Saturday, August 1 Workshops


11:15 - 12:00 Workshops:

CreativeLogoBehind the Music: Finding a Common Theme in Creative Composition and Performance (Grand Ballroom IJ)

This session will demonstrate an approach to piano instruction that applies Heinrich Schenker’s theories of generative musical analysis to performance and composition. Creative activities begin with a “skeleton” consisting of a descending melody harmonized by primary triads. This structure is elaborated with added levels of rhythmic and melodic motives. Repertoire is similarly taught using the “skeleton” in reverse. Students see immediate relationships between their own compositions and repertoire, allowing for reinforcement in an authentic musical context.

WilliamsBenjaminBenjamin Williams is a composer and Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Mississippi College. Williams earned degrees in Music Composition from The University of Akron (B.M and M.M.) and The Ohio State University (D.M.A.). He is married to violinist Emily Williams.



RushingMichaelMichael Rushing is Assistant Professor of Piano at Mississippi College, where he coordinates the Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy and directs the Taylor School, a community music program. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina (D.M.A.) and Mississippi College (B.M., M.M.).  

In Praise of Ignorance: The Teacher as Student (Grand Ballroom CD)

This presentation demonstrates ways in which musically active teachers can share successes and failures of practice and performance with our students. Instead of omniscient gurus, we serve our students best as learning partners and as celebrants of the process of learning, not just its end products. Posting unedited practice videos online and offering live observed practicing results in a recognition of real versus imagined results, and of the endlessly human experience of being a lifelong learner.

BobMayerovitchProf. Robert Mayerovitch, D.M., is pianist of the Elysian Trio and Lyceum at Baldwin Wallace University. An award-winning pianist, he devotes his workshops to the relationship of piano learning and teaching to life’s challenges.

Artistic Ways of Knowing: Teaching the Artist Within Every Student (Grand Ballroom AB)

Every student in your studio can learn to think like an artist through Artistic Ways of Knowing. Discover how to enhance student perceptual awareness and discrimination, “metaperception,” creative interpretation, the dynamic of performance, and critiquing in your studio. This session provides hands-on experience while describing elements of the creative-interpretive process across the arts. Participants will learn how they can practically apply artistic thinking in teaching studios to broaden and deepen learning beyond performance skills.

JoanneHaroutounanJoanne Haroutounian oversees the piano pedagogy program at George Mason University and consults internationally across the fields of music, piano pedagogy, and arts/talent education. She is the author of 24 publications in music and arts/talent education.

Ergonomically-Scaled Piano Keyboards and the Small-Handed Pianist (Grand Ballroom GH)
With the unfortunate loss of pianists to small hand-induced injuries/problems, is there a market for smaller keyboards? This session will offer the latest research and demonstrations to help pianists avoid injury, develop proper technique, increase their repertoire choices, and reach their true potential.

CarolLeoneCarol Leone is an internationally recognized performing artist, teacher, lecturer, and author.  She has performed and lectured on four continents and is considered one of the world’s leading researchers and proponents of ergonomic piano keyboards to promote a pianist’s wellness. She is Chair of Keyboard Studies at SMU Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas.

RhondaBoyleRhonda Boyle pursued a government policy career in Australia with qualifications in science, environmental science and urban planning.  Since 2009, her research into hand size and piano playing has been published in Australia (Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference), North America (MTNA eJournal), and the U.K. (EPTA). She maintains the website

CreativeLogoGoing Further with Lead Sheets (Magnolia A) 50-minute lab to follow

So you can already play the melody and chord symbols on lead sheets…now what? Learn creative techniques to personalize your interpretation. If you can do it, you can teach your students to do it!

BradleySowashComposer, performer, multi-instrumentalist and educator Bradley Sowash is known for his creative music-making instructional books published by Kjos Music and as the co-founder of 88 Creative Keys improvisation camps for piano students and teachers.

Hear It! See It! Play It! Successful Tips for Sightreading and Aural Skills (Lilac B)

What comes first - sound before symbol or symbol before sound? Fresh ideas about integrating sight-reading and aural skills activities for beginning to early intermediate piano students are presented with video examples.  Successful tips for focused brief learning episodes in private and group teaching are provided and may be incorporated into your lessons tomorrow.

AlbergoCathyCathy Albergo is a curricular expert in piano pedagogy and a frequent adjudicator and workshop clinician. She is the Director of the Bower School of Music & the Arts at Florida Gulf Coast University and is co-author of Piano Repertoire: A Guide for Teachers, the Celebration Series Handbook for Teachers and the Celebrate Piano! method.


MitziKolarJ. Mitzi Kolar, Professor Emerita, San Diego State University, directed the degrees in piano pedagogy for over three decades. Kolar authored Music in Education and co-authored Celebrate Piano! She maintains a studio in San Diego and serves as First Vice President, MTAC - San Diego and President of The Musical Merit Foundation.


 2:15 - 3:00 Workshops:


Whole Musicians: Linking the Ears, Minds, Hands, and Eyes of Music Students (Grand Ballroom IJ)

A well-rounded musician integrates several unique ‘vocabularies’ simultaneously. Each ‘vocabulary’ is connected to specific parts of the whole person. How can we as teachers help our students to develop not only their hands, but also their ears, bodies, minds and eyes in ways that will foster musicianship and a future as independent and lifelong music-makers? This session will focus on activities that serve to connect 2 or more vocabularies at a time.

JenniferFisherJennifer Fisher teaches piano courses at Eastern Michigan University and Concordia University. She also enjoys sharing music with all ages weekly; from newborns to preschoolers to elementary, junior high and high school students to adults!

TechLogoOnline Piano Lessons: Making Meaningful Connections (Grand Ballroom CD)
Discover effective strategies for successful online piano instruction. Learn how to set up your studio with the right tools to teach students across town or across the globe! Attendees will learn how to establish basic connections with mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads and also create more elaborate setups including multiple camera angles and technology to connect pianos over the Internet. This session is intended for both novices and advanced technology users.

Mario AjeroMario Ajero, Associate Professor of Piano at Stephen F. Austin State University, is internationally recognized for his incorporation of technology in piano pedagogy and music education. Recent engagements include presenting at the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference and the Royal Conservatory Summer Summit. He hosts The Piano Podcast with over 10,000 subscribers worldwide.

Joao Paulo CasarottiJoao Paulo Casarotti, pianist and pedagogue, is the Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy and Coordinator of Keyboard studies at Southern University. Mr. Casarotti holds a DMA from the Louisiana State University and maintains an active schedule as a performer, clinician, and researcher. 

Meaningful Adjudication: Developing Effective Writing and Marking Approaches in Judging, Evaluations, and Beyond (Grand Ballroom AB)

Join Dr. Jennifer Snow for an interactive, workshop session that explores adjudication skills including the use of meaningful and effective language, integrity in evaluation, marking and ranking, and the role and responsibilities of adjudicators in the learning cycle. Ideas on how to gauge approaches for different ages and levels will also be integrated. A range of evaluation methodologies will be discussed with video activities to investigate more effective assessment and adjudicating skills.

JenniferSnowDr. Jennifer Snow is the Vice President of Teacher Education at the Royal Conservatory. She is an established educator and performer who has presented, performed, and adjudicated at the international, national, and state levels.

The Challenge and Joy of Intermediate Piano Teaching (Grand Ballroom GH)

To assure that students can make a smooth transition from the elementary level into the intermediate level; transfer easily to a new teacher; and continue joyful piano study throughout the intermediate levels and beyond, a new teaching model is required. Such a model includes refined communication skills, empathetic attitudes, flexible teaching and creative and distinctive teaching strategies.

JeanineJacobsonJeanine Jacobson, DMA is a Professor Emeritus from California State University, Northridge. Previously she taught piano independently for 25 years and is the author of Professional Piano Teaching Vols. 1 and 2, pub. Alfred.

CreativeLogoCreative Practicing and the Art of Interpreting (Magnolia A) 50-minute lab to follow

"Repetition is the mother of skill.” Yet, too often, the pieces we are practicing become stale with all that repetition. Learn a collection of "creative practicing techniques" that can transform mechanical repetition into fresh, creative activity. These techniques also cultivate the ability to make creative and artistic interpretations of musical scores. Explore additional ideas and techniques that invite creative responses to scores and promote personal freedom in the art of interpretation.


ForrestKinneyForrest Kinney, NCTM, is the author and composer of 19 books including the Pattern Play series on improvisation, the Chord Play series on arranging, and Creativity—Beyond Compare. He is a pianist who regularly gives concerts and presentations for music educators. His arrangements are now in over 40 publications.


TechLogoMobile Virtuoso: 25 Tricks You Didn't Know Your Phone or Tablet Could Do (Lilac B)
Tap your device's potential! This session will reveal 25 tricks that help simplify your mobile life and make the most of today's technology in your piano studio. Get ready to learn some well-hidden tricks that can help you open the door to your mobile device's lesser-known capabilities. BYOD (or, for the novice, Bring Your Own Device to the session!).

Kathleen TheisenAward-winning soprano, pianist and teacher, Kathleen Theisen, NCTM, has presented workshops on music business, technology and online teaching at MTNA, NCKP, CMS/ATMI and state conferences.  An active performer, she is also Minister of Music at Darien UMC, teaches in the Darien Public Schools and runs an independent voice/piano studio.