Conferences

Summer 2019: NCKP, South Shore Piano Camp, OregonMTA, and More

Hello, readers! Summer is gone, and we’re now into the groove of the new school year. My last blog post shared the details of my recent Piano Teacher Retreat, held August 1-3, 2019. The rest of August went like a blur, due to a variety of travel. Here’s a little bit of a catch-up post!

NCKP 2019: July 24-27

Backing up just a step… The week before the retreat, I attended NCKP 2019. It was a phenomenal conference, as always!

I attended so many great sessions. My favorite was a session given by Louis Svard, presenting on “The Musical World of Infants: What It Can Tell Us About How Children Actually Learn Music.” She has a blog called The Musician’s Brain you can check out here.

I had the privilege of presenting two sessions during NCKP, both on Wednesday as part of the Pre-Conference Seminars. First, I gave a session for the Wellness Track called “Lessons for Piano Teachers from the Alexander Technique.” In this session, I share my experience as a student of the Alexander Technique and how taking AT lessons has impacted me as a musician and piano teacher.

Later that afternoon, I also presented one of my favorite talks: “Piano Method Mining: Gems from Past and Present.” In this session, I provide a survey of piano methods from past to present, highlighting the ones consider most notable and still useful today. The room was full, and I received such wonderful feedback afterwards!

Continue reading “Summer 2019: NCKP, South Shore Piano Camp, OregonMTA, and More”
Conferences

MTNA 2019 (6): Wednesday, March 20

[Click here to go back to Day 1Day 2Day 3, Day 4, or Day 5.]

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.

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Conferences

MTNA 2019 (5): Tuesday, March 19

[Click here to go back to Day 1Day 2, Day 3, or Day 4.]

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!

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Conferences

MTNA 2019 (4): Monday, March 18

[Click here to go back to Day 1, Day 2 or Day 3.]

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.

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Conferences

MTNA 2019 (2): Pedagogy Saturday, March 16

[Click here to go back to Day 1.]

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.

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Conferences

MTNA 2019 (1): Friday, March 15

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.

[Update: Click here to read about Day 2.]

Conferences

Heading out to MTNA’s 2019 National Conference!

Hi there! Just a quick note today —

#1: I’m wondering how many of you are attending MTNA 2019 in Spokane? If so, are you free Monday evening?? I would love to connect with you and hangout! Please send me an email or friend and message me via Facebook.

#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.

Stay tuned for highlights from the conference! :)

Announcements

Upcoming 2019 Appearances

Hello, readers!

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.

First of all, in March, I will be participating in a few sessions during MTNA’s 2019 National Conference in Spokane, Washington, occurring March 16-20, 2019.

  • 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.
Continue reading “Upcoming 2019 Appearances”
Conferences

Looking Forward: MTNA 2018 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Happy New Year, my friends!

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!

Conferences

NCKP 2017 (4): Saturday

[Click here to go back to Day 3.]

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!


Continue reading “NCKP 2017 (4): Saturday”

Conferences

NCKP 2017 (3): Friday

[Click here to go back to Day 2.]

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.

Continue reading “NCKP 2017 (3): Friday”