PEDx9 continues at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy 2019 with a new line-up of fascinating subjects and visionary thinkers! PEDx9 is about challenging boundaries between art, pedagogy, service, music, technology, and entrepreneurship. It is equally about dreaming and life-changing innovation. Speakers at PEDx9 receive 20 minutes to give the "talk of their lives," delivered in a rapid-fire format, accompanied by exciting visuals and demonstrations.

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Latitude 49
Living Sounds: New Music Performance and Education as an Ever-widening Horizon

Three musicians from the powerhouse sextet Latitude 49 will share about their work at the forefront of new music and the passion and relevancy this has contributed to their teaching and careers. Having commissioned and premiered over 60 new works since its founding, Latitude 49 empowers composers to experiment wildly and think vividly, offering dynamic performances across North America in venues ranging from class rooms, to shared art-spaces and concert halls. Through performance and dialogue, this session will encourage educators and performers alike to enter the creative space alongside composers of today, and champion their works in the studio and on stage.

Blending the finesse of a classical ensemble with the drive and precision of a rock band, members of Latitude 49 come together from across the United States and Canada to epitomize an eclectic, unconventional family of sounds, instruments, and human experiences. Latitude 49 presents numerous concerts each season in major venues including the Ravinia Festival (Chicago), (le) Poisson Rouge (NYC) and Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Music Box. The group currently holds Ensemble-in-Residence positions at Princeton University and Baylor University with previous residencies at the University of Michigan, the Kenosha Creative Space, and the University of Illinois Chicago. With commissioning and supporting living composers at the heart of its mission, Latitude 49 strives to engage diverse audiences with new sounds and specially curated programs that reflect the world in which we find ourselves, with all its beauty and curiosities.
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Bryann Burgess
Rethinking disABILITIES and Music Education, A young woman with Down Syndrome shares her insights and reflections of her musical journey thus far

Bryann Burgess was born with Down syndrome in 1988, but Down syndrome has not stopped her from pursuing excellence, or in advocating for inclusion for everyone in music study. Join her as she shares stories and insights from her life as a pianist and singer, actor, lecturer, and board member of arts organizations. Special needs should not prevent individuals from pursuing education in the arts. Inclusion in music study via adaptive pedagogy can allow everyone to achieve excellence and contribute to the greater good that the arts can provide to society. This inspiring talk will illustrate the changes that Bryann has made in her community, and the impact she has had on music and the arts, and on her teachers, fellow students and colleagues.

Bryann Burgess is a 2012 CarolinaLIFE graduate from the University of South Carolina, where she studied for three years with Dr. Scott Price, Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy. She is a certified Kindermusik teacher, and a crew member at Trader Joe’s, where she has worked for three years. Bryann sings in the sanctuary choir at her church and performs in local community theatre. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Columbia Children's Theatre. Bryann is a recognized motivational speaker who enjoys advocating and being a voice for people with disabilities. She enjoys reading, dancing, swimming, creative writing, and spending time with family and friends.


Dan Tepfer
From Bach to Natural Machines, algorithms as the shapers of music

Audiences often think of music as primarily a product of the heart, but pianist / composer / coder Dan Tepfer argues that algorithms — rules that are followed consistently — are just as important. Without constraints underlying creativity, whether they’re conscious or not, music tends to lack the deep structure that makes it timeless. In his newest project, Natural Machines, he’s taken this idea to the limit, programming rules into his computer that enable it to respond in real time to the music he improvises. The computer creates immediate structure around whatever he plays at the Yamaha Disklavier piano, which in turn guides him to improvise in certain ways, for an unprecedented melding of natural and mechanical processes.

The idea of music living at the intersection of the algorithmic and the spiritual is far from new. It was Pythagoras who first codified the logic behind harmonic consonance. Renaissance composers such as Ockeghem created music that followed strict mathematical procedures. And Bach, whose Goldberg Variations Tepfer has been performing worldwide since the 2011 release of his album Goldberg Variations / Variations, in which he follows each of Bach’s variations with an improvised variation of his own, seemed to gain endless creative results from imposing constraints on himself.  Join Tepfer as he explains the deep connections between the high-tech Natural Machines, the timeless music of Bach, and the algorithms that support it all.

Dan Tepfer has made a name for himself as a pianist-composer of wide-ranging ambition, individuality and drive — “a remarkable musician” in the words of the Washington Post and one “who refuses to set himself limits” in those of France’s Télérama. The New York City-based Tepfer, born in 1982 in Paris to American parents, has performed with some of the leading lights in jazz, including extensively with veteran saxophone luminary Lee Konitz. As a leader, Tepfer has crafted a discography already striking for its breadth and depth, ranging from probing solo improvisation and intimate duets to richly layered trio albums of original compositions.
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Lara Downes
How To Make Holes In The Sky: Living a musical life of broad vision, courageous creativity and generous spirit

Lara Downes is among the foremost American pianists of her generation, an iconoclast dedicated to expanding the resonance and relevance of live music for diverse audiences. A trailblazer on and off-stage, she follows a musical roadmap that seeks inspiration from the legacies of history, family, and collective memory. Downes’ playing has been called “ravishing” by Fanfare Magazine, "luscious, moody and dreamy” by The New York Times, and "addicting" by The Huffington Post. As a chart-topping recording artist, a powerfully charismatic performer, a curator and taste-maker, Downes is recognized as a cultural visionary on the national arts scene.

Lara's forays into the broad landscape of American music have created a series of acclaimed recordings, including America Again, selected by NPR as one of "10 Albums that Saved 2016", and hailed as "a balm for a country riven by disunion" by the Boston Globe. Her recent Sony Classical debut release For Lenny debuted in the Billboard Top 20 and was awarded the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award. Her newest touring and recording project, Holes in the Sky, a Sony Masterworks release coming in February 2019, celebrates the contributions of phenomenal women to the past, present and future of American music.

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Tim Topham
What I've learnt from 150+ podcast interviews...and counting

Tim Topham’s Creative Piano Teaching Podcast has been one of the most popular sources of information, ideas and teaching strategies for piano teachers since it launched at the start of 2015. Having aired 150 episodes and now heading towards his second century, Tim takes a look back on some of the more memorable moments from the podcast, unpacking the stories and personalities of his guests and distilling the key ideas so that teachers may implement them in their studios. From building portfolio careers to the explosion in creative teaching, from summer camps to selling online - Tim will share the stories of entrepreneurial teachers driving innovation, creating thriving businesses and impacting students all around the world.

Tim is a creator of enterprising, innovative ideas for music educators. Tim speaks at local and international conferences, helping teachers maximise student engagement through creativity, technology and innovation. Tim holds an MBA, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.

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Alma Deutscher, George Litterst, and Shana Kirk
Tea with Alma: A Long Distance Musical Experience

Born in 2005, Alma Deutscher is a markable young pianist, violinist, and composer who has been engaging international audiences for many years. In 2017, she was the subject of a CBS 60 Minutes documentary. As a composer, she has produced works for violin, piano, chamber ensembles as well as concerti for violin and for piano. Her full length opera, Cinderella, has been performed internationally to critical acclaim. NCKP is proud to “beam Alma to the stage” from England for a chat with Shana Kirk and George Litterst. The conversation will focus on her musical upbringing and her talents as an improvising musician.

Alma Deutscher started playing the piano when she was two years old and the violin at age three. Soon afterwards she started improvising simple melodies on the piano. At age 6, she completed her first piano sonata, and at 7 she composed a short opera called The Sweeper of Dreams. Since then she has composed works for violin, piano, and chamber ensembles as well as concerti for violin and for piano. More recently, her full length opera, Cinderella, has been performed internationally to critical acclaim. In 2017 Alma was the subject of an hour long BBC Documentary and a CBS 60 Minutes feature. Her YouTube channel has more than eight million views.

George Litterst is a nationally known music educator, clinician, author, performer, and music software developer. A classically-trained pianist, he is co-author of the intelligent music display app, SuperScore, and other software products from TimeWarp Technologies.

Shana Kirk is an independent piano teacher, technology consultant, and arts advocate in Denver, CO. She works with industry leaders such as the Yamaha Corporation of America to guide music-teaching professionals into the 21st century.

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Danny Jenkins
Transformative Public Music Theory

Performers in the music program at Lee Correctional Facility in South Carolina range from beginners to experienced musicians. Music theorist J. Daniel Jenkins attended a concert at Lee in 2016 that included everything from country to metal and hip-hop to blues. To his surprise, the inmates told him they wanted more instruction in music theory. In this talk, Jenkins provides more information about his interactions at the prison and how he has integrated this into his university classes. By engaging in these activities, Jenkins models how centering the public in “public music theory” leads to transformative experiences for all.

J. Daniel Jenkins is Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of South Carolina, where he coordinates the first-year music theory and aural skills curricula. He has received teaching awards from the Eastman School of Music, the University of Rochester, and the University of South Carolina, including the Garnet Apple Award for Teaching Innovation. Since 2016 he has been teaching music theory at Lee Correctional Facility in Bishopville, SC. In addition to his scholarly and pedagogical pursuits, Jenkins enjoys performing as a countertenor.


Nicholas Phillips
#45miniatures Project

This PEDx talk will introduce audience members to one example of how performers with a vision and entrepreneurial spirit can turn a simple idea into a strong artistic (and political) statement. Music has historically served as an outlet for musicians to express concerns about things beyond their control; it can provide a powerful response to current events, and serve as a catalyst to effect change. The #45miniatures project, whose title alludes to the current U.S. president, seeks to do just that.

Described by the New York Times as an "able and persuasive advocate" of new music, pianist Nicholas Phillips is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  He is an active soloist, having played across the United States.  He has also given a solo recitals in Korea (sponsored by the U.S. Embassy), Buenos Aires, Argentina, and at the Croatian Embassy in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Phillips released two CDs on Albany Records: Portals and Passages (TROY 1246), which features the works for solo piano by American composer Ethan Wickman, and Boris Papandopulo: Piano Music (TROY 1274), which features music by the famous Croatian composer.  His most recent CD, American Vernacular: New Music for Solo Piano, features works he commissioned from ten American composers

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Scott Donald and Jeremy Siskind
Stories from Beirut: Music IS a universal language

When most Americans think of Lebanon, they think of war, terrorism, instability, and danger. When Scott Donald and Jeremy Siskind think about Lebanon, they think of the many piano students and musical colleagues who they’ve met on their multiple trips to Beirut. In this session, Scott and Jeremy will share stories about their teaching experience and discuss how music can effect change in attitudes and perceptions of varying ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds. 

Dr. L. Scott Donald, is the owner of Studio A, a private piano studio and music consulting business in Austin, TX. A native of South Carolina, he earned his BM in Piano Performance at Furman University in Greenville, SC. He completed his MM in Applied Piano and DMA in Music Education/Piano Pedagogy from The University of Texas at Austin. His teachers include Danielle Martin (UT-Austin), John Roberts (Furman University) and he has worked in master classes with Richard Cass, Daniel Pollack, and Seymour Bernstein. Dr. Donald’s research in piano pedagogy has been featured at international and national conferences and he is active as a clinician for state and local teachers in Texas.

Pianist Jeremy Siskind is the winner of the 2012 Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition and the second-place winner of the 2011 Montreux Solo Piano Competition. A two-time finalist for the American Pianist Association’s Cole Porter Fellowship, Siskind has performed jazz and classical music at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and in Japan, Switzerland, Colombia, Denmark, Thailand, Cyprus, England, Lebanon, India, Tunisia, France, and China. Siskind began serving full-time on the keyboard faculty of Fullerton College in Southern California in 2017 after teaching at Western Michigan University for five years.