Last weekend, I attended the 2015 Piano Pedagogy Seminar at Ohio University. It was a wonderful event that definitely helped recharge my teaching batteries! If you happen to live anywhere near Ohio University, I would encourage you to “like” their facebook page so you can receive information about this annual event.
This year, the featured artists and clinicians were Alan Chow and Dr. Robert Duke. Alan Chow gave a masterclass, an artist recital, and a lecture entitled, “It’s In The Score!” I really like Alan Chow’s playing — I must say his recital was among the best I’ve attended. His lecture the following day was enlightening as it gave us a glimpse into his mind as an artist interpreting the score, and also into his mind and method as a teacher.
Robert Duke gave a two-part lecture entitled, “If We Learn Like That, Why Do We Teach Like This?” He is the author of the incredible book, Intelligent Music Teaching, which I reviewed in a previous post. His lecture was challenging, inspiring, and entertaining. If you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, be sure to take advantage!
After his lecture, Robert Duke encouraged us to check out the U of Texas-Austin’s Center for Music Learning website. There are a variety of videos and other free resources available there. He also let us know that he is involved in an NPR podcast called Two Guys on Your Head. I’ve been greatly enjoying these podcasts, and I also discovered that there are a few lectures by Robert Duke available for viewing on YouTube if you search for his name.
Other sessions included a lecture entitled, “The Secret Ingredient to Piano Teaching Success: The Powerful Role of Parents” by husband and wife team Dr. Christopher Fisher (OU professor) and Katherine Fisher (co-author of the Piano Safari method). In their talk, they described the “Parent Practice Workshops” they like to organize to help inform and equip parents to support their students’ piano study. They also shared a huge variety of creative resources and ideas for making home practice interesting and effective. If this sounds interesting to you, you might enjoy listening to this podcast Chris Fisher gave for the TeachPianoToday.com folks.
We also enjoyed a session about the Royal Conservatory of Music exams, given by Dr. Andrew Hisey. He gave an overview of the program and also provided a great deal of helpful information about the changes that were made with the release of the new 2015 syllabus (revisions are made every seven years). P.S.: If you have ever used my free technique charts for RCM, please know that I do plan to release charts for the new 2015 syllabus–hopefully soon!
For the OU seminar, I traveled and roomed with a seasoned piano teacher from my local MTNA chapter. We had such a great time together.
I’ve been saving up to attend a couple of other events at the end of this summer: the 2015 NCKP near Chicago and a workshop by Irina Gorin occurring in the Indianapolis area. What upcoming events are you planning to attend? I encourage every piano teacher to be committed to attending every professional development opportunity that you can!