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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. 

In November, Amy and I gave our MLT presentation again, this time for the KentuckyMTA state conference (Lexington, KY).

In the same month, I also traveled to Fort Wayne, Indiana to speak about applying Alexander Technique to piano lessons for the Northeast Indiana MTA. I’ve been taking Alexander lessons for three years now, and have, with the help of my Alexander teacher, been working on applying what I’ve learned to my own piano teaching. I’m proud to add this new workshop to my offerings.


In the same month, I revised and updated my presentation “App-Laudable Uses of Apps in Music Lessons” and delivered it via Skype for Andrea McAlister’s undergraduate piano pedagogy course at Oberlin University. Two weeks later, I presented the same presentation for the Piano Teachers Forum of Grand Rapids in my hometown in Michigan.

To wrap up the year, I presented a session a few weekends ago for the Western Reserve MTA in Cleveland, Ohio. They asked for “Piano Method Mining: Uncovering Nuggets of Wisdom in Method Books.” Together, we traced the development of the contemporary piano method from its earliest roots.

I brought along a selection (two boxes!) of treatises and piano methods both old and new from my music library.

It’s been a fun year of presentations. I’m grateful. It’s fun to visit other places and I always enjoy the camaraderie and hospitality among music teachers associations.

Thanks for looking back with me!


Is your music teachers association looking for programs for 2018-19? I’d love to schedule some sessions on next year’s calendar! View a list of my workshop topics here

2 thoughts on “Looking Back: 2017-2018 Speaking Engagements”

  1. What a busy time you’ve had speaking. They’re all topics I’d have loved to hear and investigate more. Great Job, I love reading your blog.

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