NCKP 2017 will feature twenty-six workshop sessions in five blocks during the Main Conference. They are listed below in no particular order. STAY TUNED - An updated list of workshops according to day (Thursday, Friday, or Saturday) will be available on the website soon.
Nurturing the Inner Composer
Inside every pianist, there's a budding composer waiting to come out. Learn to nurture the inner composer while still focusing on piano instruction. Explore creative strategies supported by apps and technologies that remove barriers, provide immediate and audible feedback, create a working environment for the student at home, and help students produce polished results. Help your students learn to promote and present their compositions to a wide audience.
Award-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.
Hunter Ewen is a dramatic composer, educator, and multimedia artist. An Instructor of Critical Media Practices at CU-Boulder, Ewen’s work garners awards and performances from SEAMUS, Punto-y-Raya, Ouroboros Review, Beast Feast, EMM, and EABD by groups like Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Cairo Symphony, Silesian Philharmonic, and Science on a Sphere.
Eyes, Ears, Needs, and Notes
When a piece has been fully learned, the student has made a connection between the visual representation of the score, the physical performance gestures, and the aural result. The journey from score to fluent performance can be a challenging one. This presentation explores how interactive resources can guide that journey by helping the student make more meaningful connections between the visual, gestural, and aural representations of the music right from the start of the learning process.
(time-transcending) Mario 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
George Litterst is a nationally known music educator, clinician, author, performer, and music software developer. A classicallytrained pianist, he is also a multimedia musician who works extensively with high-tech pianos in his performing and teaching. He is the co-author of Home Concert Xtreme, Classroom Maestro, Internet MIDI, and SuperScore.
Dr. Alejandro Cremaschi, NCTM, is a frequent presenter in conferences, and has recorded for the labels Marco Polo and Meridian Records. He has published in Keyboard Companion, American Music Teacher and other journals. He teaches piano and pedagogy at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Game Theory vs. Theory Games
We know with certainly that students LOVE games, and there are SO many choices. But what makes a game into a great learning tool? What can we learn from the world of gaming? This panel discussion will focus on current research to help you choose games that support YOUR teaching goals.
Stella Sick holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Minnesota. She is a Managing Director of the International Piano-e-Competition. Dr. Sick teaches piano locally and nationwide. An active performer, she is an adjunct assistant professor at Hamline University.
Shana Kirk is a Denverbased pianist, teacher, and music industry consultant. Recognized for her expertise in teaching and performing technologies, she presents workshops across the US and Canada, contributes frequently to American Music Teacher and Clavier Companion, and serves as the senior editor for SimpleTec magazine.
Linda Christensen earned her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. After over 20 years of teaching piano and music technology at the college level, she is now the Director of Education for JoyTunes. She is a frequent presenter for national and international conferences.
Help! I Have a Student Who…
Students regularly experience apprehension, fatigue, and stress that can affect their musical progress, even under the finest teachers. This panel discussion will offer realistic problem solving techniques for vivid teaching scenarios submitted by NCKP attendees. These challenges may include performance anxiety, academic or family pressure, burnout, or exhaustion. Join us as we navigate the important role that teachers can play in the emotional health of our students.
Gail Berenson, Professor Emerita of Piano at Ohio University, is a long time passionate advocate for educating musicians on musician health issues. A past president of MTNA, recipient of the 2015 MTNA Distinguished Service Award and Ohio University’s 2016 Distinguished Service Award, she has performed and lectured in over thirty states and eleven countries.
Linda Cockey teaches at Salisbury University where she is professor of piano. She is a member of the MTNA eJournal Editorial Board and the CMS Committee on Musicians’ Health in Education. Author of MTNA’s Annotated Bibliography on Wellness Resources, she team teaches a course titled Wellness in Performance.
Dr. Vanessa Cornett is the Director of Keyboard Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where she teaches piano performance and pedagogy. She has published and presented widely on topics of mindfulness practice, performance anxiety management, holistic teaching, and mental skills for musicians.
Dr. Brenda Wristen is Associate Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has presented and published widely on topics of musician health and the biomechanics of piano technique. She is co-author of the book Adaptive Strategies for Small-Handed Pianists, published by Oxford University Press.
The Bother of Balance
One of the joys of playing the piano is that we can provide a whole world of sound with our instrument. It's easy for it to make too much or too little sound, especially when our musical partners are at different stages of musical and physical development. How does a teacher and coach deal with these issues? Here's a lively look at what goes into decisions about balance from the pianist's viewpoint.
Pianist Dana Brown is Chair of the Music Faculty and opera professor at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He is a passionate advocate for all things collaborative and entrepreneurial.
Latin Fiesta!: The Pedagogical Piano Music of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
Come explore the music and culture of Latin America! This lecture/recital will feature innovative and representative pedagogical works for beginner, intermediate, and early- advanced students by experts in music from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
Mexican pianist and pedagogue Desireé González, NCTM, holds a D.M.A. from the University of Utah, and a M.M, B.M., from Brigham Young University. She maintains an active schedule as a performer, teacher, and researcher. Desireé is a frequent presenter at national and international music conferences.
Dr. 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.
Joao Paulo Casarotti, pianist and pedagogue, is the Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy Coordinator of Keyboard studies at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. Dr. Casarotti holds a D.M.A. from the Louisiana State University and maintains an active schedule as a performer, clinician, and researcher.
Nurturing the Fledgling Collaborative Pianist
How can we provide opportunities for our piano students to partner with other musicians, yet not overwhelm them with technical, musical, or curricular demands? This session will explore ways to introduce the art of collaborative music-making, including activities that you can use in your studio to improve the skills needed for effective collaboration, specific repertoire suggestions that will allow your students to have successful initial partnerships, and guidance for your students in the rehearsal process.
Tracy Cowden is associate professor of piano and chair of music in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Western Michigan University.
Effective Communication of Practice Expectations: Send them Home with the Tools for Success
How do we effectively communicate goals and practice strategies that need to be accomplished during at-home practice? This session will focus on different modes of communication and the effectiveness of at-home practice. The mode and structure of information can determine the success that the student achieves.
Dr. L. Scott Donald, NCTM is owner of Studio A, an independent studio and music consulting agency in Austin TX. He is the former Administrative Director for the New School for Music Study in Kingston, NJ.
American Piano Technique: Defining a New Paradigm
Join master teachers Randall Faber and Fred Karpoff as they explore the traditions and evolution that have come to define American piano technique. Discover the synthesis of whole-body, three-dimensional technique as the new model for training in contemporary keyboard instruction, and how American Piano Technique differs from other current practices.
Randall Faber has been guest artist at conferences and universities throughout North America and Asia. Faber has appeared on international television and on public radio in live recital broadcast. He is co-author of the Piano Adventures® method, including the acclaimed Technique & Artistry series. Faber is a Steinway Artist.
Winner of the MTNA Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award, USIA Artistic Ambassador, and Steinway Artist, Fred Karpoff has performed widely as soloist and collaborative pianist on four continents. He is Professor of Piano at Syracuse University, and is Artistic Producer of Entrada Piano Technique, an online video resource for teaching effortless technique.
Don’t Write the Epitaph Just Yet: Strategies for a Classical Music Revolution
Claims of the demise of classical music have been raised for centuries. However, many proclaim that the art form is facing its most imposing challenges yet and is at risk of becoming obsolete. To be sure, the challenges are real, namely financial hazards and dwindling audience bases. Is classical music facing an insurmountable, systemic crisis? Despite these threats, a wave of innovative new leaders is emerging. These passionate, outspoken advocates are brilliant educators and evangelists who are devoted to spreading the good news about the transformative power of this great music. Their message is that classical music is relevant and it has the potential to radically enrich lives. In many ways, their work is sparking a rebirth, a renaissance. For many, it is all about reimagining and reinventing the art form. This presentation will explore exciting trends in the world of classical music and will equip piano teachers with robust yet practical strategies that can be deployed as part of an exciting classical music revival.
Christopher Fisher, DMA, NCTM, is Professor of Piano and Chair of Keyboard Studies at the Ohio University School of Music. He is the author of Teaching Piano in Groups (Oxford University Press, 2010) and co-author of the revised and expanded edition of Piano Duet Repertoire (Indiana University Press, 2016).
Lost in Translation: Helping Students Connect with their Repertoire through the Subtleties of Musical Languages
The current generation has an all-new musicultural vocabulary that leaves many feeling disconnected to music of past centuries. In this session, learn how to engage students' imagination and cultivate deep artistic understanding of works by composers from the past and present. Attendees will leave with practical tools for selecting and teaching repertoire from all time periods that engages students of the 21st-century.
Ryan Greene is Associate Director for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and serves as digital management for Clavier Companion magazine. Ryan teaches piano at the Centre for Musical Minds in Frisco, TX and in the Piano Prep Department as an adjunct faculty member at Southern Methodist University.
Tom White teaches at the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Oklahoma in pedagogy and performance. He has participated in group presentations at past MTNA Conferences and Symposiums.
El Sistema's Inspired Joy of Community in the Piano Studio
Whenever I have doubts about whether I am making an impact as a teacher of neighborhood piano students, I read about the Venezuelan teaching model El Sistema. El Sistema’s success with the poorest segments of Venezuelan society are breathtaking. What seems to be the heart of El Sistema is having students work intensively alongside multiple professional musicians, while still receiving private lessons. We can offer related opportunities to our students from a private piano studio!
Penny Lazarus, NCTM, has a B.A. in Piano Performance, a B.S. in Psychology, an M.A. in Art History, Teaching Certification in Secondary Education, and has undertaken Ph.D. work in the Philosophy of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh. She maintains a 45 student piano studio in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
The Compelling Connection Between Improvisation and Music Reading (For Children from Birth to Age Nine)
Have you ever wondered what goes on in a young child's mind when listening to music? Have you thought about how a teacher can best guide young children from birth/nine, who are wired for music from birth, to become imaginative, literate musicians? How does early guidance in improvisation activities affect music reading skills? Demonstrations/video clips of improvisation activities that nurture innate musical senses show avenues of instruction that explore the connection between improvisation and reading.
An innovator in the music learning process, Marilyn Lowe, acknowledges teachers/mentors Menahem Pressler, Nadia Boulanger, Dorothy Taubman, and Edwin E. Gordon. Graduate study in piano, organ, and music theory formed a foundation for continuous research and workshops about the impact of improvisation on musical literacy for the young pianist.
A Teaching Toolbox for Total Technique and Productive Practice at the Piano
All piano students would benefit from a healthy approach to piano technique from the very beginning. Unfortunately, many students end up injured due to unhealthy habits formed early on. Many teachers find it challenging to include regular activities specifically focused on technical development, and students do not always know how to practice mindfully at home. The presenter will share materials, activities, and resources related to wellness and technique, and explore effective strategies for productive practice.
Stephen Pierce serves on the Keyboard Studies faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music. He is an active presenter, performer, and clinician, and has published in journals such as Clavier Companion. He has served on the editorial committee of the MTNA e-Journal, and is editor of CAPMT Connect.
Music Alive! Sounds that Move, Pictures that Sing
Learn how to fuse performance, composition, and improvisation with videos, slideshows, graphics, lights, and movement! Attendees will get a taste of the innovative multimedia recital Music Alive!, seeing recorded examples and live demonstrations. You will also find out how to incorporate multimedia into your studios in order to increase your students’ creativity, expression, motivation, and understanding of music. Added benefits are increased recital participation and summer enrollment!
Clinton Pratt, NCTM, has a Master’s degree in piano and utilizes improvisation, multimedia, and Eurhythmics in his teaching approach. He has served on District and OhioMTA boards, has published articles in American Music Teacher, is an examiner for RCM, and has presented at local, state, and national conferences.
What Lies Beneath: Teaching Intermediate Students about Structure, Rhythmic Impulse, and Melodic Content in Bass Lines
You’ve taught your students how to voice the melody. Now what? What Lies Beneath takes a look at teaching students to find the counterbalances in the lower part of scores to create more cleaner and beautiful performances. Intermediate repertoire will be used to demonstrate finding bass melodies in a number of compositions and how these enhance the melodies above by providing harmonic, rhythmic, and tension- producing information.
Deborah Rambo Sinn has had a successful career as a pianist, educator, and author. She holds a doctorate from Indiana University, where she studied with Menahem Pressler. She is the author of Playing Beyond the Notes: A Pianist’s Guide to Musical Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2013.)
Training Four Skills for Improvisation: Ear, Muscle Memory, Brain, and Heart
Teaching and learning improvisation can be intimidating for keyboardists coming from a classical background. Jazz pianist and pedagogue Jeremy Siskind contends that learning to improvise is so daunting, in part, because it requires mastery of diverse skills from the aural, technical, theoretical, and emotional realms. This session will include a description of the four sets of interrelated skills and present practical exercises for teachers and students who want to become better improvisers.
Jeremy Siskind, the Chair of the Keyboard Area at Western Michigan University, teaches and performs both jazz and classical music. An internationally recognized educator, Siskind has eight publications with Hal Leonard and serves as Artistic Director of the American Jazz Pianist Competition.
Beyond Music: Education and Civic Engagement
Classical music can be too easily hidden within the walls of the ivory tower or formal concert halls. How can we evolve with modern culture and engage audiences in creative and meaningful ways? Members of the acclaimed Fifth House Ensemble will discuss the group’s passion and dedication for educational outreach and civic engagement.
Katherine Peterson and Eric Snoza of Fifth House Ensemble
The Chicago-Based Fifth House Ensemble is a versatile and dynamic group praised by the New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.” Having pioneered the art of narrative chamber music, 5HE’s innovative programs engage audiences through their connective programming and unexpected performance venues.
Harmonizing 101: What Every Student Needs to Know to Understand Music
Harmony is one of the most important fundamental concepts for pianists to experience and comprehend. Unfortunately, the teaching of harmony is often relegated to textbooks and theory lessons where it can easily end up being a dry and dull subject. Join Tim Topham as he demonstrates his approach to teaching harmony and chording to students from the very first lessons. Try out the ideas on your own piano. Expect fun & practical advice.
Tim Topham is a creator of enterprising, innovative ideas for music educators. Tim hosts the popular Tim Topham TV piano teaching podcast, writes regularly at timtopham.com and speaks at local and international conferences. Tim's passion is helping teachers maximise student engagement through creativity, technology and community. Tim's writing and training courses have been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher and various journals and music publications in Australia and the USA. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.
Balancing the Eye and the Ear: Applying Principles of the Suzuki Method to Reading Based Teaching
The Suzuki Method and traditional, reading-based methods have long been at odds with one another. The perception is that while Suzuki students are musically advanced, they cannot sight read well. In comparison, traditional students can read music well but are lacking in musicality due to an under-developed ear. Strategies will be given so teachers can bring balance to training the eye and the ear by incorporating Suzuki principles into a reading-based method.
Christy Vogt-Corley, DMA, is Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at McNeese State University where she teaches applied piano, pedagogy courses, and group piano. She recently received an endowment to develop an online piano studio and outreach strategies for online lessons.
Application of Creative Engagement Practices for the Studio
Based on the concepts presented during the keynote address, what creative ways might we engage our students in the studio to encourage musical thinking about sound? We will discuss together ways to employ composition, improvisation and creative listening as strong partners with the performance of music by the masters. Emphasis will be placed on student-centered approaches and practical experiences will be shared.
Peter R. Webster is currently Scholar-in-Residence at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and is a Professor Emeritus of Music Education at the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University. He holds degrees in music education from the University of Southern Maine (BS) and the Eastman School of Music. He has taught in the pubic schools and has over 42 years of college teaching experience. He has authored over 90 publications and was the 2014 recipient of the Senior Researcher Award in music education.
Teaching Students with Special Needs – Your Questions Answered
Three leaders in the piano teaching and special needs field will be available to answer audience questions, and discuss issues related to studio management, teaching techniques, repertoire, and performance situations.
Beth Bauer is pedagogy instructor at the Wheaton College Conservatory. She is the founder of Beethoven’s Buddies, a music program for students with developmental delays. Her work is nationally recognized for work with students with disabilities and has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The Daily Herald, Indiana University Alumni Magazine, Wheaton College Alumni Magazine, and The NBC National News. Her Beethoven’s Buddies students have appeared at conferences and music competitions.
Internationally recognized for his work with students with autism, Scott Price is Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina. He serves as president of the Board of Trustees of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.
Melissa Martiros currently holds the position of Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Music at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, TN where she is also serves as the Founding Director of OpporTUNEity, an award winning program for underserved youth and children with special needs.
Every Student Can! - Inside Autism and the Piano Lesson
Join Scott Price, nationally recognized for his work with piano study and autism, for a live lesson with one of his students. The lesson will be followed by a moderated question and answer period during which the “invisible” and non-traditional pedagogical techniques used in the lesson will be examined, along with discussion about teaching this very talented and deserving population of students.
Internationally recognized for his work with students with autism, Scott Price is Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina. He serves as president of the Board of Trustees of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.
How to Go Beyond the Page to Help Guide a Student Musically and Technically
Sometimes it takes every creative bone in our bodies to reach a "special" student both musically and technically. Therefore, come find out how to go beyond the page to help guide a student: What do tuba cheeks, babushkas, arm pit spaces, freezing birds in flight, brain triggers, door knobs and forensic math have to do with teaching private and group piano?
Karen Ann Krieger, Associate Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy and Collegiate Piano Chair at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, is a former TV journalist and author of two books on rock and blues and numerous instructional compositions.
Pedagogy Pics: Students Caught in the Act of Being Themselves
This highly informative and entertaining program features recent video clips of Berr’s teaching (different than those shown at MTNA). They show pedagogical strategies and techniques with students of diverse ages and levels who are solving musical and technical problems. Besides being a springboard for exploring basic and not-so-basic pedagogy, these clips also capture special moments that both independent and university teachers will appreciate.
Bruce Berr is a full-time faculty member of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts of Roosevelt University. He is known nationally as a clinician, author, and educational composer. He is an associate editor of Clavier Companion, and his popular column “ad lib” appears in each issue of American Music Teacher.
Bridging the Two Sides of Live Performance: From Written Classics to Unwritten Live Improvisation
Join pianist, composer, and improviser Charlie Albright in concert to explore the two critical sides of live performance: written, prepared works and unwritten, pure improvisation. Whereas the former is prepared and perfected over time as the “norm” in today’s concert scene, improvisation stems from before the creation of written music. Live improv allows an immediate and unedited connection between music, performer, and audience that stands alone in time; never again can an identical performance and experience occur. Join Mr. Albright as he shares both of these unique sides of live performance, bridging the gap between composer and performer.