2017 Teaching Demonstrations

In a bold and unprecedented aspect of the program this summer, NCKP will feature three 90-minute teaching demonstration sessions—one each day. Each session will be segmented into two 20-minute, fast-paced 'mini-lessons'. Following the mini-lessons, Robert Duke, the master analyst and diagnostician on effective music teaching will engage the teachers in a dialogue on what occurred in the lesson. The teaching demonstration will conclude with a moderated, open Q&A period that seeks to engage all participants.

Rather than advocating a particular methodology, approach, or definition of success, we intend for these sessions to focus on the observable aspects of what actually happens in a lesson, how something happens and why it happens. Because much of what occurs in effective teaching remains hidden, observable only by inference, the goal of the analyst will be to ‘get inside the teacher’s head’ and reveal what the teacher saw, heard, and/or felt that led to the pedagogical decisions demonstrated in the lesson at a very practical level.

We expect this to be one of the most valuable and informative series of teaching demonstrations we have ever offered at an NCKP conference.


Dr. Robert Duke, Moderator, is the Marlene and Morton Meyerson Centennial Professor and Head of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is a University and University of Texas System Distinguished Teaching Professor, Elizabeth Shatto Massey Distinguished Fellow in Teacher Education, and Director of the Center for Music Learning. He is also an affiliate professor in the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas and director of the psychology of learning program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.

Dr. Duke’s research on human learning and behavior spans multiple disciplines, including motor skill learning, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. His most recent work explores the refinement of procedural memories and the analysis of visual gaze in teacher-learner interactions. A former studio musician and public school music teacher, he has worked closely with children at-risk, both in the public schools and through the juvenile justice system. He is the author of Scribe 4 behavior analysis software, and his most recent books are Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the Core Principles of Effective InstructionThe Habits of Musicianship, which he co-authored with Jim Byo of Louisiana State University, and Brain Briefs, which he co-authored with Art Markman, his co-host on the public radio program and podcast Two Guys on Your Head, produced by KUT Radio in Austin. 

ErnstSaraSara M. Ernst, PhD, NCTM, is an active piano pedagogue, teacher of all ages, and pianist, and serves as Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina. Prior to her position at USC, she worked at the New School for Music Study in New Jersey as the Administrative Director and an instructor of piano lessons and group classes. Dr. Ernst has taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan and piano and piano pedagogy at the University of Missouri-Columbia. 



dePedroJovanniDr. Jovanni-Rey de Pedro studied at the Vienna Conservatory, Trinity College of Music London, and University of Michigan. He is co-founder/chair of the Piano Pedagogy Symposium and currently teaches at the University of Idaho.




ParsonsJaniDr. Jani Parsons is an award-winning Canadian pianist and teacher, exploring diverse interests in performance, pedagogy, chamber-music, and new music performance. Jani is the pianist and artistic director of Latitude 49 and has performed actively as soloist and chamber artist across North America. A passionate teacher, Jani will join the piano faculty at Baylor University in August.



BlickenstaffMarvinMarvin Blickenstaff, teaches at The New School for Music Study in Kingston, NJ and in his home studio in Pennsylvania. Blickenstaff's teaching career is associated with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and with Goshen College. 2007, Piano Pedagogy Forum published tributes to Blickenstaff honoring his contribution to piano teaching in America. In that same year he was named Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music at Toronto. In 2009, the MTNA selected him for their highest honor, the Achievement Award. 


CrappellCourtneyCourtney Crappell NCTM, serves as Associate Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Houston Moores School of Music where he coordinates the class piano program and teaches piano and piano pedagogy. He holds a D.M.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma.