General

Looking Back: 2017-2018 Speaking Engagements

There was once a time when public speaking was entirely unappealing to me. It’s funny how things can change! I now know that public speaking is not that scary. :) And I’ve always loved the process of researching a given topic and figuring out how to synthesize and organize the information. So, over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed being a presenter for various music teachers association meetings and conferences.

Now that the school year is wrapping up, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at the presentations I had the privilege of giving this year.

Over the summer, my buddy Amy Chaplin and I created a presentation for teachers new to Edwin Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT). (Remember when Amy and I took our MLT certification training together back in 2016?) We first presented it for my local MTNA chapter, the Wood-Ottawa Counties MTA, here in Ohio in September. Then, we presented it again in Amy’s home state for the 2017 IndianaMTA state conference in Marion, Indiana. I’m proud of how our presentation turned out, and I hope we can present it more in future years!

Our session is titled: “Teaching the Way We Learn: Applications of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory”.

In October, I presented a presentation entitled: “Grounded in the Beat: Cultivating the Seeds of Rhythmic Fluency” to my state conference, for the 2017 OhioMTA State Conference in Van Wert, Ohio. This presentation discusses cultivating rhythm from an MLT-based perspective in our students.  Continue reading “Looking Back: 2017-2018 Speaking Engagements”

Group Classes

2018 Masterclass Exchange – Part 2

Last month, I visited my friend Christina Whitlock’s studio in Muncie, Indiana to give her students a masterclass. This month, she traveled MY way to give a masterclass for my students.

My students each performed their recital piece for Christina and received one or two pieces of advice for improving.

It’s so good for them to experience playing for another teacher. And it’s good for me as a teacher to hear another teacher’s perspective! Continue reading “2018 Masterclass Exchange – Part 2”

Teaching Piano

Printable: Recital Program List

Do you have “student recital” on your mind? Tis the season! I have a simple printable to share today that I use to help gather program information in the weeks prior to student recitals.

Here’s how I use it:

  1. After printing out the sheet, I write all of my students’ names — in order of my teaching schedule (Monday students, Tuesday students, etc.).
  2. Throughout the week(s), I write down the title of each student’s selected piece along with the composer and level. The sheet makes it easy for me to see which students have finalized their selections and which have not yet. The column for “level” makes it easier for me to create the performing order when I type the program information into the computer. Personally, I prefer to mix the levels instead of ordering students by beginning through advanced levels.
  3. The checkmark column can be used for various purposes. For example, it could indicate whether students have memorized their selections yet. Or, it could be used while typing each student’s information into your computer (see my recital program templates here). I like to use that column to track which students have and have not yet turned in their recital artwork (to be shown on the projector screen as they play their pieces).

To download the printable, click below or visit the Printables > Other Resources page.

  Recital Program List (38.1 KiB, 826 hits)

Music Learning Theory

Check Out: 2018 Piano Certification from Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML)

Just thought I’d pass along information about the Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML) training that is to occur this summer (July-August, 2018) in the Boston area at Brookline Music School.

This is the certification I received in the summer of 2016 to learn more about applying Edwin Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT) to piano teaching. It was quite a commitment of time and money but I feel it is the most important investment I have made into myself as a piano teacher, aside from earning my music degrees.

Here’s where you can read about my experience taking GIML’s Piano Certification Course. Read more about GIML’s Professional Development Level Course offerings here.

Conferences

MTNA 2018 (4): Wednesday, March 21

[Continued from Day 3.]

8:00am Taming The Jungle: Digital Management Strategies For The Independent Music Teacher, by Amy Chaplin

The first session of the day I attended was given by my friend and conference roommate, Amy Chaplin of PianoPantry.com. She gave an engaging and informative session about how to organize and manage your digital content, including your emails, files, links, and favorite blogs. I have to tell you, Amy’s tips about managing an email inbox have been a life-saver for me personally over the past year!

After Amy’s session, I packed up my things and prepared to take the Disney Magical Express bus to the airport. Near the bus area, we ran into Paula Dreyer, composer behind the Little Gems for Piano books. (Check them out: they are books of wonderful little pieces intended to be taught by rote.)

At the airport, I befriended some fellow MTNA attendees. We ate lunch together as we waited for our flights. Continue reading “MTNA 2018 (4): Wednesday, March 21”

Conferences

MTNA 2018 (3): Tuesday, March 20

[Continued from Day 2.]

8:00am Exhibitor Showcase – Learn Piano As Naturally As A Child Learns To Speak: Introducing A Kodály-based Piano Method That Trains Both Ear and Eye, by Hoffman Academy

Joseph Hoffman, operator of the Hoffman Academy in Oregon, presented an informative session about his Kodály-based piano method. With most mainstream piano methods being heavily focused on the skill of reading music notation, I was fascinated to learn about an example of a method that is focused on first listening and imitating before reading and writing. Mr. Hoffman, sometimes called the “Mr. Rogers of piano”, also has a variety of great lesson videos for students available on YouTube as well as on his membership site.

11:00 The Entrepreneurial Spirit Of Walt Disney And Independent Music Teachers, by Karen Thinkstun Continue reading “MTNA 2018 (3): Tuesday, March 20”

Conferences

MTNA 2018 (2): Monday, March 19

[Continued from Day 1.]

8:00 Exhibitor Showcase: Willis Music

The Willis Music showcases are always worth attending! This time, they showcased a new jazz piano method by Eric Baumgartner: Jazz Piano Basics. It looks like a great resource even for teachers with little experience with jazz.

At this point in the conference, the morning was devoted to intensive 20-minute sessions, called the Accelerate Learning Track. Here’s my favorite session from the morning:

9:15am Bridging For Success: Inspiring And Mentoring Young Professionals, by Jennifer Snow Continue reading “MTNA 2018 (2): Monday, March 19”

Conferences

MTNA 2018 (1): Sunday, March 18

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Orlando, Florida for the 2018 MTNA National Conference.

Friday, March 16 was when I arrived in Orlando.

I took the Disney “Magical Express” bus from the airport to the Coronado Springs Disney Resort.

I checked into our room early and spent most of the afternoon taking it easy in the sunshine. :) By dinnertime, a few friends had arrived so we met for dinner at the Maya Grill inside the resort. Continue reading “MTNA 2018 (1): Sunday, March 18”