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3 minutes reading time (641 words)

Autumn 2020: Life in Music


As we prepare for the school year, many of us consider fall a new beginning. I imagine most of us would agree that there has never been a "new year" quite like the one we are experiencing. Many of us are feeling the long road of isolation and the uncertainty that lies ahead as we navigate the complexities of a global pandemic. The profound impact of music in people's lives has never been more essential. Every one of us is a leader, empowering learners to discover their voices and themselves through music.

We are enduring great challenges and, at the same time, a period of extraordinary transformation navigating new technologies, ways of interacting, and innovating our own practice of teaching, learning, and performing. We are compelled to rethink our former approaches and look through the lens of opportunity rather than loss. During the past six months, we at the Frances Clark Center have connected across our community in town halls, task forces, seminars, and webinars. As a result, we focus on the most urgent issues of our profession while remaining agile in our response to needs as they arise. Our energies this year will be directed to how we can best support, serve, engage, and diversify our community in the face of disconcerting unknowns. 

As we enter our conference year, it is befitting that NCKP 2021: The Piano Conference celebrates the transformative power of music. With all the unpredictability of the year ahead, we are called to rethink, reinvent, and reimagine
the conference concept. By adapting, we open new avenues to build and grow. NCKP 2021 will be transformed into a valuable virtual experience. With this purposeful decision, the opportunities to innovate programming, explore effective technologies, and provide much wider access reflect a spirit of inspiration and optimism. Restrictions of the past no longer apply because of the expansiveness of time allowing all attendees to access any and all programming. With the elimination of costs in travel and hotel, NCKP 2021 offers much greater access and flexibility. Central to the large gathering of NCKP will continue to be everyone's connection through a shared journey.

With NCKP 2021 as a virtual conference, we are enthusiastically jumping into new technologies to create a meaningful experience for all in attendance. NCKP 2021 will allow for much greater access to presenters, speakers, and performers while reaching out to a more diverse community nationally and internationally. Our vision is to create dynamic learning experiences with an inclusive philosophy of belonging through social interaction. To foster a more connected experience with colleagues, we will explore ways to engage locally in new ways such as in-person watch parties, dining events, and mentoring groups. Everyone is encouraged to submit proposals through the online portal (nckp2021.com).

In addition to an inventive conference gathering in 2021, we continue to create, curate, and provide access to resources, professional development, courses, research, and most importantly a community with which to connect and share. Our new online initiatives include experiencing concert artists with Piano Stories on Stage, learning from master teachers and experts with our Teacher Education Webinars, and fostering best practices through collegial exchange with Inspiring Artistry and From the Artist Bench. Mentor Connections offers more individualized coaching to support professional and career growth. Our most recent course, A Pianists' Guide to Teaching Online, was developed in response to the rapid changes in teaching practice. As part of our commitment to supporting new professionals, our first New Professional Summit was held in June 2020 and included participants from across the world.

Our passionate mandate this year is to deepen our mission and serve as much of our community as possible. We invite you to connect and engage as we weather this unsettling new year together. We are here to listen, respond, and support you as we adapt through these transformative times. 

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Autumn 2020: Recordings
Autumn 2020: Questions and Answers


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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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