Conferences

MTNA 2017 (5): Wednesday, March 22

[Click here to go back to Day 4.]

8:00am The More the Merrier: Creating Collaborative Experiences for Students of All Ages, by Sarah Alexander, Whitney Hawker, and Spring Seals. 

Sarah, Whitney, and Spring presented an informative session about simple ways to incorporate collaborative experiences into the piano lesson experience, from using duets for sight-reading or improvisation to hiring a guitarist, bassist, and drummer for a pop recital experience.

Check Whitney and Spring’s blog here: 4-D Piano Teacher blog. Continue reading “MTNA 2017 (5): Wednesday, March 22”

Conferences

MTNA 2017 (4): Tuesday, March 21

[Click here to go back to Day 3.]

8:00am Showcase: Willis Music Company: Happy Birthday Mr. Gillock!

The Willis Piano Music showcase session celebrated the music of composer William Gillock and highlighted some new publications. One of the books I found interesting was the Accent on Two Pianos for 2 pianos, 4 hands, by William Gillock.  Continue reading “MTNA 2017 (4): Tuesday, March 21”

Conferences

MTNA 2017 (3): Monday, March 20

[Click here to go back to Day 2.]

8:00am Faber Piano Adventures: The Power Of Technique & Artistry, by Randall Faber.

The Piano Adventures showcase session was excellent as always. Randy covered some new publications and helpful thoughts about teaching technique. Attendees received a free copy of Hanon-Faber: The New Virtuoso Pianist, the Adult Piano Adventures Popular, Book 2, and the Piano Adventures Technique & Artistry, Level 4 book. Faber’s new edition of the Hanon exercises present a selection of the Hanon exercises that have been “retooled” for the modern piano (longer strings, larger hammers, and heavier action than the piano of Hanon’s day).  Continue reading “MTNA 2017 (3): Monday, March 20”

Conferences

MTNA 2017 (2): Sunday, March 19

[Click here to go back to Day 1.]

9:15am NEW Pedagogy Pics: Video Clips of Students Caught In The Act of Being Themselves, by Bruce Berr.


Bruce Berr (well-known for his wonderful column in the American Music Teacher magazine — an MTNA publication for its members) has been video recording his lessons for the past 25 years. When students start lessons with him, he gets permission and just leaves the camera on all the time. He afterwards erases clips that aren’t worth keeping.

In his session, Bruce shared a handful of student videos and made pedagogical observations with each. The first video was a clip of a student improvising for the first time. The second clip was of an early advanced student working out some technical issues in a piece by Granados. It was fun to get a glimpse into his teaching style! Continue reading “MTNA 2017 (2): Sunday, March 19”

Conferences

MTNA 2017 (1): Pedagogy Saturday

Attending the 2017 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) conference in Baltimore was a fantastic experience. I look forward to sharing more details with you over the next few blog posts.

My friend Amy Chaplin (of PianoPantry.com) and I decided to carpool and make it a roadtrip to the conference. She drove from her home in Indiana to my home in Ohio, to pick me up. Neither of us anticipated this kind of weather on Friday morning, however — take a look at the visibility on the roads that morning!

Fortunately, the visibility improved as the day went on and as we drove further east. We arrived safe and sound, late Friday night.

Continue reading “MTNA 2017 (1): Pedagogy Saturday”

Conferences, Technology

MTNA 2017: App-Laudable Uses of Apps in Music Lessons

It was an honor to have the opportunity to present a session at the 2017 MTNA conference this year! My topic was App-Laudable Uses of Apps in Music Lessons.

In my session, I addressed the responsible and effective incorporation of technology before launching into a demonstration of a variety of apps for music lessons.

If you would like to download the handout from my session, please click here. (Please note that the app information in the handout is current as of March 2017).

You can check out a list of app reviews I’ve written here on my blog here.

Conferences

MTNA 2017, Here I Come!

Baltimore, here I come!

I am so excited to be traveling to the 2017 MTNA National Conference, taking place in Baltimore from March 18-22.

This year, I’m roadtripping there with my friend Amy Chaplin, of Bluffton, Indiana.

I’m sure I’ll be blogging about the conference, but you might also be interested in following more real-time photographic documentation of my adventure, on Instagram. You can follow me here.

If you will be in Baltimore too, please say hello and introduce yourself!

P.S.: Amy just wrote a great blog post at PianoPantry.com full of great tips for getting the most out of conferencing. Check it out here

Conferences

2016 MTNA (5): Wednesday, April 6

Please enjoy my notes from Day 5 of the 2016 MTNA conference in San Antonio, Texas! Click here to go back to Day 4.

On Wednesday, the final day of the conference, Susan Hong and I began our morning at Bakery Lorraine to enjoy coffee and some baked goods. I’m so thankful she invited me to stay with her during the conference!

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We attended two more sessions before MTNA 2016 came to a close.

8:00am Extended Piano Techniques for Children: Reading and Playing the Language of Our Time, by Kevin Richmond

The last day of the conference often offers some of the best sessions. Kevin Richmond gave an engaging and informative session about six types of extended techniques used in music written for children. Accordingly, he also discussed the various forms of non-conventional notation that composers have come up with to indicate each type of extended technique.

20160406_08-16-51 Continue reading “2016 MTNA (5): Wednesday, April 6”

Conferences

MTNA 2016 (4): Tuesday, April 5

Please enjoy my notes from Day 4 of the 2016 MTNA conference in San Antonio, Texas! Click here to go back to Day 3.

8:00am Exhibitor Showcase – The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program: Digital Resources To Support Teachers And Ensure Student Success, by Marvin Blickenstaff and Elaine Rusk. 

In this session, I was excited to learn a bit about the new online resources that RCM offers to accompany the purchase of the latest revision of the “Four Star Sight-Reading and Ear Training” books.

20160405_08-54-25 Continue reading “MTNA 2016 (4): Tuesday, April 5”

Conferences

MTNA 2016 (3): Monday, April 4

Please enjoy my notes from Day 3 of the 2016 MTNA National Conference in San Antonio, Texas! Click here to go back to Day 2.

8:00am Exhibitor Showcase: Piano Safari

The authors of the Piano Safari  method, Katherine Fisher and Julie Knerr, gave a very enjoyable session. Their method features a combination of an Intervallic Reading Apporach plus rote teaching to develop music literacy in the student.

Rote teaching is the systematic teaching of musical and artistic concepts through modeling rather than through music notation. Music is an aural art and thus transcends notation. Rote teaching is NOT training students to copy the teacher without any thought or understanding. And it can be used to increase reading ability.

Piano Safari offers a combination of pieces intended to be learned by rite and then by reading. There are many exciting benefits to learning rote pieces: Rote pieces allow students to play exciting music. They increase concentration and develop musical memory. More attention is free for technique. It is lends itself to more creativity: improvising and composing. The student also develops a strong confidence in their playing and performing ability. Learn more at PianoSafari.com. Book 3 of the series has just been released.  Continue reading “MTNA 2016 (3): Monday, April 4”

Conferences

MTNA 2016 (2): Sunday, April 3

Below are my notes from Day 2 while attending the 2016 MTNA conference in San Antonio! Click here to read Day 1.

8:00am Exhibiter Showcase — The Royal Conservatory: Enriching Every Lesson with Theory And Muscianship by Janet Lopinski.

I was very excited to learn more details about the upcoming Celebrate Theory series that will be available this summer! These will be available at every level (Prep A and B, and then 1-10) and are designed to support the Repertoire and Etudes book.


8:00am Exhibiter Showcase — Faber Piano Adventures: Effective Strategies For Adult Keyboard Learners. Continue reading “MTNA 2016 (2): Sunday, April 3”

Conferences

MTNA 2016 (1): Pedagogy Saturday

Greetings from San Antonio, Texas! I am so excited to be here for the 2016 MTNA National Conference from April 2-6. I will be sharing a few highlights over the next few days.


I’m staying with a couple of friends: Susan Hong and Amy Chapin (check out her brand new blog, Piano Pantry). Here is a photo of us at Fogo de Chao last night for dinner, enjoying Brazillian buffet. Yum!


Saturday of the MTNA conference is always “Pedagogy Saturday” — an optional day (often my favorite day!) with a variety of tracks to choose from: Advanced Pianism, Musician Wellness, Music Learning Theory, Recreational Music Making, and Young Professionals. Below are notes from the sessions I attended.  Continue reading “MTNA 2016 (1): Pedagogy Saturday”