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Join leaders in the field for interactive and innovative online seminars discussing a range of relevant and valuable topics. Each seminar will provide innovative teaching strategies and detailed approaches through engagement with presenters and attendees. Programming allows you to effectively interact, in real-time, with the facilitator and other participants in large and small group activities.

Seminars will only be held live, and will not be available for replay afterwards. All times listed are EDT (USA). Participants will receive a certificate at the end of any seminar they attend.

COST:  $325 per seminar or $225 for students.
BUNDLES:  Save $50 per seminar if registering for more than one.
SUBSCRIBER DISCOUNT:  Piano Magazine subscribers save an additional 10% on seminar registration
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION DEADLINE: June 15, 2020

Click here to register   Questions? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Complete Schedule (click each seminar to learn more)

PikePam  July 9-11    Facilitating Adult Music Learning with Dr. Pamela Pike

Day 1: Creating Partnerships with Adult Students
11:00 – 11:15 Welcome
11:15 – 11:45 Andragogy 101
  • In this session we will explore the differences between andragogy and pedagogy, basic assumptions of andragogy, the teacher as facilitator, framing goals and the impact that adults’ prior experiences (both musical and non-musical) can have on their musical learning. We will discover how transformative learning, embodied learning, informal learning and formal learning work in synergy with many adult students.
11:55 – 12:10 Interviewing Adults and Studio Policy for Adults
  • We’ll have a brief overview of creating individual learning plans for adult students and highlight implications for pre-lesson interviews with adult students.
12:10 – 12:30 Small Group Discussion and Work
  • We’ll gather in small groups to share our current studio policies. We’ll identify what may need to be changed, amended, or added to each policy based on the Andragogy 101 and Studio Policy presentations. (You will update and post your individual policies before Day 2.) Together, in your group, create an interview procedure document.
12:30 – 12:50 Small Group Special Project
  • Choose one of your studio policy documents and based on the Andragogy 101 and Interviewing Adult presentations, together create your “ideal” adult studio policy. Choose one person to share your work with the entire group at 12:50 p.m.
12:50 - 1:05 Group Reports
  • We'll gather to share ideas with the entire group
1:05 - 1:25 Coffee and Tea Break
1:30 – 1:55 Creating Learning Plans
  • In this session, we’ll explore the importance of creating individual learning plans and how to craft meaningful plans with your students.
1:55 – 2:25 Small Group Work
  • Each group will be given an adult student “case study.” Each group will create an outline of a student learning plan for the first 4 weeks of study. Each group will report back on their students and personalized plan.
2:25 – 2:55 Group Reports
  • One group member from each will report on their student learning plan. There will be time for discussion.
2:55 Quick Stretch or Meditation Moment; Grab a Healthy Snack!
3:00 – 3:45 Lifespan Development Stages
  • We’ll explore an updated five-stage psycho-social theory of development of adulthood and discover specific needs, concerns and advantages associated with each stage. We’ll begin to discuss accommodations that learners make at various stages in the piano studio.
3:45 – 4:15 Break-out Sessions on Lifespan Accommodations in the Piano Studio
  • Each group will be presented with a scenario of a typical adult at a specific lifespan stage and sample repertoire that the student is working on. The groups will brainstorm about accommodations that can be made in the studio, for each particular stage.
4:15 - 4:30 Group Reports on Lifespan Accomodations
4:30 – 4:45 Facilitated Discussion and Reflection on Day 1

Day 2: Engaging Adults Through Musical Experience
11:00 - 12:00 Teaching Demonstration Videos
  • We’ll watch video clips of teachers working with adult students (of different ages and musical levels) and hear brief reflections from the teachers and students about what makes their partnership work.
12:00 – 12:40 Facilitated Reflection and Small Group Discussion
  • We’ll break into small groups and reflect upon the teaching demonstrations and the student and teacher reflections. Each group will create a “Top Five” list of take-aways from the teaching demo and discussion. We’ll share our top five lists.
12:40 – 12:50 Group Reports on Top Five Take-Aways
12:50 - 1:05 Coffee Break
1:05 – 2:00 Working with Adults in the Studio
  • Today we will learn about high-quality materials, teaching tools and learning situations that can engage adults in the music-making process, regardless of their level of playing. We’ll begin the day by exploring the philosophy of process versus product, then look at what engagement with meaningful musical experiences may look like for different students. We’ll explore components of successful private and group lessons and look at attributes of successful adult facilitators.
2:00 – 2:05 Stretch and Meditation Moment
2:05 – 2:15 Materials That Work with Beginning and Intermediate Adult Students
  • Brief introduction of materials that we will explore.
2:15 - 3:15 Small Group Work
  • Following our introduction, we’ll break into small groups and dive into materials that can be used effectively with beginning and intermediate adult students. Groups will create short summaries of each resource that will be posted for all participants to view during free time.
3:15 – 3:30 Coffee and Tea Break
3:30 - 3:55 Ensembles: Engaging the Group in Musical Learning and Expression
  • We will explore the power of group learning, specifically through piano ensembles. We’ll share tips for effective group engagement, for leading effective ensemble rehearsals and get ideas for choosing appropriate repertoire for your specific group of adults. There will be videos featured here.
3:45 – 4:15 Andragogy in Action! Repertoire and Piano Ensemble Showcase

Day 3: Adult-centered Studios in the 21-century
11:00 – 12:00 Understanding Adult Motivation
  • In this session, we’ll take a deep dive into the complex issue of adult motivation to study (and continue playing) music. We will look at three well-respected theories of adult motivation by Wdoloski, Houle and Knowles and apply these to the piano studio. We’ll frame motivation and how it intersects with self-directed learning and technology for our adult students, which will provide fodder for our remaining discussions throughout the day.
12:00 – 12:45 Small Group Discussion
  • Choose one of your most challenging or most positive student motivational experiences to share with the group. Using the theory explored in the previous presentation, explore the motivational influences upon your student and discuss how you can tap into similar or future adult student motivation. Choose one case study to share with the large group.
12:45 – 1:25 Large Group Sharing & Reflection
  • Each group will share one case study in motivation and we’ll have a facilitated discussion.

1:25 Stretch and Meditation Moment
1:30 - 2:00 Technology Triage
  • This session will explore how to keep adult students of all ages engaged when we must rely on technology and in times of stress. We’ll discuss positive engagement and andragological strategies from the videos that you watched in advance and answer your questions.
2:00 - 2:30 Technology 101: Useful Tools for the Adult Piano Teacher
  • We’ll look at how technology can be a tool on the piano studio. Specifically, we see how online technology can help us to work with students at a distance and how music software programs can help us create our own arrangements of familiar repertoire or of ensembles for our students. Questions that you submitted will be addressed.
2:30 – 2:50 Small Group Technology Sharing Time
  • Share the tech tools that you’ve found useful in your adult teaching and describe how you used them effectively.
2:50 – 3:05 Coffee Break
3:00 – 4:00 Quick-Take 1: To Perform or Not?
  • After a brief introduction to the pros and cons of adult “parties,” which adults recognize as code for “recital,” we’ll break into small groups and share ideas for facilitating adult-student performances for some adults in our studios.
3:25 - 3:45 Quick Take 2: Cultural Context and Access to Music Making
  • This interactive session will engage participants in exploring the context of musical engagement within our culture. We’ll consider implicit biases in our teaching and cultural barriers to piano study for many adults who wish to pursue it. We’ll look to one another to identify innovative and creative ways to create studios that engage more adult learners, from more walks of life.
3:45 - 4:10 Transformative Learning … Our Next Steps
  • As we learned on day 1, transformative learning is an important theory in adult education and it is particularly relevant to music teachers who work with adult students. We’ll briefly reflect on what we have each learned in three short days and on what steps we will choose to take as we go out into the world and back into our respective communities and studios.
4:10 - 4:15 Closing Remarks and Good-Byes!

AndreaMcalister  July 12-14    The Language of Inspired Teaching with Dr. Andrea McAlister

Sunday, July 12: Day One
12:00 – 12:15 Welcome
12:15 - 12:45 Defining our Profession: The Roles, Requirements, and Responsibilities of a Teacher
  • Our lives were turned upside-down by COVID-19, both professionally and personally. Our roles as teachers, our identities as musicians, and our relationship with our students have all been transformed in the past few months. We’ll look back on the history of pedagogy and how to face the future.
1:00 - 1:30 Before and After: Virtual Collaboration Site
  • What were your identifying roles before online instruction? What do your roles look like now? Using a virtual collaboration website, show how your identity as a teacher and musician has changed over the past few months.
1:30 - 2:00 Small Group Discussion: Identity and the Independent Teacher
  • Participants will gather in small groups to discuss their identities as teachers and musicians and how they feel their identities within the community will continue to shift as we return to a more “normal” lifestyle.
2:00 - 2:15 Coffee Break
2:15 - 2:45 Tweens and Teens: Learning in the Age of Anxiety
  • How do you teach students in today’s fast-paced society? In this session, we’ll discuss the lives of tweens and teens, the unique connection we share with them, and how we can help them cope with stress and anxiety, especially in times of COVID-19.
2:45 - 3:30 Video: Teens and Anxiety
3:45 - 4:15 Small Group Discussion: Students and Anxiety in the Age of COVID
  • The recent world events will define this next generation. Small groups will discuss their interactions with students, how families have adjusted to online learning, the use of technology, and the mental and emotional load our students are tasked with carrying.
4:15 - 5:00 The Parent-Student-Teacher Triangle: Talking about the Importance of Music
  • Parent involvement is more important than ever. We’ll discuss ways of involving the parent in lessons, communicating the necessity of the arts in the lives of their children, and how online lessons can be just as effective and engaging as in-person lessons.

Monday, July 13: Day Two
10:00 - 12:00 Optional: Individual Meetings with Instructor
12:00 - 12:30 Teacher and Student Engagement Post-Quarantine: What Stays? What Goes?
  • Like it or not, we learned a lot about teaching, about our students, and about ourselves when we were forced online. As we move conclude our first day, we’ll look ahead to the future of teaching and ask ourselves what we have learned, how we have changed, and what new ideas have come from our time of online teaching and learning.
12:30 - 1:00 Small Group Discussions: What I Have Learned
  • What would you change? What will you keep? Small groups will discuss lessons learned and reflect on online teaching.
1:00 - 1:45 My New Studio: Individual Project
  • Synthesize your reflections and discussion and create your “dream studio.” What online tools will you continue to use? What in-person experiences will you return to? How will you define your new studio for these new times?
1:45 - 2:00 Virtual Collaboration: Share Your Ideas
  • Share new studio ideas on our virtual collaboration board. Take a tour of the board and see what other ideas have been produced.
2:00 - 2:15 Coffee Break
2:15 - 3:00 The Language of Praise
  • Praising a student’s accomplishments and successes is a powerful tool for motivation and learning. In this session, we will discuss what praise is, what it is not, and build a toolbox of words to praise that apply to standard repertoire and technical skills.
2:45 - 3:15 Video: The Power of Mindsets
3:15 - 3:45 The Language of Feedback
  • Feedback provides us with opportunities to connect with, not just correct, our students. We will continue to build our toolbox of language that will lead our students to discover their own musical language and voice.
3:45 - 4:00 Break
4:00 - 4:30 Small Group Discussion: Teaching Video Assessments
  • Groups will view several teaching videos. What language do you hear most? How effective is the feedback? How does the instructor involve the student in the learning process?
4:30 - 5:00 Teaching Video Assessment and Assignment
  • Small groups will report on their assessments of the assigned teaching videos. The discussion will culminate in an assigned video project to be completed before our Day Three.
6:00 - 8:00 Optional: Individual Meetings with Instructor

Tuesday, July 14: Day Three
12:00 - 12:30 To Question or Not to Question: That is the Question
  • Asking the right question at the right time requires a clear sense of purpose, presentation, and awareness. In this session, we’ll build our questioning techniques, taking into consideration musical and cognitive development, technical skill, and attention.
12:30 - 1:15 Putting It All Together: Individual Project
  • Participants will watch student performances of various levels and determine the best praise, feedback, and questions to ask.
1:15 - 1:30 Virtual Collaboration: Share Your Words
  • Share new studio ideas on our virtual collaboration board. Take a tour of the board and see what other ideas have been produced.
1:30 - 2:00 Tone, Touch, and Gesture
  • Our most powerful form of communication isn’t always in the words we say, it is often how we say – or don’t say – what we mean. In this session, we’ll explore non-verbal communication, vocal inflection, their impact on our students, and what we can do when our touch is taken away in online lessons.
2:00 - 2:15 Coffee Break
2:15 - 2:45 Small Group Discussion: Non-Verbal Communication
  • Groups will watch teaching video: once without sound and then with the sound. Does the non verbal communication (without sound) match the verbal (with sound)?
2:45 - 3:15 Video Re-Watch: Individual Project
  • Re-watch your teaching video: listen for tone and watch for gestures. Do they match the communication style you wished to convey? Why or why not? How would you change your video?
2:45 - 3:15 Video Re-Watch: Individual Project
  • Re-watch your teaching video: listen for tone and watch for gestures. Do they match the communication style you wished to convey? Why or why not? How would you change your video?
2:45 - 3:15 Video Re-Watch: Individual Project
  • Re-watch your teaching video: listen for tone and watch for gestures. Do they match the communication style you wished to convey? Why or why not? How would you change your video?
3:15 - 3:45 Lesson Planning for Motivation and Attention
  • Sustaining motivation and attention is a necessary part of lesson planning and carries over into at-home practice. This session will focus on learning strategies and their impact on attention and motivation.
3:45 - 4:15 Small Group Discussion: Motivation and Attention
  • Participants will discuss application of teaching strategies to enhance attention in both in-person and online lessons and brainstorm ways of carrying this into home practice.
4:15 - 5:00 The Most Important Words We Speak: Choosing Kindness Over Criticism
  • The words we speak to ourselves are, by far, the most powerful, so why do we often choose words that criticize and condemn? When our own inner voices speak with mindfulness, calmness, and compassion, we can help our students choose kindness over criticism in their own lives.

ScottPrice  July 15-17    Inclusive Teaching: Possibilities for ALL Students with Dr. Scott Price

Wednesday, July 15: Getting Grounded
1:00 - 1:30 Keynote Address: Music for Everyone, No Questions Asked.
  • Diversity and Inclusion have never been more important than in current society. Scott Price will reflect on his experiences with students from the past two decades and how those students continue to influence, nourish, and transform the field of piano teaching.
1:30 - 2:45 Autism and Piano Study I: A Basic Teaching Vocabulary
  • Delve into the fascinating world and learning processes of students with autism. This intensive introductory session features video of real students in real lessons and will demonstrate specific and detailed routines useful and necessary for fostering learning and performance success.
2:45 - 3:00 Break
3:00 - 3:45 Communication 101
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say—if only it was that simple. Attendees will explore the multi-faceted process of crafting appropriate communication in teaching students who are special learners. Individual elements of communication will be explored including voice tone, facial expression, body language, and vocabulary.
3:45 - 4:00 Break
4:00 - 4:30 Behavior Management
  • Students who present with special needs often display unique and sometimes puzzling behaviors. Find out what these behaviors are, what may cause them, what they may mean in a larger context of communication, and how to mitigate them as appropriate.
4:30 - 5:00 Townhall Q&A
  • Bring your lists of questions and have them answered live in a townhall-style event. The only question that is incorrect or silly is the question that does not get asked. Get what you want from this session.

Thursday, July 16: Take-off with Teaching
1:00 - 2:00 Autism and Piano Study II: Inside the Lesson
  • This session will demonstrate teaching techniques used in piano lessons with students with special needs. This "sneak peek" at real students at work will highlight how these techniques may be adapted for learners of all types. Video excerpts will be shown to chronicle students on their musical journey as they learn repertoire and creative skills. See the dynamics of real students in real situations as the lesson unfolded.
2:00 - 2:30 What IS this MESS in front of Me???: Breaking the Music Score Code
  • Of course, everyone knows what the music score is—or do they? This short informative session will break down and “de-code” what the printed music score means for students who are special learners. Procedures for helping our students navigate the printed page and translate it into sound will be explored.
2:30 - 3:00 Battle Lines Drawn: Note Reading vs. Music Reading
  • Theory book vs. music book—that is the question. This session will explore facets of the score-reading experience and how teachers can help their special learners navigate the jumble of symbols. Special emphasis will be placed on sequenced and progressive learning strategies for both the teacher and the student and how to assist our students in becoming more self-sufficient leaners.
3:00 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 3:45 There’s a Math Quiz???: Adventures in Counting
  • Time, math, fingers, order, counting, and money all involve numbers. Is it any wonder that our students get confused when learning to count in music? In this session, we will explore the labyrinth of numbers and how our students can learn to be successful, self-sufficient, and rhythmic performers.
3:45 - 4:15 Repertoire GPS: The Forest AND the Trees
  • Learn how to navigate the perplexing world of repertoire leveling and selection for students who are special learners. Processes of teaching, practice, and performing will be discussed.
4:15 - 4:30 Break
4:30 - 5:00 Town hall Q&A
  • Bring your lists of questions from the day and have them answered live in a townhall-style event. The only question that is incorrect or silly is the question that does not get asked. Get what you want from this session.

Friday, July 17: Reach for the Stars
1:00 - 2:00 Undercover Geniuses: Special Learners and Creative Music Making
  • Students with special needs can be wonderfully creative in their music making with the right adaptations in the applied pedagogy. This session features an inside look at students improvising in the lesson, and in recital performances. Attendees will have opportunities to learn and experience strategies for helping their own students learn to be creative music makers.
2:00 - 2:30 Technique and Artistry 101: Expressive Engineering
  • Traditional artistry is often taught using analogies, metaphors, and other extra-musical associations, and our students may sometimes be left to their own devices to understand what encompasses “artistry.” But what happens when your student doesn’t understand or process analogies, metaphors, or does not possess the shared extra-musical culture that traditional students might possess? Students who are special learners can be wonderfully expressive at the piano with the right vocabulary and process, and attendees will gain helpful insight into the expressive language needed to help these students explore the world of music artistry.
2:30 - 3:00 Detail x 10: Creating the Lesson Plan
  • Learn how to create macro- and micro-learning routines for students. Special emphasis will be placed on creating a lesson plan and environment that fosters success. Attendees will have the opportunity to create teaching plans for short repertoire pieces based on concepts presented throughout the previous sessions.
3:00 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 4:15 Letting Stars Shine: Recital and Performance Events for Special Learners
  • Learn how to create and facilitate adjudicated events for students who are special learners, and how to approach, advocate, and aid organizations in serving this population of students. Guidelines for obtaining informed consent, preparation of students, participation and administrative guidelines, and adjudicator training will be presented, as well as video demonstrations of students who were involved in the adjudicated event. Attendees will leave better able to serve their own communities and local organizations
4:15 - 4:45 Townhall Q&A 
  • Bring your lists of questions from the day and have them answered live in a townhall-style event. The only question that is incorrect or silly is the question that does not get asked. Get what you want from this session.
4:45 - 5:00 Closing Remarks and Reflections

Dr. Scott Price currently serves as Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, and Coordinator of Piano Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina School of Music. In addition, he served three terms as President of the Board of Trustees of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, The Cleveland Institute of Music, and Bowling Green State University (OH), his recent engagements have included performances and clinics at the national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP), and solo recitals and presentations throughout the United States. Dr. Price is creator and editor-in-chief of the on-line piano pedagogy journal “Piano Pedagogy Forum.” “Piano Pedagogy Forum” has published more than 25 issues with participation from more than 100 writers from 84 different colleges/universities, over 28 different states and three foreign countries. MTNA named “Piano Pedagogy Forum” as the recipient of the 2008 Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award. Dr. Price has recorded 39 compact discs of educational piano music for Alfred Publishing Company and has published educational compositions with Alfred Publishing Company and the FJH Music Company. He is a member of the Committee on Special Needs Students for NCKP. Special teaching interests of Scott Price include teaching students with disabilities, very young children, and teaching keyboard improvisation to piano students ranging from beginning to advanced levels. His work with students with special needs has been featured on WISTV (SC) and WLTX (SC), and in Clavier Companion. One of Dr. Price’s students with autism was featured on Dateline NBC, and CNN. Scott Price has been awarded the "Best of BGSU Outstanding Graduate" alumnus award from Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 2002. Other engagements include performances and masterclasses in Canada, Thailand, Singapore, and in Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia, and in South Korea. Dr. Price has given repeated presentations at NCKP, the MTNA national conference, and the Royal Conservatory of Music teacher education summits. Dr. Price is the founder of the Carolina LifeSong Initiative that is dedicated to providing piano lesson and music experiences for students with special needs, and in fostering best practices in teaching and teacher training. Dr. Price was named a Foundation Fellow by MTNA in 2009 and is the 2012 recipient of the Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award for the University of South Carolina. He is a 2019 recipient of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy Outstanding Service Recognition Award.

SaraErnst  July 27-29    Nurturing the Young Pianist with Dr. Sara Ernst

In this hands-on, virtual seminar, attendees will explore how to structure and pace comprehensive studies from the elementary level through the transition to early intermediate repertoire. Every aspect of the curriculum—artistry, technique, reading, rhythm, theory and ear training, creativity, practice, and performance—will be examined. Knowledge and skill can spiral, and if excellence is achieved at each step, students will grow into motivated and independent learners.

Day 1: Monday, July 27, 2020
12:00 – 12:15 Welcome and Overview
12:15 – 2:30 Establishing Foundations in the Beginning Years with Dr. Sara Ernst
  • Explore the big-picture view of the elementary years and how the musical foundations established contribute to success of the intermediate pianist. Sara Ernst will guide attendees in discussion and application of how musicianship skills spiral in complexity, to more deeply understand the next steps in piano study.

  • 12:15 - 1:00 Webinar
    1:00 – 1:10 Transition
    1:10 - 1:40 Break-out Group Analysis Activity with Moderators
    1:40 - 1:50 Transition
    2:00 - 2:30 Large Group Synthesis
2:40 – 3:00 Virtual Break Room
3:00 – 4:00 Attendee Break-Out Share: Great Repertoire for Progressive Growth
  • Participants will have an opportunity to share their favorite teaching pieces and learn new ideas for repertoire. Bring one elementary or intermediate piece to perform for the break-out group. Share the pedagogical objectives of each piece, focusing on the new challenges and pleasures such repertoire brings.
4:00 - 5:00 “I can play, know, and hear it too!”—Purposeful Growth through Technique
  • Explore how regular use of keyboard warm-ups help students master intermediate technique, solidify theoretical knowledge, and expand listening skills. A progressive list will be provided for each technical category: five-finger patterns, triads, scales, arpeggios, and chord progressions.
Study Break “My First Repertoire Book”—Discovering the Literature
   Creativity in Lesson Planning: Teaching Repertoire
    45 minutes Self-Study at the Piano with Guided Videos
    30 minutes  Individual Assignment
    45 minutes Small Group Assignment (Individual work must be completed first)

    With musicianship skills securely learned, students can feel confident and excited to explore the new sounds found in the standard early intermediate literature. Nonetheless, there is much more to learn! In these guided-videos and assignment, expand your awareness of the new techniques and challenges young pianists face in intermediate repertoire.

    Attendees will work in small cohorts to design a lesson plan for a given early intermediate repertoire piece. Pedagogical principles and time-use strategies will be provided as a guide for productive planning.
Day 2: Tuesday, July 28, 2020
12:00 – 1:30 “My First Repertoire Book” and Creativity in Lesson Planning Follow-Up
    12:00 – 12:30 Break-Out Groups
    12:30 – 12:40 Transition
    12:40 – 1:30 Large Group Sharing Activity

    Based upon assignments (individual and small group) from the study period.
1:40 – 4:00 “I want to play piano”—The Secrets of Motivation
    1:40 – 2:30 Webinar
    2:30 – 2:40 Transition
    2:40 – 3:00 Break-out Group Discussion with Guided Questions
    3:00 - 3:10 Transition
    3:10 - 4:00 Large Group Synthesis

    There are many reasons young children take piano lessons, from the encouragement of a guardian to a deep, personal desire. Furthermore, young pianists are constantly growing and changing. This lecture includes an analysis of motivation and the stages of development in order to consider how guardians and teachers can adapt as the child matures and contribute to positive growth. Time will be devoted to questions, discussion, and collective application of ideas.
4:10 – 5:00 “My practice helps me get better”—Teaching Practice Skills
    4:10 – 4:20 Large Group Brainstorm
    4:20 – 4:40 Discussion Group Analysis with Moderators
    4:40 – 5:00 Large Group Synthesis

    The power of deliberate practice cannot be underestimated. In this session, attendees will discuss specific practice strategies and consider how this can be introduced progressively throughout piano study, focusing specifically on the learner’s transition into intermediate studies.
Study Period “I can create music”—A Hands-on Tour through Student Creativity
      Teaching Demonstration: Lesson Videos with Children

      To be completed by Wednesday Noon
    40 minutes Self-Study at the Piano with Guided Videos
    30 minutes Individual Assignment
    50 minutes Watch three teaching videos

    Through interactive, video tutorials, attendees experiment with a progressive curriculum of improvisation and composition activities for students. Participants will create and share ideas for use at the late elementary through intermediate levels.

    See young students in real-life lessons through teaching videos. Video segments will demonstrate teaching practice and coaching artistry. Pianists at the late elementary and early intermediate level will be taught by Sara Ernst.
8:00 Virtual Drinks Hour

Day 3: Wednesday, July 29, 2020
12:00 – 12:50 “This is my music”—Cultivating Personal Expression and Artistry
  • Discover the multiple ways teachers can nurture the musical artist within each child. Pedagogical strategies will be illustrated, including the use of language, analysis, modeling, technology, student research, sensory experiences, and interdisciplinary connections.
1:00 – 1:30 Student Creativity, Sharing Activity
1:50 – 2:20 “I am frustrated!”—Strategies for the Bumps and Lags in Learning

    1:50 – 2:10 Small Group Guided Discussion
    2:10 – 2:40 Large Group Discussion

    Development does not occur on a linear path, and students will be prone to learning plateaus, skill regression, and other bumps along the way. Learn how to address these phenomena, such as widening the repertoire, broadening the curriculum, changing use of lesson time, discovering new topics, restructuring of practice assignments, and more.
2:40 – 2:50 Preview of Next Activity
3:00– 4:00 Teaching Demonstration: Lesson Videos with Children

    3:00 - 3:30 Analysis Groups with Assigned Video
    3:30 - 4:00 Sharing Groups for the Discussion of All Videos

    Based upon the teaching videos viewed in the self-study period.
4:10 – 4:40 Open Forum: Your Questions Answered
  • Bring your questions and get answers in this interactive discussion, without restrictions! Be bold and ask: if you have a question, someone else is probably wondering it too. Everyone can benefit from the multiple perspectives.
4:40 – 5:00 Pedagogical Reflections
5:00 Virtual Dessert Hour


About the Clinician
Sara M. Ernst, PhD, is an active piano pedagogue and pianist, and serves as Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina. She is currently the President of the South Carolina Music Teachers Association, and she was recently the course leader for the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy’s first online piano pedagogy course on the topic of teaching beginner pianists. For the Royal Conservatory of Music, she is an active examiner in the U.S. and Canada, and has contributed to their publications as a reviewer of 2015 Celebration Series and Piano Syllabus, and as an author of pedagogical texts.

Through her research in piano pedagogy, Dr. Ernst investigates teaching effectiveness, the use of language in instruction, sequencing in intermediate repertoire, and successful parent-teacher interactions. Her presentations have been featured at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, conferences of the Music Teachers National Association and College Music Society, and many state and local conferences. Her articles and reviews have been featured in The Piano Magazine: Clavier Companion and the American Music Teacher.

Prior to her position at UofSC, she worked at the New School for Music Study in New Jersey as the Administrative Director and an instructor of piano lessons and group classes. Dr. Ernst has taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan and piano and piano pedagogy at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She received a PhD in music education with an emphasis in piano pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma, where she studied with Dr. Jane Magrath and Dr. Barbara Fast. Her other degrees are from the University of Missouri-Columbia and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

MarvinBlickenstaff  July 30-Aug 1    Practical Piano Pedagogy with Marvin Blickenstaff

Thursday, July 30, 2020
12:00 – 12:15 Welcome and Overview
12:15 – 1:10 Celebrating 60 Years of Excellence: Pedagogical Truths and Consequences… from the Teachings of Frances Clark (Craig Sale)
  • This session presents essential truths about good teaching and the rewarding consequences that result. Discover or re-discover those philosophies which inspire and guide us to the best teaching. The philosophies presented are applicable to teachers of any method. They are essential guides for any teacher who wants to make playing the piano a successful reality with every student.
1:10 - 1:20 Transition
1: 20 – 1:50 Small-Group Reflection: Pedagogical Truths and Consequences
  • A selection of pedagogical truths from the lecture will be discussed in small groups. Participants will reflect on their own experiences and consider how these truths impact their teaching.
1:50 - 2:00 Transition
2:00 - 3:00 Celebrating Beethoven: Repertoire for the Advancing Pianist (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • A sequential exploration of standard and lesser-known repertoire by Beethoven and his contemporaries. This session will include in-depth demonstrations of teaching strategies.
3:00 - 3:30 Break Room
3:30 - 4:15 Participant Recital: Beethoven Smaller Works
  • Participants perform teaching pieces by Beethoven for one another. Participants will submit a video link to their performance in advance.
4:15 - 4:30 Transition
4:30 - 5:00 Post-Recital, Small-Group Discussion
  • Participants discuss teaching pieces by Beethoven through guided questions.
Work Period 1: Thurs PM/Fri AM
Pedagogy Lesson OR Marvin Blickenstaff’s Teaching Demonstration
  • Legendary teacher Marvin Blickenstaff will work with an elementary student, demonstrating “TERRAC in action.”
TERRAC in Action… The Essentials of a Good Lesson (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • An effective lesson touches on numerous elements such as technique, reading, and rhythm preparation. This session outlines these basic elements and demonstrates how they can be incorporated into a 30- or 45-minute lesson.
Friday, July 31, 2020
12:00 – 12:30 TERRAC Sharing Activity
12:30 - 12:40 Transition
12:40 - 1:10 Wellness (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • Teaching is an act of giving. We expend energy, time, and emotion in the education of our piano students. At the end of a long teaching week or term we may feel that our resources are exhausted. Members of helping professions often ask, "and who will care for the caregiver?" This presentation will address wellness for the piano teacher and suggest ways to stay fresh and avoid professional burn-out.
1:10 - 1:40 Small-Group Reflection and Discussion
1:40 - 2:10 Open break time
2:10 - 3:00 Choose Those Words Carefully - Honing Your Teaching Language (Dr. Sara Ernst)
  • Question, Statement, Assessment: skillful use of these three powerful modes of communication is a cornerstone of great teaching. Each is examined through analysis of common lesson scenarios and best practices. Discover how to immediately improve the delivery and clarity of your own instruction.
3:00 - 3:10 Preview of next activity
3:10 - 3:30 Small-Group Discussion
3:30 - 4:00 Whole Group Follow-up
4:00 - 4:10 Transition
4:10 - 5:00 Lecture Recital of Teaching Repertoire: Focus on Women Composers
  • The New School for Music Study faculty will share effective and attractive pedagogical repertoire composed by women, representing a variety of levels and styles.
Work period 2 Fri PM / Sat AM
Pedagogy Lesson OR Marvin Blickenstaff’s Teaching Demonstration
Untangling the Hands: Innovative Ideas for Fingering (Dr. Charl Louw)
  • Discover new ideas for fingering that will facilitate effective hands-together scale coordination. Learn how innovations in fingering principles can solve technical problems from beginning to advanced repertoire levels. Specific examples from standard teaching repertoire will be explored.
Saturday, August 1, 2020:
12:00 - 12:30 Innovative Ideas for Fingering, Discussion
12:30 - 12:40 Transition
12:40 – 1:20 Guiding Students to Successful Performance (Craig Sale)
  • With musical understanding of the repertoire and thorough practice preparation, all students are capable of successful performance. This session explores how teachers can help their students achieve this goal by addressing guiding artistry in preparation and practice, maintenance and memorization, and performance anxiety.
1:20 - 1:30 Transition
1:30-2:00 Small Group Activity
2:00-2:30 Open break time
2:30 – 3:30 Masterclass of Seminar Participants (Marvin Blickenstaff)
  • Conference participants will perform in a masterclass of advanced repertoire with master teacher Marvin Blickenstaff.
3:30 - 4:00 Small-Group Discussion of Marvin Masterclass and Videos
4:10 - 4:40 Town Hall: Reflection Discussion
4:40 - 5:00 Ending Social Time

MusicTree  August 3-4    Understanding The Music Tree with Craig Sale and Amy Glennon

Monday, August 3
12:00 – 1:00 Planting the Seeds: Time to Begin, Part I
  • An in-depth exploration of Time to Begin including performance of repertoire and teaching strategies, along with an overview of how each element of complete musicianship is included from the very first lesson.
1:00 – 1:10 Break
1:10 – 2:00 Planting the Seeds: Time to Begin, Part II
2:00 – 2:15 Break
2:15 – 3:00 The Tree Grows I: The Development of Reading
  • Explore how reading is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
3:00 – 3:45 The Tree Grows II: The Development of Rhythm
  • Explore how rhythm is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
3:45 – 4:00 Break
4:00 – 4:30 Exemplary Performance of the Music Tree
  • An overview of procedures and standards for successful performances.
    Assignment of performance study for discussion the next day.
4:30 – 5:00 Time to Begin Questions and Answers
  • A time for further questions and more sharing of ideas related to Time to Begin.
Tuesday, August 4
12:00 – 12:50 The Tree Grows III: The Development of Technique
  • Explore how technique is developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
12:50 – 1:00 Break
10:00 – 10:45 The Tree Grows IV: The Development of Musicianship
  • Explore how theory/musicianship skills are developed through Music Tree 1 – Music Tree 2B.
1:50 – 2:00 Break
2:00 - 2:30 Exemplary Performance of the Music Tree: Small Group Discussions
  • Work in small groups on assigned repertoire and share your findings with the larger group.
2:30 – 3:30 Preparation Activities: When and What
  • A suggested timeline for preparation of new concepts will be followed by favorite preparation activities. Includes interactive breakout sessions for participants.
3:30 – 3:45 Break
3:45 – 4:45 Introduction of New Repertoire
  • The art of an effective introduction of new repertoire will be explored, followed by practice-teaching in small groups.
4:45 - 5:00 Break
5:00 – 5:30 Reflection Discussion and Closing Remarks

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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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