Conferences

MTNA 2018 (4): Wednesday, March 21

[Continued from Day 3.]

8:00am Taming The Jungle: Digital Management Strategies For The Independent Music Teacher, by Amy Chaplin

The first session of the day I attended was given by my friend and conference roommate, Amy Chaplin of PianoPantry.com. She gave an engaging and informative session about how to organize and manage your digital content, including your emails, files, links, and favorite blogs. I have to tell you, Amy’s tips about managing an email inbox have been a life-saver for me personally over the past year!

After Amy’s session, I packed up my things and prepared to take the Disney Magical Express bus to the airport. Near the bus area, we ran into Paula Dreyer, composer behind the Little Gems for Piano books. (Check them out: they are books of wonderful little pieces intended to be taught by rote.)

At the airport, I befriended some fellow MTNA attendees. We ate lunch together as we waited for our flights. Continue reading “MTNA 2018 (4): Wednesday, March 21”

Conferences

MTNA 2018 (3): Tuesday, March 20

[Continued from Day 2.]

8:00am Exhibitor Showcase – Learn Piano As Naturally As A Child Learns To Speak: Introducing A Kodály-based Piano Method That Trains Both Ear and Eye, by Hoffman Academy

Joseph Hoffman, operator of the Hoffman Academy in Oregon, presented an informative session about his Kodály-based piano method. With most mainstream piano methods being heavily focused on the skill of reading music notation, I was fascinated to learn about an example of a method that is focused on first listening and imitating before reading and writing. Mr. Hoffman, sometimes called the “Mr. Rogers of piano”, also has a variety of great lesson videos for students available on YouTube as well as on his membership site.

11:00 The Entrepreneurial Spirit Of Walt Disney And Independent Music Teachers, by Karen Thinkstun Continue reading “MTNA 2018 (3): Tuesday, March 20”

Conferences

MTNA 2018 (2): Monday, March 19

[Continued from Day 1.]

8:00 Exhibitor Showcase: Willis Music

The Willis Music showcases are always worth attending! This time, they showcased a new jazz piano method by Eric Baumgartner: Jazz Piano Basics. It looks like a great resource even for teachers with little experience with jazz.

At this point in the conference, the morning was devoted to intensive 20-minute sessions, called the Accelerate Learning Track. Here’s my favorite session from the morning:

9:15am Bridging For Success: Inspiring And Mentoring Young Professionals, by Jennifer Snow Continue reading “MTNA 2018 (2): Monday, March 19”

Conferences

MTNA 2018 (1): Sunday, March 18

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. Continue reading “MTNA 2018 (1): Sunday, March 18”

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