Wednesday is always the final day of the MTNA national conference. There were two morning sessions on the schedule.
8:00am Teaching The Way We Learn: Applications Of Edwin E. Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT), by Amy Chaplin & Joy Morin
Amy Chaplin and I were so pleased when we were notified our proposal was accepted back in June! It was an honor to be able to give our presentation about some of the core principles from Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT) at a national conference.
On Tuesday morning, Ruth, Christina, I spent some time in the exhibit hall, checking out more booths and shopping for music. :) For example, we visited Eik at her Sproutbeat booth.
While in the exhibit hall, I bumped into Sam Holland and took the liberty of introducing myself. He and I have been corresponding recent via email, because I am serving on the conference planning committee for the next OhioMTA state conference (October 24-26-, 2019) and Sam is going to be our guest pedagogue!
Here are more of my notes from the 2019 MTNA Conference in Spokane, Washington!
8:00am The Royal Conservatory of Music showcase: Well-Rounded Musicianship: The Pathway To A Lifetime Of Music Making, by Janet Lopinski and Elaine Rusk
First thing in the morning, I chose to attend the RCM showcase session highlighting the Celebration Series books (I LOVE these books and use them constantly in my teaching, especially the Prep A and Prep B levels. Yes, they are expensive, but they are worth it IMO) and the accompanying Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests books. RCM always does a great job with their showcase sessions.
I’m so excited to share with you highlights from the recent 2019 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) national conference!
Pedagogy Saturday is an optional day of the conference, comprised of a variety of “tracks”: Advanced Piano/Teaching Artistry, Entrepreneurism, Musician Wellness, Recreational Music Making, and Teaching Students With Special Needs. It’s not easy to decide which sessions to attend, but I ended up choosing the Advanced Piano/Teaching Artistry track for most of the day, and then I switched to the Recreational Music Making track in the afternoon.
8:00am The Secret Lives of Phrases: Lies, Near Lies and Red Herrings, by Deborah Rambo Sinn
Deborah Rambo Sinn gave an interesting session about deconstructing phrases in order to build lyricism. She shared interesting examples from the piano literature where the phrase markings are confusing or deceiving.
So often, we find phrases marked in a way that does not reflect the way the phrase seems to go. Why do composers write slur markings that end before the phrase actually ends? Sometimes, it because the composers are making sure we don’t break a phrase in a particular place. Today’s composers are doing a much better job than composers of the past in marking phrases the way they want them played.
In her teaching and in her own study, Deborah finds it useful to find and mark the phrases, sub-phrases, and sub-sub-phrases in a melody. In this work, there are no right answers. Instead, it’s a matter of finding an answer that works.
I’m back from Spokane for the 2019 MTNA National Conference! It was wonderful. Here’s is the first of a series of posts about the conference and the sessions I attended.
My flight departed from Detroit on Friday the 15th at 4:30am (!!). After late night packing on Thursday, I decided to stay up rather than go to bed (haha), because my husband and I needed to be up at 1am to be able to leave on time to get to the airport an hour’s drive away. I managed to doze a little on the first flight, fortunately. I had a two-hour layover in Denver and landed in Spokane around 10am.
My wonderful host, Ruth Michaelis, had her daughter pick me up from the airport. Then, Ruth and I spent a couple of hours just chatting and getting to know each other. She is SO much fun.
I had offered to give Ruth’s students an informal masterclass, which we held at 2pm that afternoon.
Ruth’s students are preparing for their recital this weekend. I worked with each student on their piece, while engaging the rest of the students in the room in listening and responding to what they were hearing.
For dinner that evening, Ruth and I met up with Lynnette Barney. We enjoyed a nice meal and chatted about teaching and life in general. For some reason, I forgot to take a nice photo of us enjoying our time together but I remembered to take a food picture. (haha!)
I turned in to bed pretty early that evening, because my body was still on Eastern time. :) Tomorrow was to be Pedagogy Saturday: a full day! Stay tuned.
#2: Below are the sessions I will be involved with during the conference. Please come, and say hi afterwards!
Saturday, March 16: “Games & Activities for Groups“, a 20-minute presentation during Pedagogy Saturday’s Recreational Music Making (RMM) track.
Wednesday, March 20 @ 8:00am: “Teaching the Way We Learn: Applications of Edwin E. Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT)” with co-presenter Amy Chaplin.
Wednesday, March 20 @ 9:15am: “Creativity Throughout: A Panel Discussion on the Business Side of Teaching“, appearing as a panelist.
#3: Plus, I’m excited to be helping Paula Dreyer at her Little Gems for Piano booth in the exhibit hall! If you haven’t seen Paula’s books of rote pieces for young pianists, I highly recommend checking out her website here.
At the beginning of the month, I had the opportunity to fly to Charlotte, NC to speak for the Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum. I spoke on the topic of rhythm — specifically, how we can approach teaching rhythm from an ear training or MLT perspective. I had SUCH a fun trip! I posted some photo highlights from my two-day adventure on my instagram here.
I’d love to tell you about some other speaking appearances coming up this year.
Who’s planning to attend the 2018 MTNA Conference? This year, the location is Lake Buena Vista, Florida, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, March 17-21, 2018. See the conference website here.
I’m planning to go and would love to meet up with you there! I planning to arrive a day early and perhaps explore Disney. I haven’t been to Disney before, so I am looking forward to seeing what it is all about. If you might be interested in joining up to explore Disney, please send me a message and let me know.
I hope the new year is treating you well thus far. Best wishes!
8am Kjos Publisher Showcase: Bastien New Traditions: Inspiring the Next Generation of Beginning Pianists, by Lori and Jane Bastien.
You probably know the Bastien name from the variety of method series (remember the iconic cover of the Bastien Piano Basics method?) and supplemental materials that were popular across past few decades. You may not know, however, that the Bastiens are back with the brand new method released last year (2016) called the Bastien New Traditions All In One Piano Course.
The Primer A book is off-staff reading, while the Primer B book is on-staff reading. If desired, the teacher can directly start the older beginner in the Primer B book. In this showcase, Lori demonstrated a number of the pieces from the method books, so that in hearing the pieces and the teacher duets we could gain a sense of the quality of the music.
Here's a photo taken of me with Jane Bastien and her daughter Lori!
First thing this morning, I joined Tim Topham live on Facebook to rundown of the previous day's events. Check out our fun video here!
9:00am Effective Communication of Practice Expectations: Send them Home with the Tools for Success, by Scott Donald
Scott completed a survey recently exploring how teachers communicate at-home assignments to their students. After all, how well we communicate expectations and practice strategies determines the likelihood that the student will follow through.
In another project, Scott compared three modalities for communicating the same practice expectations: written, aural, and video. Those teachers who participated were to evaluate the number of errors in the performance. As it turned out, there was no statistically significant difference between the modalities. So, Donald decided he needed instead to take a look at what exactly what was being communicated. The top tips he shared: Be specific in your assignments. And practice together during the lesson.
8:00am Hal Leonard Showcase: Recent Classical Piano Publications from Hal Leonard
During this showcase sessions by Hal Leonard publishers, we were informed about a variety of new publications available. Of special interest are the new "At The Piano" books from Henle Verlag. These books contain original pieces by one composer, arranged and labeled by level of difficulty. The book contains information about the technique and interpretation of the piece. According to Henle, the books are most appropriate for Jose who are returning to the piano after a longer break. It's interesting to see Henle branch out into pedagogical publications!
9:00am Lost In Translation: Helping Students Connect with their Repertoie through the Subtleties of Musical Languages, by Ryan Greene and Thomas White.
In Ryan and Thomas's presentation, they shared some terms they have discovered and developed as a way of categorizing and talk about recognizable styles of music. Along the way, they shared plenty of musical example illustrating each style.
The styles include the Brilliant Style (as seen in scale passages in pieces by Clementi and Mozart), the Learned (Strict) Style (hearkening back to Baroque contrapuntal styles), the Singing Style (Chopin Nocturnes are exemplary), the Pastorale Style (based and nature and folk tunes and dances), the Turkish Style (an influence originating from the 1600s when the Ottomans were sieging Vienna), and Exoticism (when composers mimic a musical culture without complete integrity, such as "cowboys and Indians" subject matter or oriental music).
I found these categories fascinating. These are styles we commonly see in both pedagogical and standard classical repertoire and no doubt will prove useful for helpful students transfer experiences to new pieces.