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2023 Conference Workshops

PrPresentations— Dr. Alton Merrell (WVU): Developing Your Ability to Improvise Description: A practical methodology on how to cultivate a musician's ability to confidently play jazz. Attendees will have the opportunity to begin applying the principles learned during the presentation. Dr. Scott Price (USC): Autism and Piano Study: Adaptive Piano Study in Action Description: Participants will observe students who are special learners and the creative music-making they are able to achieve through adaptive pedagogy. Video demonstrations of adaptive reading and counting approaches will be discussed and questions are welcomed. Dr. Johan Botes (Marshall U.): The Church Musician Description: This presentation will focus on being a successful church musician. Specifically, we'll be talking about transitioning from piano to organ, tips on accompanying the congregation as well as improvising during hymns. Lastly, we'll discuss the role of choirs in a church's life. Dr. Cole Burger (BGSU): A Creative and Comprehensive Approach to Sight Reading Whether you already teach it or wished you did it more, this session will provide a summary of the research on sightreading, rationale for its importance, materials to use, and ideas for teaching this skill.tations— Dr. Alton Merrell (WVU): Developing Your Ability to Improvise Description: A practical methodology on how to cultivate a musician's ability to confidently play jazz. Attendees will have the opportunity to begin applying the principles learned during the presentation. Dr. Scott Price (USC): Autism and Piano Study: Adaptive Piano Study in Action Description: Participants will observe students who are special learners and the creative music-making they are able to achieve through adaptive pedagogy. Video demonstrations of adaptive reading and counting approaches will be discussed and questions are welcomed. Dr. Johan Botes (Marshall U.): The Church Musician Description: This presentation will focus on being a successful church musician. Specifically, we'll be talking about transitioning from piano to organ, tips on accompanying the congregation as well as improvising during hymns. Lastly, we'll discuss the role of choirs in a church's life. Dr. Cole Burger (BGSU): A Creative and Comprehensive Approach to Sight Reading Whether you already teach it or wished you did it more, this session will provide a summary of the research on sightreading, rationale for its importance, materials to use, and ideas for teaching this skill.

1. Dr. Thomas Swenson (NC): MTNA Southern Division Director (2022-2024) Setting the Stage for the Beginning Adult Piano Student "It takes great courage for an adult beginner to take those first steps into learning to play the piano. For many, they have never had a one-to-one teacher-student relationship quite like this. They may also have not been in the role of a “student” for many years. As piano teachers, who took our first lessons as children, it is easy for us to take so much of what we do for granted. Taking time, right away, to clarify and explain some expectations can immediately put the adult student at ease. When both the student and teacher are “on the same page” it is much more likely that the lessons will be successful and enjoyable".

 

2. Dr. Agnieszka Zick (MI): University of Michigan Pedagogical Piano Gems from the Baltic Region "The program celebrates composers from the Baltic region: Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland. The solo works of Mikalojus Čiurlionis, Arvo Pärt, and Emilie Mayer will be presented, with focus on their pedagogical and aesthetic value".

3. Narciso Solero (VA): Immediate Past-President, Virginia Music Teachers Association (2021- 2023) A long-term commitment: ideas to keep your students engaged in lessons for the long haul! "People enjoy doing things they do well.” So said my mother, the English teacher, many years ago to me, and it has served as the foundation for my teaching style ever since. This workshop explores in detail the notion that to motivate our students to continue piano and keep it as a lifelong passion, we must teach them to be accomplished pianists as part of our strategy for keeping them interested in continuing lessons. Ideas about bridging the gap from method book to “real” music will be explored (including my favorite repertoire post-method books), as will ways to get over the middle-school hump and keep our students engaged all the way through high school – long-term motivation".

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