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.
Of our group, Daniel is the Disney nerd. ;) He made arrangements for our FastPasses and was our navigator in the park. We experienced many rides and some of the wonderful food the World Showcase area had to offer.
It was a beautiful day to enjoy the park. It was so fun to experience Disney! I have not been here since age 3, so it was practically my first experience. :)
On Sunday the 18th, I attended a variety of conference sessions at the MTNA conference.
8:00 Exhibitor Showcase Session
I slipped into the session given by Red Leaf Pianoworks, a collective of Canadian composers. Their session was full of performances of their compositions for students. You can read about their latest releases here on their website. (Also, I wrote a review of Rebekah Maxner’s music back in 2013 that you can find here.)
Later, I snagged a picture with the lovely Red Leaf Pianoworks ladies at their booth in the exhibit hall.
9:15 Preventing Overuse And Curing Injuries: Neurological-Psychological Perspective from a Physician-Flutist, by Dr. Eckart Altenmüller
Next, we conference attendees enjoyed a Plenary Session given by Dr. Eckart Altenmuüller of Hanover, Germany. He gave a very informative and interesting session exploring a holistic model of performing music, treating and preventing pain and movement problems while promoting wellbeing in music students. He shared relevant research study results as well as information about the unique program he is involved in as a physician and musician at the Hanover University of Music.
11:00 Wax On, Wax Off: Pedagogical Insight from “Mr. Miyagi” of The Karate Kid, by William Westney
William Westney shared interesting insights gleaned from the pedagogical insight of “Mr. Miyagi” from the movie, The Karate Kid. He showed excerpts from the movie and then briefly discussed the application to piano teaching.
Here’s a photo after lunch with Tim Topham:
2:15 Choose Those Words Carefully: Perfecting Your Teaching Language, by Sara Ernst
Sara Ernst gave a session about choosing our words carefully when we teach. She discussed how skillful use of the Question, the Statement, and the Assessment is the cornerstone of great teaching. Questions elicit a response from a student, to direct attention or review principles or definitions. Statements can provide clarity, especially when intentional, concise, and paired with modeling or student activity. Assessment — delivering feedback — can be specific or general, verbal or non-verbal, encouraging or frank, etc. — depending on what we feel the student needs.
3:30pm Level Up! Ascending Beyond The Standard Method Book, by Erin Bennett, Siok Lian Tan, and Richard Van Dyke
This session, focusing primarily on classical-era repertoire, mapped a path from Kuhlau sonatinas to Beethoven’s “Pathetiqué”.
That evening for dinner, I enjoyed a fancy meal with fellow Ohio teachers at the Maya Grill within the resort. I ordered an incredible dish: Beef Short Ribs with an oaxacan mole coloradito sauce on a cheese potato purée. It was definitely one of the best meals I’ve ever had at a restaurant.
Stay tuned for Day 2 of the conference!
Update: Click here for Day 2.