photo Dennis Alexander
Why Didn't I Think of That?

Over the years, Dennis Alexander has received hundreds of questions from piano teachers at workshops, conventions, and through correspondence. This session will highlight numerous questions that deal with technique, motivation, repertoire, sight reading, rhythm, artistry, memorization, teaching adults, stage fright, and other issues that every teacher deals with, regardless of the level of the student. Mr. Alexander will share numerous "solutions" to these questions through an interactive Powerpoint presentation that will include input from members of the audience.

Dennis Alexander began his affiliation with Alfred Music Publishing in 1986. Mr. Alexander's 300 publications and recordings created with Alfred have earned him an international reputation as one of North America's most prolific and popular composers of educational piano music for students at all levels. Professor Alexander has held teaching positions at the University of Montana, California State University, Fullerton, and California State University, Northridge. He currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he maintains an active composing and touring schedule for Alfred Music Publishing.

A extensive list of Dennis Alexander's compositions can be found on his website:

photo Frederic Chiu
Stage Fright: A Different Perspective

Stage Fright: For some it is occasional; for others, constant. For some it is thrilling; for others, debilitating. We can all agree that stage fright is a special state of being, one that performers experience more often than most people. Drawing specifically on the pianist's unique experience, Frederic Chiu will demonstrate that through a deeper understanding of this state, we can harness this energy into something constructive and positive.

Frederic Chiu's intriguing piano-playing and teaching springs from a diverse set of experiences and interests: his Asian/American/European background, his musical training, and an early and ongoing exploration of artificial intelligence and human psychology, especially the body-mind-heart connection. With over 20 CDs on the market, his repertoire includes the complete work of Prokofiev as well as popular classics of Chopin, Liszt, and others, and lesser-known masterpieces of Mendelssohn and Rossini, with a special place for the piano transcription. Chiu's Deeper Piano Studies program has been presented by the American Pianist Association , the Utrecht Liszt Competition , and at the Juilliard School, Indiana University's Jacob School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the Banff Centre.

photo Sara Ernst
Improving Your Teaching Effectiveness

All teachers agree that we do not have enough time with our students, and that we must use creative teaching techniques to maximize every precious minute. Music education research reveals methods in which our lesson time can be more efficient and productive. Using video footage from actual lessons, Sara Ernst will explore a lesson planning and teaching method that can be incorporated into your lessons immediately, improving the quality, efficiency, and musicality of each lesson.

Sara Ernst is the Administrative Director and a faculty member at The New School for Music Study. During the summer, she teaches at the Interlochen Arts Camp, and she has served on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia, teaching piano and piano pedagogy. Ernst is a PhD candidate at the University of Oklahoma and received degrees from Luther College and the University of Missouri. She maintains an avid interest in piano pedagogy research and in contemporary music.

photo Randall Faber
Student-Centered Teaching: The process

In this session, Randall Faber explores the teaching processes that lead to long-term, valued outcomes. From a holistic perspective, when do we push and when do we nurture? What is the role of competence and how do we navigate the subtle, but critically important, issues of student/teacher interaction?

Randall Faber recently appeared at the Gilmore Festival, the Wasserman Festival, the Portland International Piano Festival, the Korean Piano Adventures Convention in Seoul, and in a lecture-recital tour of Southeast Asia. While in Korea, Faber appeared on the popular television show Heart-to-Heart, which is broadcast in 188 countries, and his June solo recital in Chicago was broadcast live on WFMT public radio. Dr. Faber and his wife Nancy are authors of the Piano Adventures® method and many related, bestselling publications. In 2005, they founded the Faber Piano Institute and the Faber Foundation for Music Arts and Education.

photo Linda Fields
From Listening to Literacy - Making the Transition from Early Childhood Music to Formal Lessons on an Instrument

Learning to read music is much like learning to read any language. Literacy, the ability to turn sound into symbol and symbol into sound, begins with hearing, then speaking or singing/chanting. Music Learning Theory plays a role, bridging from early music experiences to formal study. Drawing on elements of early childhood music and her experience teaching group and private piano, Linda Fields will explore how listening with understanding can lead to confident reading and musical artistry.

Linda M. Fields, NCTM, earned her Master of Music degree in piano from The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Trained in both Kindermusik® and MUSIKGARTEN early childhood music curricula, Linda is Level III certified by the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association, and may be the first early childhood music specialist to obtain national certification by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). She is founder of Musicians in the Making, offering group/private piano instruction fed by MUSIKGARTEN classes.

photo Arthur Houle
Turning Piano Students into "Block" Heads: A Schematic Approach to Technique

A practical, "hands on" workshop, this session will guide teachers and students through the creative use of "blocking" (sometimes called "chunking") and visual schematics in learning pentascales, scales, arpeggios, and cadences. Arthur Houle will outline the easiest-to-hardest sequence for scales and arpeggios, and effective ways to teach chromatic scales, double third scales, trills, chords, jazz scales, and various exercises.

Arthur Houle is Professor of Music and Director of Keyboard Studies at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado. He is also founder and director of the Festival for Creative Pianists, a unique competition that promotes improvisation, versatility, originality and repertory excellence. Dr. Houle began teaching privately at the age of thirteen and has taught at New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, the Universities of Iowa, North Dakota and Texas-Austin, and the College of Idaho.

photo David Karp
Exploring the Piano Music of Leonard Bernstein

In this workshop, David Karp shares his musical insights about the melodic cells in Bernstein's four sets of Anniversaries, which birth many of the composer's larger forms, including Candide, Trouble in Tahiti, West Side Story, Chichester Psalms, and the three symphonies. Many of these works are exciting and appropriate for pre-college students. This workshop will culminate with a performance of the 1981 Cliburn Commission, Touches, in which Bernstein inscribed: To my first love, the keyboard.

David Karp, nationally known pianist, composer, educator, lecturer, and author, is Professor of Music and Director of the National Piano Teachers Institute at the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University. He has performed, lectured, and conducted workshops and seminars at many colleges and universities from Alaska to New Hampshire and as far away as Taiwan. Dr. Karp's compositions are published by Alfred Publishing Co., Carl Fischer, Inc., FJH Music, Lee Roberts Music Publications, and Shawnee Press. Maurice Hinson, professor of music at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary writes, "...a composer of inexhaustible imagination and energy with an amazing insight into what students enjoy playing. Karp has made a significant contribution to the musical awakening of countless young people."

photo Fred Karpoff
Multi-Dimensional Piano Playing: Establishing Fluid Technique from the Beginning

Outstanding results can be achieved by teaching quality movement from the very first lessons. This presentation highlights innovative strategies for teaching organic, whole-body movement to any student, taking the drudgery out of scales, arpeggios, trills, tremolos, repeated chords, and other technical challenges. Drawing upon the work of professional movement educators (Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais®, etc), we can lay a foundation for injury-preventive playing that inspires greater freedom and musical creativity from the outset.

A USIA Artistic Ambassador and prizewinner in several international piano competitions, Fred Karpoff is an acclaimed pianist with performances in twelve countries across four continents. He has presented workshops and master classes at universities, music teachers' associations and conventions throughout the United States. Dr. Karpoff is a founding member of the Boccaccio Trio and Professor of Piano at Syracuse University. In 2009, he produced 3-D Piano, a DVD series and book on piano playing and teaching. Fred Karpoff is a Steinway Artist.

photo Catherine Kautsky
Seeing Debussy

One usually thinks of listening to music, but the music of Debussy requires vision as well! In this workshop, pianist Catherine Kautsky , recently returned from a sabbatical in Paris, will share her research of Debussy's images. See a Golliwog doll, General Lavine, cakewalk dancers, and the veiled dancer who inspired Voiles, and learn how your teaching of Debussy's easier pieces can be enriched by knowledge of the composer's Parisian world: its artists, cabarets, and scientific discoveries.

Catherine Kautsky, Chair of Keyboard Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, has performed in halls across the United States, as well as in England, France, China, Korea, Australia, and South Africa. Her work on the intersections of music with literature has been widely published in such journals as American Music Teacher and International Piano. Ms. Kautsky's recording of music for piano and narrator was issued by VOX, and she has recently completed a recording of the Debussy Preludes.

photo Forrest and Akiko Kinney
From Wired to Inspired - A New Pedagogy for the 21st Century

Students today are "wired" - stressed out, brain-weary, and caught in the web of technology. Music lessons can offer a rare chance to stop, feel, and enjoy both the reflective and creative dimensions of life. The 19th-century "performer pedagogy" does not address all these needs and must evolve into a new pedagogy. Learn ways to teach the four arts of music - improvising, arranging, composing, and interpreting - in ways that move students from wired to inspired.

Forrest Kinney, NCTM, has taught music for over thirty years. He is the co-author of the Pattern Play series on musical creativity and the author of Creativity-Beyond Compare. Forrest is a composer who recently published two collections of art songs. He works as a pianist, performing as many as 17 events at Bill Gates' home, and as an arranger. Forrest is currently writing a series on arranging for to be published in March 2012.

Akiko Kinney has been a music educator for twenty-two years and has a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance. She currently works as a therapist and recently earned a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology. Akiko is the co-author of the Pattern Play series on musical creativity and teaches improvisation to all of her students. In addition to her work as therapist, teacher, and author, she works as an arranger for Frederick Harris Music. Akiko volunteers one day a week at a maximum-security prison.

photo Rozalie Levant
Teaching Legato to Young Students

Teaching good technique while stimulating the imagination of a child is a challenge for any teacher. Rozalie Levant will demonstrate the concept of legato with the use of entertaining and engaging pictures, symbols, material objects, and stories. The session will explain the specific actions of the arm and fingers and how they interact in the process of playing a legato sound. Dr. Levant will also outline a strategy for dealing with common technical complications, such as leaps, hand contractions, and finger crossings.

Dr. Rozalie Levant maintains a large private studio in Dallas, Texas and has presented workshops on the national and international level, including the Texas Music Teachers Association State Convention, the Arizona Music Teachers Association State Convention, the World Piano Pedagogy Conference, the European Piano Teachers Association Conference, and on numerous occasions in her native Russia. Her book, The Anatomy of Musicality, has been highly acclaimed by leading piano professors and reviewed in Clavier Companion, American Music Teacher, and on NPR radio.

For additional information and book reviews, please visit Dr. Levant's website:

photo Irina Voro
Hooked on Practicing

All students love music, but many dread practicing it. In this session, Irina Voro will show teachers how to hook their students on practicing. Dr. Voro's method of teaching young pianists to derive pleasure from the subtleties of tactile-tonal connection and to revel in "movie-making" techniques will turn rehearsals into experiences of personal creativity. Both students and teachers alike will find Dr. Voro's more musical approach to practicing a refreshing break from typical practice drills.

Recipient of university, state, and national teaching awards, University of Kentucky professor Irina Voro has presented at national and international conferences of such organizations as the Music Teachers National Association, the College Music Society, and the European Piano Teachers Association. An international prize-winning performer, Dr.Voro has performed extensively in the Americas and Europe and was a concerti soloist with orchestras in Brazil, China, Canada, America, and her native Russia.