Q0QpLIn the morning, I attended part of the Elementary Imagination session by Wynn-Anna Rossi. Because I slipped into the room late, I did not hear the entire session but I did pick up a few ideas for when composing with students. By the way, Wynn-Anne is the author of the Creative Composition Toolbox series published by Alfred Music. I haven’t tried these books with a student yet, but they look excellent!


9:15–10:15 a.m.: Rachmaninoff The Teacher, by Robin James Hancock, NCTM

This was one of my favorite sessions from the conference. Robin Hancock gave a fascinating talk about Rachmaninoff’s life: his mentors, his teaching, and his legacy. It was fascinating to hear about Rachmaninoff’s background and interactions as well as to hear about the cornerstones of Rachmaninoff’s legacy: (1) his recordings, (2) the live first-person interviews he gave for Etude magazine, (3) the music he composed, and (4) the accounts from students and pianists who took lessons or coaching with him. Robin has done a great deal of research about Rachmaninoff and was able to share about Rachmaninoff in a compelling, story-telling way.


After the last session, I spent some time sitting outdoors and reading a great book (I hope to write a review soon!) as I waited for my husband’s flight to arrive. Once he arrived, we spent a few more days in Las Vegas enjoying the sights, restaurants, and sunshine. I love this selfie we took near the famous Las Vegas sign.

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I always return from conferences feeling re-inspired about teaching. And it is wonderful to connect with new and familiar faces. Here is a photo in the exhibit hall with Susan Paradis (finally got to meet her in person after many online communications!) and my friend Becky Baker from Indiana.

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And here is a photo with some of the JoyTunes team: Marta Mozes, David Love, and Becki Tapia Laurent:

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Here is a photo taken at lunch with new and old friends: Melissa Marie from New York, Becky Baker, Susan’s friend Frederica from Texas, Susan Paradis, and Deborah Miles from Canada.

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In the exhibit hall, I bumped into Jennifer Foxx!

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If you have never attended a national-level conference before, I hope you will consider setting aside some money each month for the purpose of going someday. It is well worth it! The 2016 MTNA conference will be held April 2-6 in San Antonio, Texas.

By the way, there is a different national-level conference happening this summer: the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy (sponsored by the Frances Clark Center) from July 29 through August 1, 2015. The NCKP is held every-other year, always in Lombard, Illinois (outside of Chicago). It is always a fantastic conference. I hope to see you there!

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Conferences

MTNA 2015 (4): Tuesday, March 23

mtna 2015 conference logoMTNA 2015 conference notes continued…


8:00–9:00 a.m.: Exhibitor Showcase by The Royal Conservatory: Teaching Sight Reading, Improvising, Arranging and Interpreting–In Every Lesson! by Forrest Kinney

Forrest Kinney is an engaging speaker with a great sense of humor! His session was a lot of fun. Forrest talked about his ChordPlay series, Pattern Play series, some of the 2015 RCM Syllabus changes, and his participation in revising the new 2015 editions of the Four Star Sightreading and Ear Training books.


9:15–10:15 a.m.: Seeing Is Believing: Using Visual Tools To Engage, Create And Motivate, by Andrea J. McAlister, NCTM

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Andrea began by asking: Why visual learning? Research suggests that most learners are visual learners — perhaps up to 83% of us. Andrea suggested, however, that rather than over-focusing on learning styles, we need as teachers should be most interested in student engagement.

The development of drawing is similar to the young child’s experience with the piano. Age 2, scribbles. Age 3-4, they start creating butterflies with the high sounds, and dragons with the low sounds. At age 6, we start to take away drawing — but maybe we shouldn’t. Doodling gets a bad rap, but it’s quite beneficial. You can doodle through drawing, moving, or making music. It’s spontaneous. Doodling might increase engagement.

Activity: Andrea played a short ABA piece as we drew on paper with crayons. Everyone’s drawing or interpretation was different. As Andrea demonstrated, there are many possible ways to combine art and music.

Throughout her session, Andrea suggested a variety of ways teachers can integrate more visuals in their teaching. One practical idea is to allow for student assignments to be student-drawn. Student assignments can be notated often more simply and interestingly through drawings/doodles instead of words. Allowing students to write requires more time initially, but it saves more time in the long run because students are learning to solve their own problems.

This was a fun and engaging session!


10:30 a.m.–12:00 noon: Advanced Piano Master Class with Lang Lang

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Lang Lang unfortunately arrived a half hour late for the masterclass session, so the sessions with each college student were rather short. However, it was quite interesting to watch him coach the three students.

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2:15–3:15 p.m.: New Wine In Old Bottles: The Piano Nocturnes of Lowell Liebermann, by Karen Kushner; Diana Helfers Petrella; Jane Solose, NCTM; Robert Weirich; from U of Missouri-Kansas City.

In this session, UMKC faculty described a recent project they completed with their piano majors: learning the nocturnes of Lowell Liebermann. As part of the project, Liebermann himself visited UMKC to give a masterclass. UMKC students were present to demonstrate and perform some of the nocturnes for us. They also described the positive impact of the experience of learning new, non-standard repertoire and interacting with the composer. A handout was provided that leveled the nocturnes and gave brief descriptions of each piece. It was neat to hear unfamiliar repertoire and hear about the success of UMKC’s project!


8:00 p.m.: Ann Schein Piano Recital

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Later in the evening, we returned for the Ann Schein recital. Ann gave an incredible performance of Beethoven’s “Les Adieux,” Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze, and the Chopin Sonata No. 3. Her playing is so rich, beautiful, and tasteful. It was a evening to remember!

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Conferences

MTNA 2015 (3): March 21 and 22

mtna 2015 conference logoOn Sunday of the conference, I attended the Willis Music and the FJH Music showcases and spent some time browsing in the Exhibit Hall. It is always fun to see what is new in the publishing world for our piano students!

As part of my responsibilities as the current VP of Membership for OhioMTA, I attended the Collegiate Chapters Forum meeting, the East Central Division meeting, and the MTNA Certification Open Meeting throughout the day. I hadn’t attended those meetings before, so it was interesting to become more aware of the inner workings of MTNA and MTNA chapters.

My state chapter, OhioMTA, met for dinner at The Stack, a restaurant instead the Mirage hotel. We had a great dinner and lots of good conversation. After dinner, I went back to spend time with my friend and host, Kristie Smith, for the evening. Unfortunately, I did not remember to take a single photo with her!  :(  But she was a great host and we had a lot of fun each evening!

On Monday morning, I enjoyed some of the Frederick Harris showcase and some of the Faber Piano Adventures showcase. I didn’t want to miss a thing! ;)

The Plenary Session at 9:15am was “A Conversation With Ann Schein,” who was the guest artist for the concert the following evening. Hearing Ann Schein talk about her childhood, her piano teachers, and her life as a concert pianist was absolutely incredible! She is a wonderfully humble and gracious person, and an incredible pianist as we heard the following evening.

In the afternoon, I attended a really outstanding session given by the MTNA Collegiate Chapter at Brigham Young University-Idaho. It was called: Music á la Mode: Sensory Learning Preferences. The college students gave great information about how to teach in various ways engaging students’ aural senses, visual senses, and tactile/kinesthetic senses. This was probably the best collegiate session I’ve ever heard at an MTNA conference: they were so well-prepared and well rehearsed. 

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Stay tuned for more notes tomorrow!

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