2015 Independent Music Teachers

Pre-Conference Track, Wednesday July 29

Brought to you by the NCKP Committee on Independent Music Teachers: Arlene Steffen, Chair, Immanuela Gruenberg, David Husser, Gail Lew, Elissa Milne, Jason Sifford.

Wednesday, July 29

1:30-2:00 Pre-Conference Keynote Address (Grand Ballroom EF)

2:15-2:50 What Are We Really Teaching? (Grand Ballroom IJ)
Technique, reading, expression, theory, ear-training, sight-reading, improvisation, history, etc. Most of believe these things and more define "musicianship," but a fractured approach to these subjects seems to leave us with little time to focus on anything.  What is our ultimate goal as teachers, and how can we teach musicianship without losing sight of the "Big Picture"?

Jutras MTNA Photo 2009Pete Jutras, Ph.D., NCTM, is an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia and Editor-in-Chief of Clavier Companion. His writings and research have been published in numerous journals, and he is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences. In 2015 he received UGA’s Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

3:00-3:50 Puzzle Pieces: Efficient and Effective Lesson Planning (Grand Ballroom IJ)
This session will take the long view at creating and executing lesson plans. Participants will learn ways to cover multiple areas of musicianship, technique, repertoire and theory to help students develop their skills comprehensively.

ArleneSteffen head shotArlene Steffen maintains an active private piano studio and teaches piano and piano pedagogy at Fresno Pacific University. She serves as chair of the Independent Music Teachers committee of the National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy and has served as president of MTAC Fresno County Branch from 2012-2015.

Mrs. Steffen studied piano, piano pedagogy and music education at Goshen (Ind.) College with renowned pianist and pedagogue Marvin Blickenstaff and completed the M.M. in piano at Wichita State University with Andrew Trechak. She has been on the faculties of Goshen College and Hesston College and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Additionally, she has published articles in Clavier Companion, Keyboard Companion, and Pacific Journal.

4:00-4:50 Five Guiding Principles for the Technical Development of the Advancing Pianist (Grand Ballroom IJ)
Five progressive principles that are common among many of the greatest pianists include the Principle of Touch (the physical mechanics, hand position and posture), Sound (creating a beautiful tone, articulation and dynamic contrast), Pulse (Rhythm, Tempo and Phrasing), Facility (Fluidity, Speed and Navigating the Keyboard) and Balance (Analysis, Voicing and Control). Video Clips of Musical examples will be incorporated to demonstrate points of discussion focusing on developing technique for the advancing pianist.

RVanDykeDr. Richard Van Dyke teaches piano at the Cincinnati Music Academy and at Northern Kentucky University. An active performer and pedagogue, he has presented topics at local, state and national venues that focus on the advancing pianist. His studio motto “Practice to Prosper” encourages his students to achieve their greatest potential.

5:00-6:15 Repertoire Recipes (Grand Ballroom IJ)
The repertoire we use in our lessons is our teaching pantry, a vast array of musical ingredients which can be combined in different ways to provide a potentially endless variety of learning experiences.This session explores how you can bake up a teaching/learning storm in your studio using your favorite teaching pieces as the basis for (literally) off-the-chart creative engagement, enhanced performance fluency and the development of exceptional keyboard musicianship skills.

ElissaMilneElissa Milne is an Australian composer, teacher, writer, speaker and pianist. She is the composer of the highly anthologized Little Peppers and Pepperbox Jazz compositions, and has compiled and edited two multi-volume series of repertoire collections. Elissa has pioneered ground-breaking innovations in piano pedagogy in Australia and has given seminars and keynote speeches for ISME, EPTA (Europe), APPCA, VMTA, WAMTA and other music education conferences over the past 10 years, and has regularly given lectures as part of the Sydney Conservatorium’s Piano Teacher Festival program.

6:15-7:30 Dinner Break

7:30-9:00 Manipulation Stations (Grand Ballroom IJ)
Manipulatives have long been used in mathematics to make abstract concepts come alive. Objects are used to engage students in developmentally appropriate activities that put them in charge of their own learning. In this session, teachers will learn how to use simple objects found around the house to help students grasp the often difficult concepts of pitch, rhythm, technique, and listening skills in fun and engaging ways.

sifford300Dr. Jason Sifford is a freelance pianist, teacher, clinician, and composer with a wide range of abilities and interests. He maintains an independent teaching studio in Iowa City and and is an active composer of teaching literature. His music is published by the FJH Music Company. www.jasonsifford.com.